Saturday, March 28, 2009

A Very Candid Conversation with Danny Steinmann

Danny and I catching the Phillies, Summer 2011
Danny Steinmann is best known for directing Friday the 13th Part V: A New Beginning. Yet, because there is so little information about him, he is considered the most elusive of all the Friday the 13th directors. To this day, several people who interviewed him have told me they had trouble finding him. The only press he has ever done is when Part V came out with several horror trade magazines.

He does not have a large filmography, but all of his films have been remembered to this day. As long as the Friday the 13th series goes on, Friday the 13th Part V: A New Beginning will not be forgotten. Savage Streets and The Unseen(a film he took his name off) are cult classics. The hard core pornographic High Rise is considered a classic of the porno genre.

There has been later information of Danny in recent years, such as Peter M. Bracke’s Crystal Lake Memories and on the DVD of The Unseen. Most of the information from the book and DVD is not very flattering as Danny is portrayed as a very difficult individual. Like most horror fans, I had read Crystal Lake Memories and thought Danny must have been a real crazy guy. I was a bit apprehensive when meeting him at the Texas Fear Fest. I realized the second I talked to him that he was very different from what I had read about him. I found Danny to be a very kind and intelligent man.

I was not the only one who thought so. Benson Hurst had done a documentary on pornography in the 70s and found Danny to be a very sweet guy. In fact, Benson mentioned that Danny was considered one of the nicest guys in the porn industry.

Despite what was written about Danny in Crystal Lake Memories, Peter M. Bracke shared my opinion of Danny. He had not interviewed Danny for the first edition of Crystal Lake Memories. When Bracke interviewed him for the upcoming edition of Crystal Lake Memories, he found Danny to be much different than what people told him initially.

As I talked to him in Texas, I realized there was so little information on him and what was there wasn’t very accurate. Someone had to tell his story and tell it straight.

Much more about Danny Steinmann is finally being revealed. Whether as an actor, directing porn, taking his name off The Unseen or little known facts about Friday the 13th Part V, we cover it all. Some of the criticisms that were made about him in Crystal Lake Memories and The Unseen DVD are answered.

While many people will expect Stephen Furst, Linda Blair and John Shepherd to be supporting players in Danny’s story, readers will be surprised to discover that others include Charles Bronson, Telly Salavas, special effects wizard Stan Winston and Star Trek creator Gene Roddenberry.

To make things easier for the reader, I have broken it up into 7 chapters. While reading the entire story is recommended, I realize there are some readers who just want to read about the films he did, therefore you have the option to jump to each film such as Friday V and read about it.

For this interview, I thank Benson Hurst and Peter M. Bracke for taking time out of their busy schedule to either email me or chat and for giving very helpful advice. But most of all, I want to thank Danny.

Chapter I: The Early Years (Acting-TV Commericals)

Chapter II: High Rise

Chapter III: Working with Gene Roddenberry

Chapter IV: The Unseen

Chapter V: Savage Streets

Chapter VI: Friday the 13th Part V: A New Beginning

Chapter VII: After Friday V

Chapter VII: An Afterword (after Danny's death)


Anonymous said...

Really a great interview, thanks so much for posting this. Do you have an MP3 of this at all? It would be great to hear the recording.

Thanks, Andrew (UK)

Brian Vs. Movies said...

Wow! Congrats on a great interview on a subject that even IMDb and Wikipedia are clueless on.

Unknown said...

Wonderful interview. I am curious, did Danny ever send you any of his unproduced screenplays? Id love to read some of them.

Frank Lee Dontgiveadamn said...

This is a wonderful interview. I came across this through a google search for Danny and I just have to say that I have read it twice. I passed it along to several of my friends in the horror community in the hopes that it would help alleviate some of the negative stigma that surrounds Danny, especially those that run in the Friday the 13th Circles.

Thank you again for such a wonderful insight.