Melanie Kinnaman on Facebook
One of the saddest stories I’ve ever written here on Dread Central. Danny Steinmann didn’t have the longest career, nor was his work appreciated by mainstream critics. But genre fans loved his crass and darkly humorous voice, and if you’re anything like me, you hoped he’d revisit that territory one day. Unfortunately, that’s not going to happen now.
We’ve received word that Friday the 13th Part V: A New Beginning director Danny Steinmann has passed away. Details are non-existent at this point, but we’re inclined to believe Melanie Kinnaman, who posted the news to her Facebook page less than an hour ago.
Anyone who knows me knows how much I love that particular installment in the Friday the 13th saga, but Steinmann was also responsible for one of the greatest “urban decay” exploitation thrillers of the 1980s, Savage Streets. A movie which finds Linda Blair donning a skin-tight catsuit and taking on a gang of sleazeball punks. Beyond that, he also directed The Unseen (where Stephen Furst menaces Barbara Bach) and a very humorous 70s porno flick titled High Rise.
One of the things I lament is what might’ve been had Steinmann been allowed to direct Last House on the Left – Part II. The movie was killed before it could get off the ground, but Steinmann had planned to resurrect Krug, raping and murdering his way across an isolated island. In short, a premise crafted specifically for this director!
I know this sounds like faint praise, but Steinmann brought so much wonderful humor and grit to his oeuvre that it’s impossible to deny his style. Of course this stuff was never high art, but he understood what his audience wanted and delivered with aplomb.
We here at Dread Central would like to bid farewell to Danny Steinmann. The 1980s would not have been the same without his work, and we’re grateful to have been there to enjoy it. Godspeed, good sir.
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