Sunday, 9 October 2011

David Hess (1942 - 2011)

Switching on my PC this morning, I was shocked to read about the death of David Hess.

Hess started his career as a singer, songwriter in the late 50's and was first discovered by Perry Como (Hess' was he first artist to record 'All Shook Up' and subsequently led to him writing a few hits for Elvis Presley, Pat Boone and Andy Williams)

In 1972, his (then) brother-in-law (Martin Kove) persuaded the Hess to give acting a stab (and 'stab' it, he did) as 'Krug Stillo' in Wes Cravens groundbreaking classic The Last House On The Left. Hess also wrote and performed the haunting (sometimes jaunty) soundtrack, that still divides audiences today (personally, I think it's awesome) The Last House On The Left set a new benchmark in movie violence, and although Hess had many roles in different genres, he was best associated (not to mention 'best served') in horror movies. Hitch-Hike (alongside Franco Nero) followed in 1977, and Hess delivered the goods again. But in 1980, his role as 'Alex' in Rugerro Deodato's savage House On The Edge Of The Park, finally cemented Hess as 'The Baddest Bad-Guy In Cinema' (a movie that still suffers 13 minutes of censorship in the UK)

Hess continued to act in bit parts here and then, usually playing bad guys in U.S TV shows, and this steady revenue, enabled him to continue his passion for music. In 2009, he bounced back to the horror spotlight with SMASH CUT, a gory (low budget) tale of a fil-makers descent into madness. IMDB had Hess linked to a Deodato directed update of House On The Edge Of The Park for a 2012 release....But sadly (like Joe Spinell in Maniac 2, before him) the project is just another 'What If' for horror fans. Hess leaves behind a legion of mourning fans (myself included) and a legacy of great movies (and likewise songs)

Rest In Peace David Hess, keep on rocking