From beloved classics like Joe Dante's Gremlins and Steve Miner's House, to modern greats such as Attack the Block and The Predator, special effects master Brent Baker lent his talents to some of the best films that the horror genre has to offer, and today we've learned the heartbreaking news that he has passed away.
Mentor, friend and fellow special effects maestro Chris Walas wrote on Facebook, "Eons ago, I did a movie called "Gremlins". It was my first big studio picture on my own, and an overwhelming project. I was hastily putting my company, CWI, together and desperately trying to find experienced crew in the Bay Area. I wound up hiring a bunch of inexperienced kids to flesh out the crew. A very young Brent Baker was among them. I gave him his start in my shop. He learned his trade there and learned it well, over the course of a bunch of projects. Over the years I was glad to see him not only survive in the business, but to thrive in it, becoming a fixture in the creature making world. But he was original CWI gang and that made him family to me. He's gone now and I am truly sorry at the loss. Good-bye, Brent, and thank you."
Robert Kurtzman also paid his respects, writing "It saddens me to hear the news that my old pal Brent Baker has passed. RIP Brent. My condolences to his family."
Beginning his professional career with Gremlins back in 1984, Baker went on to provide makeup, special and creature effects for countless fan-favorite genre films, including David Cronenberg's The Fly, A Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors, Vamp, The Lost Boys, Fright Night Part 2, Brainscan, Gremlins 2: The New Batch, Dead Man, Species, Ernest Scared Stupid, Lord of Illusions, The Frighteners and so many more.
Some of Baker's more recent credits include X-Men: First Class, "Westworld", Brightburn, "Swamp Thing", Guillermo del Toro's Hellboy 1 and 2, Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters, Don't Be Afraid of the Dark, Pennywise: The Story of IT and Exists.
Throughout his career, Brent Baker has worked with the best of the best, and I consider him to be one of them. Like most behind-the-scenes crew members, Baker was an unsung hero in filmmaking, but a hero nonetheless, and one that deserves to be recognized and remembered for his contributions to cinema.
I encourage you all to take a look at his IMDb profile. I can guarantee he was part of a film that impacted your life in some way, shape, or form.
We here at Crypt Teaze extend our deepest condolences to Brent Baker's family and friends. And given that Thanksgiving is tomorrow, I would like to thank Baker for all he's done for the horror genre. May his contributions be remembered for generations.