Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Ed Wood Wednesdays, week 47: 'Nympho Cycler' (1971)

Awesome poster or misleading representation of the movie it's supposed to be advertising? Can't it be both?

"It's not a big motorcycle, just a groovy little motorbike.
It's more fun than a barrel of monkeys, that two-wheel bike."

-The Hondells, "Little Honda"


"It's hard for me to get used to these changing times. I can remember when the air was clean and sex was dirty."
-George Burns


Heady times for Ed Wood.
Nineteen-seventy-one must have been a discombobulating year for Edward Davis Wood, Jr. Mired in an ever-worsening alcohol addiction and approaching 50 in a world that increasingly idolized and fetishized youth, Ed was adjusting as best he could under those unpromising circumstances to then-recent paradigm shifts in the entertainment business.

In such a fickle, volatile field, the brass ring tends to go to people who can either successfully predict where the industry is headed or those who can use their ingenuity and/or clout to change the industry's course, redirecting it the way a diversion dam changes the direction of a river. Instead of just "giving 'em what they want," the successful producer can give 'em what they're going to want or something they didn't even know they wanted.

But that's not how Ed Wood operated. Though the writer and director left his personal mark on nearly every movie and book he churned out over the course of his 30-year career and infused those works with his own peculiar fears and desires, he was neither particularly an innovator nor a tastemaker. The highly idiosyncratic and personal Glen or Glenda? (1953), his debut feature as a director, was an anomaly for Ed with its forward-thinking plea for transvestite tolerance and its combustible stylistic mix of woozy surrealism with sober documentary-style reportage.

Instead of making movies as difficult to categorize as Glenda, Eddie spent most of his filmmaking career trying to keep up with popular (or once-popular) trends and seemed to have a knack for showing up at parties just as they were breaking up. He had gotten into the motion picture game in 1948, for instance, with the intention of making the kind of simple, moralistic "cowboy movies" he had enjoyed as a child in Poughkeepsie, NY in the 1920s and 1930s. But by the late 1940s and early 1950s, these types of "white hat/black hat" films were already falling out of fashion and were being supplanted by "kiddie Westerns" on TV (cf. The Lone Ranger [1949-1957]), while theatrically-released Western features aimed for more thematic and stylistic sophistication (cf. the films of John Ford).

Still clinging to his dream of being the cut-rate Orson Welles, Ed's backup plan was to assay such crowd-pleasing and potentially lucrative genres as horror, science-fiction, and crime drama, which he did from 1954 to 1960. Even here, though, he was a man out of time, with plots and characters more suited to the Great Depression than the Fabulous Fifties and cast lists teeming with such past-their-prime performers as Bela Lugosi, Kenne Duncan, Lyle Talbot, Tom Keene, Johnny Carpenter, and Bud Osborne. Forget the future. Ed could barely keep up with the present.

Richard Nixon on Laugh-In.
The 1960s were, arguably, the most dramatic years of social and moral change in this young, dynamic country's history. By 1970, America barely resembled its innocent 1960 self. The nation had been transformed by political assassinations, large-scale riots, an unpopular foreign war, shifting tastes in music and fashion, and rapidly evolving opinions toward sex, drugs, and race. A seemingly irreparable schism had developed during this time between the young (the counterculture) and the old (the establishment). These bickering generations could not even agree what "entertainment" was, let alone what was "good," "bad," "acceptable," or "unacceptable." Hollywood didn't quite know what to do during all of this, but the suits knew there was money to be made from it.

One of the major showbiz trends of the decade was the attempt of the so-called establishment to capitalize upon, co-opt, and generally commercialize upon the counterculture in ways that simultaneously placated kids without offending their parents. Think The Monkees, Rowan & Martin's Laugh-In, and Bob Hope in hippie drag. The 1968 presidential election of Richard Nixon, who had served as Vice President under Eisenhower in the 1950s and who memorably guest-starred on Laugh-In, can be interpreted as an attempt by the older and more conservative factions to restore America to its rigid, pre-JFK state of moral turpitude. The pendulum was swinging back to the right, so to speak.

Ironically, despite his unconventional lifestyle and the fact that he made his living from pornography, Ed Wood would probably have applauded this return to Eisenhower-esque values. In his books and scripts, Eddie demonstrated little to no affinity for the counterculture and likely longed to go back to the 1950s, the time when he was making the movies for which he is still best known.

One particularly thorny issue that divided the nation in the late 1960s and early 1970s was a basic one: Is sex dirty? America's young people said no, but their parents said, "Oh, yes it is!" President Nixon agreed with the moms and dads. He was famously appalled by the lenient stance on pornography taken by the Presidential Commission's report on obscenity and declared with characteristic humorlessness: "So long as I am in the White House, there will be no relaxation of the national effort to control and eliminate smut from our national life."

I thought about Nixon's words -- and the deeply unhealthy feelings behind them -- when I discovered this interesting and insightful quote from a Buzzfeed op-ed by Anne Helen Petersen about the recent Jennifer Lawrence nude photo leak: "Sex is only dirty when suppressed." By suppressing sex, Nixon was actually making it dirtier and inadvertently playing right into the hands of the pornographers of the era, who thrived on their audience's sense of guilt.

The members of the American counterculture were trying to remove the social stigma from sex and spread the message that it was simply a natural and normal part of human existence, nothing to be ashamed of. While they were doing this, sexually-explicit material was becoming an increasingly prominent part of the American way of life. But the so-called "smut racket" wasn't peddling its wares to the hippies. Hell, those freaks were giving it away! What did they need with movies or books when they were living it? Though these crazy kids may have been starring in porno films, they weren't necessarily the ones lining up to buy tickets to see these shows. The infamous report on obscenity made it clear that the audience for porn consisted mostly of middle-aged, middle-class white males -- the fathers of the counterculture kids. These were married men who had fought in WWII, held down respectable jobs, and sought refuge from their problems in booze rather than pot and acid.

In other words, these were Ed Wood's people. And it was for them, not the hippies, that he made this week's movie, a curious little biker film with plenty of female nudity and awkwardly-simulated sex. Though it evoked the counterculture, it was squarely aimed at the squares.

NYMPHO CYCLER(1971)

The opening titles of Ed Wood's Nympho Cycler starring the lovely Casey Larrain.

The brand new DVD.
Alternate titles: Misty [working title]

Availability: Thanks to the good people at Alpha Blue Archives, this movie is now easily available on DVD as part of the Lost Sex Films of Ed Wood series. Purchase it from Amazon or directly from Alpha Blue. In addition to the main feature, the disc contains three more Casey Larrain movies (Caught in the Can; Hedonist Hypnotist; and Scent of Love) along with an excerpt from the documentary Lovemaking USA, which repurposes some footage of Ed and Casey from Love Feast and adds some new narration.

Those wishing to see Nympho Cycler on the big screen will have the chance to do so on September 14, 2014 at 6:15 PM Eastern, when the film plays at Manhattan's Anthology Film Archive as part of a double bill with Necromania. This may well be Nympho Cycler's first theatrical engagement in over 40 years. In years past, Nympho Cycler was available in the UK as a Betmax tape through a company called Dapon, which seems to have specialized in adult films.

Additionally, Nympho Cycler will also be part of After Hours Cinema's upcoming release Ed Wood's Dirty Movies, which is due in November 2014.

The backstory: How does it happen, citizens? How does a movie allegedly made by Edward D. Wood, Jr. and undeniably featuring the man himself in full drag completely escape the attention of all the diligent, detail-oriented biographers and film historians in the world?

And yet that is precisely what happened to Nympho Cycler, a biker-themed softcore movie from 1971 that reunited Wood with his Love Feast co-star Casey Larrain. Originally released by a company called Valco Productions, which has no other movies to its name (at least none documented so far), this film has eluded all those who have lovingly chronicled Ed Wood's career. Rudolph Grey's Nightmare of Ecstasy: The Life and Art of Edward D. Wood, Jr. does not even mention the movie once. Neither does Rob Craig's Ed Wood, Mad Genius: A Critical Study of the Films or David C. Hayes' Muddled Mind: The Complete Works of Edward D. Wood, Jr. Though Wood historian Philip R. Frey tells me he is in the process of revising and updating his site, The Hunt for Edward D. Wood, Jr., even this exhaustive online compendium did not contain even a single fleeting mention of Nympho Cycler previous to the film's recent DVD release.

So where did it come from? I decided to go right to the source and ask David Naylor, the owner of Alpha Blue Archives. Here is his reply:

The credits that so intrigued David Naylor.
I purchased a collection of about 200 adult feature films from the early 1970s to mid '70s from a Southern California film dealer in 2007. I did nothing with the collection until the winter of 2013 when I started to check the films for potential release. It was then I located prints of Nympho Cycler, Necromania and The Young Marrieds. I have more films from the collection to go through but don't expect to find any more Ed Wood films, but perhaps something with the name "Valco" will turn up or recognizable cast members from Nympho Cycler. It was the name "TV Edwards" in the beginning credits of Nympho Cycler that caught my eye and then Ed Wood's role in the film that keyed me in to the idea that this must be another of his lost productions. As well [as the fact] that there had already been two other Ed Wood films in the collection [with] Casey Larrain in the cast as well. I found no mention of the film anywhere but thought that this must be an Ed Wood production and prior to the DVD release added the listing to IMDb.
California girl Casey Larrain
Naylor is to be commended for successfully decoding Ed's pseudonym in the film's opening credits. "TV" is a common abbreviation for "transvestite," while "Edwards" is a subtle variation on Ed's own real first name. "TV Edwards" also bears a strong resemblance to such verified Wood aliases as "Dr. T.K. Peters," "N.V. Jason," and "T.G. Denver," not to mention the title of Ed's 1977 novel, TV Lust.

As for Ed's leading lady, like most in her profession, Casey Larrain went by a variety of monikers during her relatively brief but prolific film career, which seems to have lasted from 1969 to 1972. Apart from "Judy Brooks," a name she only used on Richard Robinson's Adultery for Fun and Profit (1971), her other screen names were variant spellings of the same basic handle. The Internet Adult Film Database has her as "Casey Lorraine," for instance, and the IMDb lists her as "Lorraine Casey" and "Kasey Lorrain," too. Ed Wood fans will know the comely, slim-bodied brunette from her role in Joe Robertson's Love Feast (1969) as Linda, the gullible lass whom Eddie's lecherous Mr. Murphy cons into modeling a line of "invisible clothing."

Larrain must have made a positive impression on Eddie, as he cast her in his own X-rated detective film, Take it Out in Trade in 1970. According to the scant biographical information I can dig up, the actress was born in Hollywood in September 1946 and currently lives in Chatsworth, a neighborhood in LA's San Fernando Valley. A California girl through and through, she attended Cal State and was most recently employed by a real estate company in Encino. Her show business days are long behind her now, and she appears to be living a quiet, peaceful life out of the spotlight. In that respect, she is doing far, far better than many other adult film stars of this era.

It is important to note that there is no factual evidence to corroborate the theory that Ed Wood personally directed Nympho Cycler. He certainly acts in it, and the script has all the earmarks of his work as well, but it is dubious (at best) that he was at the helm of this particular production.

One reader of this column, Joe Rubin, feels that legendary X-rated filmmaker Joseph F. Robertson (a pal of Ed's) is a more likely candidate for that position. Rubin points out that Robertson directed Love Feast, Lovemaking USA, Caught in the Can, and Tomatoes, all of which feature Casey Larrain. Interestingly, Caught in the Can may have been written by Wood, Rubin feels, as it features two men who dress like women and practice walking, talking, and acting in a feminine manner. Rubin further feels that the alleged 1971 release date is inaccurate as well and that the film more likely came out in 1970.

Meanwhile, faithful reader Douglas North (aka hifithepanda) has reminded me of the fact that Joe Robertson actually mentions working with Ed Wood on a film called Misty, which would be a logical alternate title for Nympho Cycler since that's the name of the main character. In Nightmare of Ecstasy, Robertson is quoted as saying: "In Misty, he was in a Jacuzzi and all dragged out." There is indeed such a scene on the Nypho Cycler DVD.

Furthermore, although the movie is missing from the filmography, Nightmare does contain a reference to Misty in the section entitled "Edward D. Wood, Jr.: A Chronology," a year-by-year timeline of Ed's career and life. To wit:
1969        Wood writes and stars in Joe Robertson's The Photographer, Misty (uncompleted) and Jacques Descent's Operation Redlight (from Wood's novel Mama's Diary).
This also clears up another recent mystery, i.e. why a recent New York Times story about Ed Wood referred to Nympho Cycler as "unfinished." Based on my viewing of the film, I'd say that the film could possibly be incomplete and yet seems to have achieved release anyway. We'll get into this later in the article, but there are definitely times where the movie skips a few vital plot points and tries to compensate for their absence with narration.

Man and wife: Ed Wood and Casey Larrain.
As for the movie itself, all we can glean about it is what's up there on the screen. Running just shy of an hour, Nympho Cycler tells the story -- or, more accurately, offers a sketchy portrait -- of Misty (Larrain), a twentysomething free spirit, occasional model, and motor enthusiast. Despite the title of this film, I wouldn't necessarily classify her chosen mode of transportation as a motorcycle. It's more of a motorbike, and several characters even refer to it as a "scooter."

Whatever the vehicle is called, she's first glimpsed riding it through the scenic, tree-lined Hollywood hills while wearing nothing but a black bikini, the top half of which she doffs after the opening credits when she approaches her attractive-looking home. Misty narrates Nympho Cycler and introduces herself to us with the following, unmistakably Wood-ian monologue:
Have you ever met a nymphomaniac? Well, allow me to introduce myself. I'm Misty. I get especially horny riding my bike. They call me "the nympho cycler." This is our little shack in the Hollywood hills. Actually, it's Francis Edwards' place. But we're married... uh, sort of. Sometimes, a dip in the sauna pool calms me down. Mostly, though, when I get my clothes off, I keep wishing some nude guy would be there with me. 
Soon, a fully nude Misty is enjoying the benefits of the sauna and is joined by that "sort of" husband of hers: a mincing transvestite named Francis Edwards, portrayed by Ed Wood himself, complete with a blonde wig, a knee-length dress, falsies, and a fuzzy green sweater. Despite the comical incongruity of their union -- a sexually insatiable young tigress shackled to a queeny, dilapidated, middle-aged sot -- the two seem to coexist peacefully.

It helps that Misty and Francis (whom she tellingly addresses as "Ed") regard each other with giggly amusement, as if neither can believe what an incorrigible goofball the other one is. They interact like a Bizarro World equivalent of Stiller & Meara. "Your taste in clothes is atrocious," she says, lifting the hem of his admittedly frumpy frock. "It's your slip, dear" is his retort. They even frolic in the water a little, though Francis refuses to remove his underpants.

Man at work: Ed gives Casey some direction.
A more troubling aspect of their relationship is soon revealed, however, as Misty tells us through additional voiceover narration that her husband is a successful pinup photographer and that she married him solely to further her career as a model. There is a remarkable scene in which Ed Wood bossily "directs" Casey Larrain through a photo shoot, and even if it's a fictional scenario, it still feels like getting a glimpse of the eccentric director at work. "Tired or not," he tells her, "you're gonna have to come across, look, if you wanna pose for me."

In addition to photographing Misty, Francis also pimps the poor girl out to his middle-aged friends and professional associates. ("I'm in show business, all right," she cracks. "In fact, I'm about to show my business, if you'll pardon the joke.") Being a nymphomaniac who "loves sex," Misty doesn't necessarily mind this arrangement, but it's clear that her heart isn't truly in it. As evidence of this, we in the audience endure an uncomfortable, phlegmatic scene in which she dully "entertains" one of these soft-dicked Lotharios to the strains of a syrupy instrumental version of Donovan's "Sunshine Superman." (Later in the film, we'll hear a Muzak version of "Some Velvet Morning" by Lee Hazlewood and Nancy Sinatra. Throughout, the film's groovy uncredited score really lends it the flavor of a bygone era.)

It should be noted that this and all other "love scenes" in the movie are strictly softcore. As in the movies of Stephen C. Apostolof, the put-upon performers in Nympho Cycler must arrange themselves in a variety of silly positions in order to obscure the fact that no one is actually penetrating or fellating anyone. And, naturally, Ed Wood has to point his camera carefully in order to maintain the illusion, too. In truth, the difference between hardcore and softcore is subtle sometimes. Like football, it can be "a game of inches."

Misty doesn't feel like going on any more of these prearranged "dates" set up by her husband, so she hops on her bike and hits the road. Now, on paper, this may sound like a Thelma & Louise-type act of rebellion by a fed-up wife; but in the movie, it plays more like a spur-of-the-minute decision on Misty's part with very little forethought or emotion behind it. Again, Wood tries to give Misty a little more complexity through the voice-over, with the audio giving us information that the video alone doesn't supply. "It always soothes me," she explains as she rides her bike down a winding road. "Well, soothes isn't exactly the word. The wind seems to blow away the cruddy sham of my phony marriage. The powerful machine between my legs, I can make it go where I want when I want."

From this point onward, Nympho Cycler is mainly a series of vignettes in which Misty meets and casually fucks attractive strangers. First is a pair of lesbians who pick our heroine up after her motorbike runs out of gas. (Some original setup, eh?) They waste precious little time in divesting our heroine of her duds as they take her back to their pad and give her (gasp!) a joint as a prelude to lovemaking. Ed seems uncharacteristically squeamish about the depiction of Sapphic love, and the all-girl three-way is shown through a series of rapid-fire close-ups through a reddish-orange filter.

Mystery date: Carl the Sailor Man
After this bit of fun, the lesbians return Misty to her bike with a full can of gas. Is she grateful? Not exactly. "They wanted me to stay with them, but I was frustrated and, very frankly, needed a man. After I changed my clothes again, I went on the prowl." This narration, again demonstrating Ed Wood's unease with lesbianism, is necessary because Casey Larrain has indeed traded her customary sundress for a pullover and slacks, even though Misty apparently brought no luggage with her on her trip.

In any event, the young lady's next dalliance is with Carl, a grinning Norwegian sailor with a bald pate, muscled arms, goateed chin, and ever-present knit hat. When she first spots him, the Nordic seaman is astride a real motorcycle, a powerful-looking machine that makes a convenient metaphor for his sexual potency. And Misty takes the hint! Just a few minutes after their first encounter, Misty and Carl decide to pull over to the side of the road for some open-air fornication. "What's your name? Just for the record," she asks him before they engage in sexual intercourse by the freeway.

Barely taking time to savor the afterglow of amour, Carl and Misty then decide to ride with a co-ed biker gang for a while. This leads, predictably, to a nighttime fireside orgy replete with fuzz guitar music and lots of enthusiastic thrusting by all involved parties. The fellows in this motorcycle gang look suspiciously clean-cut, in my opinion, but a few of them do wear grungy ponchos.

After the biker sequence eats away a few precious minutes of screen time, we are treated to a montage in which Misty and her new temporary beau go sight-seeing in Hollywood, including glimpses of such recognizable landmarks as the Capitol Records Building, Grauman's Chinese (now TCL Chinese Theatres), and the market on Olvera Street, where a sombrero-wearing shopkeeper (seemingly not an actor) scolds Misty and Carl for climbing on his stall.

A skeevy-looking scoundrel.
Many Ed Wood movies take what I would call "unsignaled left turns" in their final stages, and that is precisely what happens with Nympho Cycler. As Carl and Misty romp through Tinseltown, they are unaware that they are being watched by a balding, skeevy fellow whose long, thin face is framed by a ratty-looking beard. He watches them with an unnerving intensity, but Misty is too focused on the pigeons and drinking fountains to notice. And the Norwegian sailor is too fixated upon his companion. This, sadly, spells disaster for them both.

"Going through an alley," Misty explains on the soundtrack, "three guys jumped on Carl. They started beating him. They must have been hired by my husband. It was terrible." In the movie's only real "action" scene, we see three punks working Carl over with a length of chain. Ed Wood actually splurged and got some credible-looking stage blood for this. As the sailor is left bruised and bleeding in an alley, the thugs take Misty off to be raped.

None of this is in keeping with anything we've seen before in the movie. Francis was exacting as a photographer, but he certainly didn't seem like the jealous type. He even told Misty point blank that he didn't care what she did on her own time, and it seems like her unscheduled motorbike excursions were common events. The idea that he would hire three goons to terrorize her is far-fetched to say the least. Furthermore, in a movie that is otherwise devoted to the joyous exploits of a sexually voracious young woman, why spoil the mood with a downbeat sequence in which she is humiliated and punished?

Perhaps this plot twist is included to appease the men in the audience who might be uncomfortable with the idea of a woman defying her powerful husband and finding sexual fulfillment in the arms of another man. Having Misty raped by one of Francis' hired hands is a way of "putting her in her place." That's an ugly sentiment, I realize, but it expresses the tenor of the times in which this movie was made.

Once again, however, there is a severe disconnection between the audio and the video. The narration tells us that the strange man is raping Misty, but the actors do not seem to have been informed of this and play the scene quite gently. To explain the rapist's suspiciously delicate manner, Misty says: "This last guy must have been some kind of a fruit or something. He nibbled around, trying to have sex. It seemed to go on forever." It almost seems like the director filmed a consensual sex scene with some very light bondage play, then realized how dull it was and tried to impose a different narrative, that of a rape, on the footage through Casey Larrain's voiceover. Misty's escape from the men is not documented. All she tells us is that she "finally got away." How? We never find out.

In the finale, a barely-worse-for-wear Carl and Misty are happily reunited, just as it's time for the beaming sailor to board a train for San Diego. ("The hospital patched him up pretty good," Misty tells us. "I wonder if they got his hat off.") The movie makes strong use of location footage throughout its entire running time, and true to form, the last scenes of Nympho Cycler take place at Los Angeles' striking Union Station. (This Depression-era building has also been depicted in such films as Blade Runner, Silver Streak, Pearl Harbor, and The Way We Were.) As she watches Carl depart from her life, perhaps forever, Misty is philosophical:
He's the only guy of the whole bunch I'd like to ball again. Must be because he's the only one I picked out for myself. I wonder if we'll ever meet again. With my luck, he's probably got a wife in Norway.
These are Misty's final lines in the movie. The last we see her, she is standing alone on the platform next to the train tracks, looking absolutely forlorn. This is as close as you'll come in the Ed Wood canon to the last scene from Anna Karenina. 

Although it's unfortunate that a character as fun-loving and full of life as Misty ends the movie on such a down note, the finale at least treats her with sympathy and stresses the importance of letting women make their own sexual choices. One cannot help but wonder what is next for this young lady. Obviously, she is not going to return to Francis. Or is she?

The literary progenitor of this film?
The viewing experience: Quintessential Ed Wood. There is no point in claiming that Nympho Cycler is a hidden gem or that it's "good" in any traditional, film critic-y sense of that word. It isn't.

From a storytelling standpoint, it barely coheres into a unified whole. The ragged plot, thin as it is, relies heavily on Casey Larrain's narration to smooth over many narrative rough patches. As in Crossroads of Laredo (1948), Ed's first-ever filmic venture, the existent footage alone is not sufficient to tell the tale, so the soundtrack has to work overtime to compensate.

 Aesthetically speaking, Nympho Cycler is club-footed and tin-eared. The production is haphazardly photographed, sloppily edited, and lurchingly paced. The dialogue, as is common to the movies of Ed Wood, strangely feels as though it has been translated inexpertly from another language. The plot may as well have been constructed through one of those party games in which someone starts a story and then hands it off to the next person to continue. Why else would there be such a tonally discordant third act that clashed so violently with the rest of the movie?

This, though, is the soul of Ed Wood. I keep having to resort to terms like "dreamy" and "dream logic" to describe many of the films in this project, because that's truly how Ed's movies feel to me. Events flow into and out of one another but without the strict cause-and-effect relationship we expect from "normal" movies.

In a way, then, Nympho Cycler is vaguely reminiscent of Lewis Carroll's Alice's Adventures in Wonderland (1865) and Through the Looking Glass (1871) with Casey Larrain as Alice and Ed Wood as a combination of the Mad Hatter and the Queen of Hearts.

By the way, before I conclude this article, I should also describe its indelible, organ-drenched theme song, which both opens and closes the film. Sung from the perspective of (but not sung by) the movie's main character, "They Call Me Misty" offers some insight into the mindset of a deeply confused woman who is clearly dissatisfied with her lot in life and yet cannot break out of her self-destructive habits. The world defines her as an erotic plaything, essentially a sentient sex toy with little value as a person, and she has begrudgingly accepted that definition. And yet she seems to yearn for some other, more satisfying life. Reliant on clumsy rhymes and tortured syntax, the theme from Nympho Cycler invites easy dismissal as mere doggerel. And yet, when considered in isolation, there is something naively poignant and sadly desperate about it. Though I doubt Ed Wood had any hand in its creation, the song nevertheless seems to channel the spirit of both the man and his filmography:

They call me Misty, all those who kiss me. 
Though they abuse me, they always choose me. 
Sometimes I wonder what fate I'm under.
Dreams torn asunder. My life's a blunder.
I always cry, "Say goodbye to all that's wrong! Sin be gone!"
Though I try, here am I with Satan's song.
Come, dear, and kiss me. How sweet can bliss be? 
You'll love it with me so don't resist me. 
Come to your Misty.

Thanks to Scott Huntley on Facebook for helping me discern the lyrics of this song, Joe Rubin and Douglas North for filling me in on some vital historical data, and Alpha Blue Archives' David Naylor for supplying some background on his company's release of Nympho Cycler.
In two weeks: "Start spreadin' the news! I'm leavin'... well, not today but soon." Friends, the time has come for Ed Wood Wednesdays to go on its first-ever field trip into the great wide world in search of knowledge and enlightenment. As regular readers of this column will know, the Anthology Film Archive in New York City is holding an extensive, week-long Ed Wood film festival between September 11 and September 18. 
Though I cannot be there for the entire event due to other responsibilities, I felt I owed it to myself as an American to see at least some of this unprecedented event. And so, in that spirit, I have decided to make the great trek Eastward. By this time in a fortnight, if everything goes according to Hoyle, I will be in the city that never sleeps. I don't know if I'm going to file any reports from there or not. I guess you'll just have to wait and see.

5 comments:

  1. Great review! Can't wait to see this, and also to read about your field trip. One thing I noticed, Joe Robertson mentions in "Nightmare Of Ecstasy" that he directed Ed in "Misty" saying, "he was in a jacuzzi, and all dragged out." And in the Ed a Wood Chronology section under 1969 it says: "Wood writes and stars in Joe Robertson's 'The Photographer', 'Misty' (uncompleted) and Jacques Descent's 'Operation Redlight'..."... So I assume the original title was indeed "Misty" and it was directed by Robertson. Also, astonishingly, both this and "Young Marrieds" had apparently been released before in the UK, on Betamax

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    1. The article has been duly updated to show this new information. Thanks again!

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  3. Hifithepanda, you've done it again. I had completely and utterly forgotten about that Misty quote. That's definitely what this is. This is a breakthrough! Thank you!

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  4. So, do you plan to do a post on "The Sensuous Wife"/"Mrs. Stone's Thing" in the future? I see it as the flip side of the same coin as "Nympho Cycler" as far as Ed's involvement is concerned. In fact, the character "Francis Edwards" could be considered the thread between these two Joe Robertson productions. I've got my speculations on how they tie together; I'd like to get your take on it.

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