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Pearry Reginald Teo, the Singaporean-born genre filmmaker behind the Bai Ling-starring The Gene Generation and DMX‘s last movie, Fast Vengeance, has died. He was 44.
Teo died Thursday of an unknown cause in his home in North Hollywood, his rep Italia Gandolfo told The Hollywood Reporter.
The writer-director’s body of work included the Hellraiser-inspired Necromentia (2009) and The Assent (2019), a movie about exorcism that featured Tatum O’Neal and premiered at the Toronto After Dark Festival.
Teo also served as an executive producer on Warner Bros.’ Cloud Atlas, directed by the Wachowskis and Tom Tykwer.
The Gene Generation (2007), released by Lionsgate and made for a reported $2.5 million, starred Ling as a kick-ass assassin battling DNA hackers and included a cameo by Faye Dunaway.
Fast Vengeance (2021), starring martial arts star D.Y. Sao, centered on the world of underground motorcycle racing. (Sao and Teo would reunite for 2022’s Shadow Master.)
Teo’s work had a “penchant for costume fanfare, religious folklore and graphic novel allure,” the website Film Combat Syndicate noted last year.
Born in Singapore on July 23, 1978, Teo moved to Australia when he was 14 before returning to his home country to serve in the military. He felt Singapore was “not ready to explore the concepts” in films that he was interested in, he said in a 2014 interview, so he came to the U.S. in 2001.
Teo attracted attention when his short horror films Liberata Me and Children of the Arcana won top awards at the New York Independent Film and Video International Film Festival in 2002 and ’03. (Liberata Me also screened at Cannes.)
He said he was not happy with interference on his teen horror film The Evil Inside (2011) and chose to make his movies outside the studio system after that. “Deep down I always had that independent filmmaker spirit,” he said.
Teo’s résumé also included the 2010 Syfy telefilm Witchville and the features Dracula: The Dark Prince (2013), The Curse of Sleeping Beauty (2016) and Ghosthunters (2016). According to IMDb, he has three films in postproduction.
Survivors include his son, Ashton; his sisters, Chaya (a producer on a couple of his films) and Hanna; his parents, Tony and Lillee Sim; and his dog, Vlad.
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