I've known Sam since around 1986 and we worked
together on DRIVE-IN MADNESS, a documentary on the history of drive-in movies, and for the Americanization of the feature
film CREATURE WITH THE BLUE HAND. Over the years we've kept in touch and have run into each other at movie conventions. We
did talk about doing other movies together but nothing came of it. HELL HOLE was one title
Sam had mentioned to me shortly after CREATURE WITH THE BLUE HAND was completed.
Sam Sherman is an extremely interesting guy, having made loads of exploitation
feature movies as well as getting involved in magazines with horror/ scifi/fantasy super fan, Forrest J. Ackerman.
Sam used Forry in his best known movie, DRACULA VS FRANKENSTEIN(1969) which is
also available through TROMA on DVD.
Sam met his main partner and filmmaker, director Al Adamson, in the 1960s and
together they made movies up until Al was sadly murdered just a few years ago. I met Al only once at a convention and
he seemed very nice.
During the late 80s Al I guess had stopped making movies with Sam, so I got the
job on CREATURE WITH THE BLUE HAND instead. It was around this period Sam directed his own features too, like RAIDERS OF THE
LIVING DEAD, available I think on DVD from IMAGE,INC, who is distributing the DVD of CREATURE WITH THE BLUE HAND.
A couple of times Sam and I got together for lunch and he tried to educate youthful
me on the ways of the film business, much like I pass on things that I've learned over the years to others. Sam's words
of wisdom were mostly wasted on me. It was only in retrospect, years later, that I understood everything he was telling me
back then and was trying to do for me. If I could turn back the clock, armed with Sam's advice, I could have been better prepared
for what pitfalls were ahead of me.
Sam, knowing I was unhappy with my returns from EI Entertainment, for
INVASION FOR FLESH AND BLOOD and FLESH EATERS FROM OUTER SPACE, when my contract expired, helped shopped my movies for me
and introduced me to Michael Herz and Lloyd Kaufman of TROMA. Sam's movies are being distributed by lots of different
DVD distributors including EI, TROMA, IMAGE and others, so he knew almost everyone and was the perfect Producer's Rep. TROMA had Sam's best movies - SATAN'S SADISTS with Russ Tambyln and DRACULA VS FRANKENSTEIN, so I was
happy when Sam brought me to them.
All during the 7 or 8 years EI had FLESH EATERS and INVASION I regretted that
TROMA didn't have them instead. TROMA had a reputation of aggressive marketing which EI, in my opinion, lacked. The biggest
blow was when a Japanese company wanted my movies and actually approached EI to buy the Japanese rights but EI asked for such
a high amount that the deal fell apart. The amount asked was too high - even I knew that! I really want my movies in that
market and hopefully that will come about shortly one way or another.
Sam is a true friend and in all the years that I have known him its been nothing
but good. And Sam and my father share a love of old westerns and when they get together they talk excitedly about movies made
way before I was born.
There are so many aspects to Sam Sherman as a person that, when he gets around
to writing his autobiography, it should be quite an entertaining read. Thanks Sam.