Andrew Horn, Twisted Sister Documentarian, Dies at 66

Andrew Horn - Publicity-H 2019
Courtesy of Constance Hanna

Several of his films, including 'The Nomi Song,' were showcased at the Berlin Film Festival.

Andrew Horn, an independent filmmaker who wrote, directed and produced a 2014 documentary about Long Island club legends Twisted Sister, died Saturday of cancer in Berlin, his friend Rebecca Lieb announced. He was 66.

Horn also was behind the features Doomed Love (1984) and The Big Blue (1988) and the documentaries East Side Story (1997) and The Nomi Song (2004) — a profile of the androgynously operatic underground performer Klaus Nomi — all of which premiered or screened at the Berlin Film Festival. 

We Are Twisted Fucking Sister! tells the tale of the fun-loving heavy metal band that, led by flamboyant frontman Dee Snider, built on its huge following in the New York area to wider prominence with such hits as "We're Not Gonna Take It" and "I Wanna Rock."

It premiered at Amsterdam's prestigious International Documentary Film Festival, and The Hollywood Reporter review called it "a raucously riotous rags-to-riches record of rip-roaring rock renegades."

Horn got to know the band during the making of The Nomi Song.

"There's the classic story of the Beatles in Hamburg, playing every night for six hours a night, and that's how they became the Beatles. Multiply that by five, and that's how Twisted Sister became Twisted Sister," Horn said in a 2015 interview. "The guys were great storytellers…and the kind of craziness they described was very interesting and intriguing to me."

Born in New York on Sept. 16, 1952, Horn graduated from the New York University School of the Arts, and his junior thesis film was nominated for an Academy Award, Lieb said. 

After living in New York as a filmmaker and graphic artist, he came to Berlin in 1989 as a guest of the DAAD Berlin artists exchange fellowship program and remained there as a filmmaker, writer, journalist and researcher. In 2013, he shared a News & Documentary Emmy for his work on an American Experience installment about Jesse Owens.

At the time of his death, Horn was working on a film about Robert Wilson's experimental performance company, the Byrd Hoffman School of Byrds.

"His career was eclectic, from making films on postmodern dance in New York to writing for one of Germany's most popular soap operas, from film musicals to music documentaries, from Eastern Europe to the East Village," Lieb noted.

Survivors include his brother, Chris, and son, Kai.