News of Wes Craven’s Death Reveals Director’s Porn Beginnings

Wes Craven is best known for the mark he made in horror films, directing a number of horror thrillers now considered classics. But news of Craven’s death turned up new information about his career, including surprising details that the famed director’s Hollywood beginnings included work on adult movies, as well as horror work that starred budding adult-film talent.

Craven died at age 76 after battling brain cancer. Before Craven was sparking fear with films like “A Nightmare on Elm Street” and “The Serpent and the Rainbow,” Craven was arousing a different reaction from moviegoers with a completely different kind of film. Craven was part of adult film’s “Golden Age,” with contributions to early ’70s movies “Together” and “It Happened in Hollywood,” according to adult industry trade publication AVN. “Together” featured porn legend Marilyn Chambers, who was credited under her real name Marilyn Biggs. The movie was more of a sex-education film, rather than a porn film. But the approach offered a tactic to present hardcore porn footage without stirring the ire of those opposed to porn, AVN explains. Craven was assistant producer on “Together,” a movie that had other burgeoning horror film talent. The movie was directed by Sean Cunningham, who AVN notes went on to create “Friday the 13th.”

There are other Craven ties and links between the horror movie and porn industries. “It Happened in Hollywood” starred adult film stars Cindy West, Melissa Hall, Harry Reems, and Marc Stevens. It was produced by Jim Locke, co-founder of adult magazine “Screw.” Craven’s classic horror film “The Last House on the Left,” which he wrote, directed, and edited, starred adult director and performer F.J. Lincoln as “Fred ‘Weasel’ Podowski.”

Though Craven told The Rialto Report that he edited “tens” of adult movies in early to mid-1970s, the website notes that the full extent of that work will probably be unknown because he was typically credited under a pseudonym. For example, Craven also co-wrote, edited, and directed the 1975 movie “Angela the Fireworks Woman” for adult film studio VCA under the name Abe Snake, AVN says. But Craven did have a credited, non-sex role in that movies under his own name. “Angela The Fireworks Woman” included legendary adult film performers Helen Madigan, Sandy Fox, Jennifer Jordan, Jamie Gillis, Eric Edwards, Marc Stevens, and Alan Marlow.

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