Jason Coffman chronicles the films of Russ Doughten in a series on Medium


Russ Doughten’s first screen credit was on a film that few could have guessed would go on to cinematic immortality: The Blob (1958). Doughten was credited as an associate producer on that film, a b-horror production that would grow in influence and esteem to the point that it would receive a deluxe home video release from the Criterion Collection decades after its theatrical run. Jack H. Harris, executive producer of The Blob, had a long career producing genre films including Equinox (1970), John Landis’s Schlock(1973), John Carpenter’s Dark Star (1974), and Fred Olen Ray’s Star Slammer(1986) in addition to Beware! The Blob (1972) and the 1988 remake of The Blob directed by Chuck Russell.

Russ Doughten also continued to work in film, but his career went in a very different direction. He will probably always be best known for his collaborations as producer with director Donald W. Thompson, specifically their series of Christian evangelical “End Times” films that began with A Thief in the Night (1972). But unlike Harris, who only directed one film in his post-Blob career (1966’s Unkissed Bride), Doughten directed one short film and ten features between 1961 and 1983. Most of these were explicitly evangelical Christian films produced by Heartland Productions, the company Doughten helped found in 1965 to produce films in his home state of Iowa.


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