Joel M. Reed, the veteran filmmaker known for writing and directing the controversial Troma movie Bloodsucking Freaks among many other cult classics, has passed away at 86 years old. Posting on Reed's Facebook account, Joel's brother Elliott confirms the filmmaker died on Sunday due to complications from the coronavirus.

"Joel will surely be missed by his friends, fans and family. He had a remarkable career as a writer and filmmaker," Elliott says in the post. He also notes Reed will not be having a memorial service, adding: "He was a soldier during the Korean War and will have a military funeral without services."
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Reed was born in New York in 1933 and had begun working with film in the 1960's. Some of his early movies as a director include Career Bed, Sex by Advertisement, The G.I. Executioner, Night of the Zombies, and Blood Bath. Perhaps his most well-known work is the 1976 exploitation splatter movie Bloodsucking Freaks, which was originally using the titles Sardu: Master of the Screaming Virgins and The Incredible Torture Show before Troma Entertainment picked up the rights and retitled the movie. With gruesome torture depicted on screen, the movie has a reputation as one of the most controversial movies of all time.

More recently, Reed has been working as an actor, including the lead role as Uncle Joe in the 2011 horror movie Dead Eye. He'd appear in a handful of other movies as well, including I Spill Your Guts, Trashtastic, Catch of the Day, Killer Waves, Freak in the Basement, and the upcoming movie The Dysfunctional Mob. Last year, Reed would also be interviewed for the documentary about his career and life called Reed Unbound: The Joel M. Reed Story from directors Jerry Landi and Adrian Esposito.

In addition to his work as a filmmaker and actor, Reed also worked as a writer. In 1990, he released a book on the current president of the United States called Trump: the Man the Myth the Scandal. Years later, he'd sign with Polus Books to write more stories, beginning with the short story Zombie Wall in 2012. Of course, Reed also wrote the screenplays to all of the movies he directed, always in control of each of his visions from their concepts to the finished products. Perhaps his stories are not for everyone, but anyone would have to recognize the man's creativity and passion for his projects.

Though Reed stirred up quite a bit of controversy as a filmmaker, he's long been a fan favorite filmmaker for fans of the horror genre. Along with The Toxic Avenger, Reed's Blood Sucking Freaks is one of the most notable titles from the Troma Entertainment catalog, and the classic movie will forever stick with anyone who's ever had the chance to see it. He was a real talent and will be missed by his fans, and we offer our condolences to the family at this time. May he rest in peace. This news comes to us from Joel M. Reed's Facebook page.