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Saturday, November 19, 2005

Moustapha Akkad: the gentleman producer

Fangoria has a well-written, moving tribute by Mark Cerulli on the murder of horror director and producer Moustapha Akkad, best known for his work on the Halloween series.

In the course of producing three DVD documentaries on the HALLOWEEN series, I was fortunate to spend quite a few hours in offices of Akkad’s Trancas International. Where most production companies have hordes of staffers hellbent on keeping people away from their execs, Akkad ran his ship differently. Sure, you had to pass muster with the office manager, but after that, you were welcomed like family. Where most people are rather snippy about having video crews set up camp in their offices, Akkad—and his son Malek—couldn’t have been more gracious. When I went to order lunch for my two-man crew and I, Akkad overheard me fumbling for a menu and told his secretary, “He pays for nothing here.” It usually doesn’t happen like that. But lest I get too warm and fuzzy, [Halloween director John] Carpenter reminds, “He was a businessman, and to be honest with you, I’ve seen him get pretty rough.” True enough. You don’t go into business with Dimension’s Weinstein brothers without possessing some serious inner steel. snip “Up in Vancouver, on the last HALLOWEEN, I think Michael had just stabbed somebody and there was some blood on the knife. Moustapha came up to me and said, ‘There’s too much blood.’ I said, ‘Moustapha, the guy just got his throat cut!’ and he replied, ‘I don’t like so much blood.’ ” No matter what onscreen carnage he creates, Akkad’s most famous movie character, Michael Myers, is fiction. The cowards who killed him and his 34-year-old daughter Rima, along with 55 other innocent people, are the real monsters.
Here's cookie jill and protected static's post on the day of the terrorist attack about the death of Akkad and his daughter.


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