OK, a wasted life prides (?) itself as being a blog "about obscure, trashy, fun, bad and fabulous films". That's why we are
finally going to present a truly obscure and bad and fun in its own way (and questionable, at best,
when it comes to trashy and fabulous) short film by everyone favourite
(and tragic) auteur of badness, the great Edward D. Wood, Jr (10 Oct 1924 – 10
Dec 1978). And no, the short we want to look at is not one of the many porn
loops he worked on in his alcohol-fueled twilight days.
What we have
here is a 20-odd-minute-long short film written and directed by Wood entitled Final Curtain that he made as the pilot
episode for an anthology TV series he hoped to sell, Portraits in Terror and/or Journeys into Terror. (Different sources give different names.) Final Curtain is, of course, all Ed Wood in every way and
anything but a viable commercial pilot episode, neither now or back in the "innocent"
Eisenhower years. It went nowhere, of course. So Wood reused parts of it in his later
feature film, Night of the Ghouls (1959
/ a trailer
/ full movie).
Like so much of Wood's production, the short was long thought lost, but then
Jason Insalaco and Jonathan Harris found and restored the short and premiered
it at Slamdancein in Park City, Utah, on January 23, 2012. (Insalaco is related to an Ed Wood
regular, actor Paul Marco [10 June 1927 – 14 May 2006], and a dedicated Wood
archivist.) Supposedly a second episode was also filmed entitled The
Night the Banshee Cried,
but if so, the film is still lost.
hyperbolic narration read by Dudley "Eros" Manlove (11 June 1914 – 17
April 1996), of the decidedly interesting C-film The Creation of the Humanoids (1962 / trailer/ full movie)
& Wood's Plan 9 from Outer Space
(1959 / trailer
/ full movie)
nothing much happens in Final Curtain.
It is however, surprisingly well shot — but then, Wood also seems to be aiming
more for mood than action (a shame that the moody effectiveness of the almost
expressionistic cinematography wasn't matched in the voiceover). But as for action, well, there ain't any: basically, an unnamed
actor (Duke Moore, [15 July 1913
– 16 Nov 1976], "an American actor who has the distinction of spending his
entire on-screen career in productions by Ed Wood") wanders around a
theatre after the last performance of his play pontificating, eventually meets
a living mannequin (Jenny Stevens) and then well, goes to bed (sorta)...
best Ed Wood comes dangerously close to the world of experimental film artists
of the era, such as Kenneth Anger and Man Ray," film historian Rob Craig told theNew York Timesin
2012. "His best films are
abstract, surreal and highly symbolic…what he created was nothing short of
magical — and utterly unique." Los Angeles Magazine, 2015
A classic of underground cinema that
lives up to and possibly even transcends its reputation, Pink Flamingos remains, even now 46 years after its release, a
movie that separates the men from the boys, the human beings from the
The movie was, in its day, prime transgressive cinema before the term and movement was even
officially regurgitated and quickly drowned in its own intellectual
pretentions. And unlike in most cinematic endeavors from that movement, for all
the boundaries this and the movies of John Waters crossed, the filmmaker always
broke them with his tongue firmly in his cheek: his are movies that [usually]
make you laugh even as they freak you out or disgust you. (One laughs a lot
during Pink Flamingos.)
True, the movie is not as shocking now
as it was when it first came out — it is, as fiction, by nature less shocking
than the reality of the US's current innately corrupt political system and
collapsing society — but even the jaded might still feel an occasional pang of
shock when watching this movie. (The singing butthole usually gets most people,
not to mention the movie's infamous closing scene, done in an uncut take, of
Divine chowing down on doggy doo.) Laughs, in any event, are guaranteed... if
only nervous ones.
Rest assured, however, when you screen
this healthy and hearty and enjoyable cinematic abortion, you do end up
watching a truly terribly made movie. The soundtrack might be top notch,* but
when it comes to the cinematic and/or technical qualities normally expected of
a feature film — editing, acting, cinematography, continuity, whatever — Pink Flamingos displays more exuberance
than any semblance of skill.
*Indeed, it is perhaps one of the
earliest example of the continual use of well-known and/or obscure pop songs to
underscore, often incongruently, diverse scenes the narrative, a filmic
technique that has become almost de jure
since, dunno, Reservoir Dogs (1992 /
But this very exuberance, combined with the whole
film's in-your-face attitude and dedicated transgression of good taste, works
magic. Waters may have, in the meantime and after 12 different feature films in
total, directed better-made movies displaying consummate filmic
professionalism, but none of his later works carry the punch or have been as influential
as Pink Flamingos. It is, in its own
extremely idiosyncratic manner, a masterpiece of sorts. And imperative viewing
for anyone interested in underground film, exploitation movies, low culture,
black comedy, alternative culture(s), artistic expression, freedom of speech,
or chicken fucking.
Pink Flamingo is the third no-budget, feature-length
movie Waters directed, preceded as it was by the director's lesser known Mondo Trasho (1969 / scene)
and Multiple Maniacs (1970 / trailer).
It is the first of what has since become known as John Waters' "Trash
Trilogy", which also includes his subsequent two vintage Baltimore projects,
Female Trouble (1974 / trailer)
and Desperate Living (1977 / trailer)
— both of which are noteworthy cinematic experiences on their own.
Shot on a reported budget of $10,000, Pink Flamingos looks every bit a
product of its budget, which is also very much part of the movie's anarchistic
and questionable charm. The influence of the low budget and/or guerilla
filmmaking tactics and style of the Now York underground filmmakers of the
1960s, above all the brothers Mike & George Kuchar,*
is evident, particularly in the over-exaggerated acting style and extremely
arch dialog. Character after character manages to spout inanely long dialog
that verges on being baroque, but for that there are also fun scenes without
any dialog (but set to music) — like of Divine (19 Oct 1975 – 7 Mar 1988), as Divine / Babs Johnson, strolling
down streets (the reactions are real and priceless), or Raymond Marble (David
Lochary [21 Aug 1944 – 29 July 1977]) displaying his family jewals. One gets the feeling that aside from
limited sound recording facilities, Waters also had only limited access to
editing possibilities, for much of the film is shot in long takes, with pans,
zooms and/or an unmoving camera — basically: poverty-level Jess Franco.
*George Kuchar may be
resting in peace, but the surviving brother, Mike, is still making short films and is
also a productive graphic artist of truly great gay smut art, an extremely innocent example of which is
The basic plot
is simple: Divine and her criminal family — comprising Edie the Egg Lady (Edith
Massey [28 May 1918 – 24 Oct 1984]), Crackers (Danny Mills [Died 21 Jan 2017])
and companion Connie (Mary Vivian Pearce) — are laying low in a trailer out in
the country, but back in beautiful Baltimore Connie (Mink Stole)
and Raymond Marble have grown jealous of her reputation as "The Filthiest
Person Alive". They decide to destroy Divine and usurp her title... but
only live long enough to rue the day. Framed within that narrative are
characters deeply imbued in sleaze and fun pastimes like fucking, masturbation,
incest, rape, illegal baby selling, lesbianism, murder, cannibalism, egg
eating, cop killing, shopping, foot fetishism, butt singing and more. And a
great wardrobe: at least in the case of Divine, Crackers, Connie and the Marbles, all
would fit in perfectly in the nightlife of today's Berlin. (Though, in the case of
Raymond, the blue pubes that properly match the hair color on his head definitely
clash with his almost bear-like excess of body hair.)
Seen today, it
is surprising how easily Pink Flamingos
suddenly becomes a kind of allegorical mirror of the contemporary politics: If you see Babs as the Democrats, and the
Marbles as the Republicans, in the end they are all criminals and what they
"do" is different only in degrees. But Babs is a bit more social (as
seen by her extended family and B-day party popularity), while the Marbles are
bit more egoistic, consumer- and position-driven, and convinced of their own entitlement.
Also comparable to the US Republicans, aside from all their questionable business activities and the less-than-pious cravings for
social status, in the end the Marbles are extremely and illogically judgmental and conservative:
they are continually shocked by the actions of others, though no one does
anything all that much worse than what they themselves do. (One might argue
they don't even have the balls to do their own evil: yes, they sell the babies
of kidnapped girls they chain up and impregnate in the basement, but they have
to hire someone to do the actual rapes instead of having Raymond doing it himself.) And Raymond, for all his own sexual peccadilloes & perversions, even runs away
in pure horror after, having just exposed himself in public, he confronted by a
highly attractive chick with a dick (Elizabeth Coffey,who, in real life, had it taken off a
week later). Yep, the Marbles are very much conservatives of the contemporary rightwing
religious Trump Republican model: something — pussy-grabbing, underage sex, white
collar crime, affairs, cocksucking — is only disgusting or wrong if other
people do it.
Whatever. Pink Flamingos, "An Exercise in Poor Taste", lives up to
its infamy in a multiple of ways. A historical artifact of immense cultural
importance, this gleefully tasteless and oddly life-affirming cult film is
required viewing for culture vultures of all persuasions and political parties.
Watch it, now. And if you don't like it, well, go do what Divine does in the
P.S.: Trailer to John Waters' own "remake",
Kiddie Flamingos (2014 / trailer).
P.P.S.: John Waters "has stated that Armando
Bo's 1969 Argentine film Fuego
influenced not only Pink Flamingos,
but his other films. His words: 'If you watch some of my films, you can see what a huge
influence Fuego was. I forgot how much I stole. ... Look at Isabel's makeup and
hairdo in Fuego. Dawn Davenport,
Divine's character in Female Trouble,
could be her exact twin, only heavier. Isabel, you inspired us all to a life of
cheap exhibitionism, exaggerated sexual desires and a love for all that is
trash-ridden in cinema.'" So, for your viewing pleasure...
Babes of Yesteryear: a wasted life's irregular and PI
feature that takes a look at the filmographies of the underappreciated
actresses cum sex bombs of low-culture cinema of the past. Some may still be
alive, others not. Our choice of whom we look at is idiosyncratic and entirely
our own — but the actors are/were babes, one and all. (Being who we are, we
might also take a look at some actor cum beefcake, if we feel like it.)
As the photo and blog-entry title above reveal, we're
currently looking at the films of one of the ultimate cult babes ever, a woman
who needs no introduction to any and all red-blooded American hetero male whose
hormonal memory goes further back than the start of the 80s: the great Uschi
*A.k.a. Astrid | Debbie Bowman | Brigette | Briget | Britt
| Marie Brown | Clarissa | Uschi Dansk | Debbie | Ushi Devon | Julia Digaid |
Uschi Digaid | Ushi Digant | Ursula Digard | Ushie Digard | Ushi Digard |
Alicia Digart | Uschi Digart | Ushi Digart | Ushi Digert | Uschi Digger |
Beatrice Dunn | Fiona | Francine Franklin | Gina | Glenda | Sheila Gramer |
Ilsa | Jobi | Cynthia Jones | Karin | Astrid Lillimor | Astrid Lillimore | Lola
| Marie Marceau | Marni | Sally Martin | Mindy | Olga | Ves Pray | Barbara Que
| Ronnie Roundheels | Sherrie | H. Sohl | Heide Sohl | Heidi Sohler | U. Heidi
Sohler | Sonja | Susie | Euji Swenson | Pat Tarqui | Joanie Ulrich | Ursula |
Uschi | Ushi | Mishka Valkaro | Elke Vann | Elke Von | Jobi Winston | Ingred
Young… and probably more.
Oak Drive-In puts it: "With her long hair, Amazonian build &
beautiful natural looks (usually devoid of make-up), nobody seems to personify
that 60's & early 70's sex appeal 'look' better than [Uschi Digard].
She had a presence that truly was bigger than life — a mind-bending combination
of hippie Earth Mother looks and a sexual wildcat. […] She always seemed to
have a smile on her face and almost seemed to be winking at the camera and
saying 'Hey, it's all in fun.' Although she skirted around the edges at times,
she never preformed hardcore…"
Today, Uschi Digard is still alive, happily married (for
over 50 years), and last we heard retired in Palm Springs, CA. To learn
everything you ever wanted to know about her, we would suggest listening to the
great interview she gave The
Rialto Report in 2013.
Herewith we give a nudity warning: naked babes and beefcake
are highly likely to be found in our Babes of Yesteryear entries. If such
sights offend thee, well, either go to another blog or pluck thy eyes from
Please note: we make no guarantee for the validity of the
release dates given… or of the info supplied, for that matter. But the info you read here is probably more reliable than anything that comes out of Donald Trump's mouth.
Possibly a lost film in English, in Germany the video
release of Casting Call ["Sexclub der Triebhaften"] can still be
found secondhand, if rarely. Uschi, credited as "Heidi Sohler" plays
Hanna Hightower; "Heidi Sohler" is even listed on some of the
poster(s). Later re-releases, after the name Uschi Digard actually developed a
fan base of such, saw her real name listed.
Interestingly enough, although the English-language poster
above sees no reason to list the man normally credited as the director, Kendall
"Ken" Stewart, the German poster below credits the movie's direction to
"Robert Leigh", Casting Call's producer. Assuming the name Kendall
"Ken" Stewart is real, Stewart made two other movies before falling
off the face of the earth, Matinee Wives a.k.a. Matinee Hookers (1970) — also produced
by Robert Leigh — and Code Name: Raw-Hide (1972). But could Robert and Ken
actually be the same person?
But just to throw a monkey wrench into that hypothesis, Pre-Cert Videos
claims that the Kendall Stewart who made Matinee Hookers is actually some guy
known as Kendall S. Rase, who eventually went on to edit Henning Schellerup's In
Search of Historic Jesus (1979 / TV spot).
The streets of Los Angeles —
from Code Name: Raw-Hide (1972):
The script, attributed to "Clyde Rogers", was
supplied by Rik Van Nutter (1 May 1929 – 15 Oct 2005), who, assuming it's the Rik
Van Nutter (born "Frederick Allen Nutter"), was a former husband of
Anita Ekberg (from 1963 to 75). A Hollywood hang-around and (very) occasional
actor, he was the third actor to play CIA man "Felix Leiter" in the
James Bond series (Thunderball [1965 / trailer]).
He's also found somewhere in Antonio Margheriti's Assignment: Outer Space (1960
/ full movie).
The plot, according to TCM:
"Sex exploitation film director Les Heyer (John Long), a decadent and
insatiable man, satisfies his unnatural desires by sleeping with the women who
answer his casting calls. Among the women who enter his office are: Charlotte (Susan
Bergdahl), who is unsatisfied in her marriage; Bobbi (Valerie Lauron), a flower
child who has sex for money in order to release a friend from jail; Hanna
(Uschi), a bisexual; and Sherri (Judy Angel), a hopeful starlet and Heyer's
mistress, who invents new thrills for Heyer in hopes of starring in his next
film. Heyer has two assistants, flesh peddler Harry Kelp (Zoltan Narish), who
more than matches the director's capacity for evil, and Jay Robbins (Stephen
Treadwell of the sleazy roughie, The Erotic Circus [1969 / see below), a
wholesome young man who seems to be out of place in Heyer's world. Jay's
fiancée, Abbey (Sarah Warren), an actress who is desperate for a break, falls
into Heyer's trap, and his activities with her climax the film."
One might say the movie is an exposé of the events behind #metoo.
Full movie —
The Erotic Circus:
Below the Belt
(1971, writ & dir. Bethel Buckalew)
As Below the Belt was "Presented" by Harry Novak,
we took a look at the movie in Part VIII
of his RIP Career Review way back in 2014. There, we cobbled the following
together:Another Bethel Buckalew movie that, as so often, is often
(and probably incorrectly) credited to Pete Perry. As AV explains, Below
the Belt follows "Novak's early-'70s formula: A few minutes of gangland
tough talk in some featureless office gives way to extended scenes of simulated
sex, with the principals positioning heads and legs precisely enough to avoid
an X rating. Then the crooks hook up and talk some more before the next buxom
distraction wanders in. [...] In Below The Belt, the criminal element convenes
in a rural milieu as sweaty and dusty as those in Buckalew's 'hicksploitation'
outings Midnight Plowboy (1971) and The Pigkeeper's Daughter (1972 / trailer)."
Full movie —
Below the Belt:
Paul Gaita explains the plot: "Sexploitation vet John Tull stars as Sammy
Beal, a less-than-scrupulous boxing manager whose current protégé is virginal
country boy Johnny (Steven Hodge). Half-pint Sammy is a walking textbook
example of Napoleon complex: when he's not screaming his sweaty head off at
Johnny or punch-drunk assistant Benny Bravo (George 'Buck' Flower), he's
mauling and berating any woman that comes within grabbing distance (including
sexploitation mainstays Rene Bond and Uschi Digart, whose poolside romp with
Tull should please her fans). Naturally, he dissolves into a whimpering
man-baby immediately after sex. Johnny's rough-hewn skill at the sweet science
catches the eye of cigar-chomping mobster Louie Gardino (Frank Finklehoffer),
who dispatches comely B-girl Lisa (Mirka Madnadraszky) to distract him from his
training. The naïve pugilist naturally falls for her voluptuous charms, but
trouble rears its head when he catches her in a bedroom tussle with Sammy.
Things rapidly come to an ugly end for all involved."
(Woodyanders@aol.com) of The Last New Jersey Drive-Inon the Left calls the
movie "pretty standard soft-core sexploitation fare", saying
"Bethal Buckalew relates the sordid story at a plodding pace, but
fortunately crams this schlock with more than enough gratuitous nudity and
sizzling soft-core sex to make this junk a perfectly agreeable diversion. The
exquisitely busty'n'lusty Uschi Digard steams up the screen by engaging in
scorching hot raunchy sex with Sammy in a swimming pool. The ever-adorable Rene
Bond [pre-boob job] likewise heats things up as a lovely hooker Sammy first
terrorizes before doing just what you think with. Leggy and statuesque brunette
knock-out Mirka Madnadrazsky as the enticing Lisa may not be much of an
actress, but she sure looks mighty tasty in the buff. The bluesy theme song
provides a solid belly laugh. Ditto the surprise downbeat ending."
Trash Film Guru more or less concurs: "In fairness, this
flick suffers from the same setbacks that pretty much all of these things
do — cheesy theme song, repetitious music during the sex scenes, dull camera
work more concerned with obscuring any actual penetration that may or may not
be occurring than it is with actually making the copulation look interesting,
and cheap studio and location sets, to name just a few obvious shortcomings —
but in its favor, it has well-above-average performances from Hodge,
Finkleloffe, and Flower, a decidedly unexpected but perfectly logical downbeat
ending, and best of all Bond and Digard eating up plenty of screentime and
doing what they do best."
"Sexploitation vet" John Tull seems to have
retired from movies nine years later after his last and first fully X-rated
film, Balling for Dollar$ (1980 / full NSFW film).
The image used for the original poster of Below the Belt, featuring the great
Uschi, was also used for the cover of the magazine edition of Girls Who Do Sex
Films. (We once had a paperback book version of the magazine, but it seems to
have disappeared from our bookshelf.) A copy of the magazine, which features
interviews with Uschi, Neola "Malta" Graef, Maria Arnold and others,
is currently available here
at the Rialto Report.
(1971, writ & dir. Kentucky Jones)
A family that preys together ... slays together.
A.k.a. House of Bondage, The Love Cult, The Manson
Massacre and Together Girls. A poster of the movie is seen the background
somewhere in the cult video Charles Manson Superstar (1989), a fact we
mention only as a lead-in to embedding the documentary below.
Charles Manson Superstar (1989):
The Cult is the secret inspiration behind Quentin
Tarantino's upcoming Mansion movie.* As for writer & director
"Kentucky Jones", the reason that he has only one known film credit
to his name is probably because he took it from the eponymously named but
short-live TV series from 64/65 starring Dennis Weaver, Kentucky Jones (trailer).
Temple of Schlock,
relying on "the word on the street", claims "Kentucky Jones" is no one
less than the great Albert Zugsmith (24 April 1910 – 26 Oct 1993) — see Sappho,
Darling (1968) in Part
I. They also point out, as many do, that "As of now, the only version
of The Cult that is available is a German-language print ["Die Töchter des
Satans"] with no English sub-titles."
*Total lie— we just want to see how long it takes for the
statement to become an internet fact.
The newspaper clippings above and below are two of many to
be found at the fun blog ..the scene of screen 13..,
which says: "Although The Other Side of Madness (1971 / trailer)
was the first direct Manson-sploitation planned during the trails, the
'Kentucky Jones' film The Cult was seriously the first Up-Chucked flick
(possibly!) out of the gate while the Wade Williams flick took time and
possibly had some problems in getting it released. Unlike the planned-out (but
still kind of cheap) Wade Williams production, this one cut right to the chase
by focusing on a group of women that was based on the Manson Girls but not a
dramatic presentation of the news. That's the way to really do it — point the
camera, shoot, go freaky, and be done with it!"
And while paired with any number of movies when screened, the clipping directly above indicates that in least in
"Chicagoland", The Love Cult was released as part of a double bill
with the English-language release of Max Pécas' Libido: The Urge to Love a.k.a. Je
suis une nymphomane (1971), which features cult actress Janine
Reynaud (13 Aug 1930 – 13 May 2018).
The Manson of The Cult isn't called Charlie, however; he's
called either Invar or Ivor, depending on the website writing. And Uschi, in an
un-credited appearance, plays her first MILF role as his mommy. Bad mommy,
obviously enough, because: "Ivor (Makee K. Blaisdell [15 Nov 1931 – 21 Feb
1988]), for instance, turned out the way he did because he hates his mother.
Why? The hate grew out of an incestuous relationship with her. [Temple of Schlock]"
The Mansion Massacre:
hits the movie's charm on the head when they say, "I know nothing about
the facts surrounding Charles Manson and his crimes. But I do know that The
Manson Massacre has a scene where a baby gets thrown into a dumpster. And
that's good enough for me." At the same time, even as Bleeding Skull makes
the film sound so much fun, it also points out why we find it hard to believe that
Albert Zugsmith directed the movie: he usually displayed more care and talent
in his products than found in The Cult. According to BS, "Writer-director
'Kentucky Jones' [...] comes from the Jerry Warren* school of photography — set
up the camera, point it at something, and expose the film. The shots are
totally devoid of creativity and/or insanity. Typically, that would be a
problem. But here, the straight-forward visual approach leaves us wide open to
absorb what we're seeing. And what we're seeing is 69 minutes of non-narrative vignettes
that say nothing. They're just stupid. And hilarious. Everything about the film
is spot-off in terms of tone. The soundtrack is mod freak-beat with lots of
'boing' sound effects. The typography used for the opening and closing credits
looks more suited to a Dr. Pepper commercial than a smut-filled expose. There's
no method of attack to the flashbacks and at one point, Invar accidentally
looks into the camera. This is exploitation in its barest, most ideal form.
Even when it's boring. It's just humping, stabbing, and a final scene of the
gang driving the hearse down the street. Backwards."
The Oak Drive-In
has the "plot": "B&W flashbacks show the background of
Manson (or Ivor as his called here) and his followers. Ivor's flashbacks
include an incestuous relationship with his mother (played by softcore queen
Uschi Digard), killing his father and time in jail (complete with a pretty
rough 'pick up the soap' shower scene). Other flashbacks show him recruiting up
his harem — for one he girl he does this is done by helping her steal a
vibrator (after her father refuses to buy it for her) and various sick/weird
home situations of the other members of the group. After they steal a hearse
Ivor rides around in the back laying in a white coffin — in fact pretty much
all he does thru this movie is lay around looking bored surrounded by his
chicks and occasionally explodes into tirades and belt whippings (when is not
thinking about Uschi). Looking like it was filmed on about two sets it is
somewhat of an endurance test (OK, its kinda boring). This is a sleazy, grubby
bit of celluloid, with the dubbed German dialogue (no subtitles) even adding to
the weirdness of the whole thing, but it does have a certain fascination
Makee K. Blaisdell's decade-long career was primarily as an
occasional TV actor — he was even in the background on Star Trek twice, in The
Changeling (1967 / episode)
and the franchise-influential Space Seed (1967 / episode).
His only real screen credit of note is this piece of sleaze, and the Church of
Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints-produced short Johnny Lingo (1969), where he
played the title character.
Full short film —
Johnny Lingo (1969):
(1971, dir. Nick Millard)
Softcore sex, and more softcore sex, and a lot of cutaways
to Uschi grinning. Not one of Nick Millard's better films — and one of Uschi's
lesser projects, despite playing the title role. Millard's fascination with
footwear raises its head a couple of times, most notably in the final masturbation
scene when Uschi gets off using a shoe.
adds some opinions to its plot description: "I have seen a few of
Philips' movies and they have all consisted of unimaginative camera work, a
free jazz soundtrack, no plot, sex scenes that are way too long, and a lame
voiceover that is thrown in because no sound was recorded on location. This is
the case with Fancy Lady as we follow Uschi throughout San Francisco while she
analyzes the sex acts of Americans. You see, Uschi is a reporter from
Copenhagen who is on assignment to do a story on the differences between Europe
and the USA in the world of sex. Uschi wanders around and thinks out loud via
the voiceover as she watches a pair of lesbians for 20 minutes and then a
hetero couple for another 20. There are all sorts of inane comments she makes
that sound like a commentary by a Scandinavian Jessica Simpson after ingesting
Spanish fly. The sex scenes are extremely dull and the second one even contains
a bored-looking cat wandering around on the bed through the whole act. This was
the most fascinating aspect of the whole exercise. Things slightly improved in
the last 10 minutes when Uschi finally showed us what she was paid for in a
quick masturbation scene but unfortunately it was too little too late. Shoe and
leather fetishists may get more out of this than I did."
Sex Gore Mutants
tends to agree that the movie is bad, complaining that "For the most part
though, Fancy Lady is episodic and uninvolving. It's shot in quite an ugly
manner too, barely looking like a film at all."
totally disagrees, however, gushing instead that "Seriously. It's pretty
great. Short on plot, thankfully Fancy Lady features enough of the strange Nick
Philips [aka Nick Millard] kink that makes his work so enjoyable that we're
able to completely forgive the shortcomings of the story. Uschi's exploits
feature plenty of obvious foot fetishism, especially the last scene where she
literally rubs herself off with her black leather shoe, and in the lesbian
scene in the park where both girls sport nothing but thigh high leather boots.
[...] This type of stuff shows up quite frequently in his work but its shot
really well, it's almost always steamy even if it's hard to explain why, and it
completely works in the bizarre context of his fantasy world. But what about
Uschi? She's in fine form here. She's positively lovely in everything this
writer has seen her in and this film is no exception. Her lesbian scene is top
notch and the finale is as hot as anything else from the era. Her completely
shapely body looks beautiful on film, and here it's lit to accentuate the
curves the good lord gave her in all the right places. The movie isn't exactly
a smart film, it doesn't require any thought or deliver any kind of social
message, but it is packed with plenty of Uschi action and some very cool
footage of San Francisco's red light district circa 1971."
The Seven Minutes
(1971, dir. Russ Meyer [21 Mar 1922 – 18 Sept 2004])
As anyone who's halfway into bosom-mania or classic
sexploitation movies knows, the great Russ Meyer had a brief sojourn into mainstream
filmmaking at the beginning of the seventies. The results were a decidedly
mixed bag of only two movies, both of which are nevertheless intriguingly
"Russ Meyer". The first and most successful is of course his classic
satire of sexploitation and Hollywood, Beyond the Valley of the Dolls (1970 /
in which he managed to maintain all his signature features: beautiful and
bountiful babes, violence, excessive melodrama, outrageous characterization,
quick editing, eye-catching camera angles & blocking — everything you know
and love in his best films, but clothed in a hint of respectability.
The Seven Minutes:
Then came this baby, what was to be the second of three films
for 20th Century Fox, a firm that never knew why they signed him in the first
place, was for years [apparently] ashamed of the success of Dolls, and was
happy to let him go after this movie, The Seven Minutes, flopped. And that it
flopped is hardly surprising: it was neither a Meyer film, nor was it not;
instead, it was some sort of oddly anemic creature that you can't take your
eyes off even as it makes you want to watch something else. The little flesh
here discrete, the satire and melodrama barely visible — but, Wow! Did Russ
Meyer ever go so overboard in the editing room with any other movie of his? No.
And that alone makes it an interesting watch, even if it does almost leave you
dizzy by the end of the movie: few shots last longer than four seconds. That,
combined with Meyer's traditionally odd viewpoints and catchy blocking, makes
for some pretty odd visuals in a movie whose only other true saving's grace is
a huge cast of familiar if (in the case of many) no longer remembered faces.
Russ Meyer shows up for a few seconds in the background
wearing a red sweater; the great Uschi likewise flits by (un-credited) as the
"Very Big Brunette with Gorilla".
Despite the fact that The Seven Minutes is hardly a horror
cult film, the website Horror Cult Films,
which notes "there's lots of big-breasted women in tight tops in this
movie", has the basic plot setup of this, a film version of Irving
Wallace's eponymously named best seller (paperback cover below): "A sting operation occurs where
two detectives enter a bookstore and purchase a copy of a book called The Seven
Minutes so the seller can be prosecuted. Behind the operation is prosecutor
Elmo Duncan (Philip Carey [15 July 1925 – 6 Feb 2009]), who wants to become a
senator and feels that campaigning against pornography will give him votes,
backed up by a group who wish to stamp out all youthful violence incited by
salacious material in books and films. The publisher calls hot shot attorney
Mike Barrett (Wayne Maunder [19 Dec 1935 – 11 Nov 2018]) to defend the book and
he sets about uncovering the mystery of its true author, but at the same time,
a teenager supposedly commits a rape, and his father owned…. a copy of The
There are those who find this Meyer oddity oddly
interesting, and it is, even if it is also, well, somewhat boring despite the
idiosyncratic touches. Most people, however, tend to think like The Video Vacuum,
which says, "Basically, the whole thing feels like an overlong episode of Matlock
(1986-95) with a couple of titties tossed in. It's hard to understand why Meyer
would want to make this movie. I'm sure the subject of free speech spoke to
him, but he really is the wrong director to tackle the subject. Luckily for us,
he quickly returned to his drive-in roots with his next picture, Black Snake
(1973 / trailer)."
Black Snake, by the way, is a.k.a. Sweet Suzy.
Wow! It's Cindy
(1971, dir. possibly unknown)
A movie, going by the poster, that paced no importance on
the names of anyone involved. Sinemia,
among other websites, claims that Ray Nankey is the director; according to the imdb,
he's the cameraman — but he seems to directed a short film in his lifetime,
1972's Patriotism, featuring the great unsolved-murder victim, Bob "Col
Hogan" Crane (13 July 1928 – 29 June 1978).
Full short —
Ray Nankey's Patriotism:
Other websites list Leslie Gaston as the director, but in
general she is listed merely as part of the crew; the One Sheet Index,
for example, have her listed as being responsible for the script, but even they
don't list a director.
While Uschi plays one of the main characters, Joyce, the
soft-core actress Phyllis Stangel (of, among other, H.G.
Lewis's Miss Nymphet's Zap-In ), plays the title character Cindy.
We're not 100% sure, but we believe the long-retired actress is now a real
estate agent in the state that brought us that infamous, long-deceased guy (27 Aug
1906 – 26 July 1984) who inspired Tobe Hooper's
The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (1974 / trailer),
not to mention the movie Deranged
(1974 / trailer).
Wow! It's Cindy is probably a 100% generic pre-hardcore
sexfilm, but filmed with sound; as far as we can tell, no one has seen fit to
write about it online although it is readily available everywhere. In Germany,
in an attempt to take advantage of a variety of popular films directed by
someone named Russ Meyer, this movie got released as Cindy: Supervixen in
The poster proclaims "The all American girl who became
the all American tramp", but most plot descriptions make the blonde titular
character Teutonic. The only plot we ever find anywhere other than at the One-Sheet
Index — like at Veehd,
for example — infers more of a foreigner-comes-to-Hollywood Horatio Alger story:
"Blonde German model Cindy (Phyllis Stenger) arrives at Los Angeles from
Germany to try her hand at becoming a Hollywood actress. She is welcomed by her
close friend Joyce (Uschi Digard), who is a successful call girl. Joyce puts
Cindy up in her apartment. Soon Cindy finds out how difficult it is to start a
Hollywood career. Despite submitting herself to the casting couch hanky panky,
Cindy is unable to land a starring role in any Hollywood movie. However, Cindy's
sojourn in Hollywood is not all that gloomy when she meets the love of her life
at a birthday party."
The advertisement above comes from ..the
scene of screen 13.., where they write, "The World Theater in Billings
had a long history dating back to 1924 as Myrick's Egyptian Theatre
with incarnations being names the Lyric and the Dolly. Facing a change in the
movie-going scene, it developed a late night program called Playmate Theater in
order to boost up the business. This small chapter, which went from Summer '71
to Summer '72, needs to be chronicled as one of the many attempts to go adult
in the early 70s that came and went at a fast pace before the adult movie
industry turned into a solid business through the decade. The theater would
close in Nov. 1978."
A Touch of Sweden
(1971, dir. Joseph F. Robertson)
"I made two of the top ten turkeys ever made. That's a
distinction! I mean, it means something! That means I did something!"
Joseph F. Robertson in Tom Weaver's
It Came from Horrorwood: Interviews with Moviemakers in the
SF and Horror
12.5 minutes of
A Touch of Sweden:
Director Joseph F. Robertson (17 April 1925 – 8 July 2001), or
someone, later added hardcore inserts to this movie and released it as Pastries
(1974), which we'll look at later. For his porn movies, Robertson generally
preferred his female nom de plume, "Adelle Robbins", but that was
hardly the only name he turned to. A former Marine, he entered the film biz via
D-grade horror as the producer and/or writer and/or actor and/or director of
fondly remembered, prime sub-standard fun, namely Herbert L. Strock's The
Crawling Hand (1963 / trailer),
Robert Hutton's The Slime People (1963 / trailer)
and Gerd Oswald's (less fun) Agent for H.A.R.M. (1966 / trailer).
By the seventies, he'd moved into exploitation and even has the dubious honor
of having directed a cross-dressed Ed Wood in Love Feast (1969) and Mrs Stone's
Thing (1970 / theme song).
Once he went hardcore, he pretty much stayed there until the end, though he
returned to no-budget horror briefly for two horror comedies: he produced
Stephen Sayadian's Dr. Caligari (1989) and his own Auntie Lee's Meat Pies (1992
Stephen Sayadian's Dr. Caligari (1989):
Over at Something Weird,
Mike Accomando of Dreadful Pleasures writes: "What a cast! [...] Touch of
Sweden is a great showcase for La Uschi, who stars in and narrates the story in
her wonderful syrupy accent. While on vacation in Sweden, Uschi describes her
adventures in Hollywood to a wide-eyed plaything. After becoming a star in sex
films [...], the buxotic Usch has a change of heart and says, 'I felt guilty. I
wanted to do something for humanity.' Everyone's favorite sex bomb then 'helps
her fellow man' by becoming a nurse (!) and meeting 'the strangest people.'
Naturally, Uschi and her fellow nurses offer their own special brand of sexual
healing. Bed-hopping includes Norman Fields as a womanizing Groucho Marx
impersonator, horny fat guy Jack King, a rump-wrangling barber (John Keith) who
gets a bottle stuck up his ass, fake sheik Ron Darby, The Adult Version of
Jekyll & Hide's (1972 / scene)
John Barnum, smut stud John Paul Jones, and a skirt-chasing Count Dracula who
tries to put the bite on Miss Digart. As usual, Sandy Dempsey and Sandi Carey
get their cookie sheets greased. In fact, the whole cast gets played with so
often, they should have 'Mattel' stenciled on their asses. Touch of Sweden
shapes up as a well-made, frequently funny sex romp courtesy of
producer/director Joseph F. Robertson, who also cameos as both Cecil, a patient
who loves knitting, and a drunk who sits outside a phone booth and happily
watches Uschi undress. It often unspools like a soft-X episode of Love American
Style gone haywire [....]."
In other words, the sex film as farce — as so many used to be. Aside from director Joseph
F. Robertson's reuse of this movie for his later porn release Pastries (1974),
"footage from this R-rated comedy later ended up in the 3-D
soft-core film The Chamber-Mades (1972)", a [possibly lost] film so
obscure it isn't on the imdb — you see Uschi on that film's poster below in the left eye frame of the glasses. Not
to be confused with the X-rated The Chambermaids (1974 / NSFW).
The Toy Box
(1971, dir. Ronald Víctor García [as Ron Garcia])
German title: Sexualrausch. Uschi has the famous scene in
which bedsheets get hot and amorous with her, but the true main characters are
Ralph (Sean Kenney, credited as Evan Steele) and Donna (Ann Perry, born
Virginia Ann Lindsay, 23 Mar 1936 – 11 Sept 2015, credited as Ann Myers). Sean
Kenney is perhaps most famous as the second actor to play the seminal Star Trek
character Capt Pike, in the two-part episode, The Menagerie (he also twice
played a lesser character, Lt DePaul), but he is also found in a number of popular
trash disasterpieces, namely: The Corpse Grinders (1971 / trailer),
The Bloody Slaying of Sarah Ridelander aka Savage Abduction (1973 / scene)
and Terminal Island (1973 / trailer).
The Opening Credits of
The Toy Box:
We took a look at The Toy Box in the RIP Career Reviews of
Henry NovakPart VIII,
where we wrote, matryoshka-doll like:
"Director Ronald Víctor García, who also wrote the
flick, went on to a long, still-running career as TV director and
cinematographer. The Toy Box can be found on-line in a hardcore version,
particularly if you search under the movie's Italian title La Scatola Dei
Giochi Erotici, but the truly XXX scenes were obviously added at a later date.
"We also took a quick look at this flick in our R.I.P.
Career Review of Paul Hunt, where we kept things short: 'Paul Hunt acted as
producer (along with the great Harry Novak) and cinematographer for Garcia's
infamous trash favorite, The Toy Box. Girls, Guns and Ghouls says:
"Ron Garcia [...] created a pure gem of a film in The Toy Box, one of the
most enjoyable little movies I've seen in many a year. I can only urge any
cult, horror or sleaze fans out there to pick it up, I can't imagine anyone who
reads these pages regularly being disappointed. Then again, how any film that
shows buxom screen goddess Uschi
Digard naked on a revolving bed, being caressed by the bedsheets of the bed
can be passed up by anyone is beyond me." (Full review here.)
Condition, on the other hand and like most, was less impressed: '[An]
incomprehensible mess that has mucho nudity but makes very little sense. A
group of sexual exhibitionists gather at a secluded mansion to put on sex shows
for the enigmatic "Uncle" (Jack King of The Creeping Terror [1964 / full movie / trailer
below]), who may or may not be dead. Once they are done with their
performances, the sexual participants are allowed to pick a prize from "The
Toy Box" as a token of Uncle's thanks. Things are not going good. People
are being murdered by their sex partners while Uncle watches. Some people
disappear and the occupants are not allowed to leave the mansion. In the end,
we find out that this is all a plot by an alien race to kidnap humans and use
their brains as a drug to get high! This hodgepodge of sex and horror is
confusing to the extreme. The story is downright impossible to follow. Toss in
a lot of post-sync dubbing, plentiful simulated sex (including oral sex with
hilarious "slurping" sounds dubbed in) and annoying gel lighting and
what you get is a potpourri of nonsense. [...] The Toy Box (aka The Orgy Box)
is rough going for even the most patient viewer.'"
The Creeping Terror (1964):
The advertisement below, for "Endless Terror" screenings at Akron, Ohio's sadly departed Gala Twin Drive In and Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio's sadly departed Ascot Triple Drive In, reveals a sleaze-film fan's dream line up of Harry Novak releases. A Taste of Hell (1973 / trailer) is violent jungle war film featuring a visually deformed hero, while "Crazed Vampire" is nothing less than Jean Rollin's (3 Nov 1938 – 15 Dec 2010) classic Requiem for a Vampire (1971 / trailer).
The World Is Just a "B" Movie (1971, dir. R.D. Robinson & Alan Stecker)
A super obscure movie, the filmmakers of which have never
been heard of again — but then, director Alan Stecker is also usually (and incorrectly) attributed as "Alan Steckery". Stecker is now an artist in Georgia, and since we couldn't find a poster to his film, we've embedded a random piece of his art instead. It's entitled, Hey! I'm Talking Here.
Someone at TV Guide
saw the movie, and even wrote about it, "Despite its promising title, this
film is crippled by atrocious performances, an awful script, and a minuscule
$20,000 budget. [...] The filmmakers deserve some credit for actually getting
this low-budget 16mm picture off the ground, but good intentions and hard work
do not a movie make."
Elsewhere, Sandra Brennan (Rovi) is of the opinion that
"The world may be just a 'B' movie, but this low-budget flick only gets a
'D'. It is the story of two bank robbers. One of them spends his cash and time
ogling the mammary glands of innumerable topless waitresses."
has a plot: "When Jonathan Peru (James Christopher), an amateur thief who
has dug a tunnel under the vault of a bank, enlists the help of professional
robber Harry Greene (Robert Lincoln Robb) to pull off his heist, he shows
Greene where to cut through to the vault using a red heart-shaped diagram
bearing the directions, 'Cut on the dotted line'. Although Greene manages to
accomplish the task alone, he offers part of the loot to Peru, whose conscience
prevents him from taking it and who instead takes pleasure in watching topless
and bottomless dancers at nightclubs. When Greene is sent to jail for robbing
the bank, Peru remains free to indulge his sexual fantasies of the scantily
clad dancers." Uschi is one of the dancers, we assume...
According to the imdb, the forgotten folk musician Bob Lind,
who has written hits for others and once had one himself entitled Elusive Butterfly,
supposedly wrote the title track. And, indeed, he once wrote a song entitled The
World Is Just a B Movie (lyrics)...
in 1966, four years before this movie ever got released. Lind, a former friend of Charles Bukowski, is
the guy who inspired Bukowski's character "Dinky Summers", found in Bukowski's
1978 novel Women and other writings.
The World Is Just a B Movie —
Music and Lyrics by Bob Lind:
Anyone remember how titillatingly progressive the concept of
coed dorms once was? The concept even warranted a LIFE magazine cover (below)
not to mention proved inspirational for any number of salacious books — Harrad
Experiment (1966), anyone? (Which also became a movie, in 1973 [trailer].)
This obscure movie here is a.k.a. Farouk U and/or Farouk
University. Alderman's short career seems directly linked to a guy named Darrel
Presnell (21 June 1923 – 28 June 2002), who co-wrote The Master-Piece (1969)
with Alderman and then produced Alderman's only known directorial projects,
this comedy here and, two years later, Alderman's somewhat more popular horror
movie, The Severed Arm (1973). Then — POOF! — they seemed to have left the biz.
(Alderman did first find time to appear in a tiny part in The Spook Who Sat by
the Door [1973 / trailer
/ full film].)
The Severed Arm features the screen debut of the cult horror actor Angus Scrimm
(19 August 1926 – 9 January 2016, of Wishmaster
 and Vampirella
 and so much more), admittedly in a very small role as a postman.
The Severed Arm:
Coed Dorm, however, is a sexploitation comedy. Available at Something Weird,
where Handsome Harry Archer explains the film as follows: "Founded by Ali
Baba Schwartz and presided over by Dr Maurice De Sade (Ray Dannis, 15 Dec 1921
– 27 Dec 2006, the undertaker of The Undertaker and His Pals [1966 / trailer]),
a 'world-famous gynecologist', Farouk University ('Farouk U') not only offers 'an
exotic curriculum' but also a 'coed fraternity-sorority house', which is the 'only
one of its kind in the world'. Attending both the school and the Coed Dorm is
Thi Beta This sorority sister Virgy Summers (Diane Patton), a 20-year-old 'angel
of a girl' whose defrocked-priest daddy has left her 40 million dollars if she
remains a virgin. (Once a year, she must be 'certified pure'.) Also attending
is Graham Williams (Bob Guthrie), a blond pretty-boy and divinity student:
'Good morals are no joke.' He's also properly appalled when the housemother, an
ex-porno actress named Tempest LaVerne gets naked and attacks him: 'I have committed
fornication! The devil broke down my resistance!' As expected, Graham and Virgy
fall in love. They kiss. They get naked. They do it. Oops. Bye, bye virginity.
Bye, bye millions. Nevertheless, Virgy deals with it stoically by breaking into
song. Yup, Coed Dorm is, amazingly, a semi-musical! More musical numbers occur
when the dorm holds a benefit show to help Graham pay his college tuition. On
the program are none other than Uschi Didard ('Miss Melons') accompanying 'The
Farouk U All-Girl Topless Tabernacle Choir'; a torrid strip by Miss LaVerne she
calls 'The Sins of Florence Nightingale'; and De Sade singing a suave version
of 'The Battle Hymn of the Republic' while surrounded by bare-breasted gals
waving flags. (Mr. Dannis is pretty funny here.) And because De Sade is also
something of a mad scientist ('I'm transplanting the rectum of a baboon!'), Tempest
asks if he can make Virgy 'whole again'. He suggests 'a virgin transplant' and
soon has the unbroken hymen of an 80-year-old virgin transplanted into Virgy.
Unfortunately, the operation does not go well, but it does lead to the film's
funniest musical number... Wow. Rated X when first released in 1971 (by Ellman
Film Enterprises), Coed Dorm is a rather wacky drive-in mix of skin, songs, and
stupid jokes — definitely not what one would expect from the director of the
low-budget horror film The Severed Arm. [...]"
is one of the few, the brave, who have watched it and they were moved to say:
"Unless you're an Uschi Digard completist […], I can't much recommend Coed
Dorm, an ultra-obscure campus comedy in the throbbing vein of Animal House (1978
the National Lampoon classic that looks positively academic by comparison. […]"
(1971, writ. & dir. "Robert Lee")
Needless to say, not to be confused with Tinto Brass's Dropout
(1970). "Robert Lee" is not Lee Frost, as is often credited, but is actually
the less violently misogynistic sex-film maker, Stephen C. Apostolof (25 Feb
1928 – 14 Aug 2005), whose first foray into the film industry was as producer
and co-scriptor of Journey to Freedom (1957, poster below), with Tor Johnson. Apostolof
finally dove headfirst into low budget sexploitation in 1965 by producing and
directing the infamous Orgy of the Dead (1965 / a trailer),
starring possibly future Babe of Yesteryear starlet Pat Barrington and written
by Ed Wood, the latter with whom Apostolof
worked regularly over the years.
The exact release date of Drop Out is contentious,
sometimes given as 1971 or 1973. In 1972, in any event, Apostolof also made Drop
Out Wife (1972), a movie that is often confused with this one, but they are two
distinctly different films.
Nothing to do with this movie —
the complete soundtrack to Orgy of the Dead:
Germany's Das größte Filmlexikon der Welt
["The Largest Film Lexicon in the World"] dismisses Drop Out as
"primitive undressing and bed scenes strung together through the story of
a girl who becomes the victim of rape".
Temple of Schlock,
where many of our images come from, has a more in-depth description, taken from
the original one-sheet: "The star of our Drop Out is a young girl named
Billie (Susan Westcott) who is running away from a life she can no longer
justify. While hitch-hiking north on the Coast Highway, she is picked up by Sam
Thorn (Vincent Adams), a 300-pound sexual glutton, and the two journey together
on towards San Francisco. As it grows later in the day, Sam pulls his car, with
the sleeping Billie, into a motel operated by his friend, Kunt Harris (Mark
Fore), a part time neo-Nazi and full time voyeur. Thus begins for Billie a
series of sexual escapades starting with a hilarious running bout with Big Sam
Thorn. Sam, with more than his feelings hurt, checks out the next morning
without paying for Billie's room, leaving her in the hands of the 'Crazy' Kunt.
Billie agrees to work off her bill as a maid at the motel, working under the
direction of the constantly inflamed Kunt. At the motel, she encounters a host
of unforgettable characters including: Millie (Linda Vroom), the leggy go-go
dancer, who turns Billie on to where the lights are low and the action is hot;
Susan (Anita, or Nora Westbauer), Kunt's hot-pants wife driven mad with desire
for Link (Jerome Scott), the handsome young filmmaker, who travels with his
buxom assistants, Theda ('Barbara Caron', or Barbara Mills) and Bara ('Heidi
Sohier', or Uschi), and plans to capture the motel occupants' wilder sexual
moments on film, with or without their consent. The motel is alive with sexual
activity; room to room and wall to wall. Kunt takes as much advantage of it as
possible, occasionally employing his spy glasses to enjoy the indoor activities
of several of his patrons. Link and his comely assistants have a tremendous
romp putting it all on film. But now, they have a new idea for the perfect
ending to their work of sexual art. It was the perfect climax: A live,
unrehearsed gang bang using Billie as their unsuspecting victim. It seemed as
if it was going to be just another beach party until four of them got Billie