The story rambles into Friedman and Sonney's careers from the 1960s on. Some time is devoted to Friedman's groundbreaking work with Herschell Gordon Lewis on pictures like GOLDILOCKS & THE THREE BARES and BLOOD FEAST, though Lewis isn't mentioned.
Unfortunately, Bonnitt also includes a lengthy section in the middle in which he follows his subjects around through a "typical day." This will remind many of a visit with their grandparents (providing your grandparents made nudist camp pictures), as the film grinds almost to a standstill, with scenes of Sonney washing dishes and having dinner. Any hope you'll have that there's some hidden point to seeing these guys getting in and out of cars is doomed, so fast forward until you see Friedman talking about BLOOD FEAST again.
The documentary gets back on track with a discussion of Friedman and Sonney's partnership in the skin picture business, establishing the notorious subgenre known as the "roughie" (well represented with scenes from THE DEFILERS and A SMELL OF HONEY, A SWALLOW OF BRINE), then segueing into their years of more lighthearted pictures like TRADER HORNEE. Most of these films are now available through Something Weird Video, and there's a short visit to the SWV warehouse that'll send a chill up the spine of trash lovers everywhere.
Fortunately, Bonnitt takes a firmer hand with his subjects on their commentrak, keeping them from wandering too far afield. Many of the same stories are repeated almost verbatim, and Bonnitt's cutting keeps threatening to distract the boys, but there's also plenty of good annotation to the feature. Typically, it ends with Sonney wondering how they're going to make a buck with the commentrak. Filmmakers Eddie Muller and Bonnitt sit down for a second commentrak that fills in some gaps in the subject, while giving some information on shooting the documentary.
Reviewed Format: DVD
Rated: Not Rated
Stars: Dave Friedman, Dan Sonney, Frank Henenlotter, Mike Vraney
Writers: Eddie Muller and Ted Bonnitt
Director: Ted Bonnitt
Distributor: 7th Planet Productions
Original Year of Release: 2000
Suggested Retail Price: $29.95
Extras: audio commentaries; trailers; image gallery; soundtrack music; filmographies; biographies