Remembering '70s Golden Age Porn Director/Editor Wes Craven

HOLLYWOOD, Calif.—Mainstream film director Wes Craven, whose death was reported Sunday at age 76, may have been best known for his horror franchises like Scream and Nightmare On Elm Street, but he was also one of the filmmakers who helped build the '70s "Golden Age" of adult film with two landmark films, Together and It Happened in Hollywood, as well as several that he himself directed, including Angela The Fireworks Woman.

Together was a 1971 sex-education style film, a standard tactic used to present hardcore footage without arousing the ire of the easily outraged. Together featured a young Marilyn Chambers (billed under her real name, Marilyn Briggs) who was prominently featured in the film's posters and promotional material. The Mitchell Brothers discovered her in this film, which received mainstream distribution and was screened in chain theaters across the country. Craven was assistant producer on Together, which was directed by Sean Cunningham, who later went on to create horror classic Friday the 13th.

In 1972, Craven used Ingmar Bergman's The Virgin Spring for inspiration for his low-budget horror film The Last House On The Left, which he wrote, directed and edited. Sean Cunningham produced. The movie starred adult director/performer F.J. Lincoln in the pivotal role of Fred "Weasel" Podowski.

In 1974, Craven edited It Happened In Hollywood, directed by Peter Locke and produced by Jim Buckley, co-founder of Screw magazine with Al Goldstein. The film starred Cindy West, Melissa Hall, Harry Reems and Marc Stevens, and even featured a sex scene with Goldstein. Locke and Craven both appeared in non-sex roles.

Craven also co-wrote, edited and directed 1975's Angela The Fireworks Woman, under the name Abe Snake, for VCA, though he appeared in the film in a non-sex role under his own name. The movie starred some of the Golden Age's greatest performers, including Helen Madigan, Sandy Fox, Jennifer Jordan, Jamie Gillis, Eric Edwards, Marc Stevens and Alan Marlow.

By 1977, Craven had transitioned out of adult with The Hills Have Eyes, produced by Peter Locke, who went on to produce and executive-produce mainstream TV shows and movies including the 2006 remake of The Hills Have Eyes.

In an interview, Craven told Ashley West of that he had "edited 'tens' of XXX films in the early to mid-'70s." West reported, "Sadly, we’ll probably never know the full extent of his work as he always hid behind pseudonyms."

Craven, Cunningham and Locke were all behind-the-camera talent who transitioned together from '70s adult film to low-budget independent film to studio production. Their contributions should not be forgotten.