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Interview with David Friedman
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Image Mr. Friedman's work in cinema began decades ago and he has helped produce films such as "2000 Maniacs" and "Ilsa, She Wolf of the SS." Trash to some, classics to others (I'm with the latter group), the world of cult movies would be less impressive without his influence. His latest project is the sequel to "Blood Feast."

Interview Date: 7 January 2002

Andrew: The first "Blood Feast" was released in 1963 and it has been nearly twenty years since H.G. Lewis directed a film. What is the personal side of your working relationship? Friends or just associates who enjoy making the same type of films?
David Friedman: Although Herschell and I went our separate ways after "Color Me Blood Red" in 1964 we have remained close friends. (We had made eleven features together between 1959 and 1964.) We see each other often and correspond weekly.

Image "We had made eleven features together between 1959 and 1964."

Andrew: Was the idea of a sequel something that sat on the shelf for years or a more recent decision?
David Friedman: Over the years we have been approached by many persons wanting to make BF2. For one reason or another, nothing came of it. HGL and I each have our own successful ventures going, so neither of us were desperate to make another movie.

A few months ago this young man, Jacky Morgan, came to us individually with the idea of making BF2. He had a fair script and the financing. HG was impressed and asked me if I would go along with the deal. The principal reason I said "yes" was the sheer joy of working with him once again. I get more mental stimulation being around him for an hour than I get in a year otherwise.

So, he and I joined forces again. We went through five rewrites to get something that pleased us both.

Remember...we had not written the first draft. When HG and I worked together, he and I wrote all our own scripts and when we went our own ways he continued to write all his own pictures and I wrote all mine. Finally we were satisfied somewhat. We still had reservations, but, after all, we were working for another producer.

Andrew: From what I have found, the plot focuses around Fuad's grandson. He appears to run a deli or convenience store, but suffers from uncontrollable urges to follow in his grandfather's footsteps. What else can you tell us about the plot?
David Friedman: Basically, the plot concerns Fuad Ramses III, a nice young man who inherits his grandfather's old catering shop and comes to reopen it. He knew nothing of the atrocities committed by his ancestor. In a back room of the shop, which he has trouble opening, he finds the statue of Ishtar still standing and comes under her spell. And the horrors begin again.

We had the good fortune of having a cast of really accomplished young performers, all of whom were cooperative and enjoyed being directed by HG. We also had a fine special EFX man who came in from LA to do some spectacularly gruesome makeup. I have seen all the dailies and am really impressed. Gore hounds will not be disappointed, but will leave the theaters gasping, wincing, and shuddering.

Image "In a back room of the shop, which he has trouble opening, he finds the statue of Ishtar still standing and comes under her spell."

Andrew: A web post said that you had considered shooting on digital video, but after doing some tests between the new format and 35 mm, the latter won. What made up your minds?
David Friedman: We had never intended to shoot on digital. It was to be shot on 35 mm color and it was. Neither HGL nor I ever made a movie except on 35 mm film.

Andrew: Shooting started in July and was scheduled for eighteen days, but actually took twenty-six. Filming often runs into small stumbling blocks or problems that require more time. Was Murphy's Law hard at work or were there other factors?
David Friedman: We began shooting in Mandeville, LA on July 23 and finally wrapped on August 12. The picture was originally scheduled as a sixteen day shoot, but due to mishappenings, beyond our control, we went over the scheduled time.

Andrew: The film is scheduled for its premiere in theaters this January. Will it be a limited run? How soon can we hope for a home video (especially DVD) release?
David Friedman: We expect a domestic and foreign theatrical release of the picture. At age seventy-seven, this movie may be my last hurrah, but I know my reputation will be further enhanced by it.

Thanks to Mr. Friedman for his time and the many films he was instrumental in making. Anyone seeking further information should read his Internet Movie Database profile.

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