Brian Taggert, Screenwriter on 'Poltergeist III,' Dies at 81

Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer/Photofest
Brian Taggert wrote 1988's 'Poltergeist III,' starring Tom Skerritt and Nancy Allen.

He also wrote 'Visiting Hours,' a slasher film that starred Lee Grant, and the miniseries 'V: The Final Battle.'

Brian Taggert, a screenwriter who worked on such horror films as Poltergeist III and Visiting Hours, has died. He was 81.

Taggert died June 1 at his home in Los Angeles, the Los Angeles County coroner's office confirmed.

In the 1970s, Taggert wrote episodes of Adam-12 and its spinoff Emergency!, then penned the 1984 three-part NBC miniseries V: The Final Battle. He also worked on the subsequent V series that lasted a season.

Taggert made his feature debut on the slasher pic Visiting Hours (1982), which starred Lee Grant as a TV journalist who is the target of a serial killer (Michael Ironside). Critics complained about the violence, but the screenwriter said the movie was a "feminist" film.

"It was about Brian Taggert loving women, loving Lee Grant and saying this will be our metaphor," he said in an undated interview. "I don't know if anybody is going to get it. [Grant] said, absolutely. She approved it. They thought I was a misogynist, hated women and wanted to kill them. So, so much for the critics. But Lee Grant was delighted to take the money and run."

Taggert and director Gary Sherman were credited as the co-writers on Poltergeist III (1988). A year earlier, they had collaborated on the drama Wanted: Dead or Alive (1987), starring Rutger Hauer.

Taggert's résumé also included another horror feature, Of Unknown Origin (1983), featuring Peter Weller, and three telefilms: 1974's The Mark of Zorro and two that aired in 1991, What Ever Happened to Baby Jane? and Omen IV: The Awakening.