Saturday July 28th 2007, 12:18 am
Filed under: Articles
The thirteen West German Schulmachden-Report (Schoolgirl Report) films to come out in the 1970′s served both as pseudo-documentaries about the blossoming sexuality of teen girls, and as sweet, spankable softcore porn for horny male viewers. Call it “Edu-porn” if you like. By wrapping sex in the paper-thin coating of education, the not-so-subtle voyeuristic elements perhaps didn’t seem so filthy in 1970′s Germany, but to today’s PC world that treats adolescent sexuality like the plague — these films are the forbidden fruit.
FULL REVIEW AND SCREENGRABS HERE!
Searching for Sin in New York
Wednesday October 18th 2006, 12:16 am
Filed under: Articles
I’m a porn journalist, and I live in the Canadian city of Vancouver.
Ok, maybe I shouldn’t even call it a city… because in comparison to New York, it’s a small hick town, and I can say that with some degree of confidence after recently finally making my way to the Big Apple along side my wing man, a gawky fellow comic and movie nerd nicknamed the Dirty Bird. A friend who shares my same first name — Robin.
We came to Manhattan as younger generation classic porn fans, in search of the sleaze and depravity history has taught us about this place through word, verse, and cum-soaked porno house film stock. The times square and deuce of yesteryear. We knew it was no longer, thanks to the crass, rancid Disneyfication of that section of the isle, but we came to hunt for even a lingering smell of jizz-coated ass…. just to say that we’d been there, and taken a loving whiff.
The hunt for freaky fun began in a strip club across from the Empire state building called Ricky’s. A classy little hole full of skanky little hoes, Ricky’s has an amazing three course lunch menu (where else can you get a steak, salad, side of mashed potatoes and ice cream all for $10??) but thanks to local laws, didn’t have any pussy on display. Even in modest Vancouver the peeler bars have cunt and anus waving around in your face. We were not all that impressed.
The bare titties that walked up and plopped themselves down on our shoulders belonged to some sassy black thang who wanted to know our names. Her terrible boob job gave her wonky nipples, one staring at the floor and the other pointed at the ceiling. When we both answered “Robin”, she demanded to see our ID’s to make sure we weren’t taking the piss outta her. Realising that we were on the level, she exclaimed:
“Well, shit. You two Robin’s can suck on both mah titties anyhow!”
A kind gesture, but I had the feeling the no-touch rules and serious looking bouncer glaring at us wouldn’t have agreed. I gave her a $5 tip for her phat butt gyrations, and we were descended upon by another money-hungry ebony sistah, this one looking a little more cracked out and scrawny. She confidently planted her boney assflesh on my round knee and proceeded to pressure mercilessly.
“You wanna private dance, honey?”
“No, I’m outta money now. Sorry.”
“That cool, baby. Lets go to the ATM and get some mo’”
“C’mon now. Don’t you liiiike me? Don’t you got nothin’ in yo’ bank account fo’ me?”
“No, nothing in there. I’m broke and my friend is gay.”
I may as well have announced that we both had the plague. Just like in the Tom Waits song, the girls scattered like crows, and we were free to leave once we finished our two drink minimum — although Dirty was pissed that I didn’t just tell her he was retarded. Who can say? Maybe a retard would at least get some pity-pussy from a good natured whore.
Rounding the corner of 42nd street and 8th ave to find that the famous hallowed ground of depravity known as the “Show World Center” was still in existence gave me huge smile and little bit of hope. I’ll admit it, my heart skipped about 5 beats as I scrambled in the front door, chasing a dream, baring down on those aforementioned ghosts. What I found couldn’t quite live up to legend. It was 3 floors of homogenised truncated fuck-suck. The XXX action was still on hand, but the sense of danger and delirious sexual energy was gone. I searched every inch of Show World looking for it.
Entering a peepshow booth in the basement (the same basement where pseudo-snuff rape peeps and savage bestiality clips were showing in 1980) found only a video screen declaring “God Bless America” before launching into some decidedly boring white-on-black cum guzzling. It was ok I guess, but nothing like what I’d read penned by porn journalists of yesteryear.
But ghosts have a funny way of contacting you from the dead. I was a fool to count New York out so early, because 5 feet from the entrance of Show World — as we walked north along 8th ave — Dirty’s cell phone rang. He answered it, looked confused, and handed me the phone.
“Hello?”, I said into it.
“Hi, Robin..? It’s Jamie Gillis.”
(Despite emailing Gillis and attempting to set up this meeting, Robin is astounded and must pick his jaw off the sidewalk at this juncture)
“Holy shit! Hi Jamie! I just walked out of Show World! Man, I had no idea it was still there, and now you’re phoning me?! T-this is amazing!”
“Oh Show World… yeah. Ha ha! If only it was thirty years ago, I could have taken you in there and shown you things that would just blow your mind. There were naked girls in the basement. For $5 bucks you could do whatever you wanted. It was great.”
And those were the first words I shared in person with classic porn superstud, Jamie Gillis. For those of you coming in late, or who are too senile to remember him, Gillis is one of the most important performers in XXX history, either in front of the camera, or in the directors chair.
In ’71 Gillis was working with an off-Broadway repertory company, doing classical plays, and to support himself, was driving cab. He’d drive cab all day, then play Hamlet at night, all the while desperate for another job. One day, Gillis answered an ad for “Nude modelling” in The Village Voice thinking he was going to provide inspiration for a local NYC artisan, but as it turned out the modelling going on was in a dirty basement on 14th Street where some stinky guy shot fuck movies.
“I showed up there, worked for about an hour, had a good time, made as much money as I would driving cab, and that’s how I started.” Gillis once told XXX journalist Anthony Petkovitch. “Actually, a lot of people started there in that dirty basement – Linda Lovelace, Eric Edwards, me … But there were no stars in those days, no industry. It was all underground.”
His directorial debut ON THE PROWL back in ’89 was the first of its kind to take some average dude off the streets, put him in the back of a limousine, and let ‘em wildly fuck away at some sexed up young adult video starlet. It originated the “Gonzo” reality style of porn that currently has a stranglehold on the modern porn world, and was the obvious inspiration for the limo sex scene in P.T. Anderson’s BOOGIE NIGHTS, with Burt Reynolds taking on the role of Gillis.
Also in the late 80′s, Gillis became known in underground porn circles for his outlandish scat and degradation-themed home movies that began to make the rounds amongst perverts in the know. These were totally amateur tapes featuring submissive friends and black streetwalkers that Jamie would shit on and racially degrade. Then the early ’90s he kicked the Pro-Am craze into full gear by co-producing the influential and long running DIRTY DEBUTANTES series with Ed Powers, who then went on to take over (steal?) the series from Gillis and turn it into a massive video rental hit.
In my opinion Jamie is basically XXX royalty and deserves props for his various sleazy achievements in smut, but I’d quickly learn that the man is admirably modest about his various accomplishments when he met us late that evening at a fancy greasy spoon in the west village.
We were flanked by our talented/pretty New York pal Wendy Chin, who, along with her husband/bandmate Jason, didn’t want to miss out on a meeting with such a legendary figure. When Gillis walked in and saw us, one of the first things out of his mouth was “Hey, I haven’t been in here in years. This is just around the corner from the shithole where Linda Lovelace screwed the dog in that old porno loop.”
I was like a dog myself as Gillis dropped little nuggets of porn trivia such as that all through the evening as we all got progressively drunker. Like a dog with it’s head hanging out of the window of a fast moving car, it’s tongue being whipped around by the wind. I was having a fucking blast.
Bizarre anecdotes about the originator of stump fucking: Long Jeanne Silver, a tale about shoving a cigar up his ass in order to woo a woman that was peeping in his window, funny stories about where certain porn stars from yesteryear had ended up… they flowed out of Jamie like a leaky faucet, and it became a torrent after we ended up at a lovely mexican restaurant over on the west side, meeting up with drummer Chester Thompson. Not to name drop too obnoxiously, but this dude played drums for Genesis, Frank Zappa, Phil Collins, and Neil Diamond. Gillis effortlessly hooked us up with super-tasty free Margaritas and interesting drinking companions.
As exciting as Chester was to meet, Gillis was the real deal, and Dirty and Wendy were in full agreement with me. In fact, I think Wendy was a just a little disappointed that this dirty ol’ man molested her only once while copping a feel during our drunken goodnight hugs. Never let it be said that ultra pervs can’t be gentlemen when they wanna.
Within 24 hours, Dirty Bird and I were on our way outta New York, content that even if the city itself didn’t bring the sexy demented thrills we’d been fantasising about, at least it’s ambassador from the golden days of smut was still standing guard, ready to show us an awesome evening.
This Just in:
Just read your New York story and loved it! I was the first true porn star to do a stage show at the Show World, (other than perhaps strippers who got into porn and stripped there)!
I then appeared there off and on, doing my bowl show – not a strip act – until I left porn. Many of the other stars and directors then would come to my show because of its uniqueness and humor. I made hot, sexy, and humor work well together. They used to run a clip of one of my movies in the outside wall of the building, on the street. I use to be amazed to step outside and see me sitting on Jamie Gillis, fucking, with my breasts bouncing up and down as I was “riding” him. You didn’t see the actual insertion, but you saw enough to know what you were seeing. You certainly saw my bare breasts and me going at it hard!!! I was always amazed that people walking down the street could see that, It also made me wear a hat and sunglasses outside a lot! LOL.
Anyway, I really enjoyed your piece!
Oh,yes, I also (like Jamie) could tell you tales of what I SAW (not did) in the Show World,as well!
PASTOR GAS — The legend of the farting Tilton
Sunday August 20th 2006, 2:00 pm
Filed under: Articles
One of the interesting things about the internet is that someone can become a quasi celebrity without even knowing it. Remember that goofy home video footage a couple of years ago of that fat kid pretending to be a Jedi-Kight? That was linked out to everyone and their dog within about a week of first appearing online, and before you knew it, nationwide cable news telecasts were even devoted to taking the piss outta that poor Star Wars nerd dancing around in his room with his imaginary lightsabre.
Yes, the short history of the net is rich with odd video clips being traded amongst hundreds of thousands of people – who then fill forum posts and bestow the powerful-yet-primordial fifteen minutes of fame. But surely the greatest of these insane cyber-celebs must be Robert Tilton, although as I will note later, his video underground street cred dates back FAR further than the widespread use of the internet.
For those of you in the dark, Robert Tilton is a super-sketchy televangelist who preaches the Lord’s word in wild, irreverent, nonsensical style. He did so unhindered until sometime in early 1985 when a 4 minute video clip featuring the spastic snake-oil salesman was passed around amongst friends and weird video traders. On the tape in question, Tilton looks lovingly into the camera and provides his trademark long pauses, deep grimaces, grunts, fucking insane facial contortions and priceless quotes. It was over this quirky telecast that someone – no one is quite sure who – put some of the most brilliant flatulent overdubbing ever created.
Yes, I know it sounds immature and stupid, but the Farting Tilton clip is one of the most fucking hilarious things I’ve ever seen. I’ve watched it hundreds of times, and I’m not the only one. StileProject.com, the online mecca for those enthused by the low brow and tasteless said: â€œThe farting preacher is probably one of the most compelling single pieces of satire in human history.â€
The footage speaks for itself. But once you know the history of the man starring in it, even heartier laughs will be bestowed upon ye, brothers and sisters. Behold.
In the mid eighties to early nineties, television pastor Robert Tilton and his World Outreach Center Church truely ‘perfected’ the 30 minute god-heavy infomercial – despite never claiming to stand for any specific faith. At their peak, Tilton’s paid advertisements could be seen in all 263 U.S. and Canadian television markets, an incredible achievement. Scandals came and went, but ol’ Rev. Robert somehow managed to avoid the same media scrutiny responsible for bringing down Jim Bakker, Jimmy Swaggart and numerous other evangelical liars and cheats. He took the money and ran – only to come back every night at around 2 am and take the money again.
Apart from his ass-barking, Tilton’s indecipherable speaking-in-tongues is in a class of it’s own. You’ll find his online audio clips of “Mo lata sho bo-lo ko bee baa-to” and “Ohhh bee ma to-ba gee-be ma go” as confusing as they are awesome. But apart from his graying pompadour and dorky shit-eating grin, what really sets Mr. Tilton apart from your average scripture spouter is his abundant shameless enthusiasm for collecting viewers money.
“You send me that money RIGHT now and you WILL be saved! The lord WILL provide! I see you now, ooooohhh yes I do!” hooted a squinting Tilton in one episode of his telecast.
The only thing close to the level of insanity evoked by the series of classic World Outreach infomercials, was their astounding collection of marketing materials – most of which have secured their rightful place in history as the most unusual in the world of faith based brand identity. In the early 90′s, a small collectors market even became centered around the “gifts”, as they were snatched up and coveted by pop-culture obsessed teenagers and mail-art enthusiasts with a taste for the weird and ironic.
No one had ever seen anything quite like what Robert Tilton would send to their house for free – all given in the hope that the recipient would feel an obligation to reciprocate financially. These overstuffed envelopes were self described as “redemption packets”, but mostly they consisted of a dozen back-to-back pages of typed and scribbled notations resembling napkin doodlings of a trained monkey. They also contained “magic pennies”, rubber bands, short bits of yarn, little metal crosses on chains, vegetable seeds, packets of salt, carpet samples, and even lawn clippings in plastic baggies that resembled pot. It was like getting a letter from a criminally insane retard.
“Right now this cloth is plain fabric,” one fold-out poster read. A swiftly scribbled arrow sweeps down the page, pointing to a 2-inch square of nylon-cotton scotch taped to the paper. “But after you send it back with only a $1000 vow, it will be a Miracle Cloth saturated with the presence of God!”
Astonishingly – at it’s peak -Tilton’s mass-market ministry pulled in an estimated $80 million per year, and his church drew as many as 5,000 worshippers to a grand fire and brimstone Sunday service. In exchange for “just a $1,000 vow”, Tilton promised grant miraculous benefits to believers health and finances. “If Jesus Christ were alive today and walking around, he wouldn’t want his people driving Volkswagens and living in apartments,” he said on the air, “Ohh… I know you have cheap cars, burning oil, leaking oil, burning, leaking… -sob-… Oh god.”
But leaky german-made cars were not the most upsetting thing ahead for the Tilton mega-corperation. The Trinity Foundation, an aggressive televangelism watchdog group, took notice of Tilton’s antics (how could they NOT?) and conducted random trash sweeps of the dumpsters behind his ministry headquarters. When they turned over their findings to ABC Television’s PrimeTime Live, mega-bitch Diane Sawyer stomped a media mudhole in Tilton’s ass.
In their ratings-hungry report in November of 1991 (including an interview with a woman who spent two days opening mail for Tilton) it was revealed by ABC that World Outreach Center Church employees were instructed to remove any cash, checks, or jewelry from the returned mailers, and throw the prayer requests into the shit-can. To add insult to network-aided injury, Tilton and his ministry were then sued successfully by a jilted sucker named Vivian Elliott to the tune of $1.5 million. Soon after that – citing massive damage to his credibility by the PrimeTime Live telecast, Tilton went off the air. His Word of Faith church was sold for $6.1 million, and Tilton used most of the money to settle a million dollar fraud lawsuit filed by his first wife.
Before you could say “be-ba so la-ka foo ba bay” Tilton married again – this time to former beauty queen Leigh Valentine. But Miss Valentine quickly divorced him two years later, citing constant physical abuse. According to Leigh, (who had photos of ugly bruises to back up her claims) Robert would slam her face against walls, hurl telephones and plates at her head, throw her down stairs, drink himself into blind rages (often declaring he was the Pope) and wake up in the night screaming that “rats were eating his brain”.
And to make matters worse – while all this was happening, Tilton was constantly farting.
Not (as far as I know) in real life, but in the VCRS and computers of hundreds of thousands of video traders and internet junkies. The 4 minute clip has been been called, “Heaven Only Knows”, “The Farting Tilton” and even the “Joyful Noise” video, but the name that seems to have stuck since its inception in 1985 is PASTOR GAS. Anyone who has seen it, will be instantly awestruck by the flawless comic timing involved in the sound editing of Tilton’s farts. My friends, this is ass humor of the highest caliber.
By 1988 countless bootleg copies were making their way all over the world.Â People were making VHS copies and sending them to their friends, and this underground network of distribution resulted in THE FARTING TILTON turning up in Europe, Australia, and Japan. In 1989, a new less-scrambled looking version was making the rounds, complete with a title at the beginning and end that read, “Heaven Only Knows”.Â Again, copies of the new version quickly spread simply by word of mouth and people continued to make copies for their friends.Â I discovered it myself for the first time when I watched a 2 hour comp tape called “Religious Quacks” mailed to me by a trade pal in 1997. Around that time, the Revrand’s farting fame hit itâ€™s apex when an episode of THE DREW CAREY SHOW did a direct homage to it – placing fake fart sounds over top of the titular sitcom star.
With a mainstream nod in place, the stage was set for someone to cash in. A company out of Portland claimed that they were the orginal source of the clip, and began to sell 4 minute tapes of the infamous fart footage for $15 each. (www.pastorgas.com) This spread the clip even faster, and in early 1998, Mark and Brian, the hosts of a nationally syndicated radio showÂ got their hands on a copy, referred to it as “that tape that’s going around”, and gave it 30 minutes of free advertising along with resounding hysterical approval. Rock band Sebadoh began projecting the Tilton fart footage on a giant screen between acts, 2 seperate Metal bands put Tilton footage in their videos, and word has it that Berkeley University in California dedicated an entire course based around the low-brow graces of JOYFUL NOISE.
George Ratliff (Director of HELLHOUSE) recently told an interviewer, “I think there should be a documentary just tracking the history of the farting Tilton video. I saw a version of that in, like, 1986. And since then I’ve seen probably six versions â€” they’ve been evolving. I want to know who’s been putting them out. They’re constantly being recut with new sound effects. It’s too much!”
Ratliff was right. Fans of PASTOR GAS began making their own versions using new Tilton telecasts, and were now posting them online or adding them to the existing footage and sending it along to the next person. New comp collections appeared for sale, the best known being a 2 hour collection of Tilton-isms called MONDO TILTON. It was like a flatulent god based cult revolution taking over the planet, and tracking it’s history became one of my mini-obsessions.
In late 2000, after the internet had saturated the clip even further, a rumor began to circulate that FARTING TILTON had been created by two disgruntled guys on Tilton’s staff, and when good ol’ Bob ‘caught wind’, (sorry, I couldn’t resist) he had fired them. Now here’s where it gets scary: Turns out that the mysterious Portland company that’s sold thousands of copies of PASTOR GAS normally makes infomercials. Um, infomercials? Could it be that Tilton himself has found a way to profit off the people laughing at his noisy bunghole? No one knows for sure, but take this into account: Tilton never gave up. He’s back doing today what he’s always done, and is again reaching millions of loyal TV viewers. He’s formed multiple companies, bought a 50-foot yacht, and scored a chunk of oceanfront property in Miami Beach valued at $1.3 million.
Tilton’s probably even speaking in tongues and farting to emphasize his rapturous joy as we speak. If we’ve learned anything from the Pastor of gas, it’s to Praise the lord and to Be-ba me-fa fo-lo be da-day!
Check out some Farting Tilton action at:
By: Robin Bougie. 2005.
TRACI LORDS — THE XXX YEARS
Friday August 04th 2006, 4:08 am
Filed under: Articles
On July 11th 1986, state police, acting on an anonymous tip, swooped down on several California locations including the office of Traciâ€™s agent. Then came the headlines and indictments. The porn industry was rocked. Traci Lords was underage, and anyone that made a film of hers could be charged with a felony. It cost the porn industry millions, and when the smoke had cleared, an 18 year old Traci Lords had disappearedâ€
-Maury Povich on A Current Affair
July 11, 1986. The day Traci Lords’ world fell apart. The day her wildly successful porn house came tumbling down. How did she come to be involved in this most prurient of professions, and exactly how successful was she during the brief time that she spent in the industry? Read on and discover all you’d want to know about the life and times (and tragedies) of the porn goddess supreme, Traci Lords.
To start at the beginning, Traci Lords was born Nora Loiuse Kuzma on May 7th 1968 in Stuebenville, Ohio (a town in the eastern part of the state just south of Toronto, Ohio). About the only other celebrity to arise from Stuebenville (named after the Prussian officer Baron Fredrich Wilhelm Lodolf Gerhard Augestine Von Steuben) was Charles Ogle, the first actor to portray the Frankenstien Monster on film (Thomas Edisonâ€™s 1910 production), although some put his birthplace a few score miles in Zanesville, the birthplace of Zane Grey.
Nora had a fairly normal childhood, most of which was spent with her 3 sisters. As a 12-year-old, Nora was beginning to show the signs of developing into a wild young lady. She remembers sneaking out at night in search of booze and boys. At age 13 Nora and her mom (Pat Kuzma) boarded a greyhound bus and left for Redondo Beach, California. Nora’s steelworker dad stayed behind in Steubenville.
Upon arriving in California, the Kuzma’s found a home in Lawdale, Ca, a mile or so east of Redondo Beach. Traci attended Lincoln elementary school, then Redondo Union highschool. In 1983, when she was a sophomore, she dropped out. Nora, at this point, was mixed up with the proverbial â€œwrong crowdâ€ and as could be expected, drug dependancy played a very large role. Traci was recently quoted as saying â€œI started doing uppers, downers, and speed. And then when I was 15, I got into freebasing cocaine. That was my worst enemy and by best friend all at once.â€
In spite of all the drug consumption in her life, Nora was considered to be a bubbly person with a pleasant attitude. First steady boyfriend Bob Langley said of Nora â€œshe made you feel good when you were with her. Not just sexually, but mentally. You know, she brought you up.â€
In the spring of 1984 Nora (accompanied by her sleazy step father) went to the offices of agent Jim South and proceeded to shed her blouse for the obligatory topless Polaroids. Shortly after that she was posing nude for various magazine photographers, and her first nude layout appeared in the July 1984 issue of VELVET. Little did Ms. Kuzma realise she was well on her way to becoming the most popular porn star of the 1980′s.
At this point Nora Louise Kuzma became Traci Lords, inspired by her love of HAWAII FIVE-Oâ€™s Jack Lord. Itâ€™s also interesting to note that both Katherine Hepburn and Grace Kelly played the role of â€œTraci Lordâ€ (minus the â€œSâ€ in, respectively, THE PHILADELPHIA STORY (1940) and itâ€™s remake HIGH SOCIETY (1956). Interesting, but It seems unlikely that with Traciâ€™s white trash upbringing and her unexplainable love of HAWAII FIVE-O that these works inspired the name change. Not to mention that Nora was reputed to involve herself with a â€œheavy metal crowdâ€, and we know how intellectually dead on their feet these folks are (nothing personal, metal heads!).
Shortly following the VELVET layout came the infamous PENTHOUSE appearance (infamous due to the pics of Miss America Vanessa Williams in the raw). The text that accompanied the Lords PENTHOUSE layout is quite funny being as Traci was great at exaggerating the truth.
First off, Traci’s stated age is a hefty 22 (despite the fact she was 15 at the time) and in those 22 years of existence Traci had lived in numerous locales, among them Nevada, Florida, and South Carolina, culminating in her move to Redondo Beach, Ca. She studied interior design at El Camino college, intended to study acting at U.C.L.A, and do high fashion modelling in New York. Not to mention her love of movie set design, and her plans to do not only that but become an actress as well. Traci was indeed going to be one busy girl.
Most definitely though, the biggest exaggeration in the entire piece was the underage girl stating that sheâ€™d retained her virginity until the ripe old age of 19. That Traci, what a kidder.
Around the same time as the photo sessions for VELVET and PENTHOUSE, Traci had decided to expand her horizons and ply her wares in a more indulgent area of the sex industry. Traci made her first pornographic film in the summer of 1984, and its title was WHAT GETS ME HOT (Dir: Richard Mailer). The initial footage of Traci wasn’t hardcore though, that shit Mailer filmed a bit later after she’d gained her notoriety. Her first hardcore footage was filmed for THOSE YOUNG GIRLS (Prod: Ronald Kantor, Robert McNee).
With this film’s distribution, Traci became an instant porno superstar, on par with Seka (who starred in numerous loops although surprisingly, only 40 features). The XXX media couldn’t get enough of her, and her fandom blossomed faster than any young fuck-film starlets had ever done before, with a starring role as a mermaid in the SPLASH porno remake TALK DIRTY TO ME 3, stoking the flames of fan interest even higher.
In early 1985 came NEW WAVE HOOKERS (Dark Bros) in which Traci played the devil, and despite the fact she was barely able to deliver a decent line of dialogue, the movie was a mega-hit. Traci’s on-the-set antics were reported as being on par with her onscreen performances, and many industry insiders had described this new starlet as nothing less than a total sex-addict (hype or hyperbole?). “The dirtiest girl in porn’s existence”, Gregory Dark was once overheard saying.
Between films and mag appearances, Traci still found time to produce phone sex tapes, another great way to command big bucks ($30,000 a month by her estimations), and she also boasted of receiving $25,000 a day on a XXX film set. Insiders and co-workers for the most part deny this claim, calling Traci a “lying cunt” and revealing that the actual figure fluctuated between $2,000 and $5,000 a day.
Rumors (mostly started by Traci herself) would also have us believe that she appeared in tiny extra roles in music videos by Boy George, and Madonna among others. Traci also made a tidy sum by modelling a line of clothes called “I.D” unfortunately the money she made here, as well as in her other endeavours likely all went up her nose.
Around this time it became common knowledge amongst Traci’s high school acquaintances that she was involved in porn, and yet no one said a word. A neighbor revealed that she had even lived at home until the fall of 1985, which would have been while her XXX career was already in full swing. When she finally did leave the nest, it was only to move a few miles away to an apt in Ranchos Palos Verdes.
It was then that Miss Lords decided to “retire” from the biz when she met Stewart Dell. Dell had previously been involved with various insignificant video companies, and their plan was to create some media attention, and then feed the hype machine with a staged dramatic return, which Traci did in January 1986 with the launch of TLC (Traci Lords Company). Dell and Lords made a duplicating deal with Sy Adler, and they were off and running.
In March 1986, the first TLC feature TRACI TAKES TOKYO was released, and soon a second movie called BEVERLY HILLS COPULATOR came out. But TLC’s third release, SCREAMER, would never hit video shelves — because that was when July 11th, 1986 happened.
Vantage International’s Sun valley offices were hit with investigators wielding search warrants, and the story broke: Porndom’s most popular figure was pumping out volumes upon volumes of material, and she was only 16 years of age in most of it. The revelation of Traci’s true age sent shockwaves and currents of fear and panic throughout the industry. Some smaller companies, and at least one major sub-distributer collapsed due to the scandal.
Ira Renier, the LA district attorney, issued a warning to all video shops to take down ALL Traci Lords affiliated films off their shelves or face the consequences. All down the line from manufacturer to mom and pop rental stores, everyone came up a loser. Some companies would allow distributors to return tapes for credit, but many would not. Everyone was stuck with mountains of unrentable, unsellable merchendise that could only be trashed. Losses from the Traci scandal were estimated to be in the tens of millions.
“I was half naked and they came barging into my house at 6am and put me against the wall, and left me standing there for 20 minutes. They trashed my apartment to hell, then drove me around in a car for about two hours. They were trying to scare me, to find out who I was. I wasn’t saying. They were trying to find out how old I was. I wasn’t saying. I was petrified. I was freaked out, chemically anyway…”
Traci Lords, FILM COMMENT July/Aug 1989
Speculation on who let the cat out of the bag consists of several theories:
1. Former employee Honi Webber, who was fired from TLC a few days before Traci’s true identity came into light, then went on to make a competing video TRACI’S BIG TRICK (Dir: Jane Waters) which starred Jaqueline Lorians as Traci.
2. Traci’s mom, Pat, also came under suspicion as she stood the most to gain in the increased notoriety. She was incensed that her daughter had sold the rights for TRACI DOES TOKYO for $75,000 behind her back. It’s widely rumoured that Pat Kuzma may have owned the rights to all (or most) of Traci’s films. Perhaps Traci, by calling the FBI herself, or getting her mom to do it, was able to take the films off the market to ready herself for a mainstream acting career, and make her mom extremely rich by raising the underground values at the same time.
3. A third theory has Traci and her boyfriend dealing to make a film in exchange for thousands of dollars and a car. Months later, they return… no money, no car, and no film. That’s big trouble, and a very real threat of violence follows. It’s possible that Traci called the feds for protection.
Traci refutes all 3 theories, and claims to this day that she has no clue who alerted the FBi to her teenage hoodwinking of the XXX industry, and that she was just a drug-addicted kid who couldn’t be blamed for any of her actions.
The most serious repercussion to the revelation of Lords real birth certificate was that producers Ronald Kantor and Robert McNee (of THOSE YOUNG GIRLS) were charged under the federal child protection act for using a minor in a sex film, despite the fact that Traci lied to them about her real age. They would have faced up to ten years in jail if convicted, although their case was eventually thrown out of court. Modelling agent Jim South also pleaded guilty to similar charges, although he lucked out when they were dropped.
After all this, what does Traci Do? She makes another skin flick of course. TRACI, I LOVE YOU was shot (reportedly) just 3 days after her 18th birthday for Caballerro video, with the head honcho for the company (Al Bloom) recalling Traci and Stewart Dell peddling the movie to him right after the scandal broke.
The contract for the film was several inches thick, and Dell and Lords netted an upfront fee and a fat royalty on each tape sold, apparently raking in over $300,000 when the movie became the best selling adult video of 1987.
“Doing X-rated films is nothing like doing real films”, she told a reporter soon after her porn career was over. “It was just sex, and it was dirty, and I didn’t want anything to do it anymore.”
Most interestingly, there are some people who feel that the whole event was itself an elaborate hoax and a press-grab, and that Traci (upon entering the world of porn) was of legal age all along. This theory has its valid points, but leaves too many questions unanswerable.
I prefer to believe that Traci Lords was a mixed up kid that knew exactly what she was getting herself into, but found it very hard to get out once she found herself fully immersed in it. She simply wasn’t that capable in controlling her involvement in the industry, regardless of the success she’d achieved.
There is no right and wrong here, no victim or victimiser… only a hefty body of work left in the garbage, an act that will ironically keep this womans name and image alive in the minds of many for a long, long time. I personally wish Traci the best in all her future endeavours.
Glenn S. (Originally printed in NOOKS AND CRANNIES zine, 1991)
Tuesday August 01st 2006, 3:45 am
Filed under: Articles
Kamikaze Hearts (1986)
Review by Robin Bougie
During the Sharon Mitchell Film Festival held at the Coolidge Corner Theater in Boston on June 6, 2000, the legendary porn queen showed clips from her XXX films spanning her three-decade-long career and provided a running commentary for the audience. Sharon held the crowd in rapt attention while she revealed the title from which each clip was taken, the director, and, when she remembered, anecdotes about the cast and what drug she was on at the time the footage was shot. It was usually heroin or marijuana and in some cases both. One such example was the ultra-rare documentary Kamikaze Hearts, which also depicted Mitchell–then addicted–passionately defending drug use.
“Kamikaze Hearts,” wrote L.A. Weekly of the now-forgotten film back in 1986, “drags you to a certain place–the world of lesbian junkie porn stars–and keeps you there for eighty minutes. If you’re excited by that place, or even if you find that place disturbing, you’ll like this film because it’s so relentlessly inside the world of naked bodies, make-believe, addiction, despair, two-bit sleaze, and two-bit dreams.”
It’s a documentary, but director Julie Bashore’s film is harder to peg than simply that. This one-of-a-kind 16mm porn-industry time capsule shifts nearly unnoticed between the real and unreal, as Mitchell and company become actors portraying themselves in reenactments of scenes leading up to and following the footage a documentary camera crew captured while behind the scenes of a cum-coated mid 80s porn film.
And when I say “behind the scenes”, I mean it. Usually unseen crew members are brought out into the open as they capture the performers either fucking one another or waiting around to get the chance to do so. Look, there’s a young Marian Wilde holding the boom. She would later go on to be foley editor on dozens of Hollywood films such as The Phantom Menace and Rain Man.
Sitting on the sidelines watching drug-addled Sharon flop on the carpet and contort herself into a nearly nude ball and go “Nyha nyha nyha” is still photographer Vincent Fronczek. Listen very carefully in an early scene and hear small-fry fuck actress Jennifer Blowdryer having a background conversation where she unwittingly admits that she started in porn when she was only seventeen and falsified age documents in order to work.
When Kamikaze Hearts premiered (and won Best Feature Film at the Torino International Gay and Lesbian Film Fest) The Chicago Reader’s Johnathan Rosenbaum called it “Alternately distressing, instructive, contestable, and fascinating.” He’s right.
Mitchell comes off as seasoned and cynical while also talking of being a shame-free exhibitionistic personality in front of the camera and otherwise. Her lover and co-star in Kamikaze Hearts is Tigr (pronounced “Tigger”) Mennett, production assistant and porn actress who was featured in roughly forty 70s and 80s pud-pullers of her own. Tigr’s career ended right about the time this film came out in 1986, but look for her in vintage ball-drainers such as Dr. Bizarro, 8 TO 5 (credited as Chelsea McCleane), and Matinee Idol (as Chelsea Manchester). The unusual blend of reality and fiction she and Mitchell bring to Kamikaze Hearts tastes like skid row while laying bare the stormy gutter-punk relationship between the two women.
“When I first met her I thought she was sleazy,” Tigr tells the audience of Mitchell, (whom everyone calls Mitch for short). “She needed to make a living, she was fucking on camera–I thought she was just another dumb porno slut. But I was wrong.”
Filmed on location in San Francisco, the notorious original home of the XXX film industry, the film features the two scrounging around in a semen-soaked seedy world colored by strip-joint punch-outs, after-party arguments, kinky sex, and egotistical sleaze-ball directors. These two are thrillingly unapologetic about the fact that they use heroin as a shield while traversing through this gritty twenty-four-hour party lifestyle, and the camera is there to catch what it can and reenact what it can’t.
“The camera’s presence,” wrote Rosenbaum, “has a shifting role in the film, moving from seemingly impartial witness of certain events to stimulus and catalyst for certain others, and this tends to confuse and change one’s relationship to both the film and its characters.”
Mitchell initially introduced Tigr to intravenous drugs years previous to the filming of Kamikaze Hearts, and in one of the final scenes in the film, the two lie on a bed and hit up while on camera. Mitchell brings the point home with the kind of wisdom only found in junkie babble. “This is the truth,” she says as she stares into the camera after pulling the needle out of her arm, “You got what you want. You did not have to put it in. You could give it to me. I’ll put it in my movie. There is no legitimate or illegitimate anything. No one dragged you into anything. This [she holds up a needle] was my dick and I fucked her with my dick. And I waited for this relationship to mature. This is a movie within a movie within a movie. This is timeless.”