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The Lost Art Of Porn
by Damian Kringas

Deep Throat was released in 1972. Linda Lovelace and Harry Reems were the stars. They were hot. Too hot. And the suits tried to bury it. Decent farmin' folk just don't do it. Determined to get porn out of pervy booths and 8mm stag nights, the filmmakers fought back. This is about art. About freedom of expression. About money. By 1973, porn was hip. It was mainstream. Porn actors were big stars and the man everyone wanted to meet the most was John C. Holmes. It was more than his acting talent. It was character. And style. He went about his business like Mr. Smooth. Like Teflon lounge music on a Saturday night. He put the zap into bad scripts, the volts into boring hotel room locations. Oh yeah, there was that other thing too. "It's bigger than a pay phone, smaller than a Cadillac." he said.

"The doctor has just discovered the root of Linda's seeming frigidity. Her clitoris has been anatomically mislocated and lies just south of her epiglottis." -Pornochic, Playboy Magazine, August 1973.

And star quality was the art. In 1976 Holmes starred in the Australian film, Fantasm. An Australian psychiatrist researches the ten most common female fantasies. It was always going to work. For around $50,000, this flesh flick grossed $650,000 by 1979. And they made a sequel.

And stars were just what the world needed. Millions of young males waking up to the secret functions of their bodies needed a hero. 16mm hygiene films at school told you where to put the soap, but left big gaps when it came to Friday and Saturday nights. And that talk with dad? What was that all about? When it came to the biology lesson that mattered, you needed a professional.

By the late seventies Holmes' best loved character, PI Johnny Wadd, was a household name. Fighting crime was his focus and "crime doesn't pay" was the universal message. Nothing was too much trouble to please a client.

In real life, by the early eighties Holmes was knee deep in a world of trouble. According to Rolling Stone magazine, he was free-basing a hit of cocaine every ten or fifteen minutes and taking forty to fifty Valium a day. Not good. He was in debt and moving from place to place. He worked as a courier for a drug gang, and as a way of repaying a debt to them, he was told to set up well-known crime figure, Eddie Nash, a trusted friend. After a cross and double-cross, Holmes found himself in the middle of a mass murder. He witnessed Nash and his bodyguard bash four people to death with steel pipes in retaliation for the robbery that Holmes had set up. Holmes was charged with the murders, stood trial and was eventually found innocent. Holmes moved around, and struggled to make a living. He didn't own the rights to any of the 2000 movies he'd made and when he was diagnosed with AIDS in 1985 he was living in virtual poverty. John C. Holmes died of AIDS in 1988.

These days porn is back in the pervy booths. Sure, a video can turn your home into a safe place to watch. But that's just one big pervy booth. The feel's gone. All that talent wasted in film school. The stars are gone. Any normal couple, like maybe the ones next door, can now go down and get $500 each for doing what they do at home, only in front of a film crew. The passion's gone. The scripts don't have the same messages. The entertainment's gone. Baby, the art's lost. ---Damian Kringas

link directly to this feature at https://www.hollywoodbitchslap.com/feature.php?feature=186
originally posted: 03/22/00 01:03:47
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