David Hess, probably best remembered for his serial killer Krug Stillo in Wes Craven’s controversial 1972 psycho-horror movie The Last House on the Left, has died at age 69.
According to reports, Craven later used Krug’s name as the basis for another horror film icon: Freddy Krueger, of the A Nightmare on Elm Street film series.
Born in New York City on Sept. 19, 1942, Hess initially worked as a songwriter for the likes of Elvis Presley, Sal Mineo, Andy Williams, and Pat Boone. In 1969, shortly before his entry into films, Hess became the head of A&R at Mercury Records. In addition to playing Krug in The Last House on the Left, he used his musical talents to compose the film’s soundtrack as well.
Among Hess’ other film credits were a hitman in Jack Arnold’s The Swiss Conspiracy (1976), starring David Janssen and Senta Berger; a murderous hitchhiker in Pasquale Festa Campanile’s The Naked Prey (1977), getting a fateful ride from Franco Nero and Corinne Cléry; and Alex, a rapist/sadist akin to Krug Stillo in Ruggero Deodato’s La casa sperduta nel parco / House on the Edge of the Park (1980).
Hess joined forces with Wes Craven once again in Swamp Thing (1982), starring Louis Jourdan and Adrienne Barbeau. From then on, Hess’ film work became less frequent, while moving further underground. Titles, some of which were made in Italy, include Jonathan degli orsi / Jonathan of the Bears (1995), Zombie Nation (2004), and Smash Cut (2009).
As per the IMDb, Hess had four films in pre-production at this time, including a sequel to The House on the Edge of the Park, in which he was to bring Alex back.
David Hess picture via davidhess.com.