Director Jeff Burr Dead at 60

( – Jeff Burr, the visionary filmmaker behind some of the most unnerving horror movies in cinematic history, has died. According to reports provided to the Hollywood Reporter by his close friend, Eric Spudic, Burr suffered complications following a sudden stroke on October 10, 2023. He was only 60 years old.

Jeff Burr was born on July 18, 1963, in Aurora, Ohio, but later moved to Dalton, Georgia. He developed an intense interest in the horror genre at a very young age by reading fanzines. It wasn’t long before he moved on to creating his own Super-8 films.

Burr’s love for horror deepened as he grew older, a passion that carried into his college years at the University of Southern California (USC). There, he met Kevin Meyer, another budding filmmaker. The duo clicked and soon decided to leave college, teaming up to create their first film together, “Divided We Fall.”

After “Divided We Fall,” Burr dove right into his next project, “From a Whisper to a Scream,” joining forces with the iconic horror actor Vincent Price. But according to Trivia from IMDB, when he stepped into the studio scene with “Stepfather II,” things got rocky. Burr clashed with studio bigwigs over a reshoot. It wouldn’t be the last time he spoke out about their interference in the creative process.

Despite facing so many hurdles, the director’s growing reputation eventually managed to catch the attention of New Line Cinema, who saw in him an opportunity for fruitful investment. Their collaboration eventually led him to direct “Leatherface: The Texas Chainsaw Massacre III.”

As with Stepfather II, the journey to completing this film was also beset with difficulties and creative differences. “Leatherface” ultimately turned a profit anyway, proving to the world that Burr had what it took to succeed within the horror genre, even if he had very rigid ideas about how to accomplish that goal.

Burr’s directorial palette expanded over the years. He embraced dramedy with “Eddie Presley,” science fiction in “Spoiler” and “The Boy with the X-Ray Eyes,” and war films with “Straight into Darkness.” At every step, his innate tenacity and love for storytelling remained firmly in place.

But Jeff Burr wasn’t just a director; he was a known philanthropist, too. Although he often preferred to remain anonymous, he played an important role in the creation of many community projects near his home, including Dalton’s Burr Park. He also donated money and time to Dalton Public Schools, Meals on Wheels, and Big Red Reads.

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