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Larry Cohen, directed ‘It’s Alive,’ other cult horror films, dies at 77

LOS ANGELES - MARCH 30: Director Larry Cohen arrives at a party to celebrate Showtime's series "Masters of Horror" at Element on March 30, 2005 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images) *** Local Caption *** Larry Cohen

Director Larry Cohen arrives at a party to celebrate Showtime's series "Masters of Horror" at Element on March 30, 2005, in Los Angeles, California. | Kevin Winter/Getty Images

NEW YORK — Larry Cohen, the maverick B-movie director of cult horror films like “It’s Alive” and “God Told Me To,” has died. He was 77.

Cohen’s friend and spokesman, the actor Shade Rupe, said Cohen passed away Saturday in Los Angeles surrounded by loved ones.

Cohen’s films were schlocky, low-budget films that developed cult followings, spawned sequels and gained esteem for their genre reflections of contemporary issues. His 1974 “It’s Alive,” about a murderous mutant baby, dealt with the treatment of children. His New York-set 1976 satire “God Told Me To” depicted a series of shootings and murders carried out in religious fervor.

Cohen directed Bette Davis’ last film, “Wicked Stepmother,” in 1989. More recently, he wrote the 2002 Colin Farrell thriller “Phone Booth” and 2004’s “Cellular,” with Chris Evans.