Joel M. Reed, the director of the controversial but culturally revered Troma classic Bloodsucking Freaks has passed away. Although unconfirmed officially, it was been reported by his brother that Reed’s passing is due to complications from COVID-19.
Elliot Reed made the announcement in a social media post:
“Joel will surely be missed by his friends, fans and family. He had a remarkable career as a writer and filmmaker,” Elliott wrote, adding that his brother will not be having a public funeral service, “He was a soldier during the Korean War and will have a military funeral without services.”
Fans inundated Reed’s social media page with condolences mostly paying tribute to his work on 1976’s black comedy Bloodsucking Freaks, the controversial film about a Grand Guignol-style theatre in which real victims are used as props in scenes of extreme torture and gore.
Troma’s co-founder Lloyd Kaufman sent out his condolences via Instagram.
Many regard Bloodsucking Freaks as an homage to the works of Hershel Gordon Lewis.
But Reed has a successful career of his own, writing and directing many movies that dipped well-below the mainstream but are respected as cult classics in their own right.
His brother responded to the outpouring of love in the comments section.
“Hi everyone. I am Joel’s brother,” he wrote. “It’s lovely to see everyone’s concern. Thanks for being part of his life.”
RIP Joel M. Reed: 1933-2020