George ‘Buck’ Flower – October 28, 1937 – June 18, 2004 – was an American actor, writer, producer, assistant director, production manager, and casting director.
Born in the Blue Mountains of Eastern Oregon, Flower enlisted in the army as a teenager and enrolled at Eastern Oregon College following his military service. He then moved to California and attended Pasadena City College, becoming a member of the repertory theatre group. From here, his career took in over a hundred appearances in film, both in front and behind the camera – these included a great number of horror and genre films, in which, most regularly, he appeared as a bum-type character.
Flower was never afraid of using his physical appearance – he was always somewhat overweight and had the facial features which, politely, lent themselves to someone who was happy to play the drunk; tramp; hobo; crazy old guy in the background.
His wide variety of roles in sometimes jarringly different genres, led to him acting under a number of different names: Ernest Wall, Buck Flower, George “Buck” Flower, George Flower, Buck Flowers, Igor, Sherman Backus, Mick Courter, C. D. LaFleur, C.D. LaFleure, C.D. Lafleuer, and C.D. Lafleur!
Flower’s early film career saw him appearing, often un-credited, in adult comedies (often with the emphasis on the sexual rather than the chortlesome). Beginning with 1970’s Country Cuzzins, through gems such as Satan’s Lust (1971), The Sex Prophet (1973, as Igor) and Suckula (1973), he found himself much favoured by notorious producer, Harry H. Novak, the first of many producers and directors who would latch onto the actor and feature him numerous times.
By 1975, Flower was beginning to get “named” roles in films: the likes of Candy Tangerine Man (1975); Criminally Insane (1975) and Johnny Firecloud have seen reissues and minor cult followings in the years since, though it was as Binz in the same year’s Ilsa: She-Wolf of the S.S. that he achieved his first named role in a film that has attained a level of meaningful standing (of sorts).
Flower also appeared in Ilsa, Harem Keeper of the Oil Sheiks in 1976 and a film which achieved a level of infamy which even outranked these, The Witch Who Came in From the Sea, banned by the BBFC in the UK and one of the 72 titles on the infamous ‘video nasties’ list. His daughter, Verkina Flower, also appeared in the film as a youthful flashback of Molly – one of a handful of onscreen and off-screen roles she had in horror and genre films. Buck also acted as casting director on the film.
Flower was seemingly always working – tiny, often uncredited, roles in forgettable fare – Devil’s Ecstasy (1976); Drive In Massacre (1976 – he was a suspect with a machete, but also co-writer of the screenplay); Killer’s Delight (1978) had the actor in blink and you miss it parts, though 1980’s role as a drunk (of course) fisherman in The Fog (1980), saw the first of no fewer than six John Carpenter films appearing on his CV. His breakout role was typically under-key yet in keeping with his stock trade – that of “bum” in 1985’s Back to the Future (as well as its sequel).
Flower fit a huge amount of TV work (the usual opportunities for bit-part actors – The Dukes of Hazzard; NYPD Blue; L.A. Law) around further horror film roles – notably, Maniac Cop (1988); Pumpkinhead (1988); Sorority Babes in the Slimeball Bowl-o-Rama (1988), though even these gave way to sequels which were best left forgotten – 976-EVIL II and Waxwork II: Lost in Time being typical. One of his last horror genre roles was in Wishmaster – inevitably as “homeless man”. Flower died from cancer, aged sixty-six, in 2004.
Satan’s Lust (1971)
The Daring Dobermans (1973)
The Devil and Leroy Bassett (1973)
Criminally Insane (1975)
The Candy Tangerine Man (1975)
Johnny Firecloud (1975)
Ilsa: She-Wolf of the S.S. (1975)
Invisible Man (TV series, 1975)
Ilsa, Harem of the Oil Sheiks (1976)
Deep Jaws (1976)
Devil’s Ecstasy (1976 , voice only)
Drive-In Massacre (1976)
Killer’s Delight (1978)
The Capture of Bigfoot (1979)
The Fog (1980)
Escape from New York (1981)
Back to the Future (1985)
The Night Stalker (1986)
Bates Motel (TV movie, 1987)
Maniac Cop (1988)
Cheerleader Camp (1988)
They Live (1988)
The American Scream (1988)
Death Nurse 2 (1988)
Speak of the Devil (1989)
Sundown: The Vampire in Retreat (1989)
Back to the Future Part II (1989)
Spontaneous Combustion (1989)
Dead Men Don’t Die (1990)
Puppet Master II (1990)
Blood Games (1990)
Camp Fear (1991)
976-EVIL II (1991)
Waxwork II: Lost in Time (1992)
Mirror Images (1992)
Warlock: The Armageddon (1993)
Body Bags (The Gas Station segment,1993)
Ripper Man (1995)
Village of the Damned (1995)
Dark Breed (1996)
Skeletons (TV movie, 1997)
The Curse of the Komodo (2004)
They Are Among Us (2004)