Sunday, June 08, 2008

Moorcock and I

Forgot to say (actually forgot all about it myself) that my short piece on an old sleaze film called The Smut Peddler (1965) appeared on Earl Kemp's fanzine here. Should probably point out that this is the first time - and probably will be the last - when I'm in a same publication with Michael Moorcock.

There was a comment on the film by a long-time science fiction fan called Mike Deckinger in the next issue of Earl Kemp's fanzine. I'll quote it in here:

"Of course I remember The Smut Peddler. It was released at a time when the more innocent and carefree nudies (as exemplified by Russ Meyers’ early contributions), were beginning to fade from view, and ushered in the era of the “roughies”; B&W independent films that featured ample flesh displays and undue amounts of violence and misogyny. The key developers of “roughies” included the incredible husband and wife team of Michael and Roberta Findlay, Barry Mahan (Errol Flynn’s drinking buddy), the delectable Audrey Campbell, star of the “Olga” series. and our very own William Rotsler.

The crusty character, in the still from The Smut Peddler also played the titular lead (adorned in scabby make-up and prosthetics), who, as noted, is only glimpsed in the trailer. The trailer itself was a marvel of manipulative direction. Since one of the shadowy plot elements centered on the production of a girly magazine called Dream Girl, re-enactments of an S&M photo-shoot were presented as if they foreshadowed actual scenes within the final product.

However, the sweaty viewer was not totally deceived. Additional unrelated scenes of European glamour girls rounded out the viewing experience.

Roughies only remained for a few years. Once the envelope was pushed to the limit, with the advent of hard-core, non-simulations, the soft-core genre dwindled and then disappeared.

I can understand that The Smut Peddler has become a rarity, but a sought-after rarity? Truly stunning."

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