Offscreen Notes

Edward R. Pressman (1943-January 17, 2023)

January 19th, 2023

I was saddened to hear of the passing of the great Indie film producer Edward Pressman. I was fortunate to have met him (virtually alas) when I was asked to moderate a masterclass with Pressman for the 2019 Fantasia International Film Festival. Pressman had to cancel last minute due to an injury so the interview was conducted to a live class but Pressman was present virtually. Pressman’s name may not jump out to the average genre fan but he was instrumental in jump starting many young careers, such as Oliver Stone, (Talk Radio, 1988), David G. Green (Undertow, 2004), James Marsh (The King, 2005), Brian De Palma (Sisters, 1973 along with the Douglas Buck same titled remake in 1996), Terrence Malick (Badlands, 1973), Mary Harron’s American Psycho, 2000), Sam Raimi (Crimewave, 1985), and Kathyrn Bigelow (Blue Steel, 1990). On top of these great films Pressman produced weird offbeat films, like the seminal Yuletide horror Christmas Evil (Lewis Jackson, 1980), the SF film Cherry 2000 (Steven De Jarnatt, 1987), Abel Ferrara’s Bad Lieutenant (1992), the notorious 1996 H.G. Wells remake The Island of Dr. Moreau, commenced by Richard Stanley, who was then ousted and replaced by John Frankenheimer, Conan the Barbarian (John Milius, 1984), the wonderful love song to Phantom of Paradise, the documentary Phantom of Winnipeg (2018), the Jewish blaxploitation charmer The Hebrew Hammer (Jonathan Kesselman, 2003), the bizarre fetish film Love Object (Robert Parigi, 2003), Larry Fessenden’s under-rated Wendigo (2001), the Crow films, Scorsese’s Wall Street (1987), and many others (over 90 credits spanning seven decades). Awesome. Anyone interested in researching Pressman’s brilliant career will find an avalanche of primary material in the Edward R. Pressman Collection. Condolences to his family. R.I.P. Mr. Pressman.

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