Cooler Than Hepcat Helm
Despite being an industry veteran who had worked on shows that I viewed once upon a childhood, including Charlieâ€™s Angels (ah, Jaclyn Smith, cue heartfelt yet manly sigh, where was I?), Kim Manners initially entered my consciousness via The X-Files, first through the comically occulted Die Hand Die Verletzt (see, never trust the PTA) then with directing one of the single greatest hours of television that I have ever witnessed, Humbug. Given the bizarre nature of the story and the alluringly strange characters within, these forty-five (give or take) minutes demanded professional yet interestingly offbeat camera work and Kim came through with vulgar colors. Plus, in watching the DVD extras, the man even appeared the part of the auteur (I swear, given his then-moustache, he and John Carpenter could have passed for long-lost brothers) and, lastly, when your persona is immortalized due to a â€˜colorful vocabulary,â€™ well, Detective, thatâ€™s ace in my book.
And we arrive at his next and, sadly, last, great task, the reason weâ€™ve congregated here in the first place. Whether through making one fugly scarecrow frightening even in the daylight, giving shadows the power to claw and kill without registering a single joule in the hokey meter, bombarding the viewer with subdued solitude during a time of dying, POV claustrophobia screaming no exit, humorously repetitive spots (out, damned mystery!) or the aftermath of a heavenly hell raising, the dude knew what he was doing, even managing to take, according to those in the know, the nigh unfilmable Bugs and making it filmable. If that doesnâ€™t nominate one for the directing Hall of Fame, I donâ€™t know what does.
Kim, you kicked it in the ass.