Wednesday, December 26, 2018

Ed Wood Wednesdays: 'Take It Out in Trade' - A hot take by Greg Dziawer

Ed Wood is a triple threat in Take It Out in Trade.

A new Ed-ition of an old film.
A copy of the new DVD/Blu-ray edition of Ed Wood's long-lost Take It Out in Trade (1970) was delivered under the tree by Santa, and I just popped it in a bit ago. The Crash Corrigan angle—the veteran stuntman is listed as an associate producer in the opening credits—is awesome, of course. Funny how the whole plot, sans dialog, is there in the outtakes. The film looks to have been shot at a ratio of about 1.6:1 or so. Really lean. But it's polished, far more so than The Only House in Town (1971). 

Wood biographer Rudolph Grey says in the liner notes that Trade was shot in a house in Lake Sherwood, CA. It was also, often, shot on sets at talent agent Hal Guthu's studio on Santa Monica. You can tell by some of the familiar props from that site. The bronze king cobra ashtray is there, for instance, as is the infamous gold skull! The clapperboards in the outtakes should tell the story of where they were shooting and when for those three fateful days.

The liner notes seem to credit Corrigan as the movie's principal producer, but he is officially credited as an associate producer only. Someone named "Edward Ashdown" is one of the two credited producers; it's an interesting name with no ties I can find. The other, "Richard Gonzalez," is also kind of nebulous. Maybe it's an in-joke reference to the tennis player

My surmise is that Take It Out in Trade had to have been financed by an actual film company, even if only a fringe entity. The disc's liner notes give the distributor as Mar-Jon, so I'll have to look into that. I feel like it would have to have some connection to Pendulum Publishing honcho Bernie Bloom or, more likely, Bernie's son Noel. At the time of this movie, Eddie was writing ubiquitously for Bernie's Pendulum (and related) magazines, plus the pseudo-educational "sociosex" paperbacks. And the Bloom family's pornogaphic loops (on which Eddie also toiled) were in a nascent state. 

All of these details aside, inferred or a stretch, it's quite incredible to think that Crash Corrigan produced a softcore sex film written by, directed by, and starring Ed Wood! Yes, Eddie was a "triple threat" on Take It Out in Trade. When you think about it, the only other film in the Wood canon that we know of that fits that bill is Glen or Glenda!

To a New Year!