‘...blow your brains out!’ Those infamous words, uttered to his on screen son no less, from Wes Cravens 1972 video nasty ‘Last house on the left’will be testament to the late David Hess and hiscredibility as a fantastic actor. His role as gang leader and all round bastard ‘Krug’ is perhaps themost memorable character of his professional career.A role he would unofficially reprise in the 1977 road thriller ‘Hitch Hike!’ and again in Ruggero Diodato’s 1980 ‘House by the edge of the park’. Famed for his work as villains it wasn’t until David’s sad passing last week that I was even aware of his success as a songwriter. He composed hits for Elvis Presley, Sal Mineo, The Ames Brothers allunder the name David Hill. If your old enough to remember Pat Boone’s ‘’Speedy Gonzalez’’ that was also written by David, it was a top ten hit back in 1963!
Years before Last House was even made he was head of A & R at Mercury Records in New York. There he co-wrote Grammy Award winning rock opera ‘Naked Carmen’ and the album ’And the children toll the passing of the day’ for Malachy McCourt.Between 1972 and 1976 he took the opportunity to live in Munich, Germany where he worked on dubbing and writing English shooting scripts with some of Deutschlands finest.
David Hess has since appeared in over 40 motion pictures and numerous production roles. He has released solo studio albums as well as producing his own son’s work ‘The Hess Brothers’. He regularly attended horror conventions including Fangoria’s‘Weekend of horror Last house on the left reunion’ in 2009. According to imdb.com he has at least three movies scheduled for release in 2012 but this may change given the circumstances. David is survived by his wife and three children.
Big Man Gav.
A Great 4 part interview with the great and sadly missed David Hess.