He wrote the screenplay Star Beast (written with Richard Shusset) that was turned into Alien by Ridley Scott. He wrote the screenplay for John Carpenter’s directorial debut, Dark Star (he also played Sgt Pinback in the film).
Want more? How do the screenplays for Blue Thunder, Lifeforce (naked space vampires), Total Recall, Dead and Buried, Heavy Metal and Screamers grab you? He also directed The Return of the Living Dead and, get this, he did special effects work on Star Wars – the good ones.
Basically the man is a legend, yet sadly, he has been taken from us at the tender age of 63. Who knows what other flights of fancy he had in store for us, but no more. AICN are reporting that he had been in hospital for the past week but had lost the good fight.
He liked sci-fi, horror, H P Lovecraft, film and he could write up a storm. He will be missed.