Monday, June 30, 2014

Short Film: Ernest and Bertram (USA, 2001)

Here's a fun little video we stumbled upon purely by accident and promptly felt that it must be shared. Inspired by Lillian Hellman's play (and later movie version of) The Children's Hour (1961 / trailer) and, of course, Sesame Street, Ernest and Bertram pretty much fell off the map after its original release because of a cease & desist order for copyright infringement from SS.
Director Peter Spears co-wrote the tragic short with T.C. Smith; Spears has since gone on to direct the "quirky" comedy Careless (2007 / trailer). Enjoy.

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Swamp Thing (USA, 1982)

 

(Spoilers) Way back in July 1971, in issue #92 of House of Secrets, DC Comics' less popular of two supernatural publications (the other being House of Mystery), writer Len Wein and artist Berni Wrightson had an eight-page story of theirs published featuring a swamp-dwelling monstrosity. The reader reaction to the story was unexpectedly positive, so positive, in fact, that DC Comics decided that the two of them should develop a regular character based on the idea.
Thus the following year saw the premiere issue of Swamp Thing, one of the more individual and interesting horror-heroes that populated the comic book racks of the period, others being DC's The Demon and Marvel's Werewolf, Dracula and (directly in response to the DC publication) Man-Thing — the première issue of the last which, coincidentally enough, featured the first appearance of Steve Gerber's equally individualistic Howard the Duck.
The original Swamp Thing was a surprisingly depressing and Gothic series of exceptional quality, a quality that got tarnished but was not completely lost once Wrightson departed the series after its tenth issue. Still, like so many of DC's more original characters, Swamp Thing did slowly slide down in quality, especially after the departure of Wein and of Wrightson's successor, the Christian illustrator Nestor Redondo (4 May 1928—30 September 1995). In the end, following a variety of mundane writers and artists and stories, the publication was given the kiss of death — comic artist Alfredo Alcala (23 August 1925—8 April 2000), the artist almost every DC publication was given when thought to be beyond help — and then cancelled. Since then, the series has been revived and has regained substantial popularity, but even Alan Moore's version, as excellent and close as it was to the moody quality of the early 70s, failed to have the evocative individuality of the first version.
The movie starts out staying relatively close in telling the creature's original story. Deep in the swamps, Dr Alec Holland (Ray Wise, perhaps best remembered as Laura's father and murderer in Twin Peaks [1990 / intro]) is involved in the creation of some secret formula. Craven, by changing Holland's assistant to his sister, allows the introduction of Alice Cable (Adrienne Barbeau), a government agent sent down to check up on how Holland's project is going. Of course, the Holland and Cable get all romantic, but before things can get down and dirty, Arcane (Louis Jordon) shows up with his private army, led by Ferret (Last House On The Left's [1972 / trailer] David Hess, disgustingly repulsive as ever) to steal Holland's formula and notes. A few explosions and some cheap fireworks later, the Swamp Thing (Dick Durock, who went on to repeat the roll both in the sequel [Jim Wynorski's The Return of the Swamp Thing (1989 / trailer)] and the television series [1990-1993]) is born when Holland, doused with a container of his secret mixture, takes a fiery leap into the swamp and, rather than dying, mutates into some sort of half-man half-plant.
Though everyone else at the site is killed, Cable manages to escape with one of Holland's notebooks, so a good percent of the film is spent watching her run around in a wet shirt and designer boots, constantly being caught and then escaping from Arcane and his henchmen, the Swamp Thing always turning up at some opportune moment to help. At first Cable is as scared of the creature as she is of Arcane's men, but once she realises that the Swamp Thing is actually Holland, they get all chummy again, which allows Craven to include a yummy, minute-long full frontal topless nude scene of Barbeau cleaning herself under the safety of the creature's watchful eye. (This scene alone probably made the film the hit it was, seeing that every teenage boy in 70s and early-80s America had dreamed of Barbeau's breasts since they first bounced [clothed] across the TV screen on the sitcom Maude [1972-78].)
Of course the two eventually get taken prisoner and, in short, Arcane decides to drink the formula himself and mutates into a monster who, after following the escaped Swamp Thing and Cable, gets killed in the end like all bad guys do everywhere but in real life. 
Crane, her dress and hair once again miraculously both clean and dry, obviously in love and oblivious to the fact that the Swamp Thing is rather thing-less, pleads that he should stay with her, but instead, the saddened Swamp Thing shambles off into the backwaters, on his way to the sequel — a sequel we have to see, but know that somehow Arcane reappears in, alive and kicking.
Needless to say, Wes Craven's film adaptation of the cult character fails miserably in coming close to the one created by Wein & Wrightson. Despite this, however, Craven's Swamp Thing is a fun film in its own way — one just shouldn't see it expecting a film presentation of all that which made the original comic book character so good. Craven himself claims an affinity to the film that belays the problems he faced making it, including technical problems brought on by location filming and a budget that was severely lacking. Indeed, while the problems faced on location aren't noticeable in the final product, one has to overlook some truly horrendous special effects, especially in regard to the birth of the last monster, an actor in suit of obviously synthetic fur with a plastic mask ripping his way out of what looks to be a paper-maché egg. Also, as good as Louis Jordon is at playing an evilly corrupt version of his stereotyped suave, rich and cultured European — basically a run through of the part he was to play again the following year in Octopussy (1983 / trailer) — his version of Dr. Anton Arcane is simply blasé in comparison to that of the crippled and wizen character in the original comic series.
Odd is also the fact that Barbeau's costumes regularly manage to not only miraculously clean themselves from scene to scene, but also dry out as well. Other revisions in the original story line, like that of changing Dr. Alec Holland's wife to his sister, are easier to bear....
In general, Swamp Thing should be viewed for what it is: a flawed film, but a painless way to spend a few hours, especially if one doesn't have too many expectations. Made a year after Craven's under-appreciated Deadly Blessings (trailer) and two years before his classic A Nightmare On Elm Street (1984 / trailer), the US cut of Swamp Thing is the first PG film Craven ever made. It is definitely a pre-teen or young-teen film, meant for young boys either beginning or going through puberty, and should be seen as such if it is meant to be enjoyed. (Oddly enough, we've read that the film is also remarkably popular amongst females of all ages, something we can only put down as probably due to both its romantic aspects and the relatively strong — if not continually improperly dressed — female lead.)

Monday, June 16, 2014

Harry H. Novak, Part III: 1965 – 1966


12 January 1928 — 26 March 2014

"When I was a kid, my Daddy told me, 'There's a buyer for everything.' And I lived to find out that he was right."
Harry H. Novak


Harry H. Novak, alongside David F Friedman (24 December 1923 — 14 February 2011) one of the great (s)exploitation kings of the last half of the 20th century, died 26 March 2014 at the age of 86.
A detailed career review of all the projects Harry H. Novak — as Boxoffice International, Valiant International Pictures, Harry N Novak Productions and one assumes other still undocumented firm names — foisted upon the American public would be Sisyphean task at best and hardly possible, as no full and unequivocal list exists. What follows is a review of the films that we found that, for the most part, probably had Novak involved somewhere along the way — and some that may not have. It is definitely not a complete list, and definitely not infallible, it is merely culled from sources reliable and unreliable that we found online. We also in no way suggest that the given release dates are the correct ones, they are merely the first ones we found.

If you know any we missed, feel free to send the title... 

Go here for Part I
Go here for Part II — 1956-64



The Beast That Killed Women
(1965, dir. Barry Mahon)
Great poster! Personally, we here at A Wasted Life have our doubts that Harry H. Novak had anything to do with this movie, as there is only one source, an online magazine called Funhouse, that claims he (in the form of Boxoffice International Film Distributors) had his fingers in the pie this, yet another no-budget nudie-cutie from fringe filmmaker Barry Mahon.
Gratuitous Nudity:
Bloody Disgusting explains the movie: "It's a nudist's nightmare as naked terror runs amuck in this delirious horror film [...]! Unable to get an even tan, wife (Delores Carlos) and hubby (Byron Mabe) scurry off to a Miami nudist camp at precisely the same moment the camp is invaded by The Beast that Killed Women, a goofy-looking gorilla with an appetite for the ladies. Murder and panic quickly spread before a pretty policewoman (Juliet Anderson) volunteers to enter the camp as ape bait."
The Beast That Killed Women has the distinguished honor of being one of the first films to ever feature cult fave and future suicide Janet Banzet (17 May 1934 — 29 July 1971) as well as future Golden Age porn star Juliet Anderson (23 July 1938 — 11 January 2010), the latter better known as "Aunt Peg". The Smart Marks, which had possibly never before seen a nudie-cutie, complains that: "Despite the credit's claim of 'Miami Beach's Most Lovely Nudists', there's a disturbingly high number of tan lines present [...], and the women are 'normal women', as opposed to the pin-up queens and starlets expected of these films [...]. Besides their physical appearances, however, the nudists are just plain annoying. They wander around, play a game of volleyball, and go swimming, and then once the killings occur they all whine and complain about how scared they are and how they're going to leave the camp. That's it. With probably a maximum of five minutes of beast in the film, and one killing, that means you're stuck with these annoying women for an hour [...]. Lovely."
Clip from
The Beast That Killed Women:


 

Nude Scrapbook
(1965, dir. Barry Mahon)
Personally, we here at A Wasted Life have our doubts that Harry H. Novak had anything to do with this movie, as there is only one source, an online magazine called Funhouse, that claims he (in the form of Boxoffice International Film Distributors) had his fingers in the pie this, yet another no-budget nudie-cutie from fringe filmmaker Barry Mahon.
The American Film Institute Catalog of Motion Pictures (Vol. 1, Pt. 1) calls the film a "comedy": "One of New York's most successful pin-up photographers (Bernie Allen) enjoys thumbing through his scrapbook of the world's most beautiful women whenever he has a few free minutes. As he reminisces, his vivid imagination brings his models to life again. At the same time, he maintains a busy schedule. Before he can steal some time with his scrapbook, he must photograph the beautiful pin-up models who wait in his studio."
Also from Barry Mahon —
The Love Cult (1966):



 

International Smorgasbroad
(1965, dir. Barry Mahon)
Yet another Barry Mahon nudie-cutie with Bernie Allen. Assuming that a Something Weird double feature of Harry Novak films would, in turn, present trailers to more Novak films, we look at the "Bra-Busting Sexploitation Trailers" presented in "Harry Novak presents Street of a Thousand Pleasures / Way Out Topless": Street of a Thousand Pleasures, Forbidden Beauties, International Smorgasbroad, Paris Topless, Sexy Proibitissimo, Substitution and The Wonderful World of Girls. Of them, three (Street of a Thousand Pleasures [1972], Substitution [1970] and The Wonderful World of Girls [1965]) are known to have been pies in which Novak had his fingers, the rest we see as open to question — but, for the benefit of the doubt, we'll count them as have been fondled by Harry Novak. So, let's take a look at International Smorgasbroad (1965), yet another low-class product from the ever-productive Barry Mahon.
The only info we found online about the movie is from TCM, which explains "Every time gourmet chef Bernie Allen looks at food, he is inspired by visions of beautiful, nude women. Two cantaloupes, a can of sardines, and a mold of shimmering jello are among the foods which evoke mental delights. Since Bernie is a man of conscience, he tries instead to think of his librarian girl friend, or of the upcoming Sunday school picnic, but he is powerless in the face of the beautiful visions that grip his imagination as he works."
Among the jiggling boobs are those of "the Swenson Twins" (aka Darlene and Dawn Bennett), Delores Carlos, Gigi Darlene and Herschell Gordon Lewis's then-wife, Allison Louise Downe, seen above from behind in Goldilocks and the Three Bares (1963 / credits). As "Louise Downe", she is credited as having written the scripts for the HG Lewis classics Blood Feast (1963 / trailer), The Gruesome Twosome (1967 / trailer), She-Devils on Wheels (1968 / trailer) and others.
Tales of a Salesman
(1965, dir. Don Russell)

"Hello out there! I’m a poltergeist, sent down here to help salesmen! I'm the gremlin of the spirit world. And I do awful things. But man, do I have fun! For example, right now I'm here on your planet trying to help a salesman with problems."

In an article on Harry Novak by Gene Ross in AVN — Adult Video News (reprinted in Masque), it was once explained that after the success of Kiss Me Quick!, Novak struck a deal with Rossmore Films (headed by Marty Ross and Ted Paramore, the latter aka porn director Harald Lime) to distribute their productions; Tales of a Salesman was one such production. Tales of a Salesman is, as far as we can tell, the only directorial work of Don Russell who, two years previously in 1963, played "Carl Oliver", the first teacher to die in the low-budget masterpiece The Sadist, which we here at A Wasted Life justly listed as Number One on our "Ten Best Films [Viewed] in 2013" list. Like that film, the cinematography of Tales of a Salesman was done by William Zsigmond, later Vilmos Zsigmond, who won as Oscar for the cinematography of Close Encounters of the Third Kind (1977 / trailer). Tales of a Salesman is written by John Lawrence, who six years later wrote his disasterpiece, The Incredible 2-Headed Transplant (1971).
Trailer to
The Incredible 2-Headed Transplant:
According to Bleeding Skull, whence we took the movie quote above, "After forty-five seconds, it's obvious that this movie is something special. [...] Sixty years ago, nudie-cuties were the epitome of red-hot sexuality. [...] Today, slogging through a nudie-cutie takes more effort than being cordial to someone who wears a hoodie without a shirt underneath. Even nudie-cuties that were directed by lunatics like H.G. Lewis (The Adventures of Lucky Pierre [1961 / trailer]) and Barry Mahon (Nude Scrapbook [1965]), are relentlessly boring and repetitive. But there are exceptions — instances when madness, creative drive, or a rejection of reality take over. That's when nudie-cuties get good. That's what happens when Russ Meyer one-ups Jean-Luc Godard with the pop-art earthquake known as Wild Gals of the Naked West (1962). That's also what happens when Bob Cresse dresses in drag and keeps a werewolf for a pet in House on Bare Mountain (1962 / full film). That's what happens when Tales of a Salesman happens."
Plot, according to some website: "Herman (David Reed) dreams of being warned by his manager to increase his sales. As he contemplates his predicament, a mischievous poltergeist arrives to help him out. The ghost surveys the salesman's territory for potential customers and discovers five scantily-dressed prospects."
Trailer to Russ Meyer's
Wild Gals of the Naked West:

Wild Gals of the naked west "trailer" Russ Meyer von gregwallace


 

Agony of Love
(1965, writ & dir. William Rotsler)

 "Don't bite! Pain hurts."
(William Rotsler as the Beatnik)

In the article about Novak written by Gene Ross in an issue of AVN — Adult Video News (reprinted in Masque), the author calls the movie "a luridly fascinating sketch about prostitutions, based on a real event. [...] It did enormously well." Its stars the pneumatic, great non-actress Pat Barrington — we here at A Wasted Life often wonder where she is now. Harry Novak makes a rare and un-credited film appearance as a door opener in this William Rotsler (3 July 1926 — 8 October 1997) movie about a bored housewife who works — shades of Luis Buñuel's Belle de jour (1967 / trailer) — as a call girl on the side. Video Drone, which thinks the film is "easily his best work", says: "Made in the time when the drive-ins ruled entertainment, during the golden age of sexploitation smut, The Agony of Love is a real standout among many of its competitors of the era, not the least of which is due to that luscious 60s' silicone siren, Pat Barrington."
Funhouse shares their opinion: "Boxoffice's first diversion from nudie-cuties, this black and white kinky is raised above its peers by the relative talents of its creator, William Rotsler. [...] Barrington is 'Barbara' by day, and 'Brandy' by night. Rotsler gives us a psychological study, told through Barrington's visits to her shrink (who has Groucho greasepaint eyebrows). She talks of feeling unwanted and unloved by the men in her life: her moralistic father and her workaholic husband. Her neurosis leads her to a night life of prostitution where the customer's pay her for her time and love — she thus feels useful and wanted. [...] This film is similar to others in that most of the actual sex act are implied or off camera. The extent of the on-camera action is almost always a topless woman in her underwear rolling around on a bed with a guy in HIS underwear, or just as commonly, in his long pants — that's it, they're done!"

In an interview at Mondo Digital, Harry Novak once revealed: "Agony of Love was the story of a couple I knew very well, the woman in particular. She was married to a very rich man, and she'd sit around all day without nothing much to do. She wanted to make money on her own. This happened on Sunset Boulevard, at a restaurant called Ben Frank's across from the Playboy Club, where I saw this blonde over on the other side of the room and told the guy I was eating with, 'See her over there? She's got money in the bank. A lot of money. She doesn't know what to do with it.' We started talking, and that's how Agony of Love got started. She would go out and hustle, not for the money, but for the fact that she could make money. If you see the end of the picture, then you know the whole story. It's really true. She's dead now, and so is her husband."
NSFW Trailer:

Trailer till Agony of Love från rstvideos trailerarkiv.


 
The Wonderful World of Girls
(1965, dir. Peter Perry Jr. [as Arthur P. Stootsberry])
A lesser-known and lesser-screened nudie-cutie "Presented" by Harry Novak; according to the William Rotsler Virtual Museum, "Rotsler did camera stills for the movie The Astro-Naughties. This was co-filmed with or a scene in The Wonderful World of Girls." We could find little info about either movie online, other than the latter premiered in beautiful Fresno, California, on 10 September 1965.
Over at the Kinsey Institute, they offer the kind of platitudes written when space must be filled and no info exists: "In 1959, films such as Russ Meyer's The Immoral Mr. Teas (1959) brought forth the age of the nudie cutie. These silly slapstick comedies specialized in showing as many topless, large-breasted women as possible. One such film is The Wonderful World of Girls (1965), directed by Peter Perry (under the pseudonym Arthur P. Stootsberry) and produced by Harry Novak, the sexploitationeer known for such movies as Kiss Me, Quick (1964) and Mantis in Lace (1968). This film for 'Broad Minded Adults with Young Ideas' features a poster that includes many of the staples of the nudie cutie, including a large number of attractive women, the leering, voyeuristic man, and the promise of 'The Wildest Party Ever Filmed'."
TCM offers a plot description to WWG, but — not that we have any justification — it simply feels wrong to us: "Although Sammy, a maintenance man, is faithful to his suspicious wife, Fanny, he continually finds himself in compromising situations with nude women. As Sammy and Fanny watch a movie, an attractive exhibitionist sitting next to Sammy disrobes, placing her clothes on his lap. Jumping to conclusions, Fanny beats her husband. At work the next day, Sammy daydreams of beautiful girls who disrobe as he plays music on the mop, broom, and duster. Diving toward a waiting beauty, he collides with his wife, who has been napping as she keeps track of him. She again beats him. Sammy and Fanny then go to visit a doctor, but they stumble into a Nudist Colony Club office instead. A group of pretty applicants disrobe and attempt to initiate Sammy into the club. Sammy receives another beating from his wife. He finally takes a job as a salesman and visits a house inhabited by four scantily-dressed girls. As they try to lead him to the bedroom, the police burst in and drag all of them before a judge, who places all the blame on Sammy."

Among the nude gals of the movie is Missy Simone, seen above, but not from the movie. And below, a film that probably has nothing to do with Harry Novak*: Revenge of the Virgins (1959), Peter Perry Jr.'s directorial debut and possibly the first Western nudie cutie ever made — two years before Russ Meyer's Wild Gals of the Naked West (1962).
Full Move —
Revenge of the Virgins:
 
*We found one source that calls the film a Novak film.



Crazy Wild and Crazy
(1965, dir. Barry Mahon)
Novak distributes another Barry Mahon movie. The plot, according to TCM: "Bob Meyer (Tony Bogart) buys himself some movie equipment, hires 20 models, and enthusiastically sets out to make nude movies. When his first film is completed, he is startled at the results. He has produced a wild comedy: a volleyball game is ridiculously speeded up, while swimming and diving scenes have been caught in slow motion. Four images of the same woman suddenly appear together, and then seem to turn upside-down." Crazy Wild and Crazy is one of those films that have aged so badly that they make excellent moving wall deco for parties.
Crazy Wild and Crazy premièred in Los Angeles on 4 March 1966 and was, at one point, banned in Maryland. Among the on-screen pulchritude: both of the non-identical Bennett Twins (Darlene & Dawn), two long-forgotten lasses active in exploitation in the mid-sixties, often in the same film, like this one here or Doris Wishman's Another Day Another Man (1966 / trailer). We here at A Wasted Life wonder where they are now...
While It Lasts — the Full Film @ YouTube:



Hawaiian Thigh
(1965, dir. Bob Felderman)
In an article on Novak by Gene Ross in an issue of AVN — Adult Video News (reprinted in Masque), Ross states that after the success of Kiss Me Quick!, Novak struck a deal with Rossmore Films (headed by Marty Ross and Ted Paramore, the latter aka porn director Harald Lime) to distribute their productions; Hawaiian Thigh was one such production. Director Bob Felderman can be seen acting in the other Novak/Rossmore film, The Ruined Bruin (1961, writ & dir John K. McCarthy).
The American Film Institute Catalog of Motion Pictures (Vol. 1, Pt. 1) offers the following plot: "Prominent Hollywood producer Pompus J. Pumpslush invites a novice reporter to his office to promote his latest production Hawaiian Thigh. Unaware that Pumpslush produces 'nudies', the rookie is not prepared for the reception he receives from the nude secretary, who has been instructed to impress the young man. The producer begins the interview with a preview of the film: a group of beautiful vacationers begin a holiday in the glamour capitals of the world. After a wild send-off in Hollywood, they head for Las Vegas, where they soon run out of funds and become involved in a strip poker game. Next, they charter a yacht to Hawaii, and sunbathe on the deck while the love-starved crew looks on. Once on land, they attend a native luau and perform a hula without grass skirts. Afterwards, they happily head home. The reporter is ecstatic. To ensure a favorable review, Pumpslush enlists the aid of the steno, who performs a wild striptease for the already-shaken reporter."
Among the gals of the movie is Maureen Gaffney of such fine stuff as Ted V. Mikels' The Black Klansman (1966) and One Shocking Moment (1965 / scene), the latter of which is source of the photo above. Maureen Gaffney is now the artist Maureen Gaffney Wolfson, and she now swings a paintbrush instead of her boobs.
Trailer to The Black Klansman (1966):


 

Always on Saturday
(1966, dir. unknown)
Personally, we here at A Wasted Life have our doubts that Harry H. Novak had anything to do with this movie, but there are two sources that list this totally unknown, forgotten and possibly lost movie as a project fingered by Novak / Boxoffice: an online magazine called Funhouse and good ol' unreliable TCM, the latter of which also supplies the following plotline: "Tom, the town drunk, relates tales to his bartender of the weekend sexual adventures of their neighborhood friends."
Has Nothing to Do with the Movie — 
Andy Cavell singing Always on Saturday:
No credits to Always on Saturday, however, are listed anywhere, so we are also not 100% sure that the above poster is to the movie, but we would also say it seems a safe guess that it is, considering how closely TCM synopsis fits to the almost unreadable text at the lower right of the poster.
Pauly Dash, Leonor Montes and Dolores Carlos were seen as the names that would draw in "broad minded adults." Of Leonor Montes, we could find nothing, other than she seems to have appeared with Dolores Carlos and any equally unknown Maryland Chapman in the unknown, forgotten and possibly lost movie Indiscreet Stairway, which oddly enough is also from 1966, and glanced at elsewhere in this career review. Dolores Carlos, on the other hand, did a good dozen exploitation films between '59 and '69 before, like so many, disappearing. As for the comedian Pauly Dash, he appeared in even fewer movies but didn't just eventually disappear: he died in Miami, FL, on 2 February 1974. His only credited appearance in a "real" film was in the 1968 Frank Sinatra / Raquel Welch vehicle, Lady in Cement.
Trailer to
Lady in Cement (1968):
 



Flesh and Lace
(1965, writ & dir Joe Sarno)
Both TCM and the online magazine called Funhouse claim that Novak (in the form of Boxoffice International Film Distributors) had his fingers in the pie in this early film by the great Joseph W. Sarno (15 March 1921 26 April 2010), whom Wikipedia calls "One of the most prolific and distinctive auteurs to emerge from the proto-pornographic sexploitation film genre of the 1960s [...]."
Flesh and Lace is a "stripper character study", the plot of which is supplied here by DVD Drive-In: "New York City, 1964: Naive blonde Bev is the new girl in town, forced to work in a dimly-lit bar populated by topless dancers (including nudie-cutie regular June Roberts [as Gilda...]) and femme fatales who coerce numerous drinks out of loaded patrons. Even though Bev is one of the least effective bar girls in the joint, her guardian angel Joanie (Alice Linville, real name — Judy Young [...]) sticks up for her when bespectacled bar owner Dop (Norman Lind) threatens to throw her out on her ass. It seems our lovely heroine is a bit frigid and becomes uneasy at the thought of physical love... until she is swooped off her feet by Joanie's greasy gambler boyfriend Rook. Joanie will have none of that and sends Bev packing after beating her black and blue, but Bev finds solace in the arms of Julian, a sinister-yet-sweet toy store owner (familiar character actor Joe Santos) who loves her so much he calls up all his guy friends to feed her growing nymphomania in her basement dwelling. Like a spider devouring her prey, each man ventures into the cellar of the toy store to be sucked dry by the insatiable vixen. Meanwhile, back at Joanie's place, Rook's ever-growing debt gives her the bright idea of a toy store robbery... the same toy store in which Bev now resides..."
Scene from
Flesh and Lace:


Naked Fog
(1966, writ & dir Joe Sarno)
Another Sarno flick, aka Night Fog and Nackt für eine Nacht; again, both TCM and the online magazine called Funhouse claim that Novak (in the form of Boxoffice International Film Distributors) had his fingers in the pie of this early Sarno drama.
TCM saw the movie: "Marge (Tammy Latour), a jet set playgirl, visits relatives in a small harbor town. She meets Jack (George Quinn), owner of a marina, and is attracted by his rugged charm. Marge's brief affair with Jack ends when she discovers that he is a pimp; one night his teenage cousin, Marina (Gretchen Rudolph), interrupts their lovemaking to hand him her evening's earnings. Revolted, she turns in vain to an old boyfriend for consolation. Finally, she pairs off with Evan (Phil Mason), an unsophisticated young man who is the son of the local madam. The film concludes with the happy couple planning their future together."
The same year as Naked Fog, and also with Tammy Latour & Gretchen Rudolph, Joe Sarno filmed Moonlighting Wives...
Trailer to Joe Sarno's 
Moonlighting Wives (1966):
Joe Sarno's MOONLIGHTING WIVES from Joe Sarno on Myspace.

 
Paris Topless
(1966, dir. Gerald Perry).
"At first, there was the topless bathing suit, and we were sure that it wouldn't last. But it did. Then along came the topless waitresses and, here again, we were sure that this wouldn't last. Not only have the topless waitresses survived, but they have flourished and multiplied. And now we have in our midst the newest craze of all: the topless go-go dancer!"

Assuming that a Something Weird double feature of Harry Novak films would, in turn, present trailers to more Novak films, we look at the "Bra-Busting Sexploitation Trailers" presented in Harry Novak presents Street of a Thousand Pleasures / Way Out Topless: Street of a Thousand Pleasures, Forbidden Beauties, International Smorgasbroad, Paris Topless, Sexy Proibitissimo, Substitution and The Wonderful World of Girls. Of them, three (Street of a Thousand Pleasures [1972], Substitution [1970] and The Wonderful World of Girls [1965]) are known to have been pies in which Novak had his fingers, the rest we see as open to question — but, for the benefit of the doubt, we'll count them as have been fondled by Harry Novak. So, let's take a look at Paris Topless (1966), as far as we can tell the only known directorial effort of Gerald Perry — if one can even really speak of direction.

It is narrated by Joel Holt, the director of The Wild, Wild World of Jayne Mansfield (1968), among other films, and narrator of the mondos Chained Girls (1965 / trailer), It's a Sick, Sick, Sick World (1965 / trailer) and Mondo oscenità (1966 / trailer), and the only name dancer in the movie, going by the trailer, is Tempest Storm (born: Annie Blanche Banks), seen at the top of this entry in her prime.
Trailer to
The Wild, Wild World of Jayne Mansfield (1968):
But rest assured, you are never in Paris, Toto. The chain of action, as revealed by "Mr. Daddy-O" at this website: "Up first, eleven different strippers in 15 different minutes, each of whom, despite their costumes and props, end with their tits exposed for all the world to see. Then it's off to Baltimore's notorious 'Block' where a bunch of well-seasoned pros take it off in a variety of gloriously seedy strip joints.
"Eventually, we're whisked away to Paris where, as luck would have it, legendary strip queen Tempest Storm, 'The Greatest Topless of Them All,' is performing at a Parisian dive. And, my oh my, Miss Storm looks as young and as vibrant and as beautiful as when she made Paris After Midnight some 17 years earlier. In fact... Hey, wait a minute! It is Paris After Midnight! Yup, the 'Paris' in Paris Topless is actually footage from Paris After Midnight, made back in 1950! And, well… yeah, sure, it's a sneaky trick alright but, seriously, do you think anyone who saw Paris Topless even noticed?"
Trailer to
Paris Topless:

Sexploitation "trailer" von gregwallace



Indiscreet Stairway
(1966, dir. Ron Mart [as Ren Mart])
Aka Up the Naughty Staircase. Director Ron Mart (aka Ren Mart), a man of Doris Wishman-like talents, also made The Sexiest Story Ever Told (1970), The Hot Pearl Snatch (1966) — which inspired a Cramps song — and Naked Complex (1963 / trailer). We couldn't find a poster to this film here, but for that we found this vintage issue of Natural Herald, which features Dolores (ala Delores) Carlos on its cover; following her first credited appearance (as Dorothy Courtney) in Hideout in the Sun (1960), she was found in many a nudist movie in the early sixties, including Barry Mahon's The Beast That Killed Women (1965), which we looked at earlier, and this movie here. One of her last appearances was in HG Lewis's A Taste of Blood (1967).
Trailer to
A Taste of Blood (1967):
In regards to Indiscreet Stairway, Chateau Vulgaria calls the movie an "obscure nudie with lesbianism and a guillotine scene; no VHS or DVD release."
TCM explains a bit more: "The talking staircase in a French apartment building reveals the intimate lives of five of the building's tenants: two bikini-clad young women go swimming together; a muscleman who is pretending to be a painter uses a nude model; Marcy, a 15-year-old, skips school to attend a party with the milkman; and a woman whose husband is out of town showers and applies skin lotion before going to bed." We don't know which part Carlos plays, but we can imagine.
Also with Dolores (aka Delores) Carlos — 
Diary of a Nudist (1961, The Full Movie):




Hot Hands of Love
(1966, dir. unknown)
In fact, almost everything is unknown about this movie supposedly "presented" by Novak and produced by Rossmore Films. The American Film Institute Catalog of Motion Pictures, Vol. 1, Pt. 1 does offer a plot, however: "A gang of crazed killers terrorize New York. These sadists, who strike only pretty women, rob, torture, and murder their victims. Finally, the vengeful boyfriend of one of the women is able to track down the gang, and they are wiped out." Over at El Blog de Hola, in their obituary of the Puerto Rican stage actress Olga Agostini — "the Puerto Rican Ava Gardner" pictured above — they list this film as one of her film credits, thus making her the only name we could trace to the movie other than Novak's.



Mondo Keyhole 
(1966, dir. Jack Hill)
Original title: The Worse Crime of All. Novak distributed this early directorial effort from the great Jack Hill, who had already made Spider Baby (1964 / full movie) and went on to do The Big Bird Cage (1972), Coffy (1973) and much, much more before retiring much too early.
Trailer to Jack Hill's
The Big Bird Cage (1972):
Producer John Lamb, unknown and forgotten today, is credited as co-director and writer, but Jack Hill, who thinks the Mondo Keyhole "just a cheapo junk movie", once said "He [Lamb] took my name off Mondo Keyhole [...]. He had no directorial input into the film other than insisting on certain things — a little bondage, a rape scene, etc. — the usual recipe of the time." The first film of note by John Lamb, who started his film career by selling home-made nudie-cuties through the mail, is probably Mermaids of Tiburon (1962 / trailer); his directorial career in films seems to have ended (as M.C. von Hellen) with the "documentary" Sex Freaks (1974 / full NSFW art film), though he produced a porno film or two later on.
Scene from
Mondo Keyhole:
The One Sheet Index explains Mondo Keyhole which, despite the "mondo" in the title, has nothing to do with the mondo shockumentaries popular at the time: "Howard Thorne (Nick Moriarty) is a compulsive rapist. Or perhaps his savage attacks on women are only his fantasy, real though they may seem. But his twisted mind can no longer distinguish between reality and hallucination. With his beautiful wife, Vicki (Adele Rein), Thorne is strangely impotent, however, though she uses all the wiles her lush body can command to arouse his ardor. Frustrated, Vicki calms her seething passions with narcotics. Perhaps Thorne's inability to find sexual power without the violence and danger of forcible rape is due to his utter saturation by prurient sexual material which his mail-order business involves; he is a 'smut-peddler' on a grand scale, dealing with films, magazines, etc. Nevertheless, his obsession with rape drives him on, to seek victim after victim, until the inevitable mistake: he rapes a woman ('Carol', played by Carol Baughmann, below) whose homosexual companion is a vicious, man-hating Karate expert.
At a masked ball, Thorne attempts another rape. But in the struggle, the girl's mask is torn away to reveal — his wife! Confused, Thorne flees from the scene, but soon falls at the hands of the 'Crow' (the beautiful Cathy Crowfoot, below), the deadly Karate expert. She quickly beats Thorne senseless. He awakes to find himself in bondage, to suffer endless punishment for his crimes at the hands of the two cruel Lesbians.
Meanwhile, Vicki, dazed and hurt by the attempted rape, has again blotted out her consciousness with drugs. She finds herself, perhaps in a fantasy, in a wild nightmarish orgy, conducted on a tour of the inferno by a fiendish, masked character who resembles Satan. Thorne and Vicki both succumb to their respective fates, losing themselves in pure sexual fantasy."
Mondo Keyhole
Pre-credit Introduction:

Go here for Part IV: 1967
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