Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Ed Wood Wednesdays: The Young Marrieds Odyssey, Part Two by Greg Dziawer

Alice Friedland was available in Betmamax and VHS in 1981.

Video Killed the Loop Star

Young Marrieds on VHS
Previously at Ed Wood Wednesdays, we shared a page scan from a 1981 UK adult mag titled Tip Top. That scan was an ad for mail-order loops—quite late in the game, as tape was rapidly taking over—that included a loop derived from Ed Wood's last-known film as a director, 1972's The Young Marrieds.

In this week's Young Marrieds Odyssey, we're travelling to the UK once again, bearing witness to the box cover from a nearly-forgotten tape release of The Young Marrieds and speculating on its ties to that magazine loop ad.

Videotape quickly became the norm in the 1980s. Cheap exploitation films flourished on the medium. In the UK, a company called Dapon released a clutch of low-budget sex films on both VHS and Betamax in 1981. Among them: The Young Marrieds, presumably like the rest shorn of any hardcore content, although the majority of titles were transition-era softcore circa 1970-1971. Three films released on tape by Dapon in this cluster were produced by Jack Descent (Agent 69, The Family, and Love from Paris) although Jack recently told me that he had no recollection of this release. It was Joe Rubin of Vinegar Syndrome who pointed me at the site listing for the Dapon video releases. Identifying a crossover point, Joe noted that the tapes released by Dapon were, concurrently, excerpted for the loop home market. We may never know how, but Golbek Sales, the company selling the loops, must have had some affiliation with the tape distributor Dapon.

Released in February 1981 with a catalog number of DPV011, the Dapon Super 'X' Video edition of Ed Wood's final directorial effort is quite a fascinating artifact. Its cover features a piece of artwork (apparently) based on The Young Marrieds, specifically the lengthy orgy sequence that concludes the film. That peppermint-striped couch is unmistakable, though the one in the movie has green stripes rather than red ones. The not-inaccurate synopsis is as follows:
THE YOUNG MARRIEDS. A young man gets aroused at a Strip Club whilst watching the buxom strippers. He leaves to go home to his wife, but is accosted by a lovely young girl wanting a lift. He agrees and takes her to the country where he re-discovers his zest for love-play. He is growing tired of his frigid wife, but both agree to attend a wife swapping party to which they are invited, and imagine his surprise when his wife joins in the fun with the other young male and female guests... This is a movie crammed full of something for everyone and a bevy of beautiful girls.
It further begs the question that The Young Marrieds existed in a softcore cut. And it places The Young Marrieds on tape at the beginning of that medium's rise as a consumer object. Ed's star as Worst Director of All Time was just ascending, his work in adult films yet unknown.


A 1981 ad for loops. Note The Young Marrieds at top left.

In 1981, Dapon also released its own VHS and Betamax editions of Joe Robertson's Nympho Cycler, written by and costarring Edward D. Wood, Jr., with a catalog number of DPV013. The synopsis was another winner, cheerfully glossing over some of the more unsavory elements of the plot:
NYMPHO CYCLER. Misty is a beautiful young girl who longs for action and the fast life. She makes love to her husband's friends, rides through Los Angeles freeways half naked on a powerful motorbike always looking for the unexpected. When her powerful bike runs out of juice, she is picked up by two young girls and gets involved in a three way lesbian love affair. She then meets Sailor - head of a motorcycle gang, located in the Californian Hills. Sailor introduces Misty to his followers and their way of life suits Misty just fine. Surrounded by handsome young studs and buxom young girls, she feels right at home. A midnight beach party and plenty of naked action is a fitting climax to this well made movie.
And the cover was another keeper, as seen below:

Nympho Cycler on VHS.