Director Bob Clark killed in auto wreck

Director Bob Clark, who made the classic A Christmas Story and other films such as Porky’s, Black Christmas, Baby Geniuses 1 and 2, and Karate Dog, was killed with his son in an auto accident
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Director Bob Clark dead in car wreck
Film director Bob Clark and his son Ariel were killed in an early morning collision along a stretch of Pacific Coast Highway in Pacific Palisades, authorities said.

Clark directed the classic holiday film “A Christmas Story” in 1983 and was the producer of the “Porky’s” films, along with about two dozen other features.

The crash was reported about 2:20 a.m. on PCH just south of Bay Club Drive. Police said Clark, 67, of Pacific Palisades, and his son, who was 22 and lived in Santa Monica, were pronounced dead at the scene.

LAPD investigators said Clark was driving a 1997 Infiniti Q-30 sedan southbound on PCH when the driver of a GMC Yukon, Hector Valazquez-Nava, 24, of Los Angeles swerved and hit the Clark vehicle head-on.

The road was closed until about 10:40 while authorities investigated.

Nava and a 29-year-old Azusa woman were transported to a local hospital, where they were treated for minor injuries, said LAPD Lt. Paul Vernon.

Nava was found to be driving under the influence of alcohol and operating a motor vehicle without a driver’s license. After treatment, he was booked on suspicion of driving under the influence of alcohol and gross vehicular manslaughter, Vernon said.

Clark produced, directed and co-wrote “A Christmas Story.”

Set in the 1940s and adapted from humorist Jean Shepherd’s novel “In God We Trust, All Others Pay Cash,” “A Christmas Story” stars Peter Billingsly as Ralphie, a young boy determined to get a Red Ryder BB gun for Christmas.

The film was not an immediate box office bonanza, but it has grown in popularity over the years.

In a 1997 interview with The Times, Clark said the movie has struck a chord with audiences because it deals with a “special time and special feeling. Shepherd’s material had the truth and heart in it.”

The “Porky’s” franchise was also a surprise hit and took years to get off the ground. At first, Hollywood studios rejected the pitches for the film. The franchise went on to earn more than $150 million domestically, according to

The films were based on Clark’s experiences during the ’50s a with his high school buddies in Florida.

In a 1985 interview with The Times, co-writer Roger Swaybill talked about how Clark dictated the outline for the movie into a cassette recorder while sick.

“I was weeping with laughter,” Swaybill said then. “I became convinced that I was sharing in the birth of a major moment in movie history. It was the funniest film story I had ever heard.”

He will be missed

Karate Dog

The Karate Dog (Review)

The Karate Dog

Jon Voight as Hamilton Cage
Simon Rex as Det. Peter Fowler
Pat Morita as Chin Li
Chevy Chase as Cho-Cho (voice)
Jaime Pressly as Ashley Wilkens
Nicollette Sheridan as White Cat (voice)
Directed by Bob Clark

Premiering on ABC Family of all places, the movie Karate Dog suffers from many flaws, but is altogether not a complete failure. There are a few moments of glory that shine like specks of gold in the sewer system stream that is the rest of this film. Right off the bat, in a movie called The Karate Dog, flaw number one is the Karate Dog, or Cho-Cho as he is called in the film. Cho-Cho is voiced by Chevy Chase, who seemed to phone in a majority of the readings, but in certain places it sounds like he got away with ad libbing and putting some effort into improving the script. The times that it sounds like Chevy is going off script are usually used during movement scenes so Cho-Cho isn’t even bothered to be animated, and those quips are generally more funny than the standard tired jokes that get passed around in this film. This was probably allowed because Cho-Cho constantly making quips while walking away from the camera not only helps in the ad libbing, but allows for cheap additions, as the dog doesn’t need more animation for his waggling jaw. Director Bob Clark is known for such wonderful films such as A Christmas Story and Porky’s, but more recently has been helming the Baby Geniuses franchise. The roller-coaster ride that is Bob Clark’s life seems to be jammed at the bottom of the hill. Karate Dog also features Pat Morita as basically his Mr. Miyagi character, as well as former gay porn star Simon Rex and his then-girlfriend Jaime Pressly as police officers who date in film. Finally, the villain is played by Angelina Jolie’s dad, Jon Voight, who continues to make bizarre career choices, but is a highlight of this film toward the end as he goes crazy. If all of this doesn’t make you salivate with desire, then you’re just like most people. Luckily, some days simply nothing else is on TV, and as far as new TV movies go, this would beat The Cheetah Girls Movie or Lifetime’s latest movie where a woman is mistreated by her husband.

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