Anthony Hickox, the British director of Hellraiser III and Waxwork, has died aged 64

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Known for his works in the horror genre, British director Anthony Hickox has died aged 64

Horror fans are in mourning today with the news that British director, Anthony Hickox, has died aged 64. Known as a maverick filmmaker at times at odds with the production team on set, Hickox’s most well-known works come in the form of his feature film debut, the comedy-horror ‘Waxwork’ in 1988 and the helming the third film in Clive Barker’s ‘Hellraiser’ franchise in 1992.

Born on January 30, 1959, in Hampstead, London, hailed from a family deeply rooted in the world of filmmaking; he was the eldest son of renowned director Douglas Hickox and the Academy Award-winning editor Anne V. Coates. Anthony was also the elder sibling of editor Emma E. Hickox and James D.R. Hickox. Notably, he had a familial connection to Lord J. Arthur Rank, a key figure in the British film industry's history.

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Hickox received his education at Aiglon College in Switzerland. His journey into the entertainment industry began as a club promoter in London. However, in 1986, he ventured to Los Angeles, where he transitioned into a writer and director, primarily during the late 1980s.

HBO hired him to create their first action/horror film, ‘Full Eclipse,’ which marked the beginning of the Friday night action slot that ran for over five years. Hickox continued to contribute to this genre and also maintained a partnership with Universal, directing pilots for various series like ‘Extreme,’ ‘Two,’ ‘Martial Law’ and ‘New York Undercover.’

In his career, he collaborated with notable talents such as Natascha McElhone and William Hurt on ‘Contaminated Man’ and directed a feature-length adaptation of the ‘Prince Valiant’ comic strip, starring Katherine Heigl and Stephen Moyer. Unfortunately, the film was critically panned and faced difficulties, with Warwick Davis, one of its actors, attributing its troubles to Hickox's focus on nightlife and casting friends.

Anthony Hickox attends the Quintessentially Members Party on Pegasus Yacht during the 63rd Annual Cannes Film Festival on May 14, 2010 in Cannes, France. (Photo by Sean Gallup/Getty Images)Anthony Hickox attends the Quintessentially Members Party on Pegasus Yacht during the 63rd Annual Cannes Film Festival on May 14, 2010 in Cannes, France. (Photo by Sean Gallup/Getty Images)
Anthony Hickox attends the Quintessentially Members Party on Pegasus Yacht during the 63rd Annual Cannes Film Festival on May 14, 2010 in Cannes, France. (Photo by Sean Gallup/Getty Images)

Hickox later directed Steven Seagal in ‘Submerged’ and Eddie Griffin in ‘Blast,’ both of which achieved commercial success through direct-to-video releases, each grossing over $15 million. But, as Hickox tells it, the Steven Seagal production ran into issues shortly before filming.

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In an interview with UK Horror Scene in 2014, Hickox recounted that Seagal called him and said “I don’t think this movie should be on a submarine… I’ve decided I don’t like aliens and I don’t like monsters. I don’t want to be in a monster movie.“

“He’ll never be on set for any other actor because he just walks away as soon as he’s done his lines,” Hickox said. “Literally you’d light one side of the room. He would come on the other side of the room, shout action, say his lines, shout cut and walk away. And me and the camera crew would be like, ‘What just happened?' 

“I said, ‘Steven, why do you make movies? You hate the f***ing process — everything about it you hate.’ And he didn’t say anything about it and walked away. Luckily he didn’t hit me.”

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