Monday, March 14, 2011
R.I.P. David F. Friedman (1923 - 2011)
On Valentine's Day, we lost one of the legends of the exploitation flick biz, producer and director David F. Friedman. Although best known for his multi-flick partnership with gore pioneer H.G. Lewis (which resulted in the Florida-lensed "Blood Trilogy," Blood Feast, Two Thousand Maniacs and Color Me Blood Red, as well as a handful of nudie-cuties), Friedman was a walking textbook of exploitation history. He'd worked the carny circuit and learned the art of pitching films from Ohio native Kroger Babb, helping that entrepreneur peddle his birth-of-a-baby classic Mom and Dad. After his split with Lewis, he headed to California where he made a series of elaborate adults-only films and horror flicks, co-owned the Pussycat chain of adult movie theaters, and eventually served as as president of the adult film industry's trade association. A staunch libertarian, Friedman enthusiastically defended the rights of filmmakers to peddle smut to the eager public, and often bragged that he'd voted for Richard Nixon six times (although, given Nixon's position on the porn industry, it's unclear how our former president felt about the endorsement).
While his compatriots in the sleaze-biz were often just as shady as their films, Friedman was a jolly, avuncular presence with a quick with a big cigar. He'll be missed. In his honor, a brief one-sheet retrospective of just some of the man's contributions to 20th Century culture: