According to the Bruce Weber-penned obit in this morning's New York Times, the "Trash Film King," producer David F. Friedman, died yesterday on Valentine's Day. Horror fans are wringing their ketchup-soaked hands as Friedman and director Herschell Gordon Lewis created the first ever splatter film, Blood Feast, filmed and set in Miami in 1963. The film, about an insane Egyptian caterer in South Florida who likes to cut off women's heads, forever changed the course filmmaking. The nouveau king of trash films, John Waters, even called Blood Feast the Citizen Kane of gore movies.
Check out the campy but icky trailer,
but make sure you've fully digested your bagel and lox first. This is
horror 1.0 so the blood looks a little too corn syrupy, but it's still
likely to hit your gut hard. Friedman went as far as to supply theaters
with barf bags before screenings.
The YouTube demons won't let us post the trailer for the original Blood Feast (perhaps because you may vomit?) so here's one for Blood Feast 2, made when Friedman and Lewis reunited in 2001. It stars fanboy John Waters as a pedophile priest.
Before making Blood Feast in 1963, Lewis and Friedman spent winters in Miami filming
"nudie-cuties," softcore porn shorts (e.g., "Trader Hornee" and "The Erotic
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Adventures of Zorro") filmed in Florida's nudist colonies. As porn got,
well, pornier, he ventured in more explicit sexploitation films like Ilsa: She-Wolf of the S.S. about a sadistic and insatiable female Nazi
prison guard. If his mind sounds a little deliciously morphed, maybe
it's because he sat next to Kurt Vonnegut in calculus class at Cornell. Feel free to use that next time you play Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon.