|Ed Wood hoped to rub viewers the right way with this loop from 1973.|
This week, delving even further into Ed Wood's prolific adult film career, we turn our attention to another set of subtitles from a silent 8mm porn loop made in the early '70s. "The Masseuse" possesses many of the same earmarks as other films we have previously detailed in this series, suggesting Eddie's involvement behind the scenes. At the very least, the subtitles here flowed from his trusty typewriter.
Take a look at the following summary of the film, complete with transcribed subtitles, and judge for yourself.
We open on a young and attractive auburn-haired woman masturbating in a bathtub, with an assist from the running faucet. The all-caps title card appears in mere seconds. The simple, blocky font is consistent with that used in dozens of subtitled loop series and hundreds of short adult films I have seen.
Unfortunately, the print I viewed lacked any front-end logo or graphic indicating which series this loop belongs to, and I have so far been unable to locate that detail in my research. However, it is unequivocally another West Coast loop produced by Noel Bloom circa 1973. Bloom released loops under myriad banners during that era, including Swedish Erotica, Danish International Films, Pussycat Films and the V.I.P. Collection.
Woman: THAT WATER FEELS SO GOOD!After the woman exits the tub, a transitional edit efficiently moves us into the bedroom. Now wearing a sheer black negligee (one of Ed's favorites), the woman is joined by a man. They walk away from the camera out of blackness. This is a common shot in this family of loops, with characters often walking into and away from the camera. These shots lend the loops a degree of artistry beyond the norm, as well as a dreamlike quality. The man carries a small suitcase.
Woman: I HAVE BEEN SORE ALL OVER - CAN YOU HELP ME?
Man: LET'S SEE WHAT I CAN DO.
|Our man goes to work, ever the professional.|
The man removes a bottle of lotion from his case. He is apparently our title character, though the term "masseuse" refers to a female who gives massages. This film should have been called "The Masseur."
Man: LAY BACK.He massages her leg.
Man: HOW DOES THAT FEEL?As she answers, we cut to a closeup of her spread legs. She is still wearing red silk panties.
Woman: I TINGLE ALL OVER.The therapeutic aspect of the massage ends abruptly.
Woman: MORE! MORE!
Woman: AHHH!!!!If you have seen even a handful of films from this family of subtitled loops, you'll recognize both of those lines as de rigueur, highly suggestive of common authorship.
Woman: RUB HARDER!Foreplay continues at length as the masseur's clothes come off.
Woman: UMMMM!Note that this line—with varying numbers of U's, M's and !'s—is consistently employed in the subtitled loops whenever a female initiates oral sex.
When we finally move to penetration, the loop is 75% complete, having lavished the majority of its runtime on narrative and sexual buildup.
Woman: PUMP!!After she finally climbs on top, he ejaculates inside of ten seconds. In closeup, we see a kaleidoscopic image of the climax in triplicate. At once artistically superfluous and functionally necessary, this single closeup accounts for a full 30 seconds of the loop's eight-minute runtime.
Man: AHHH!!She mounts him again. If she hadn't, the audience might very well have felt cheated. A second and final climax, a mere 90 seconds after the first, closes out the action. Presumably satisfied and spent, the woman sleeps as the masseur packs his bag. He pens a note and sticks it between the cheeks of her derriere.
Note: SEE YOU LATER.We fade as the man walks into the camera and disappears into darkness.
The end title card uses a font that is shared among numerous loop series of the era, including the earliest Swedish Erotica films generally thought to have been directed by Ed Wood. It's also highly similar to the font used in the opening credits of the popular network TV show Little House on the Prairie (1974-1983).
|Between porn loops and Little House on the Prairie, this font got a lot of use in the 1970s.|
Most critically, though, what was Ed's involvement here?
This family of loops maintains a highly consistent set of tropes and artistic flourishes beyond the basic demands of the material or its audience. "The Masseuse," like many other related loops from the era, spends an inordinate amount of screen time on elements beyond the sex. In these films, for instance, the camera commonly pans up and away from the action toward an inanimate object. The Bloom-produced loops typically employ dissolves, wipe edits, and even (in latter-day entries) split-screen effects!
As for the subtitles, they total a scant 14 lines and just 43 words. That's an average of just three words per line—minimalist, to be sure, compared to the mean, but indubitably consistent in its simplicity. These captions focus almost totally on sex and its various attendant grunts and moans.
Did Ed Wood write these lines? My response is a resounding yes!