Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Ed Wood Wednesdays: The Wood Erotica Odyssey, Part Three by Greg Dziawer

Another week, another obscure author to ponder.

A Carr-penned paperback
In a previous installment of the Wood Erotica Odyssey, we identified the supposed title Swedish House from Ed's resume as a paperback line and not a paperback title, as has been commonly surmised. We subsequently delved into one author of titles from the Swedish House line, concluding those titles were not written by Ed. This week, we'll take a closer look at Hudson Carr.

Hudson Carr is credited author of (at least) three titles in the Swedish House line, a brief paperback line from 1978 published by Art Publishers, Inc. The company that once began as Pendulum Publishing in the late '60s, where Ed worked as a magazine staff writer (see previous Odysseys et al for more on this) morphed through the '70s into the publisher/producer/distributor of Swedish Erotica loops, magazines and books. Even that megalith, begun modestly a mere decade earlier by Bernie Bloom (a patriarchal figure in Ed's life for well over a decade in his final years) under sponsorship from porn kingpin and later convicted murderer Michael Thevis, would soon be subsumed by an even bigger porn empire: Caballero Control. Corp, run by Bernie's son Noel Bloom.

With no known Swedish House paperback titles credited to Ed or a recognized pseudonym of his, Hudson Carr is worth considering. He was writing adult paperbacks in the Los Angeles/Hollywood area where a cluster of large and small paperback publishers operated in the first half of the '70s. 

The earliest Carr credit I came across is for Nightmare for a Virgin (1971) from Brandon House's imprint Dansk Blue Books (DBB-128). The very next year, Carr penned The Carnal Kiss for Brandon. Although the genre's material had become numbingly graphic by this point, Carr was obviously having fun:
There I'd be, halfway up the hill to glory, and Mitch was pouring his boiling fluids into my hungry, aching womb. And it wasn't like Mitch didn't know any better—he's a college man with three years of business administration under his belt. Maybe he didn't graduate, but in my opinion, he's smarter than any of the guys who went on for their master's degree! 
-The Carnal Kiss, 1972, Brandon Books BB-6233

Told as a first-person series of confessions across the sexual spectrum, with pseudo-scientific wrappers (an intro, and summations at the end of each confession, or in this case, "kiss") citing the usual suspects, from Freud and Jung to Masters and Johnson, The Carnal Kiss is a perfectly representative artifact of its era. That's not something I'd likely find myself saying about a title written by Ed. But that's not a FACT, so we need to dig deeper. 

The Nymph-Stud House followed, again from Brandon (BB-6522) and also with a "scientific" intro. But for the main course, in place of first-person confessions, we here get narrative text, playing to Carr's strengths. The pace never lags, and "Judson Carr" (as the introduction mistakenly introduces him) even aspires to an occasionally breathless literary flair:
Still lying on her back, her feet pointed towards the sea, she opened her legs, exposing her damp thighs to the cooling breeze off the ocean. It felt good and she liked it and just before she fell asleep again she felt the dampness start between her legs and she wished the surf would just once reach her and soothe the heavy heat that felt so good. 

Carr/Rodriguez penned The Making of a Teenage Call-Boy for Barclay House in 1973. We'd go too far afield to dig into all of the details surrounding the relationship of Brandon Books, Brandon House and Barclay House, and where Bernie Bloom and Dansk Blue Books fit into the picture. Suffice to say, at least two of Ed's fellow mag staffers wrote for these publishers. And if you guessed that Hudson Carr is one of them, you win the prize!

But if Hudson Carr is a co-worker of Ed's and not Ed, then who is he?

By 1978, Hudson Carr shows up writing for the Swedish House line. Oversexed Secretary (SH-106) followed the outward format of the series, touting itself as "A Film Review Novel" and photo-illustrated from the Swedish Erotica loop of the same name. The loops were, of course, mere jumping off points for full adult paperback novels:
Well. You must know how sexy a game of strip poker is between half drunk people at the height of their sexual powers. Jane was bare titted at the end of the third hand. She lost her skirt and shoes on the next one, betting like an idiot into a full house. Phil was hot eyed and excited as he shuffled for the next deal. So was I. So was Pete. And so, most of all, was little Jane. She sat there in her stockings and her string of pearls, her tits on display, her nipples standing up like little red raspberries, and said she'd get well on the next hand.
-Jokers are Wild, Hudson Carr, 1978, Swedish House

Carr's Hot Pumping Trio (1978 Swedish House), as with other titles in the series, featured John Holmes as the main character.

None of the titles we've read (all three excerpted above) by Carr evince the style and thematics distinctive of Ed Wood's work. His highly idiosyncratic style - his Brand Voice, so to speak - is absent. But again, we need FACTS. Luckily, these clippings from the Library of Congress' copyright catalog tell the true story of Hudson Carr.

Documentation of Dennis Rodriguez, aka Hudson Carr.

Yes, thanks to these ancient, typewritten listings, we know that Hudson Carr is a pseudonym of Dennis Rodriguez, Ed's friend and fellow mag staffer at Pendulum. You may recall Dennis' quotes in Rudolph Grey's Nightmare of Ecstasy, which in sum make it clear that Ed and Dennis knew each other well. We can go ahead and strike three more titles from the list of Swedish House titles as not by Ed's hand, the possibilities shrinking. 

The Swedish House line was not the last to be heard from Carr/Rodriguez in the adult paperback market. Hudson Carr's The Flying Ace from 1980 hijacked a pop-genre, like dozens of other titles in Hustler magazines paperback series (in partnership with Eros Goldstripe) of the early '80s. We've visited that line here previously. One of the generically-paired double novels published by Hustler, The Flying Ace (published in a single volume with Squadron Lust by Paul Stone) was a harbinger of things to come in the evolution of Dennis Rodriguez' work.

We'll visit Ed's friend and associate again, solving a long-rumored mis-Ed-tribution along the way, in a future article right here at Ed Wood Wednesdays.