Tributes pour in as Australian movie industry icon dies aged just 44: 'Struggling to process this tragic news'

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Melbourne based cult film expert and critic Lee Gambin has died.

News of his passing was released to the internet by his friends on Friday. He was 44.

The cause of death has not been made public.

Though not widely known outside of film buff circles Down Under, Gambin had an active career as an expert on cult movies, and horror films that had attracted the respect of film historians and fans worldwide.

Over the last decade he was keenly sought out by international producers of physical media to provide learned commentary and essays for DVD and Blu Rays releases.

Australian cult film expert, movie critic and author Lee Gambin has died at age 44 (pictured)

Australian cult film expert, movie critic and author Lee Gambin has died at age 44 (pictured)

Born in 1979, Gambin became a lecturer on film and was a major identity with the Cinemaniacs film group in Melbourne.

He was also an author of several books on film including Like Being on Mars - An Oral history of Carrie, which looked at the making of Brian de Palma's 1976 horror classic.

Gambin also provided a commentary on that gruesome fan favourite for the release of the film via the prestigious Arrow label in the UK.

A lover of horror films, Gambin also wrote a book about the creation of another Stephen King cult movie classic: 'Nope, Nothing to See Here: The Making of Cujo'.

Born in 1979, Gambin became a lecturer on film and was a major identity with the Cinemaniacs film group in Melbourne. He was also an author of several books on film including Like Being on Mars - An Oral history of Carrie, which looked at the making of Brian de Palma's 1976 horror classic (pictured)

Born in 1979, Gambin became a lecturer on film and was a major identity with the Cinemaniacs film group in Melbourne. He was also an author of several books on film including Like Being on Mars - An Oral history of Carrie, which looked at the making of Brian de Palma's 1976 horror classic (pictured)

Though not widely known outside of film buff circles Down Under, Gambin had an active career as an expert on cult movies, and horror films that had attracted the respect of film historians and fans worldwide

Though not widely known outside of film buff circles Down Under, Gambin had an active career as an expert on cult movies, and horror films that had attracted the respect of film historians and fans worldwide

He also wrote for a series of fan based publications on line and in print that brought him his own cult following including  Scream, Fangoria, Delirium, Diabolique, and Shock Till You Drop. 

Grief stricken friends in the film industry have taken to X to pay tribute to him.

Home video movie distributor Umbrella Entertainment, who had a close relationship with Gambin, shared kind words. 

'We cannot echo enough all the words shared this morning about the loss of Lee Gambin' they wrote in a statement. 

Over the last decade he was keenly sought out by international producers of physical media to provide learned commentary and essays for DVD and Blu Rays releases. Pictured: The cover of of Gambin's book on the making of horror classic Cujo

Over the last decade he was keenly sought out by international producers of physical media to provide learned commentary and essays for DVD and Blu Rays releases. Pictured: The cover of of Gambin's book on the making of horror classic Cujo

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'A truly spirited voice of cinema and a cherished presence, especially here in Melbourne. It was a pleasure to hear him speak... on his many contributions to physical media releases. Thank you, Lee!'

Filmmaker Jamie Blanks also gave a touching tribute.

'My heart is broken. Gifted author, passionate lover of cinema and my dear friend Lee Gambin has sadly passed away. He was a beautiful, kind man with an incredible passion for cinema and his friends' he wrote.

'I'm struggling to process this tragic news. I will miss him so much. R.I.P. Lee.'

Meanwhile, another fan wrote a sweet tribute.

'A stranger I never met. But 'gutted' to hear this news! So much knowledge! Grateful to see he got on the upcoming "Can't Stop The Music" 4K! Thank you, Lee!' they said.

 

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