His most notorious work was the 1976 movie Bloodsucking Freaks, which was released by Troma Entertainment and became a cult classic despite its controversial nature
. The movie was a horror-comedy about a theater director and his assistant, who tortured women on stage. The audience watches the whole thing, thinking they’re witnessing special effects and not real torture. The movie has been the target of some protests and criticism for its gruesome torture scenes.
Reed also worked as an actor in the past decade, including the lead role in the horror movie Dead Eye, released in 2011. He also appeared in other movies, including Catch of the Day, Killer Waves, and the upcoming movie The Dysfunctional Mob. He was also interviewed recently for a documentary movie about his life called Reed Unbound: the Joel M. Reed Story.
Joel M. Reed Professional Career
Reed is best known for directing the controversial Blood Sucking Freaks (1976) which was a notorious horror comedy that has since achieved cult status but upon its initial release was the subject of protests.
Reed also directed the films Career Bed, (1968) Sex by Advertisement, (1969) The G.I. Executioner (Wit’s End / Dragon Lady / Wild Dragon Lady), (1971) Blood Bath (Terror / Night and the City), (1976) Night of the Zombies (Gamma 693 / Sister of Death / Battalion of the Living Dead). (1981)
Reed wrote and directed Blood Bath which was produced by the Trans-Orient Entertainment Corporation and had a budget of $100,000. In a 1974 interview with The New York Times, he described the film as a “contemporary, episodic occult-horror adventure”. Harve Presnell starred in the film as a producer of horror films who arranges in his studio a Black Mass.
On March 1, 1990 Masquerade Books published a book that Reed wrote on Donald Trump called Trump: the Man, the Myth, the Scandal, which did not sell well.
In May 2012, Reed signed with Polus Books, beginning with his short story “Zombie Wall”.
Reed wrote all the scripts of the movies he directed.
In 2011 Reed made a comeback as an actor playing the main character Uncle Joe in the film Dead Eye, directed by Louis Affortunato. After that, Reed acted in eight more films: I Spill Your Guts (2012); Supernaturalz: Weird, Creepy & Random (2012); Trashtastic (2013); Catch of the Day (2014); The Fappening (2015); Vault of Terror II: The Undead (2015); Freak in a Basement (2018); and The Dysfunctional Mob.
On September 17, 2018 a book by author John Szpunar was released by Headpress about Reed called Blood Sucking Freak: The Life and Films of the Incredible Joel M. Reed. In December 2018 Reed was Interviewed for a documentary about himself called Reed Unbound: The Joel M. Reed Story (2019) which chronicles his whole life and film career and was directed by Jerry Landi and Adrian Esposito.
Joel M. Reed Death, Joel M. Reed Cause of death
Reed died on April 12, 2020, aged 86, in a care facility in New York City after contracting the COVID-19 virus.