Wednesday, January 30, 2019

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

There's no math quite like Ed Wood math.

Loop star John Holmes
Swedish Erotica was unquestionably one of the most popular and best remembered series of pornographic loops released in the 1970s. But these short films, generally about six to eight minutes in length and originally sold through the mail to collectors, were shot without sound and thus required the use of awkward onscreen subtitles to convey any necessary dialogue, including the performers' moans of ecstasy during the plentiful sex scenes. 

So who wrote these subtitles for Swedish Erotica and other related loops from the early to late '70s?

The evidence suggests that this was something Edward D. Wood, Jr. did, at least early on, for the first wave of Swedish Erotica loops that were shot in Los Angeles under the auspices of producer Noel Bloom, beginning circa 1973. Noel was the son of West Coast adult magazine kingpin Bernie Bloom, head of Pendulum Publishing and a patriarchal figure to Ed Wood during Ed's waning years in the porn business. We know Eddie worked on the first 21 entries in the SE series, up to and including the two-part "Pier Passion" as well as loops in such Bloom series as Danish International Films and John's Girls, among dozens of others.

All of these loops possess strong internal evidence of having been made by the same creative principles. Common tropes include: characters walking into and away from the camera in reverse shots, dreamy dissolve edits, and the repeated use of distinctive set decorations

One challenge is discerning the actual time frames involved in the making of these loops. The films themselves rarely carry copyright dates, and the years printed on the box covers (when present) tend to be a few years after the movies were likely produced. This, again, is based on internal evidence, such as cast. By watching these movies, for instance, one can witness series "protagonist" John Holmes (billed as Long John or Big John Holmes) as he ages rapidly due to drug addiction. 

The time frames are important pieces of the puzzle in determining if and how long Ed Wood wrote subtitles. In the interest of documenting Ed's possible work, here are transcripts from two later loops in the Swedish Erotica series, produced after the shoots moved north to San Francisco. We know that Ed worked for a company called Art Publishers, Inc. right through 1978, the last year of his life.  ("Art Publishers" was the innocuous name under which Swedish Erotica was doing business at the time.) And we can further surmise that these two Swedish Erotica loops were produced while Ed Wood was still living. So are these subtitles his words? Read for yourself.

Swedish Erotica Loop #92 "Bubble Bath"  (circa 1976)
Detail from the box cover for "Bubble Bath."

This sudsy little film stars John Holmes and actress Virginia Winter. Holmes is in a transitional state here, moving from the gawky Midwestern kid with the outsized appendage to the mythologized and mustachioed ladies man he is best remembered as, owing to his growing fame in so-called "porno chic" features in the latter half of the '70s. The gorgeous and amazing Winter appeared often with Holmes in Swedish Erotica loops, and the two have a definite sexual chemistry. 

While the tropes of the earlier LA-shot loops are largely gone, the SE series nevertheless developed with a general sense of consistency. In time, however, even the loose narrative setups would disintegrate, and the loops would become increasingly perfunctory, focused more than ever on just the hardcore sex. The subtitles, too, adapted accordingly. They would even change colors over time. The subtitles for "Bubble Bath" are in yellow.

John: WHAT'S KEEPING HER? 
John: SHE LOOKS GOOD ENOUGH TO EAT 
Girl: CUM HERE 
John: THERE 
John: LET'S DRY OFF
John: COME ON LET'S GO
John: OHHH!!!!
John: COME HERE COME HERE 
Girl: OHHH!!!! 
Girl: AHHH!!!! 
Girl: OHHH!!!! 
Girl: AHHHH!!!!! 
Girl: KEEP PUMPING FEELS SO GOOD 
Girl: OH, JOHN DEEPER, DEEPER 
Girl: OH, THAT FEELS SO GOOD 
John: TURN OVER 
Girl: AHHH!!!!! 
John: AHHH!!!!! 

That's 18 lines and 46 total words, for an average of 2.6 words per line, the low end of any of the subtitles I've so far transcribed. With that preponderance of OH's and AH's, this is one of the most reductionist sets of subtitles in all of loopdom. John is characteristically taciturn, eliciting responses from his partner while he focuses on his business.

Swedish Erotica Loop #132 "Rectum Hell" (circa 1977)

Box cover for "Rectum Hell"

The subtitles are purple on this one, and we are nearing the end of the subtitled silent 8mm loops. The Swedish Erotica series would continue for roughly a half dozen more years, finally ending in the mid-1980s, and the later entries have sound. Holmes stars again, paired here with Eileen Welles, and is clearly a little older than he was in "Bubble Bath."

John: SUCK ME! 
Girl: IT'S SO BIG. 
John: DAMN, YOU SUCK GREAT COCK! 
Girl: UMMMMMMMM. 
John: OH, I LIKE IT...I LIKE IT... 
John: WHAT AN ASS... 
Girl: LIKE IT? SUCK IT...SUCK MY CUNT! 
Girl: SUCH A WICKED TONGUE... 
Girl: LAP MY CUNT...LAP IT...LICK IT... 
Girl: OHHHHH PLEASE...PLEASE...PLEASE 
Girl: FUCK ME...FUCK ME... 
Girl: YOU'RE SOME WILD FUCKER. 
Girl: PLEASE ME. 
Girl: FUCK ME IN THE ASS... 
John: PLAY WITH YOUR CLIT NOW... 
Girl: ALL OF IT...I'VE GOT ALL OF IT IN ME... 
John: OHHHHHHHHHH.

That's an amazing crescendo by Holmes at the end, capping another sparse but memorable set of subtitles. Consistent elements from the earliest subtitled loops include the AH's and UM's as well as the rhythmic repetition. 

The math: a mere 17 lines and 73 words, for an average of 4.3 words per line, roughly the median for the subtitles I've so far transcribed. 

The silent, subtitled 8mm loops that Noel Bloom produced on the West Coast in the 1970s remain utterly unique, even for someone who has admittedly seen thousands and thousands of X-rated loops. These films were typically shot on 16mm film. The 8mm versions distributed to arcades, sex shops, etc. generally contained the subtitles. The original 16mm footage would later be the source of for various Swedish Erotica home video compilations from the VHS era in the early to mid-1980s and beyond. I've even seen a few loops on these comps that are subtitled and appear to have been culled from a 16mm source.

Subtitles remained a consistent element in the Swedish Erotica loops, even past the first 130 shorts in the series. Additionally, Noel Bloom produced numerous other such series, with titles numbering in the dozens, in the early 1970s before Swedish Erotica became his flagship brand.

With that in mind, let's do a math problem based on inference and projection. If there are 400 subtitled loops, averaging 4.5 words per line and 30 lines per film, then how many distinctly strange texts could Ed Wood have written? That's 54,000 words—albeit repeating a lot of variations on sexual groans—enough to fill a slim volume.

How much of this was written by Ed Wood? Watch lots of loops and help me figure it out. 

Extra credit: Someone wrote the box cover summaries for these films, too.

Tuesday, January 29, 2019

'Happy Days' memories: An interview with actor Richard Kuller

Richard Kuller on Happy Days in 1974; inset: Richard as he looks today.

The "R.O.T.C." episode of Happy Days
Recently, it has been my great pleasure to co-host a podcast called These Days Are Ours, devoted to the nostalgic 1974-84 sitcom Happy Days starring Henry Winkler and Ron Howard as fun-loving teens in 1950s Milwaukee. Each Tuesday, the effervescent Emily Freville and I review another episode of the classic show, thoroughly breaking down the plot, themes, and characters. Here's our latest installment.

Along the way, I've been doing some research into Happy Days, learning how it was made and delving into the careers of the people who made it happen. That includes the many fine actors who guest starred on the series, lending to their talents to an episode or two before moving on. This week, I had the privilege of conducting an online interview with one such performer, Richard Kuller, who appeared in the episodes "R.O.T.C." and "Kiss Me Sickly" in 1974 and 1975, respectively. Richard's other TV and film credits include CPO Sharkey, Copacabana, and Danger Team. He currently teaches theater and dance in California.

Here is our conversation. Richard was very cooperative in answering my nerdy questions about Happy Days, for which I am very grateful.

Had you heard of or watched Happy Days before appearing on it? I ask because the show was fairly new then. 
Yes. I had also done children’s theater in New York before that, with Henry Winkler. 
My guess is that the marching scenes in "R.O.T.C." were filmed away from the Paramount lot, probably at a college or high school with a football stadium. Do you remember where this was? 
It was at a high school, but I don’t remember which one. Those were real ROTC classes marching on the field. Henry was not called that day, although he did appear in the episode. 
Director Jerry Paris
Any particular memories of the cast or director Jerry Paris?

He was a very funny man, and he razzed me, since it was my first time on the show. He told me it was a tradition that I was to pay him a dollar. I thought he was joking and didn’t pay him. He confronted me on the field in front of everyone and demanded my lunch money, which was a few bucks. I pulled the envelope out of my uniform, and the money fell on the ground. He picked it up and plucked out a dollar. snapped it between his hands, and put it in his pocket. I never knew if this was a real tradition or he was just singling me out.
 
How did you come to audition for Happy Days? Did you audition for a lot of shows? 
I had a very good commercial agent and was doing well with him. I think one of the casting agents (they didn’t call them casting directors then) for the commercials got me into a reading for Happy Days, but I don’t remember the reading. I was doing a lot of theater at the time, but not getting many opportunities to read for television shows. 
Did you get recognized after appearing on the show? 
Only by friends who already knew me. That didn’t surprise me. I wore glasses and a big cap In that episode. 
Did you get residuals for your episode? 
I still get a couple of bucks every year. 
Did Happy Days help you land a part on CPO Sharkey? Maybe because the producers had already seen you in a military-type comedy?  
No, that was just another recommendation through my commercial agent. I came into that pilot after the cast was already in rehearsal and had bonded. I never did anymore after the pilot. 
You appeared on Happy Days again the very next year. Was that a good experience?  
It was not. My alarm clock failed and I was late for the call. This is a terrible no no. Different director [George Tyne], and he was pissed. When I arrived his only acknowledgment was, "Do you understand your jokes?" I said yes and was thrown into the scene. I didn’t blame him, but his attitude was he just wanted to get the scene done. I remember that Ron Howard, whom I had helped with his marching in the ROTC episode, was friendly. He was always a gentleman. Henry was Fonzie through and through and simply did not want to let me into that bathroom. When I saw the episode, I thought the tension in the situation actually worked well for the scene. 
Did you have any real-life experience with ROTC?  
No. I was able to pick up the marching because I am a dancer, and dancers are trained to pick up steps. 
Are there are any current projects you'd like to promote?  
I have been a teacher of theater and dance at two community colleges for the last 17 years. In that time I have not sought any acting work. In the spring I am directing and choreographing a production of You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown at Glendale Community college in California.  
Thanks for answering all these questions. I know it's a lot at once. 
That's OK. It was fun to reminisce. 
And thank you for your time. 
You're welcome.

Wednesday, January 23, 2019

Ed Wood Wednesdays, week 78: (some of) The Many Resumes of Edward D. Wood, Jr.

Ed Wood made sure to keep his CV up to date.

Edward D. Wood, Jr. was nothing if not an ardent self-promoter. Acting, writing, producing, directing, even making music—he claimed to be able to do it all. And he kept track of his ever-growing list of accomplishments, both real and illusory, through his resumés or CVs. He kept these updated all through his life, even during his impoverished, booze-soaked final years, perhaps always hoping that the next big break was just around the corner.
NOTE BEFORE WE CONTINUE: This is in no way, shape, or form a complete collection of Ed Wood's resumés. I'm sure there are many others floating around out there. You may even have some in your own collection. This is just a handful of the Wood CVs I've encountered in my research over the years. I'm sharing them in the hopes that you, too, will find them interesting.
These documents are fascinating to the Woodologist because they reveal a whole host of mysterious credits, some of which are undoubtedly imaginary or fraudulent. Eddie certainly wasn't above padding his resumé to impress a potential employer. Let's look at one from Eddie's early years in Hollywood. This example seems to date back to the early 1950s; it was typed onto the back of his acting headshot. By then, Ed had appeared in a few plays in Los Angeles, made an abortive attempt to complete Crossroads of Laredo, and directed a handful of TV commercials. Glen or Glenda was apparently still in the future, as it goes unlisted here under any of its many titles.

Early 1950s resume

Under Ed's TV and film directing credits, we can recognize a few commercials: "Surprise," "Treasure and Curves," "The Bestest," "Magic Man," and "Boiled in Oil." Many of the other titles here are likely commercials as well, since Eddie claimed to have directed dozens of them. Some of the most intriguing titles: "Angora Sweater Date," "The Girl Is a Boy," "William Television," "The Shack at the End of the Alley," and "The Will of God."

Interestingly, "Boiled in Oil" seems to refer to Ed's spot for Wesson Oil with Don Nagel, Phyllis Coates, and Conrad Brooks. According to Rudolph Grey's book Nightmare of Ecstasy, this commercial was made in 1954. That would have been after Glen or Glenda. Could this ad actually have been made earlier?

Excerpt from Nightmare of Ecstasy.

Crossroads of Laredo, naturally, is the silent Western Ed tried and failed to make with John Crawford Thomas in 1948. I'm guessing Five Minutes Before Eternity is an alternate title for The Sun Is Setting (1951), simply because both titles vaguely describe the plot. The Sun Is Setting also features Phyllis Coates, again lending credence to the theory that the Wesson commercial was made well before 1954.

Of Eddie's alleged stage credits, only The Blackguard Returns and Casual Company have really been documented. When or where Eddie appeared in The Red Peppers or Peg O' My Heart is anyone's guess. His list of dialects is intriguing. He never really got the opportunity to use any of them in his movies, though he did play a Mexican jailer in the 1974 porn loop Prisoner Love Making (aka The Jailer).

Ed's list of "characters played" is enlightening, including such roles as "Young Sweater Girl," "Neurotic," "and Cowgirl (Stunt Work)." Could that last one be a reference to Ed's work in The Baron of Arizona (1950)?

Interesting, too, that Ed claims to have worked at night clubs in New York, Hollywood, and Washington, D.C. Nightmare of Ecstasy declares on its timeline that Eddie studied drama in Washington in 1946, shortly after leaving the Marines.

Let's move on to another resumé, this one from the middle 1950s.

Mid-1950s resume.

By this time, approximately 1954, Eddie was no longer touting his theatrical work, concentrating instead just on TV and film. And he wasn't lumping his film, TV, and commercial work into one big category anymore. Each gets its own category on the CV. The commercials are further segregated into the ones he made for Story-Ad Films Inc., Consolidated TV Prod., and Play-Ad Films. It's notable that, to date, the only Wood commercials that have surfaced are ones from Story-Ad Films.

The unfinished Crossroads of Laredo has been downgraded to the status of a made-for-TV movie. Perhaps Ed wanted to sell it as a TV pilot. The real TV pilot Crossroad Avenger is now listed in this section as well, along with The Sun Is Setting. Those mysterious Westerns, Double Noose and War Drums, both for Sid Ross Productions, are on there. Douglas North has speculated that these were further TV pilots for Crossroad Avenger star Tom Keene. Maybe The Showdown was a third.

We now also have some feature film credits. Fans will immediately notice that some of these movies are well-known, while others are either lost or were never produced in the first place. Glen or Glenda is now listed, as is The Hidden Face, an alias for Jail Bait (1954). Outlaw Marshal must be an alternate title for the Johnny Carpenter vehicle The Lawless Rider (1954). A second Carpenter picture, White Flash, is here, but it may never have gotten made. Despite its religious title, The Flame of Islam was likely some kind of filmed burlesque show. And what else could Girl Gang Terrorists be except The Violent Years (1956)? This one has been hastily added by hand, while the rest of the titles are typed.

It's worth noting that Bride of the Monster (1955) is AWOL, but Ed's resume does list something called The Atomic Monster. Ed credits himself with the "title only" and says the film is from "Broder Productions." This takes a bit of explaining. See, there's a 1941 Universal film called Man Made Monster starring Lon Chaney, Jr. and Lionel Atwill. In 1953, it was re-released by a company called Realart Pictures under the title The Atomic Monster. Realart was co-founded by a man named Jack Broder. Realart had supposedly swiped the title The Atomic Monster from a script that Ed had written with Alex Gordon. Alex managed to finagle $1,000 out of Realart, and Eddie's film became Bride of the Atom, then Bride of the Monster.

(By the way, I wonder if Ed's application to the Screen Directors Guild was accepted?)

Moving on to Ed's writing resume from 1973, specifically just the section dealing with his motion picture credits.

Ed's writing credits, page 1.

Ed's writing credits, page 2.

Nothing too earth-shattering here, I think you'll agree, apart from a few alternate titles, a couple of unmade films, and a handful of absolute mysteries. In the category of "absolute mysteries," we'll put Escape from Time, The Wicked West, and possibly Bed Time Talk. The Basket Ballers and The Teachers are scripts that Eddie wrote for Stephen C. Apostolof but never went into production. Most of the other films are ones that we have already discussed in this series. Note, however, that Eddie is now crediting The Atomic Monster to "Real-Art."

Poster for The Atomic Monster from Realart Pictures

Finally, I am posting the "bibliographic listing of Edward Wood's feature film credits" that Ed himself supplied to director Fred Olen Ray in 1978. It was printed in Cult Movies magazine, issue #11, page 32m, in 1994. Here is a scan of that entire page.

Cult Movies #11, page 32 (1994)

And here's a closeup of the movie titles.

Ed Wood lists his own movies.

I have already been over this list of film credits in the past, so I'll only point out the real oddities here. We all know The Venus Fly Trap, for instance, but what is The Lure other than The Venus Fly Trap under another name? Las Vegas Cheat is a complete mystery, as is the name "Betty Woods." Ditto The Naked Bowl for Jeff MacRay Productions. There is some speculation that Bed Time Talk is some kind of alias for Revenge of the Virgins (1959), but the only justification for that is the fact that the title is somehow attached to director-producer Pete Perry.

And then there is the fact that, by 1978, Eddie was taking credit for the screenplay of Hot Ice. This is utterly untrue, per the film's director Stephen C. Apostolof. Steve had no qualms about giving Eddie onscreen credit for the films he truly did write, but the diamond heist comedy was simply not among them.

That's the tricky part of dealing with Ed Wood's resumés. Like much of his legend, they're a combination of truth, half-truth, and outright fabrication.

Wednesday, January 16, 2019

Ed Wood Wednesdays: The Wood Set Decoration Odyssey, Part Seven by Greg Dziawer

This week, Greg found a literal pattern in Ed Wood's movies.

I was watching some 1970s adult loops the other night, including a few titles from the early Swedish Erotica series now believed to have been directed by Edward D. Wood, Jr. I've seen these films before, numerous times over, but while viewing loop #16, "Behind the Ate Ball Part II," I noticed something that looked familiar. The sheet on the bed—featuring a floral pattern in pastel colors with a polka-dotted background—matched the pillow cases used by the main characters in Ed Wood's 1972 pornographic feature The Young Marrieds. The garish, distinctive design in pink, green, and orange was unmistakable.

(top) "Behind the Ate Ball"; (bottom) The Young Marrieds.

Naturally, I pulled up The Young Marrieds for comparison and verified that it was indeed the same pattern. Could it even be the same set, split up in two different places? Finding this connection reminded me of the existence of the pair of Guardian Lion statues that popped up repeatedly in Ed Wood's films. Not only do they appear in The Young Marrieds and 1971's Necromania, but in dozens of related loops from that era. 

In writing about these props in an earlier article, I had briefly mentioned that the familiar lions even turn up in Ed Wood's 1955 film Bride of the Monster. Upon closer inspection, they look eerily like the exact same pair, over 15 years earlier! If you watch the colorized version of Bride from Legend Films, these props are easier to spot. In fact, they turn up in three different places sporadically throughout the film. You can find the lions in Harvey B. Dunn's office:

Can you spot the lions on the shelf?

On a filing cabinet next to Paul Marco's desk:

Can you spot the lions on the filing cabinet.

And on the mantle at the old Willows place.

Can you spot the lions on the mantle?

What does it all mean? The puzzle will one day reveal itself.

Wednesday, January 9, 2019

Ed Wood Wednesdays: The Wood Collaborator Odyssey, Part 16 by Greg Dziawer

The life of Ray "Crash" Corrigan was not without scandal.

I. Serial Killers 

Ray Corrigan with his son Tommy.
Until I finally saw Ed Wood's 1970 feature Take It Out in Trade for the first time last week, I had never thought about that film too deeply. I'd already seen the outtakes many times over. They were originally released by Something Weird Video back in the '90s on VHS, and they're now included on the new DVD/Blu-ray edition of Take It Out in Trade. Poring over those silent outtakes, I'd recognized many pieces of set decoration from other Wood-related productions of the era, including a gold skull and a bronze king cobra. Wood biographer Rudolph Grey noted both of those items in his capsule review of the film in his book Nightmare of Ecstasy: The Life and Art of Edward D. Wood, Jr. back in 1992. Grey also mentions the film's associate producer, Ray Corrigan

As it turns out, this is the same actor and stuntman Ray "Crash" Corrigan who starred as one of the Three Mesquiteers in dozens of B-Westerns in the mid-to-late 1930s, alongside actors like John Wayne, Robert Livingston, and Max Terhune. Ray also appeared in his share of Republic serials. In fact, he'd taken his screen name Corrigan from the character he played in one such production, 1936's The Undersea Kingdom, two chapters of which later wound up on Mystery Science Theater 3000.

Corrigan also owned his own gorilla costumes and, for a time, was the go-to guy in low-budget films to play any gorilla characters a script might require. In addition, he ran the Corriganville Ranch—filming location for thousands of motion pictures and TV shows, mostly Westerns—for more than a quarter of a century. He sold the place in the mid-'70s to Bob Hope, who redubbed it Hopetown. By that time, the film industry in which Ray once flourished had been slowly killed off—first by television, then by movies that showed things you couldn't see on TV.

II. A Coincidence?

While I was digging around last week about Ray "Crash" Corrigan, a search result returned an obituary for a Don "Crash" Corrigan. The associated details seemed unrelated to Ray—I had not come across any mention that Ray had a son named Don—but I nonetheless obviously had to click on it to learn the truth.

The obituary for Don "Crash" Corrigan ultimately proved to have no relevance to my pursuit. Strangely, though—and I can say unreservedly that the most amazing aspect of researching Ed Wood has been for me these moments of seeming "agency"—Don Corrigan turned out to have grown up in the neighborhood where I now live, and he graduated in 1966 from the school my 15-year-old daughter now attends, four blocks down the street. Two instances of his obit were published in the local papers here in Wilkes-Barre, PA. 

III. Use Cases, or: What's It All About, Alfie?

"Crash" Corrigan's first starring role came in the 1936 Republic serial The Undersea Kingdom, influenced by Buster Crabbe's Flash Gordon. An ad from the December 25, 1936 Kansas City Star pairs the serial with an Our Gang short. 

Undersea Kingdom is paired with Our Gang.

A comic short series popular since the silent era, the Our Gang films were sold to television in 1955 under the better-known title The Little Rascals and enjoyed decades of success on the new medium. Our Gang's most famous alumnus must be the character of Alfalfa, the skinny, squeaky-voiced boy played by Carl Switzer. Tragically, just as his old films were finding a new audience, Swtizer died an untimely death in a violent dispute with a man named Moses "Bud" Stiltz in North Hollywood in 1959. Stiltz had been Ray's ranch foreman as Corriganville began to fade in popularity as a movie set.

Here's a write-up about the case from the January 22, 1959 edition of The Madera Tribune.

The sad end of Alfalfa.

IV. Spanky and Alfalfa

In 1958, The Bride and the Beast, a jungle melodrama written by Ed Wood, was released. The titular beast, an amorous gorilla who steals Charlotte Austin away from Lance Fuller, is widely reported to have been played by Ray "Crash" Corrigan, who'd portrayed many such beasts over the years. A 2007 DVD edition of the film maintains it was actually Ray's protege, Steve Calvert, inside the suit, but Drew Friedman's Ed Wood, Jr. Players trading card set (1995) credits Ray with the part, as does Nightmare of Ecstasy. Friedman suggests Ray and Steve were the same person.

Ray Corrigan's card in the Drew Friedman series.

Ray's second wife, Elaine DuPont, noted that her husband went often to the San Diego Zoo to watch the gorillas and study their movements.. Elaine performed for the public at the Corriganville Ranch, as a singer and Western trick rider. Like Ray, she sported embroidered Western wear designed by the legendary Nudie Cohn. Elaine also said that Ray had four gorilla costumes. 

The gorilla in Bride of the Beast, curiously, is named Spanky. Another Our Gang connection!

V. Disintegration

Corrigan's first marriage to Rita Jane Smeal, whom he met when she was an usherette in 1938, disintegrated in 1954. The couple had three children, the oldest of them named Tommy. And, according to the commentary track by Rudolph Grey and Frank Henenlotter on Take It Out in Trade, it was Tommy who supplied the gorgeous print of the film for the new special edition.

The Corrigans' divorce proceedings soon grew ugly, with Rita charging that Ray had threatened her life and the lives of their children with a loaded gun. Ray made a counter-charge of his own, accusing Rita of adultery with the aforementioned Bud Stiltz.

Here are some articles about Ray and Rita's divorce from the May 4 and June 4, 1954 editions of The San Bernadino Sun.

The Corrigans' marriage did not end well.

Rita would subsequently marry Stiltz. Five years into their union, Carl Switzer knocked on the door of Rita and Bud's place, reputedly demanding money owed him by Bud. Bud shot and killed him, under circumstances that remain mysterious. Although the incident was ultimately ruled to be self-defense, Tommy Corrigan has said, "It was more like murder." Moses "Bud" Stiltz died at the age of 62 on May 15, 1983 in San Bernadino, California. He's buried in Forest Lawn.

VI. A New Look

A newspaper interview with Ray Corrigan in late 1970 found him scouting film locations in Oregon. The article mentions Ray producing and appearing in a film titled The Ribald Robin Hood. He's surely referring to The Erotic Adventures of Robin Hood (1969). That film's IMDb page lists a clutch of producers, but Ray is not among them. In the credits, though, we find mention of a certain Raymond Renard. His own IMDb page includes French films we'll conclude were the work of a different Ray Renard. 

From The Oregonian, December 21, 1970.

A showing of Ed Wood's Trade.
At this point, I should explain that Ray "Crash" Corrigan's real name was Raymond Benitz. Before he took his famous screen name, he was billed as Ray Benard and, erroneously, Ray Bernard. So the Ray Renard from Robin Hood could just be Ray Corrigan under yet another pseudonym.

UPDATE: Bryin Abraham of the blog A Wasted Life  reported by e-mail from Berlin that he had screened The Erotic Adventures of Robin Hood in the process of compiling an article about Uschi Digard. The article mentions that Ray "Crash" Corrigan had indeed appeared in the film as Robin's dad. Ray's appearance in Robin Hood is confirmed by author Jerry L. Schneider in the 2016 book The True Story of Ray "Crash" Corrigan.

In the 1970 newspaper interview, Ray downplays the sexual content of Take It Out In Trade, with the article referring to it as a "new look" film.  This was a euphemism for the then-burgeoning softcore genre, which was about to be subsumed by hardcore sex films like Deep Throat (1972). The movie Ray was then said to be producing, Sex in America, appears to have never been completed, at least not under that title. 

And as the newspaper article notes, Ray had business interests in the northwestern United States, including the San Juan Islands, which remain a popular location from which to spot Orca whales. On the Take It Out in Trade commentary track, Frank Henenlotter repeatedly insists that the film never played theatrically. However, as vintage newspaper ads attest, the film did play the Pacific Northwest, including a stint at the Eros Theater in Portland, Oregon.

"Crash" passed away a few hundred miles south in Brookings, Oregon in August 1976. He was 74.

Wednesday, January 2, 2019

Ed Wood Extra: Wanna read most of an Ed Wood story from 1972?


This little beauty ran in the first issue of Trois in September 1972. Volume one, number one. Published by Gallery Press. More details here. The title is "Take It Out in Trade," but it has nothing to do with the movie of the same name. Enjoy. Sorry the ending is missing.