RIP Australian horror screenwriter Everett (“PATRICK”) De Roche
Sad news for fans of the wonderful world of Ozploitation: One of the genre’s foremost contributors, veteran scripter Everett De Roche, has died.
De Roche passed away on Wednesday in Melbourne at age 67, after a three-year battle with cancer; he is survived by his wife, six daughters and many grandchildren. Born in the U.S., De Roche and his wife moved Down Under in 1968, and he began his career in television before writing his first feature, Colin Eggleston’s 1979 nature-amok cult favorite LONG WEEKEND (pictured above). Numerous other horror/supernatural features followed through the late 1970s and mid-’80s, including Richard Franklin’s PATRICK, ROAD GAMES and LINK, Simon Wincer’s HARLEQUIN (a.k.a. DARK FORCES) and SNAPSHOT (a.k.a. THE DAY AFTER HALLOWEEN) and Russell Mulcahy’s RAZORBACK. He worked largely in TV during the ’90s and the first part of the 2000s, but reunited with Franklin for 2003’s VISITORS, and teamed with director Jamie Blanks on 2008’s survival shocker STORM WARNING and the following year’s remake of LONG WEEKEND (given the awkward title NATURE’S GRAVE in the U.S.). His last feature credit was Anthony Waller’s NINE MILES DOWN, shot several years ago but only released Stateside on video formats last year.
“Everett De Roche was responsible for many of the classic Aussie genre movies,” Blanks tells Fango, “and was a great supporter of many other screenwriters in this country over the years. He was a warm, kind and supremely talented man whom I, and many others, loved dearly. Quentin Tarantino was one of his biggest fans, and had high praise for Everett in the documentary NOT QUITE HOLLYWOOD. Everyone who worked with Everett over the years always had a terrific experience and enjoyed his great sense of humor. I was privileged to work with him on my last two movies, and will always cherish the time I got to spend with him. He was a wonderful man who will be deeply missed by all who knew him, and by fans of Aussie genre cinema in general.”