A brave and passionate fellow named 42nd Street Pete has been compiling and introducing a stack of porno "loops" from the 70's and 80's for distributor After Hours Cinema. Loops were short films that were played over and over again -- in a "loop" -- in porn emporiums on 42nd Street, NY, and in other cities throughout the world during better times (for sleaze fans, anyway). In many countries, they were also sold in Super-8 compilations -- or alone if they were long enough.
The Extreme Sleaze Showcase/Part 3/The Peepland Collection is Pete's latest offering, and it's a good one. Loops don't have complex storylines. They have simple premises. For example, my favorite in this collection is *Violence*. The premise is: A young woman riding a bike is kidnapped and taken to a barn. There, she she is raped and abused. That's it.
*Violence* fascinated me because it's visually similar to some rough little shorts I made myself in the early 80's; they had titles like 'Horsing Around' and 'Beyond the Pale, and although they were not hardcore, they had a similar storyline, and were shot on Super-8 (like *Violence*). Although Pete introduces and comments on these movies, he doesn't say a lot about their origins. *Violence* also appealed to me because it has what I can only call a Color Climax look.
In the 70's and early 80's, Color Climax was the premier European producer and distributor of loops and magazines featuring every sexual bent imaginable (legal and illegal) . Notorious, now hard-to-find films like *Kilroy Was Here* and *Debased Dolly* were distributed if not always produced by Color Climax, and I have always associated the grainy Super-8 look of films like *Violence* with the company (now an on-line concern only). If I'd frequented 42nd Street, my reference points would probably be different.
Another suspiciously Euro aspect of *Violence* is the inclusion of shots of pigs during the rape. The pigs are not part of the sex, but shots of them hanging out, eating, roughhousing, and gawking at the proceedings are intercut in order to up the sleaze quota. Perhaps the original producers were appealing to the beasty crowd?
The Extreme Sleaze Showcase DVD's are all must-haves.
The artwork for After Hours' DVD mirrors the look of porn paperbacks of the period
There is a bit of confusion in some of the attached notes. Although the loops collected for Part III are said to have originally been screened at 'Peepland', the written notes for Part II cite *Violence* as a loop that screened at Blackjack Books. It's a minor confusion, and I simply point it out to invite clarification.
One of the most curious loops involves Louie De Jesus (from Bloodsucking Freaks) going the whole hog with the wonderful Vanessa Del Rio. This is a hardcore scene, and features the little guy penetrating a porn queen who is undoubtedly all woman.
Super-8 loops aren't produced today, but their equivalent is the gonzo porn that keeps the internet humming, and DVD shelves (in some countries) filled. Although S/M-themed porn -- porn that is structured around scenarios and adheres to master/slave dynamics -- is still produced, material along the lines of 'Violence' is not as common. The work of adult filmmakers such as Simon Thaur, Belladonna, John Stagliano, Khan Tusion, Rob Black, Rocco Siffredi, Jake Malone, Cristoph Clark, Max Hardcore, Nacho Vidal, and Thomas Zupko (among others) is descended from the rough loops -- like *Violence* -- that once made 42nd Street so special.
These collections are a priceless reminder of recorded sexual culture, a culture that echoes today, and will echo well into the future.