Paul Hunt, a producer and director of B movies who was associated with Orson Welles in the latter’s later years, died Tuesday, Sept. 13, in Redondo Beach, Calif., of a heart attack. He was 67.
Hunt was also a distributor of underground films in the U.S. through his company Canyon Films.
Born in Redondo Beach, Paul Edward Hunt began as a maker of surfboards; his first bigscreen credit was for a role as a surfer in 1964’s “North Swell.”
His first film behind the camera was 1966’s “The Psychedelics,” on which he was director and cinematographer. He sometimes worked under the pseudonym H.P. Edwards. His next film was the documentary “Surfari,” which he produced. Directing efforts “The Harem Bunch,” “You,” “Wild, Free and Hungry,” “Fusion,” “Machismo: 40 Graves for 40 Guns” soon followed in the late ’60s and early ’70s.
During the period he also produced pics including “Tropic of Scorpio,” “The Pleasure Machines,” “House of a Thousand Dreams” and “The Toy Box.” He also worked as a cinematographer, gaffer, sound recordist and editor for other directors.
Hunt began his association with Welles in 1970, working on “The Other Side of the Wind,” a film that was never completed and around which there is still much controversy. Hunt had a role in the film and served as a line producer, editor, sound man, camera operator and gaffer. He remained associated with Welles until the latter’s death in 1985.
Hunt continued to direct and/or produce his own films: During the remainder of the 1970s, he came out with pics including “The Clones,”
“Home Grown,” “Woman in the Rain” and “The Great Gundown.” In 1979 he helmed a documentary about a famous Hollywood clan, “The Carradines Together.”
Hunt headed up a series of companies: Pacific Intl. Pictures, Filmmakers Intl. Releasing and United Filmmakers. His longtime partner in these endeavors was Sanford Horowitz, and producer Max Youngstein served as a consultant.
Filmmakers Intl. Releasing did post on a number of David Carradine films, and Hunt later produced David Carradine’s 1985 directorial effort “Mata Hari,” shot partly in India and produced in part by Ismail Merchant.
Hunt’s final films were “Twisted Nightmare” (1987), “Demon Wind” (1990) and 1993’s “Merlin,” the last of which he also co-wrote.