It is with extreme sadness that we report the passing of David F. Friedman at the age of 87. Friedman had his hands in all kinds of exploitation movies through the sixties and seventies and beyond, but it was his work on the grand low budget slashers he did in the 60s that really made him a hero to the horror world.
Friedman produced Blood Feast (1963), 2000 Maniacs (1964) and Color Me Blood Red (1965). Considered throwaway drive-in popcorn flicks when they came out, the ludicrous, over-the-top violence and gore put those films on the map, and legends were born. With Friedman producing and frequent collaborator Hershell Gordon Lewis directing, their salacious trailers and the promise to deliver put lines around the theater.
Years later, Blood Feast and 2000 Maniacs would be shown on Turner Classic Movies, proving that the enduring nature of these fun splatter films could not be denied.
In 1967 Friedman made the completely underrated She Freak which was a ripoff of the 30s horror film Freaks. Friedman himself had worked the carnival circuit, so his film had a true air of authenticity, and has aged well. There’s plenty of padded scenes featuring carnival life, but you really got a feel for the place Friedman loved the most.
I actually met Friedman around 2003 at a horror movie festival in Los Angeles. A true gentleman, he was still also knee deep in his carnival barker persona and loved peddling his wares. I had a wonderful time meeting him and it is a memory I will never forget.
RIP David. You were truly a one of a kind.
Read more about Blood Feast here.