Actress/Model Darla Albornoz
What do you say about a man that words simply cannot describe? I don’t think there is anything you could read to grasp the concept of what a great man we have had the pleasure of having on this earth. You just had to know Don for yourself, in your own way. I am very blessed to have had the honor of having this man in my life, and extremely saddened with the reality that we can no longer experience his great friendship. At first words spoken, you feltlike you had known him forever. He always treated everyone with utmost respect, not just when on the set or other public events, but every day of his life. He was never arrogant or boastful of his accomplishments. He was a down to earth gentleman. He had great friends, a great family, and left a part of himself in entertainment history where his legacy will go on forever. Don was living proof that not only can we follow our dreams, but we can also achieve them, and better yet, we can lend a helping hand to others while we are on our way. Don was a man that carved his own path. He was Captain of Baltimore’s B-Movie Industry and is responsible for giving many of the local producers, directors and actors, their starts. He has more accomplishments on record than most of us only dream of. If Don had lived to be 100, it still would have been before his time. It’s pretty hard to let go of such a great role model that most of us can only aspire to become. I miss him dearly.
“Evil Dead” Special Effects Artist Tom Sullivan Talks About
Don Dohler’s Influence On His Career
Ever since my first trip to Skull Island at age 5, I had the obsession to learn the secrets of how the movie makers made those monsters move.
Forry Ackerman holds the mantle for exposing those working behind the scenes of the Famous Monsters we all love.
Don Dohler holds the mantle for creating the journal of secrets of the cinema for all. Cinemagic Magazine not only explored Hollywood effects history, but featured ambitious filmmakers with clear detailed articles and really cool photos explained a range of special effects techniques.
Don made it so that anybody with some inspiration, cash, and friends and could create miracles on Super 8mm film. And it came just in time for me. It’s no secret that I had the first couple of issues of Cinemagic with me when I was filming Evil Dead (filmed as Book of the Dead).
Thanks Don, for publishing my letter and the education you gave me and the army of filmmakers carrying on your legacy.
Way back in 1972, I was publishing a fanzine called Black Oracle, and the Baltimore Sun printed an article about me. Don Dohler read this article, tracked me down and introduced himself, and then told me about his own plans to publish a fanzine called Cinemagic. During our first conversation, we also discovered that we both loved movies and this led us to become fast friends. Don had already made several 8mm short subjects, and shared his dream of eventually making a feature-length motion picture. I had been in a few school plays and done some community theatre, but I had to confess to Don that what I really wanted to do was to act in films. Time went on and we both continued to publish our respective fanzines. In March of 1974, I made my movie debut in John Waters’ Female Trouble. However, it wasn’t until late 1976 that Don began filming his first feature-length 16mm movie, The Alien Factor. Due to the success of Star Wars, science-fiction films were very popular at the time, and a spot was found in a TV syndication package for The Alien Factor, which was followed by a release on home video. The success of Don’s first feature led to four more films before Don folded up his director’s chair in 1987, only to return to filmmaking in 1999 and direct yet another feature. After this, Don and director Joe Ripple formed a partnership called TimeWarp Films. In all, Don Dohler was involved in the production of eleven feature length science-fiction and horror movies before his untimely death in 2006. I was fortunate enough to have been cast in all of Don’s features, and I have never encountered such a patient and persistent filmmaker in all my life. Over the years, Don wore many hats such as writer, director, cameraman, editor, and occasional actor, just to name a few. And during all that time, I never saw him lose his temper despite numerous setbacks such as bad weather, equipment failures, unprepared actors, or actors not even showing up. Not to mention various problems with investors and distributors. Don was always a gentlemen, was always prepared, and no matter what the problem was, he dealt with it with great aplomb. In addition, Don was always generous with his time in providing advice or help to other filmmakers or fanzine publishers, or just talking to fans who called him on the phone, or met him at a convention. Although his movies suffered from a lack of budget, they certainly never suffered from a lack of enthusiasm or love of the genre. Don is greatly missed by his family, as well as his many fans and friends. And the Baltimore filmmaking scene will never be quite the same.