The essential shape of Edward D. Wood Jr’s involvement in the murky world of 8mm porn loops of the 1970’s runs as follows:
- Ed wrote subtitles, per anecdote in Rudolph Grey’s Nightmare of Ecstasy, for 8mm porn loops produced by Noel Bloom, son of Ed’s boss in his work as a magazine staffer. For a variety of imprints run by Bernie Bloom from the late ‘60s through the mid-'70s and beyond, Ed wrote short stories, texts accompanying pictorials, articles, editorials, photo captions. Any and everything, and he wrote at a pace equaling the total output of the other three or four writers on staff at any given time.
Beyond subtitling the loops, I believe Ed also wrote box-cover summaries (aggregated into catalog inserts included with individual loops). The general consensus among Woodologists remains that Ed “made” the first 19 Swedish Erotica loops. Those quotes are mine, loosely Ed-tributing to him the status as creative principle (i.e. director/writer/editor/cinematographer?) of those loops, and by reasonable inference, hundreds of others across dozens of other loop series.
- Ed worked for Bernie and Noel Bloom for the better part of the last decade of his life, right up until the summer before he passed, in December of 1978. He left behind a hand-written resume which listed over 700 “short picture subjects” from 1971 through 1973. Some pages list a total number of minutes in the upper corner, and those totals correspond to the number of loops listed for that year times eight, as in eight minutes (the approximate length of the typical loop).
- Ed worked in the field of loops, in other words, without a doubt. But in what capacity? That remains uncertain. In the hopes that the truth will reveal itself to me, I continue transcribing
the subtitles of Bloom-family loops. As the pair comes close on the heels of the fabled first 19 Swedish Erotica loops
, we’re focusing this week on the two-parter Pier Passion
, starring none other than John Holmes
Swedish Erotica Loop #20 circa 1974
Art Director: Hilary Louis
Set Decorator: Davis Marsh
Script Supervisor: Carl Albert
Technical Coordinator: Jamie Wright
Casting: Stephanie George
Produced and Directed by Don A. Sweet and M.P. Ronaldo
Two blondes on the pier, walking into and away from the camera as the credits conclude.
Blonde 1 (in tight black shorts and top): LET’S PLAY SOME GAMES…
John Holmes happens to be walking the pier, with his buddy.
John: HEY, LOOK AT THAT!
He’s referring to the girls, who are playing a game, and they know it.
Blonde 1: THESE TWO GUYS ARE WATCHING US.
The girls approach the guys.
John: HI, THERE!
The couples immediately pair off, John’s buddy walking off with Blonde 1, the two never to be seen again in this pair of loops. It’s a shame, as she’s played by the awesome Saundra/Brigitte, who appeared in a small number of Bloom-family loops for a short period of time circa 1973-1974.
John: SEE YOU LATER.
John and his girl walk into the camera, as we dissolve to an overhead shot of a mattress lying right on the floor, on a shag rug. The foot of the bed is adorned with a fuzzy red blanket, and the back wall of the room behind the bed is entirely curtained. No, we are not watching Twin Peaks. We’re on a highly characteristic set, familiar in its essentials from hundreds of other Bloom-family loops.
John and Blonde 2 enter the set.
John: WILD BODY!
John undresses her down to a white bra and black panties, stockings and garter. Once again, John Holmes seems to be in possession of some sort of magical power. In this case, we don’t even get a sinlge line of dialogue devoted to a come-on. It’s not needed, of course, in the purest sense of this sort of male porn fantasy.
Blonde 2: OHH!!!!
Blonde 2: AHHH!!!!
Foreplay. John goes down, and she returns the favor.
Blonde 2: UMMM!!!
Dissolve edits as she services John orally, in close-ups. She wears an elaborate necklace. We have not yet arrived at the colored chiffon neckscarf, perhaps the signature of the endless Swedish Erotica series.
John: Let’s do 69!
And so they do, now five minutes into the loop and still engaged in foreplay.
Blonde 2: UMMM!!!
John: I’M BIG. LET ME GREASE YOU UP!
A ubiquitous prop in the Bloom-family of loops, John breaks out a large jar of Vaseline and scoops his fingers into it. (See also Swedish Erotica loop #7 Park Lovers for same.)
Blonde 2: OH, THAT FEELS SOO WARM!
Guess what happens next?
Blonde 2: PUT IT IN, BUT BE GENTLE!
Blonde 2: OH!!!!
Blonde 2: AHHH! FUCK ME! FUCK ME!
The first part of Pier Passion ends without a climax (in the version reviewed here), the sex entirely vaginal, setting the stage for the follow-up all-anal finale.
The onscreen title, as with other Holmes two-parters early on in the Swedish Erotica series:
PIER PASSION (CONTINUED FROM PART I)
Swedish Erotica loop #21 circa 1974
Although there are no credits on the version I reviewed, being a continuation of the sex scene from the first ensures it was made by the same folks. Unlike the first loop, which has an inordinate amount of narrative and sexual buildup, we begin here with a quick montage derived from the first loop, and then immediately fall into anal sex.
Blonde 2: BE CAREFUL, IT IS GOING TO HURT.
Blonde 2: AHHH! TAKE IT OUT.
Blonde 2: IT HURTS! IT HURTS!
This is very characteristic territory in the larger realm of Bloom-family loops. (See again Park Lovers, for near verbatim lines.)
Blonde 2: OHH!!!
The inevitable - and in this case near-immediate - turnabout (i.e. the warped male rape-fantasy, a staple of porn then, before and since).
Blonde 2: OH, IT HURTS SOOO GOOD!
Blonde 2: PUT IT IN!
Dissolve edits…graphic anal sex close-ups.
Blonde 2: OH, DEEPER! DEEPER!
John: ON YOUR KNEES.
Blonde 2: FUCK MY ASS!!!!
Blonde 2: AHHHH!!!
Blonde 2: OH, THAT’S GOOD!!!
The remainder consists of anal sex, John coaxing his massive tool deeper into Blonde’s 2’s ass, as she claws at the blanket in cutaways.
Blonde 2: FUCK MY MOUTH.
John: EAT IT UP.
We finally get the money shot we were denied in part one.
John: LET ME WASH IT OFF.
Holmes. Always the gentleman….
Don A. Sweet and M.P. Ronaldo are credited as the producer/director of numerous Swedish Erotica loops of this era (including another two-parter, Horny Dreams, Swedish Erotica loops #30 and #31).
John Holmes’ hair is starting to get frizzy, and his body starting to mature past it’s gawky stage. This is circa 1974, Pier Passion running concurrent to series including Blazing Films and John’s Girls. The artistic tropes, the set decorations, the editing, the performers…all of it is highly consistent across these and many other series, and the credits here (though likely pseudonyms) are clues to the creative principles responsible for the larger body of loops produced by Noel Bloom.
It is evident though – in both Holmes’ appearance and the set decorations in those loops that correspond with decorations in the Wood-directed-and-written features Necromania
and The Young Marrieds
– that the first 19 Swedish Erotica loops were made perhaps a year or so prior to Pier Passio
n. (A fellow Woodologolist has an 8mm copy of the first loop in the series, The Virgin Next Door,
carrying a 1973 copyright.)
Saundra/Brigitte, although she quickly disappears from Pier Passion at the outset of the first loop, connects together a clutch of loops. She is listed on box-cover summaries or in loop subtitles under these two names, but beyond her handful of appearances in the Bloom-family loops, nothing seems to be known of her. Although they are dressed differently, and it is in no way meant to be a continuation from Pier Passion, Saundra/Brigitte does feature in a loop with the same man as here playing John’s buddy. In BLAZING FILMS loop #8 Turning Him On (also released overseas by Color Climax as Exciting Film No 936, Housewife Pranks). Saundra/Brigitte makes a glass of orange juice, and her boyfriend comes over. They retire briefly to the same curtained room as the one in Pier Passion, although the rest of the set is entirely redressed, before heading back downstairs to have sex. Subtitled sex, repeating verbatim lines from scads of other Bloom-family loops. The Color Climax version from 1977 has no subs, and is dubbed into German.
Back to Pier Passion. It, too, would turn up in 1977 in an interesting variant. Color Climax of Copenhagen was one of the world’s largest distributors of loops, and Noel Bloom would often release Color Climax films in stateside versions (yes, Ed subtitled silent Color Climax loops). On their Expo Films label, Color Climax released Pier Passion in a re-edit, and possibly containing some new footage. The re-editing consists of paring the meeting at the pier at the start down to bare essentials, then cutting right into the sex scene. The second part of Pier Passion as released by Swedish Erotica kicks in less than halfway thru Big Backdoor Boy (Expo Film No. 82), fitting (or perhaps barely or not), given the title.
It has been shorn of subtitles, and the audio consists of dubbed German. It’s fascinating to see a film shot silent turn dubbed into another language, especially one released silent with subtitles in its original tongue. Most intriguing, the final subtitle of the second part of Pier Passion in the 8mm subtitled Swedish Erotica release version takes on a very different meaning. The version I reviewed of part two of the Swedish Erotica loop ends with John pulling his partner up off of the bed and we fade to black. In the foreign release-version, we cut to a shower, the girl on her knees in front of John, who pees into her mouth. The camera cuts close in on her, over the course of a mere twelve seconds, and THE END graphic appears (in a characteristic font for the US Swedish Erotica loops) as we fade to black, John “washing it off” per the subtitled version.
So what’s going on here? This kinky twist at the end would not have been all that shocking circa 1974 in a hardcore loop. In all likelihood, I surmise (especially given the style of THE END graphic) that the version of part two that I reviewed was cut somewhere along the way. (Source: Blue Vanities Peepshow Loops 1970’s Vol 15
, released on VHS in 1988.)
The credits of Pier Passion remain a mystery. I have numerous speculations about a few of the creative principles likely involved, but it would run against my loathing of reckless mis-Ed-tributions to start making claims of collaboration without at least a reasonable inference. Allow me, though, this one stretch: I know more than a few devoted Woodologists who feel strongly that Ed Wood was involved in the set decoration of Necromania and The Young Marrieds, and by reasonable inference, the myriad Bloom-family loops across dozens of series. I increasingly agree with this viewpoint. The set decorator credited on Pier Passion is Davis Marsh. Davis, of course, is Ed’s middle name. I told you it was a stretch.
By 1974, the Bloom-family of loops were beginning to crystallize into what would remain the flagship label of the Caballero Control Corp enterprise, one of the first and most durable porn behemoths. It’s intriguing to know Ed was there, working prolifically in various capacities, but the exact nature of his work in loops still remains elusive.
We will overview the mysterious Saundra in a future Ed Wood Wednesday, a collaborator of Ed’s in that every line of dialogue she ever “spoke” on screen may very well have been written by Ed. We’ll delve deeper into the Bloom/Color Climax collaboration. And we’ll return to the Swedish Erotica series of loops. Subtitled 8mm versions of the loops continued past the first hundred and fifty loops, all betraying the same hand of authorship.
Edward D. Wood, Jr.