The cult movie world lost one of its more obscure and unique voices this past week, as it's been reported that Danny Steinmann has passed away at the age of 70.
Steinmann's passing has been reported by his friends within the industry, including Melanie Kinnaman, who starred for the director in his most noteworthy film, "Friday the 13th Part V." While that film's reputation was sunk early on for featuring a copycat killer instead of the genuine Jason Voorhees, fans have come to appreciate it for its unabashed, almost charming sleaze.
The film also unfortunately stands as his last work, as he never directed another film after helming the "Friday" sequel. His previous efforts included "The Unseen" and "Savage Streets," two films whose reputations have been similarly rescued by cult audiences in recent years.
Steinmann was perhaps the most reclusive of "Friday the 13th" directors for several years; in fact, as this article at Dread Central points out, he was rumored to have passed away all the way back in the 80s, shortly after his "Friday the 13th" effort was released.
This was almost true: instead, he suffered from a "horrible accident" that took him years to recover from, and he was never able to return to filmmaking despite his various attempts.
Eventually, Steinmann was tracked down, and he soon found himself touring the convention circuit and participating in special edition DVD releases like so many other beloved cult icons. According to the aforementioned article, there's even a good chance that fans will be able to get one last glimpse of Steinmann on the upcoming "Crystal Lake Memories" documentary, which will be the definitive "Friday the 13th" retrospective.
While Steinmann didn't have the most prolific career, his sparse work has still managed to resonate throughout three decades; all three of his films exhibit a certain gleeful tendency for schlock and exploitation, and it's a shame that he wasn't able to produce more.