Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Ed Wood Wednesdays: The Wood Loop Odyssey, Part One by Greg Dziawer

The one, the only, the original: Uschi Digard.

An intriguing ad.
I was surfing a few weeks ago on Tom Brinkmann's awesome site, when I stumbled upon a page scan of a magazine advertisement.

Right off the bat, I noticed Neola Graf straddling Uschi Digard's knee while kissing her nipple. And, of course, the title The Only House in Town jumped out at me. Taking a closer look, it quickly dawned on me that this was a mail-order advertisement pitching two loops culled from Ed Wood's feature The Only House in Town. The ad appeared in Daring Films, Vol. 5, No. 3 (from 1970, a Golden State News publication, the former employer of Ed and Bernie Bloom through early '68).

Although some claim Necromania was the first film produced by Cinema Classics, the nascent film arm of Bernie Bloom's Pendulum Press (where Ed then worked as magazine staff writer churning out sex fiction and articles) run by Noel Bloom, Bernie's son, House actually came first. The IMDb now lists House as 1970, and Necromania as 1971. Sources concur that the latter was shot in 1970, during a heatwave, indicating summer. (It was a record high 105 degrees in Ontario, CA in late August 1970.)

In his review of House in Cult Movies No. 36 (2001), Rudolph Grey notes that House was, "shot a short time after Wood’s January 1970 Take It Out In Trade." And it premiered in June, 1970. House was the first Cinema Classics venture, despite Charles Anderson's quote in Grey's Nightmare of Ecstasy suggesting otherwise: “Necromania came about because Pendulum wanted a feature movie. Right away, Ed said, 'I can do it. You want Gone With The Wind?'"

Cult Movies magazine.
In that same Cult Movies review of House, Grey noted: "A prerequisite seems to have been extended footage of simulated sex, as the producing company also sold 200 foot reels of 8mm film from their features via mail order." And sure enough, I came across an ad for two of those titles: Lesbian Love and 4 Girls & 3 Men Orgy. The math is right: "7 Bodies Inside," as the ad claims. The former loop is, presumably, a softcore sapphic scene with Uschi and Neola (mind-boggling, indeed). It's listed on Uschi's IMDb page, her name the sole credit with no other identifying details. And I've yet to come across it. Please comment if you have.

But now we know: Lesbian Love is a silent 8mm loop (sold mail-order on regular or super 8mm, in black-and-white or color). Excerpted from Ed's feature The Only House In Town. Starring Uschi Digard and Neola Graf. Softcore. Shot by Ted Gorley.

Ad for The Pleasures Of A Woman.
Neola Graf (aka Neola Graef, Joyce Adams, Malta, Bolivia Tiernan, and Olivia Tiernan) worked frequently with Uschi. In Nick Millard's The Pleasures Of A Woman, Neola is the girl that Lynn Harris fantasizes about as she fucks Uschi.

The same ad hawks a second (utterly unrecorded) loop (also 200", a standard loop length running roughly seven minutes): 4 Girls & 3 Men Orgy. That adds up to seven bodies, and the faux-credits (presumably, as I've yet to see House) list seven names. Three of those seven, all female, have been identified: Uschi Digard, Neola Graf and Lynn Harris. One of the unknown males in House appeared on the cover of Golden State News' Orgy #1 (1971), flanked on the left by an unknown brunette who appeared in a scene in Take It Out In Trade.

4 Girls & 3 Men Orgy, 1970, distributed mail-order on regular and super 8mm in black-and-white or color. Excerpted from The Only House In Town, written and directed by Ed Wood (as one of his great noms de porn: Flint Holloway). Produced by Cinema Classics. Shot by Ted Gorley.

The synopsis, taken from press material, directly quotes these loop titles:
Synopsis: “Unspeakable Sex Acts...Blazing Sex Orgies, Lesbian Love, Using Each Other’s Bodies Shamelessly... Watch & Enjoy The Sex Urges Thunder Through Their Blood...Enjoy 4 sex crazed women & their 3 male partners using each others bodies so shamelessly. Lots of Hot adult action!”
Putting two and two together, I noticed the title Sex Orgy in Uschi's filmography (again, her credit is the sole detail outside of a telling aka), and clicked on it thinking it may be the second loop in this advertisement. Well, as it turned out, it's yet another loop derived from The Only House In Town. The giveaway is the aka listed there: Blazing Sex Orgies. That corresponds to to the synopsis.

Blazing Sex Orgies, excerpted from The Only House In Town. Written and directed by Ed Wood. Shot by Ted Gorley. Starring Uschi Digard. Based on all of that, we can reasonably assume that there's a few more loop titles lurking in the synopsis. Unspeakable Sex Acts or Sex Urges, perhaps Lynn Harris appeared in many Ed-related titles, from Love Feast and Nympho Cycler to Take It Out In Trade and The Cocktail Hostesses.

The Only House In Town just made a surprise appearance on DVD. According to the Amazon shipping tracker, I'll get it tomorrow.