We're saddened to hear reports emerging of FRIDAY THE 13TH PART V: A NEW BEGINNING director Danny Steinmann's passing. Aside from his entry in the iconic slasher series, Steinmann can also be credited as the man behind THE UNSEEN (directing as Peter Foleg) and the Linda Blair exploitation classic SAVAGE STREETS.
Steinmann was a director who will be remembered for embracing exploitation elements like no other. Before becoming a legitimate horror filmmaker, the director cut his teeth in the world of low-budget pornorgraphy. If you've ever watched any of the man's films, it's easy to tell. Steinmann knew sex sold and packed it into his films regardless of gratuitousness. He would match his gloriously staged sex scenes only with the raw brutality of his onscreen violence. While his FRIDAY THE 13TH PART V is often derided for not having Jason as it's real killer, the film more than makes up for it through Steinmann's over-the-top, pulpy sensibilities. A NEW BEGINNING has more of the series trademarks-- brutal kills, copious gore, and graphic sex-- than any other entry. Giving credit where it's due, it may be the ultimate FRIDAY THE 13th film for these reasons alone.
Unfortunately, it would also be Steinmann's last directorial effort. After becoming injured in a bicycling accident, the filmmaker retired into relative obscurity. Thankfully, he re-emerged in the last decade to participate in the special features and documentaries for the DVD releases of SAVAGE STREETS, CRYSTAL LAKE MEMORIES and A NEW BEGINNING. He also made a major resurgence on the horror convention scene, as evidenced by the pic with Shavar Ross (Reggie The Reckless!) above. If nothing else, we can take comfort in the fact Steinmann got to see his films become cult classics before his untimely passing.
We salute Danny Steinmann for his contributions to FRIDAY THE 13TH and the horror genre at large. May he rest in peace...