April 9, 1959
Although he has had limited commercial and critical success over the years, writer/director Fred Dekker has managed to create two enduring horror movie cult classics and collect a large cache of diehard fans. Born to artistic parents, Dekker was drawn to movies early on, even putting together homemade films with his teen-age buddies. After being denied admission to both UCLA and USC film schools, he decided to attend the former as an English major. Dekker got an early break writing the story for the 1986 horror comedy "House," starring William Katt and George Wendt. That same year he wrote and directed his first feature-length film, "Night of the Creeps," an homage to the black-and-white zombie movies that he enjoyed as a kid. He followed up with "The Monster Squad," a Goonies-esque affair about a group of pre-teens that team up to battle an invasion of traditional monster-movie characters. Both flopped at the box-office, but enthusiasts who saw the films as young moviegoers never forgot them. Over the years both movies became sought-after bootleg videos, prompting distributor Lionsgate to release an official DVD of "The Monster Squad" in 2007, complete with a retrospective documentary and multiple audio commentaries. Dekker also wrote the story for the cop thriller "Ricochet," and penned several episodes of the popular horror series "Tales from the Crypt." In 1993 he wrote and directed the third installment in the "Robo Cop" film franchise and in 2001, Dekker became a writer/producer on the sci-fi series "Star Trek: Enterprise."