A Youth in Babylon: Confessions of a Trash-Film King (Paperback)
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They sold sin and sensation with the magic words "Uncut! Uncensored! Adults Only!" and the most happily shameless of them all was David F. Friedman, the emperor of "exploitation" films. Friedman perfected the fine art of sleaze and delightfully admits that he has hurled more garbage at the public than anyone else before or since. This book is as much his story as it is the history of an idea that in recent times has enjoyed a remarkable rebirth.
Friedman writes with gusto of the glory days when there were taboos to be broken and untold amounts of money to be made. He fondly remembers his cinematic forebears, who sold titillation under the guise of moral instruction. Friedman brought the genre to new highs (and lows), producing such films as She Freak, Blood Feast, The Defilers, Scum of the Earth, Space Thing, Color Me Blood Red, and the classic Two Thousand Maniacs. Whether sexy, gory, or merely shocking, these films played for years to packed theaters and drive-ins.
Though Friedman is considered a folk-hero of the sexual revolution, it was when the "adults only" business lost its uncertain innocence and the movies really began to get dirty that he lost all interest. Hardcore porn - ritualized, explicit, and deadly serious - pulled the rug out from under the adult-film industry and, according to Friedman, ended the fun. For Friedman really did have fun - never more than when he was perpetrating a con or flying in the face of convention.
This book captures the core of basic integrity, the wicked sense of humor, and the unerring sense of showmanship of this American original. A Youth in Babylon is the definitive book on the history of American "exploitation" films and a unique contribution to motion picture history.
About the Author
David Frank Friedman (1923 – 2011) was an American filmmaker and film producer best known for his B movies, exploitation films, nudie cuties, and sexploitation films.
Don DeNevi is the author, coauthor, or editor of thirty-five books, including Profilers: Leading Investigators Take You Inside the Criminal Mind and Into the Minds of Madmen: How the FBI’s Behavioral Science Unit Revolutionized Crime Investigation (both with John H. Campbell).