On 19 March 2013, Herbert Streicher — better known under his later name Harry Reems — went on to start selling real estate to those taking part in the great porn shoot in the sky. Here, in the third instalment of his career review, we look at some of the films he was involved in from 1975 to 1975.
Part II of the career review of Harry Reems (1969-72) can be found here. Part III of the career review of Harry Reems (1973-74) can be found here.
Sometime Sweet Susan (1975, dir. Fred Donaldson)
One-shot-wonder Fred Donaldson co-wrote this with Joel Scott, who went on to direct the hardcore Charlie's Angels (1976-81) rip-off A Coming of Angels (1977 / 7.5 NSFW minutes) before, like Fred, falling off the face of the earth. As far as we can tell, so did "singers" Scot Mansfield and Shawn Harris, who sang the (off-key) title track — talk about a painful aural experience. This movie holds the trivial honor of being the first unionized porn film: all actors were members of the Screen Actors' Guild. SexGoreMutants, which calls the R-rated version of the film "an occasionally effective if downbeat exploration of schizophrenia" and an "intriguing relic", says: "Susan doesn't probe its subject matter as deeply as it aims to. This is most likely due to the fact that the film was originally lensed as a hardcore effort. However, the film was re-released in a soft 75-minute version [...] to obtain an R-rating for theatrical viewing. So what we end up with is a rather plodding and talky film with moments of zestful but non-explicit sex thrown in at times."
Video Vacuum, which admits to having "a soft spot in my heart for chicks with bushes the size of a rabbi's beard", explains the plot: "Susan (Shawn Harris) is a foxy mental patient who doesn't talk and fantasizes about her studly doctor (Harry Reems) a lot. After flirting with her a bit, he slowly brings Susan out of her shell and she starts talking. Susan eventually reveals herself to be a split personality and much to her doctor's surprise, her alternate persona, Saundra is a raging slut dog. Sometime Sweet Susan is artier (there are a bunch of freeze frames) and better acted (Reems is particularly good) than most of your run-of-the-mill 70s soft-core psychodramas. That still doesn't mean it's necessarily well made because I counted at least three visible boom mikes." More than one on-line source points out that in Taxi Driver (1976 / trailer), Travis (Robert De Niro of Bloody Mama [1970 / trailer], Brazil [1985 / trailer] and Angel Heart [1987 / trailer]) took his date Betsy (Cybill Shepherd) to the triple-X version of this movie. Here at A Wasted Life, we would agree with Video Vacuum that one-shot wonder Susan (Shawn Harris) is indeed one hot tamale. The X-rated version of the film can be watched here.
Christy (1975, dir. "Steve Harris")
Christy actually got re-released on DVD for the non-discriminating crowd. This programmer is hardly a film of note in Reems' oeuvre, with a plot that is less a plot than an excuse to present a series of sex scenes (loops, to be exact) and not much more, and we're including it here primarily 'cause we found a poster of the movie online. Reems and his moustache make a guest appearance as door-to-door lingerie salesman John Fuller (!). Imdb credits the film to one "Steve Harris" who, as far as we could find out, made only one other film before retiring (or moving onwards under his real name), Teenage Cousins, another family-oriented triple-X movie from 1975. Our guess would be that "Steve Harris" is actually Leonard Kirtman, primarily because iafd credits the movie to "Leon Gucci" (though the film credits actually name a "Leo the Lion" as director), and both those two names are known pseudonyms of (s)exploitation producer Kirtman (among other films, he produced — among others — Death by Invitation [1971 / trailer], Sex Wish , Unwilling Lovers [1977 / scene / full NSFW film] and The Devil Inside Her [1977 / scene / full NSFW film]). Speaking of pseudonyms, the newly introduced "Annie Christian" (as the supposedly underage title nubile) is actually Valerie Marron — see Wet Rainbow at Part III — who seems to have left the business soon thereafter. The ever-reliable One Sheet Index supplies the plot: "Christy (Marron) is driven by the desire to be a successful night club entertainer. In love with life and all that is tangible, Christy lures a rich young man to her home one night after work. [...] Christy's parents, Mr. and Mrs. Bennet (Andrea True and Marc Stevens), walk in, surprising the couple while they are engaged in an act of love. Ready to defend his daughter's virginity, Christy's father is willing to let the young man go if he is willing to pay them 'hush' money. 'After all, Christy was not only a virgin and a minor, but also an aspiring young entertainer whose career could be marred by unfavorable publicity.' After paying them off, the young man leaves and is happy to get off so cheaply. Mr. Bennet considers this an easy way to make a lot of money quickly, and he encourages Christy to invite her male friends home each night so they can carry out their get-rich-quick scheme. [...] One night, however, Christy attracts a man who refuses to be blackmailed like all the others. A meeting is eventually arranged outside the club where Christy works. An argument develops, a knife is pulled..." Over at imdb, lor of New York City says: "Director Steve Harris [...] proves he's totally incompetent with the final reels, as sloppily executed as the most amateur of porn films. [...] Contempt for the audience, always implicit when Marc Stevens is cast in a leading role, is the Prime Directive for filmmakers at this level."
Justine & Juliette (1975, dir. Mac Ahlberg as "Bert Torn")
Aka Sklavinnen der Lust, Marquis De Sade in Love and Swedish Minx. Yet another movie freely inspired by the writings of the Marquis de Sade, the inspiration behind Roger Vadim's Vice und Virtue (1963 / title track) and Jess Franco's Deadly Sanctuary (1969 / full film), among many. Swedish director Mac Ahlberg (12 June 1931 – 26 October 2012) made his directorial début with the Danish erotic classic I, a Woman (1965 / trailer), which he followed with two sequels and a Swedish version of Fanny Hill (1968 / trailer). After moving to the US in the 70s he directed a variety of porn films, but after his first above ground film Hoodlums (1979 / scene) he became a busy B-film cinematographer (he worked on dozens of noteworthy films, including such films as Hell Night (1981), Re-Animator (1985), Sideshow (2000 / trailer), Deathbed (2002 / trailer) and Evil Bong (2006 / trailer). This film here, with over half its cast being Swedish, was probably still made in Ahlberg's home country. 10K Bullets offers the following thorough plot synopsis: "Justine (Marie Forså of Veil of Blood [1973 / trailer]) and Juliette (Anne Bie Warburg) are sisters who have just been kicked out of their aunt's home, because of Juliette's numerous sexual encounters with men. They hitch a ride with a man into the big city and once they are their Justine tired of Juliette's decadent behavior goes her own way. Justine finds lodging at a run-down hotel where the sleazy desk clerk becomes infatuated with her. Juliette is doing much better as she has taken on a job at a brothel and she quickly becomes the places number one attraction. Weeks later the two sisters run into each other by mere chance and Juliette who is doing extremely well financially invites her sister Justine to stay with her. [...] At one of Juliette's parties Justine meets a man named Robert (Felix Franchy) whom she falls in love with and she moves in with him. Justine soon finds out that her prince charming is not what he seems and he soon forces her to have sex with his friends. Meanwhile at the brothel all the girls want to be one to fuck Don Miller (Harry Reems) because the women who is in his arms when he has a heart attack inherits his entire fortune. Will Justine continue to compromise her virtues by submitting to Robert's kinky sex demands or will she finally leave him for good? Can anyone of the many ladies at the brothel be able to give Don Miller the fuck that ends his life or will someone of virtue step in at the right time and collect?" Eros Down says the film is known "for its beautifully photographed hard-core sex scenes" and opinions that "Ahlberg's film-making style and cinematography reminds me a lot of Radley Metzger's work. Their films are always great to look at and have substantive storylines for the genre."
Butterfly (1975, dir. Joseph W. Sarno) Opening credits:
Aka Baby Tramp, Broken Butterfly and Butterflies. This is the third and last of three sexploitation films director Sarno made with the real star of this movie, the actress Marie Forså; Butterfly was preceded by Veil of Blood [1973 / trailer] and Bibi (1974). This film here gets the most praise of all three — in fact, it seems to get universal praise. DVD Drive-In says this could well be Sarno's sexiest film: "[...] The best of the three Sarno-Nebe films and probably the sexiest 'soft-core' film he ever made. If Butterflies could be called 'soft-core'... the film was shot hardcore and then the penetration cut out to focus on the reactions and intense chemistry between the performers. Some fleeting moments of hardcore are still present, but this qualifies more as a hard soft-core feature, which would still be rated X today." Torrent Butler explains the plot as follows: "Denise (Marie Forsa) is a beautiful country girl whose life is filled with joy and love for her handsome boyfriend, Freddy (Eric Edwards). But living in an idyllic existence soon bores her, and she is off to the big city to experience the glamour and glitz for herself. She meets Frank (Harry Reems), a dashing nightclub owner who takes her under his wing. But she doesn't take kindly to the fact that she's just one of his stable of women and must choose between the big city life and her dreary farm life." 10K Bullets says "The premise of a pure country girl who goes to the big city and loses her innocence may not be exactly original, still the way the story is set helps lift what is basically a film with a razor-thin plot above average material. This film besides featuring the luscious Marie Forså also features American hardcore icons Eric Edwards and Harry Reems. The addition of Edwards and Reems adds plenty of heat to the film as the sex scenes are electrifying. [...] Overall despite a non-existent plot, this exploitation film works mostly due to its performers who totally immerse themselves during the sex scenes." Hardcore stalwart Eric Edwards, performing in his first European-shot movie, started his career on stage as Rob Everett in the early 60s before moving into porn, initially doing loops with a pre-Deep Throat Linda Lovelace. To quote Luke is Back, "The blonde ageless wonder is the only person to have performed sex on film in the 60s, 70s, 80s and 90s, appearing in about 1000 flicks since the 60s." He no longer does sex scenes, but he still appears onscreen and works behind the camera as well. Some of his credits include The Prey (1984 / trailer), Forbidden Fruit (1984 / full NSFW film), Dracula Exotica (1980 / credits), The Pussycat Ranch (1978) and Invasion of the Love Drones (1977 / trailer). The full NSFW version of the film can be watched here at Mr Stiff.
Every Inch a Lady (1975, writ. & dir. John & Lem Amero)
Five years after Bacchanale (see Part II), Harry Reems swings his unsheathed sword in another film by the New-York-based auteur sexploitation filmmakers, the Amero Brothers, who first entered the sexploitation industry in the 60s with such non-hardcore exploiters like Body of a Female (1965), Lusting Hours (1967), Diary of a Swinger (1967), The Corporate Queen (1969) and Everything for Everybody (1969), among others.
Trailer to an Amero Production (without Harry Reems) — Diary of a Swinger (1967):
Every Inch a Lady was distributed by Distribpix, Reems is given star billing on the poster alongside once-popular porn adult actress Darby Lloyd Rains — aka Tara Holland, Lynn Ann Carver , Debbie Rainier, Rachel Brenda, Angel Street and Melanie Daniels — of, among many films, Dark Dreams (her debut film, from 1971 / trailer), Hot Channels (1973 / full NSFW film) and the "Henry Paris" movie Naked Came the Stranger (1975 / trailer). Darby and Harry play Crystal Laverne and Chino, respectively, in a movie that Cinema Babylon lists as a "Crucial American X-Rated Feature" but nevertheless describes as a "very silly hooker comedy". The website Girlandus offers a plot description that can be found all over the web: "Harry Reems and Darby Lloyd Raines are a couple who have built up a thriving business around each's ability to satisfy lovers of the opposite sex. They started out with a plain ol' escort service, but soon found out they could make more cash doing the kinky stuff. So now they specialize in supplying well-paying customers with customized sexual services. The money's rolling in and they seem to be very much in love, but trouble's brewing. Darby overhears Harry pillow talking with one of their workers with whom he's been spending his off-hour sexual energies, and it turns out Harry and his new squeeze are planning to rub Darby out and take over. Suffice to say, Darby gets super even." The feminist blog Gore-Gore Girls likes the movie: "Oh boy, I really loved this film. I initially bought it because I was told there's a scene where Harry Reems fucks Jamie Gillis in the ass with a carrot (true!), but aside from this it turned out to be a really intriguing and entertaining film [...]. The acting is top notch, the narrative flows smoothly and feels organic, and the ending is a real kicker. I came away from this film feeling immensely satisfied, which sometimes doesn't happen because of a disappointing ending. Not this time. I can't really elaborate much further, but this is certainly a film that would emerge triumphant from a feminist analysis. Highly recommended." The NSFW trailer can be found here at Mr. Stiff.
Linda Lovelace Meets Miss Jones (1975, dir. "Felix Dileone")
"Felix Dileone", the editor of Forced Entry (1975 / trailer), the non-porn remake of the Harry Reems flick Forced Entry (1973) starring Tanya Roberts, uses his editing skill to make a film out of nothing in which — despite the title — Linda Lovelace and Miss Jones never meet. This film was made for the raincoat brigade and rides on the coattails of the fame and success of the names in the title; it can hardly be called a true movie, as it is really just a collection of loops and outtakes strung together with the help of the flimsiest of framing devices. Leave it One Sheet Index to offer the original description of the movie — a description that more than tweaks the truth when speaking of quality: "Four of the top stars ever assembled on the screen together exceed their talents in this picture. Linda Lovelace of Deep Throat, Georgina Spelvin of the Devil and Miss Jones who shook the motion picture industry throughout the world are united with Darby Loyd Rains and Harry Reems in this picture which will make their previous performances look like a social tea party. This gang of sex-loving stars give you lots of lip action; ass swinging; banging; pissing just to name a few. This smorgasbord flick leaves nothing to the imagination. [...] Your audience will have difficulty determining who is now the top sex queen and king but your box office will tell you this Lovelace Meets Miss Jones is your big winner." The plot? What plot? But the non-plot is as follows: "The T.V. repairman (Reems) does his job of fixing a television set for the housewife. He proceeds to demonstrate the cassette system for this innocent woman through her now repaired idiot box. As the demonstration is viewed and the talents of these stars are portrayed on the screen, innocence fades and the repairman proceeds to busy himself with the housewife." The Geman dub of the full, naturally NSFW can be found here.
More (1975, dir. Ralph Ell)
Who knows when this film was really made or what it is about: online sources give four different dates of production ('73, '74 [iafd],'75 [imdb], and '77 [NY Times]) and list different stars (including such illustrious names as "Anna Banana" and "Gloria Haddit"). But what can't help but be noticed is that the cast and crew of this unknown (and seemingly lost) film seems to be cross-pollinated through two other films made also around the same time: the straight porno Sherlick Holmes (produced by Ralph Ell, and likewise featuring Reems, Bree Anthony [again credited as "Sue Rowan"] and Bobby "Clown Prince of Porn" Astyr, among others), and the gay porno The American Adventures of Surelick Holmes (1975 / NSFW trailer), which Ralph Ell directed and featured (from Sherlick Holmes) the former child actor Zebedy Colt as well as Annie Sprinkle. (As they say at Disneyland, "It's A Small World After All".) In any event, all we could find online regarding the film was the poster above... Seeing the similarity between the tagline here ("A spy story that starts with a bang. And doesn't stop") and the tagline of Sherlick Holmes below ("The master spy steps into the master bedroom") as well as the shared stars and production team, simple elementary could lead one to assume that the films are either one and the same or re-edited versions — anyone out there know for sure?
Director Victor Milt's real name is the much more pseudonymous-sounding and porno-ripe "Victor Milk"; he left the industry after making a few more films of note (such as White Slavery in New York aka Jackie Starr: X Reporter  and Sex Wish ) and went into the more upscale business of making TV commercials. Recent projects include the documentary Cracker: The Last Cowboys of Florida (2008 / trailer) and the soon-to-be-released regional comedy Run Stinky Run (2013). His bio — click on his name above — makes nary a mention of his X-rated roots. Scriptwriter "Bear Wilson" is also credited as the scriptwriter of the gay porno The American Adventures of Surelick Holmes (1975 / NSFW trailer) and appeared as "Tiny" in the porn version of Li'l Abnerentitled Big Abner (1975); who he really was or what he is doing today we do not know. Over at Distribpix, Dries Vermeulen calls this film "a minor effort", but seeing that the movie has long not been available and has no known video or DVD release, the statement is relative. But back in 1981, someone writing for the National Board of Review of Motion Pictures: Films in Review (Volume 32), did see the film, and explained the plot as one "[...] in which the detective was carried by a time machine to New York's 42nd Street as it is today." (This would explain the abundance of Afro-American females in the film — Maureen Anderson, Candy Love and Cheryl White, among others — considering how seldom white guy on black girl action was and is in porn.) As mentioned above under the entry on More, this film was shot at the same time as the still easily available gay porno, The American Adventures of Surelick Holmes (1975 / NSFW film).
SOS: Screw on Screen (1975, dir. Jim Buckley)
Harry Reems' appearance in this film is due only to this movie including an excerpt from Wet Rainbow (1974) with him doing Georgina Spelvin and Valerie Marron. Jim Buckley, director (as "Jim Clark") of the ever-popular flick Debbie Does Dallas (1978 / edited trailer), co-founded Screw magazine in the 1960s with the more famous bag of bile, Al Goldstein. This film here, as its title infers, was an attempt to bring Screw onscreen, much as Goldstein more or less did on television with his cable program Midnight Blue (1974-2003). We here at A Wasted Life used to buy Screw now then, primarily because the cover art was so good — as reading material, it was pretty thin. Golden Sin Pleasure was not impressed by the film: "What a waste of my time... [...] We go from not-funny skits to the sad burlesque act of Honeysuckle Divine (her act blowing-off matches, pitching powder, doing sounds, and much more with her vagina; believe me this is more interesting to read than watching) to an old loop from the fifties to a man who is getting a tattoo on his penis... Quite enjoyable and exciting as a program right?" Over in NYC, lor seems to agree: "SOS has Screw magazine honchos Al Goldstein and Jim Buckley on a revealing ego trip, fronting tasteless XXX skits, with several big porn stars of the period along for the ride. It survives merely as a time capsule. [...] Skits are mainly unfunny, substituting vulgarity for humor. The subsequent R-rated hit drive-in movies like Boob Tube (1975 / "This isn't kinky") and its many imitators look almost polished and urbane by comparison." The film originally included a gay blowjob scene, but supposedly it was circumcised from some of the latter VHS releases... The same year as this film here, Jim Buckley's brother David Buckley produced and directed the early gay-themed film, Saturday Night at the Baths (1975).
Trailer to Saturday Night at the Baths (1975):
French School Girls (1976, dir. "Francois Bedoin")
Aka French Schoolgirls. The only websites that bother with this film are porn sites out to get your dollar, and they all seem to gush the same text: "French School Girls brings to life the sexual fantasies of two gorgeous ladies as they lay in bed together sharing their wildest dreams. From worshipping the massive cock of John Holmes to getting plowed in a frenzied double team, these girls love it nasty and crave it raw. The notoriously stunning Tina Russell offers an excellent performance that magnetizes, turns on and satisfies the viewer's taste for pornographic beauty. Shot on film at a time when film makers could be imprisoned for their art. French School Girls Remains a strong movie with its unique vintage style and timeless artistic instinct." Only X-critic has the balls to say something else: "Filled with American actors masquerading under French pseudonyms like Nicole Bardot, Valerie Blue and Jean Petit, and directed by one Francois Bedoin, an obviously phony name if ever there were one, French Schoolgirls is about as French as the bastard love child of Rush Limbaugh and Sarah Palin. Obviously made in an attempt to cash in on the popular European sex films that were drifting into theaters in Times Square from overseas, the film is obviously as American as mom and apple pie." The movie is made of loops featuring the massive meat of the massively ugly John Curtis Holmes and the (in comparison) less-impressive salamis of others (Reems, Jason Russell, etc.) cut in-between scenes of two nekid US gals talkin' about their sexual fantasies. According to X-critic, "French Schoolgirls is interesting in that it's got three of the decade's finest in semi-prominent roles [...]. On top of that, the attempt to make it a 'French' feature, something which fails miserably, adds some unintentional comedic value to the presentation. Vintage smut buffs ought to enjoy this one. It's [...] a fun time killer an interesting time capsule. Recommended for fans of the era."
Summer of Laura (1975/76, writ. & dir. David Davidson)
As far as we can tell, the only directorial credit of the occasional porn actor "David Dixon", known with his Dixoff as "Davidson". Harry Reems is in this film, an X-rated turn of The Summer of 42 (1971 / trailer), only because he (along with Marc Stevens and Melissa Hall) is in a porno film — It Happened in Hollywood (1973) — watched by the characters somewhere along the way. For that, however, Wade Nichols is in the film, playing the unlucky love that dies and leaves his babe to seek solace in the arms of another. The plot, as found all over the web: "Along a lonely beach on a summer colony off the Long Island coast, a man walks slowly, reliving a summer, the Summer of Laura, when he was 19. Richie, (David Hunter, who went to appear with two gay legends — Jack Wrangler and Roger — in 1977's Hot House [full NSFW film], a film which has the added attraction in one scene of featuring an old loop of Joe Dallesandro doing everything in the book), has a friend on the island, Hene (Eric Edwards), who is gregarious and mischievous. Like the more sensitive Richie, he too was 19. During that summer of awakening he loses his youthful desires and develops his manhood. On the way to the movies, Richie literally bumps into Laura, (introducing [one-shot] Marcia Moon,) an older woman who lives nearby. She asks him if he'll help her with some chores the following day. He is totally flustered, but agrees. Richie goes to her house and after knocking on the door, and getting no response, enters. On the floor he finds a crumpled telegram which reads, 'Your husband, Bob Hayes [Wade Nichols], has been killed in action.' Laura appears, lonely and vulnerable. She moves toward him in a gesture of human contact. They slowly begin to dance. 'That summer we lost 5 frisbees, saved a girl from a silly snake, saw our first skin flick, and I lost my Laura.' The sea rises and the past is over...." The few who have seen this film and bothered to write about it, don't seem to have liked — in the following from Adult DVD Talk, KayParker33 expresses the common dissatisfactions: "Production values are next to nothing, the movie is on film, but shot like very clumsily and with poor lighting and focus. Any hope of a couples movie are probably dashed during a movie theater scene where the movie in question shows, among other things, a woman pushing eggs out of her pussy. Any hoping for more hardcore action like this, however, will be disappointed as well, as the rest of the film tries to follow the above-mentioned plot, but without any heart or even mediocre acting. [...] It seems that the movie fails on just about every level." As mentioned above, "Wade Nichols" — born Dennis Posa — plays the doomed husband. Wade, who appeared in both gay and straight porno, also had a career as "Dennis Price", the name under which he appeared from 1979 to 1984 as Police Chief Derek Mallory on the soap opera The Edge of Night (1956-84) and, in 1979, released a disco album entitled Like an Eagle on Casablanca. He died at the age of 39 from AIDS-related complication on 28 January 1985.
Dennis Price singing his club hit, Like an Eagle:
Luna di miele in tre (1976, dir. Carlo Vanzina)
Aka Honeymoon In Three. One of two non-porno Italian films of 1976 that Harry Reems took part in, the film is a sex comedy but not a sex film. Reems is credited on the poster. The directorial debut of director Carlo Vanzina, who co-wrote this movie with his brother Enrico Vanzina; it is a remake of the Neil Simon written comedy The Heartbreak Kid (1972 / trailer), which in turn was also remade by the Farrelly Brothers in 2007 (trailer). Reems plays the character "Gilbert Blain". The plot is pretty much the same in all three films: The guy is together with the wrong woman and while they are on their honeymoon he meets the true gal of his dreams and now must get rid of the first woman... it's a comedy, not a thriller, so no gushing blood.
Lettomania (1976, writ. & dir. Vincenzo Rigo)
Harry Reems' other Italian sex comedy of 1976 was, as far as we can tell, director Rigo's last film. He once made a decent thriller entitled The Killers Are Our Guests (1974 / full film). The following is a computer translation of an Italian plot description: "Giulio (Alberto Squillante of Last Stop on the Night Train [1975 / trailer], The Mad Dog Killer [1977 / trailer] and The House by the Edge of the Lake (1979 / trailer]) is a young wastrel with a passion for the piano, and together with his friend Max (Harry Reems) he divides his time between subterfuge and beds of beautiful girls. When Max meets Dora (Carmen Villani), wife of a famous writer, in London and invites her to Italy, Giulio ends up losing his head to her. But Dora proves to be no easy prey...."
Schmaltz from the soundtrack:
Erotic Dr. Jekyll (1976, dir. Victor Milt)
Victor Milt (see Sherlick Holmes above), as "Tim McCoy", called the shots for this cult-worthy porn film originally distributed and recently released on DVD by Distribpix, which calls the film "an amazing classic" and explains the cast: "Bree Anthony plays a virgin girl, Bobby Astyr is Igor, Zebedy Colt is the Count, Terri Hall (of The Devil Inside Her [1977 / full NSFW film] and Unwilling Lovers [1977 / full NSFW film]) plays a groupie, and of course the star, Harry Reems plays Dr. JekyII." The plot, according to AV Maniacs: "A scientist by trade with a great fake beard, Jekyll is the grandson of the original Dr. Jekyll that we all know. When he discovers grandpa's secret laboratory, he can't help but follow in the family tradition and start playing around with the formula hidden away in the confines of the room. Of course, once Jekyll imbibes, he turns into the sinister Rory Hump, an insatiable sex animal (who loses the beard but of course keeps the trademark Reems moustache) who just can't seem to satisfy his hunger for poon. There's a catch, however — taking the formula three times can have adverse effects and even lead to death. Witness the hunchbacked lab assistant, Igor (Bobby Astyr), who took the potion once and now has to live with the physical deformity that it caused him...." Along the way, Jekyll joins a rock band ("Seeing Harry Reems on stage with a headband all messed up and pretending to be able to play guitar is worth the price of admission alone. He's horrible, and it's great."), becomes a national star and then has to deflower one hundred virgins in one session. In regard to the film itself, AV Maniacs says "Reems is in full on pimp-mode in this film, contrasting quite amusingly with Astyr's extremely hammy Igor. The two of them completely dominate the film [...]. Fast paced and campy as can be, it's actually fairly surprising that Reems isn't better known for this film than for some of his other pictures. [...] He shows some real comedic timing here that proves he was more than just a random seventies dong willing to penetrate poon on camera."
Sex Wish (1976, writ & dir. Victor Milt)
Originally shot under the title The Night Walker. Victor Milt wrote and directed yet another cult-worthy porn flick, freely copied from — er, inspired by — Death Wish (1974 / trailer) which, among other things, features an early (clothed, non-sex and without cedit) performance of Robert Kerman of Cannibal Holocaust (1980), Eaten Alive! (1980 / trailer), Cannibal Ferox (1981 / trailer) and Night of the Creeps (1986). DVD Drive-In, like most who review this film, offer praise: "[...] An accomplished film and should be remembered today for its great cast and compelling storyline" that is "a well-made, nasty, vicious hardcore roughie which would play just as well at drive-ins and grindhouses without the hardcore sex." But it does have the sex — lots of it, and much of it violent. The ever-reliable One Sheet Index offers the following limp plot description: "After having made love to his wife Faye, (C.J. Laing of The Vixens of Kung Fu (A Tale of Yin Yang) [1975 / NSFW film], The Taking of Christina (1976 / trailer), Daughters of Discipline (1978 / full NSFW film) and Water Power [1977 / full NSFW film]), Ken (Harry Reems) goes off to work at his law firm. Meantime someone breaks into their apartment and a sexual encounter takes place between his wife and the intruder (Zebedy Colt). Later that evening, Reems, after having to go to his neighbor Alice (Nancy Dare) for comfort, finds that she seduces him. [...] In an attempt to forget everything he goes to a local night club where he is picked up by two beautiful hookers. [...]. Satisfied, Reems moves on, in search of the intruder, Zebedy Colt. Soon, he spots Zebedy in the streets and a wild chase takes place between him and Reems through the subway system of New York, but Reems loses and Zebedy gets away. Reems, with the help of the police trace Zebedy down to an exotic night club and Sex Wish ends with a surprise ending and a REAL BANG!" The Bloody Pit of Horror says: "[...] This very unpleasant hard X film has built up a reputation over the years as a sick classic. So does it actually live up to its reputation? For the most part, I'd say yes. At least if you're like me and not well versed on this kind of stuff. The attack scenes are very twisted, effective and made even nastier by the inclusion of hardcore sex. Still, they wouldn't have near the impact they do if not for the effectively deranged performance from Zebedy Colt as the psycho. Colt — a New York stage actor and gay cabaret singer who moonlit in straight porn because the parts were better — goes all out in this role: crying, screaming, laughing and even changing up his voice whenever necessary. If this same performance was in an R-rated film, it would probably be lauded. On the down side, all of the actual death scenes are ineptly staged, with the weapon clearly not making contact with the body. [...]." Critical Condition says: "Sex Wish looks like it was edited with a butterknife and the frequent sex scenes are graphic but passionless (maybe it was meant to be that way but I doubt it). But it is well acted, something you do not find in today's hardcore films. I guess audiences were more demanding back in the 70’s (before the advent of home video, when any hack could film people having sex and release it on video). This movie seems more concerned with the plot and the exploits of Zedeby Colt who is excellent in this role. When we witness his preparation for an assault, it is truly frightening. We see him strip naked, slip on a cock ring, snort amphetamines, apply lipstick to his mouth and pull a stocking over his head. We all know what is going to happen next. It is not a pretty sight and is quite unbearable to watch, but watch we will (there is a voyeur in all of us). The subject matter is not for the faint of heart (feminists would have a field day with this one and rightly so). Although the gore is amateurish (fake blood on bodies with no open wounds) the squeamish should still stay away."
Miss Nude America (1976, dir. James P. Blake) Scene from Miss Nude America with Dick Drost:
Originally entitled The Contest. The directorial debut of lawyer James P. Blake, and (as far as we can tell) only film he ever made. According to Variety, this documentary was one of the top-grossing films of 1980, when the Jerry Gross Organization re-released it as The Miss Nude America Contest. Harry Reems appears as himself, as he is one of the judges of the contest. Temple of Shockexplains the basics: "James P. Blake's documentary about the 1974 Miss Nude America Pageant was filmed under the title Naked City, Indiana and first released theatrically by Trans-American in the fall of 1976 as Miss Nude America ('A film exposing a bizarre American phenomena... and the man behind it'). The ad above is from its Madison, WI opening as The Contest (from Atlas Films) on October 14, 1977." My Duck Is Dead explains more: "Every summer, thousands of people descend upon a place tucked in the cornfields of the Midwest to witness the Ultimate Beauty Pageant. A probing and satirical, behind-the-scenes look at this bizarre event, the contestants who enter, the spectators who attend, the entrepreneur behind it, and the townspeople who tolerate it. This film is somewhat amateurish, but it gives an interesting view of American attitudes to nudity and sex. To European eyes it is not particularly lewd or pornographic. There are some amazing shots, the parade of the candidates all holding a little white balloon and the two officers opening the cortege. But the most remarkable views are those of fully-clothed overweight middle-class males making snapshots at maximum speed without caring for background or composition. Although beauty parades in some European nudist camps do occur, they are more casual and everyone is naked not only the competing women and a few freakish hirsute males. In short this documentary gives an amusing view of puritans going to the dogs and [...] amusing American habits." The nudist camp that once was Naked City no longer exists: its director Dick Drost, "a paraplegic ex-hippie swinger" who appears in the movie as himself, ran into "legal troubles" and thus Naked City closed in 1986. The blog Home in the Railroad Earth wrote the following about "The Dark Side of Naked City": "In a recent post about the Sun Aura Nudist Resort of Roselawn, Indiana, I mentioned that it had once been known as Naked City, and that it had hosted the annual Miss Nude Universe contest. [...] The resort itself began as Club Zoro in 1933, when it was founded by Chicago lawyer Alois Knapp, 'the father of nudism in America.' Dale and Mary Drost acquired the site later — probably sometime after the Second World War. Their son, Dick Drost, took over the resort in 1968, renamed it Naked City, and began holding the Miss Nude Universe contest. The club was popular with truckers because it included a truckstop where the waitresses were nude. Along with the Miss Nude Universe contest, there was the 'Erin Go Bra-less' dance on St. Patrick's Day, the Un-Fashion Show, and the Miss Nude Teeny-Bopper contest. That last contest should have set off a red flag, but it didn't. It turns out that Drost was charged in 1985 with molesting a 13-year-old girl and with showing obscene materials to minors. Eventually he pled guilty to 10 sex-related misdemeanors and agreed to stay out of Indiana for 10 years. As a result, Naked City closed in 1986. Its successor is strictly adults-only." Dick Drost, by the way, opened a new Naked City West in Riverside, CA; in 1990 he was busted again for "distribution or exhibition of lewd materials to a minor." The full film can be watched here at Tube Motion.
Bel Ami (1976, writ. & dir. Mac Ahlberg as "Bert Torn")
Aka For Men Only. Based on the novel of the same name by Guy de Maupassant, which had already been filmed a number of times previously as Bel Ami (Germany, 1939 / full film), Bel Ami (Mexico, 1947), The Private Affairs of Bel Ami (1947 / first 13 minutes), Bel Ami, der Frauenheld von Paris (Austria, 1955) and the TV movie Bel Ami (Germany, 1968). This version here was filmed in Sweden where, as Dirtymoviedevotee (firstname.lastname@example.org) of Brugge, Belgium, points out: "It's a measure of the cultural as well as sexual freedom within Scandinavian society at the time that their movie industry's respected professionals might proudly produce pornography without risking any sort of backlash whatsoever." 3xUpdate explains the basic plot of the movie: "Reems [as 'Georg Duroy'] is a journalist given a chance to become publisher of a French hardcore magazine. The feature chronicles his sexual (mis)adventures in pursuit of stories, like an African diplomat's hot-blooded affairs, and photos of the famous in infamous positions, with cute babes trying to drag him into the bushes, or wherever, at every turn. Funny, hot, and very 1970s." Over at imdb, babycarrot67 of Columbus, Ohio, says: "Bel Ami is refreshing and funny, and is a real treat for fans of 70's adult (XXX) cinema. There is an actual plot, the actors and actresses are both very attractive and perform just as well in the dialog-ridden scenes fully clothed as they do naked in their sex scenes, which are numerous. The film also has the almost non-stop euphoria of beautiful 70's Euromusic on the soundtrack. This is a film that adults can view and not feel ashamed or embarrassed. Harry Reems of course is terrific and quite comical as the bumbling hero of the piece, bumping his head on an over-sized phallic sculpture in a so-called art studio, rolling down a grassy hill with the latest female to jump his bones, and trying to sneak a peek at the almost unbelievably beautiful Christa Linder (of the infamously terrible Alien Terror [1971 / VHS credits], The Fountain of Love [1966 / trailer] and The Day of Anger [1967 / trailer], among other films of note) as she showers. Another treat for genre fans is the presence of Jacqueline Laurent, best known for her harrowing roles in the Jess Franco films Lorna the Exorcist (1974 / full film) and Diary of a Nymphomaniac (1973 / trailer). Here she looks beautiful, kicks back, and anxiously samples the physical charms of Mr. Reems [...]. And speaking of director Ahlberg, whose fine I, A Woman (1965 / trailer) remains a classic, this film proves that ten years after I, A Woman he was able to move into more explicit fare and still retain the touch of class and dignity that many erotic filmmakers either lose or never have at all."
Let Me Die a Woman (1977, dir. Doris Wishman)
Ah, the infamous grindhouse "documentary" by Doris Wishman — we actually saw it as a wee teenager, but senility has wiped it from our brains (the only thing we remember is how we thought everyone in the film intensely unattractive and that we came out of the theatre happy that we felt we had been born in the right body). We are still looking for a cheap copy of the 1978 movie tie-in paperback by M.J. Lukas, Let Me Die A Woman: The Why and How of Sex-Change Operations. Lolita Classics explains the basics: "Let Me Die a Woman is a dramatized pseudo-documentary made by cult soft-porn director Doris Wishman (1912-2002) in 1972. The subject is transsexuals, both male and female, who want to make / have done a sex change operation. The film wasn't released until 1978. The film mixes educational scenes with dramatizations of real events with soft porn. All through the film Dr. Leo Wollman, a sex change specialist, guides us through transsexual group meetings, interviews and even a sex change operation." That the film mixes the "documentary" with the "fictional" explains the presence of actors such as Harry Reems and a (fictional) "post-op" Arlana Blue (of Bloodsucking Freaks [1976 / trailer]) and Michael Gaunt (of City of the Living Dead  and Corruption [1983 / scene]) alongside real transgendered — as well as (a rarity in grindhouse "documentaries") a real sex-change specialist, Dr. Leo Wollman (1914 – 1998), who was also one of the original authors of the 1990 Harry Benjamin Standards of Care. According to the BFI, the fictionalized segments are "based on the experiences of Wollman's patients."
Reems & Arlana Blue in Let Me Die a Woman (excerpt):
The blogspot Dollar Theater Massacre, which says "be warned: this film does not hold back", has a remarkably insightful review of the film, which it links it directly to the tradition of the mondo film: "Doris Wishman's Let Me Die a Woman is a unique little mondo picture in that it's focused on sex, but clearly not with the intent to titillate. Honing in on gender dysphoria and offering a glimpse into the lives of several transgendered individuals, it merges an objective, clinical view of the topic with more questionable shock tactics. The result is likely to make most people squeamish for one reason or another, but even today it remains an interesting historical artifact." DTM goes on to point out that despite the occasional sincerity of the movie, "It's not hard to assess Doris Wishman's intent with this film": "Everything here is shown in all its detail, occasionally at the expense of the patients' dignity. Even assuming willing participants doesn't really absolve it from all the poking and prodding that goes on. The tone is more that of a freakshow than a doctor's office." (The sexploitation director remains a sexploitation director — but then, would we want her any other way?) Nevertheless, DTN finds "And yet, amidst all of this, there are beacons of rationality and what seems to be good-natured intent. Most prominent are the interviews with Deborah Harten [seen in the photo above taken from the film's title sequence], who was born a man but had been living as a perfectly happy woman for years when she appeared in the movie. Deborah's stories are interspersed throughout the shocking portions of the film, and serve to mediate some of the more extreme content. [...] As a mondo film, Let Me Die a Woman stands out as one of the more interesting ones if you can stomach the dated attitudes and blatant misrepresentation of its subjects. Still, it seems to mark a shift toward paying increased lip service to values such as tolerance, goodwill, and sympathy, something which would become commonplace and seemingly mandated in later years. [...] In the midst of this, the interviews with Deborah end up nearly swaying the film's tone. Placing her in the middle of all the fear-mongering, pity, thinly veiled prurience, and crass exploitation only serves to illustrate the ills of the society in which she lives alongside with the courage she's displayed in facing them."
A scene with Deborah Harten:
The ever-interesting blogspot A Gender Variance Who's Who, however, is less kind in its view of the film, saying: "[...] A cross between a documentary and pornography. In the end it is a failure at both. Dr Wollman, the real sex-change doctor in New York, who reminds us of his MD, his PhD and his DD, shows us scenes where a transsexual explains that she will get a womb transplant and have a baby; dramatised scenes where transies pick up men for sex; gory close-ups of vaginoplasty; dramatised suicides and self-castrations. Incorrect biological explanations are given, e.g. that homosexuality and transsexuality are both the result of incorrect development of glands. [...] What are we to make of this? Wollman was not only a real New York doctor with real transsexual patients, he was co-author of the Standards of Care which are still taken as the guidelines for doctors dealing with transsexual patients. Wollman was the 'scientific and medical advisor' to the film, and so we presume that he agreed with what he says in the film. He is not an actor with no power to disagree with the script. So why so much disinformation about womb transplants and conditions being caused by malfunctioning glands? Did he give equally bad information to his patients? A camp classic? Yes. An embarrassment to transsexuals and their doctors? Yes. A noteworthy documentary? No — even Glen or Glenda (1953 / trailer / full movie) is much better."
French Deep Throat (1977, writ. & dir. André Koob)
The original title was Bouches gourmands, it but seems also to have been released as Adolescentes Libertines. This French film seems to be the directorial debut of André Koob, whose career in films seems relatively un-documented on the web. His roots may lie in sexploitation, but today he is respectable (?) producer of trash, including such films as the Hong Kong "Bruce Le" films Ninja Strikes Back (1982 / full film) and La filière chinoise (1990), the direct to video thriller Twin Sisters (1992 / full film), and Ruggero Deodato's Mom I Can Do It (1992) and The Washing Machine (1993 / French trailer). Reems plays "Dr. Young" in what is commonly simply described as a French version of Deep Throat (1972), with an unknown (and never heard of again) "Emmanuelle Armanet" as "Laura Lovelace". The only description we could find was in Dutch on a Dutch website — a computer translation of their text says: "Linda (Armanet) has her clitoris in the throat, which is discovered Dr Young (Reems). There is grim rivalry between him and Dr Freudus (Jean Luisi of the classic escape film Le Trou [1960 / scene]). A difficult and bad pastiche of Deep Throat, the shamelessness even goes so far as that it even uses a number of scenes from the original movie. A number of comic pieces save the film still from the total failure." The film does have the added attraction of cult actress Alice Arno playing Dr. Young's assistant Greta; Arno — born Marie-France Broquet and the sister of actress Chantal Broquet — is found in many a fun film, including 12 Jess Franco films. Arno retired soon after this film, not wanting to be part of the new trend of hardcore in exploitation.
Alice Arno & Chantal Broquet in Jess Franco's Maciste contre la reine des Amazones:
The Confessions of Linda Lovelace (1977, dir. unknown)
Less "directed" than edited, the iafd credits Gerard Damiano as the man in charge, but it could have been anybody with a pair of scissors and access to Linda Lovelace's previous stag shorts and hardcore movies — the latter of which, in all truth, only consist of Deep Throat (1972), Deep Throat II (1974) and Linda Lovelace for President (1975). This film here, like Linda Lovelace Meets Miss Jones (1975) from "Felix Dileone", was made for the extra dollar that could be milked from her name and can hardly be called a true movie, as it is really just a collection of loops and outtakes (from DT I and II and, oddly enough, the Lovelace-free fuckflick The Love Witch ) strung together with the help of the flimsiest of framing devices. The "plot" has "Linda Lovelace" (who is played by a double and thus never seen from the front) interviewing for a position as concubine for a sultan (Reems); her sex scenes are all flashbacks from her relatively short early career as a sword swallower and dog trainer.
Harry and His Geisha Girls (1978, dir. Shinya Yamamoto)
Original title, Ikenie no onna-tachi; Italian title, Femmine calde per supermaschio bollente. Who knows how or why, but Harry Reems — billed as "Harî Rîmusu" — somehow landed in this Japanese Pink film, a "zany sex comedy about a penis transplant gone awry" directed by Shinya Yamamoto, "one of the founders of the Pink film genre". The film seems to have made it to Italy, going by a poster and DVD cover we found online, but it doesn't seem to have had an English-language release; the little information we could find on the web makes it sound positively psychotronic. Over on the AV Maniacsforum, in 2008, Sheldon Warnock offered a plot description he claims comes from "a now-defunct bootleg operation": "[...] Harry plays an impotent businessman who can't satisfy his Pacific Rim wife. So at his mother-in-law's urging he gets a horse-dick transplant and goes nuts screwing everything in sight! Hilariously obscene scenes of Harry in a hospital bed sporting a circus-sized lap tent, banging into walls with his huge cast-covered cock, filling gallon-sized jars from a catheter, mammasan checking out Harry's new equipment by rapping on it with a hammer, jewel smuggling Yakuzas breaking open another giant frozen dick filled with diamonds, skyscrapers and airplanes transforming into giant penises (penii?), yet another inside-out vagina shot, a lesbian dildo tryst, and more!" According to the forum at Dread Central, the film "ends with Harry [...] doggie-stylin' it with a horse that wears a bride outfit." All in all, it sounds like out kind of film...
Grease (1978, dir. Randal Kleiser)
The movie that never happened — for Harry Reems. For a brief time, Harry Reems was cast to play the part of Coach Calhoun, a role that would probably have been perfect for him, but Paramount said "No Fucking Way!" and the part went to Sid Caesar (of Curse of the Black Widow [1977 / first 15 minutes] and The Spirit Is Willing [1967 / trailer]) instead. Had he not been dumped, who knows, perhaps Reems would have been one of the few, the rare ex-porn stars — like Tracy Lords (of Cry-Baby [1990 / trailer], Skinner [1993 / trailer] and Excision [2012 / trailer]), Jenna Jameson (of Zombie Strippers ), Sasha Grey, Kim McKamy / Ashlyn Gere (of Evil Laugh [1986 / scene], Creepozoids  and Willard ), Dennis Parker / Wade Nichols, or Sonny Landham (of 48 Hrs. [1982 / trailer] and Predator [1987 / Arnie sings]) — to have a viable (if often short) mainstream career. (Hell, thanks to a few choice film projects — Lust in the Dust  and Trouble in Mind [1985 / trailer] — even Divine started going mainstream before she died, and her career began with cock sucking and a dog-shit lunch [both in Pink Flamingoes (1972 / trailer), as if you didn't already know].) Grease, based on the long-running Broadway musical, went on to be a major hit and a cornerstone of modern US American pop history. It was followed by a forgotten sequel Grease 2 (trailer) four years later starring a young Michelle Pfeiffer.
Love Syndrome (1979, dir. Sam Norvell)
"Director" Sam Norvell (aka [among other names] Sidney Niekerk and Bernardo Spinelli), if one can even say this film was "directed", is/was more active as a producer than "director": like many supposed "movies" in porn, Love Syndrome is basically a rehash of a variety of loops and scenes from other films strung together using the slimmest of framing devices. Adult DVD Talk explains everything you need to know to a worthless film with a half-way decent poster: "An interviewer (John Christopher) walks the streets of New York speaking with Dr. Joy Love, (Molly Malone) a sex therapist, who reveals the secrets of The Love Syndrome, a breakthrough treatment in the fight against boredom in marriages. Her therapist partner, Dr. Harry Reems, away at work in Sweden, appears via flashback in a number of 'filmed sessions' where Dr. Reems comes to the rescue of many a bored person or couple. No surprise that nobody wants to take directing credit for The Love Syndrome, a strange mish-mash of stray Harry Reems scenes strung together via this lame interview, which serves more as coitus-interuptus than anything else. [...] Here, the observations of Dr. Love Joy, the therapist, interrupt these Dr. Reems suck and fuck sessions [...] with different one-flick-wonders (actresses that appeared in few if any other xxx films). But wait, once the Harry Reems scenes run out, the producers of The Love Syndrome add an unrelated scene where Merle Michaels drives a car around New York with Samantha Fox (of A Night to Dismember ) and Bobby Astyr sucking and fucking in the back seat. It's a fun scene (!!!), but it's tagged onto the end [and] then the trio are given top billing in the credits." As producer, Norvell credits include a variety of uninteresting porn films, the trashy soft-core Virgin Cowboy (1975) — featuring Liz Renay (of the classic Desperate Living [1977 / trailer]) — and B-films like Roots of Evil (1992 / trailer) and Evil Spirits (1990 / trailer).
Samantha Fox in Doris Wishman's A Night to Dismember (1983):
Part V of Harry Reems' career review is found here.
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