First off, some important news for Cinema Sewer fans. The release of Volume Three of this beloved zine’s book-style compilation series is nearly upon us — in fact, it will hit the racks in August (get more info here). If you order the new book directly from author/editor Robin Bougie, you can get a personalized illustration on the front page (please note: personalized drawings are available for Volume Three only). Visit this page at Bougie’s Cinema Sewer online shop for all the early-order details:
And that’s not all for this news update — Robin was kind enough to offer a brief interview with this news so Schlockmania took him up on the offer. Here are the questions Your Humble Reviewer dreamt up and Bougie’s colorful, detailed answers for each. Be sure to check out the last question as it describes some of the contents of the 80 new pages of material included in Cinema Sewer Volume Three!
1) You’re well-known for the art in CINEMA SEWER and your other comics but your writing is often quite impressive, particularly the journalistic pieces. What article are you most proud of as a writer from any past CINEMA SEWER issue?
Well, the thirteen page overview of gnarly post apocalypse films from around the world in Vol. 2 is one of my favourite articles (and genres) in CS, but it doesn’t really feature my best writing or the most amount of research I’ve done for a single piece. For those, you’ld probably have to look at either the writing I did debunking the Snuff urban legend from book 1, the history of the underground farting Tilton tape (aka “Pastor Gas”) in vol. 2, or the overview of the Marc Wallace porn industry HIV scare in vol. 1. On each of those, I put in about a years worth of research and planning. I’m also pretty proud about the scoop I got on Thora Birch’s parents being former porn stars from the 70s. I was the first one to drop that in print.
2) One of the most distinctive elements of CINEMA SEWER is how it treats porn as part of the cult movie world instead of separating it into its own artistic ghetto. Could you describe the philosophy as a fan/critic that informs this point of view?
To me porno is very similar to comedy — it’s all about timing and giving in to the primal act of laughter/arousal. Only sneezing is more involuntary than the two of those. The similarities stack up further when you note that everyone has a different idea of what is funny and different idea of what is sexy. Besides, I’ve hung out with comedians and porn performers, and it’s amazing how much they have in common. They often act out and seek attention because they’re exhibitionists, have low self esteem, and had problematic childhoods. Porn also has a lot of similarities with the musical genre, in that the story comes to a dead halt so that the “dancers” can perform their “dances” (wink wink, nudge nudge) together. When the “dancing” is amazing, it is considered a great film. Same with porn.
We don’t put musicals or comedies aside and treat them as “the other”, a misbegotten entertainment shit-scab unworthy of respect. A genre where your career is tainted and ruined in the mainstream if you dare set genitals in it. It’s funny, because the introduction to my new book, Cinema Sewer vol. 3, has a cute little history lesson about the very first piece of pornography in human history, the invention of the word “pornography”, and why society acts as if porn has been a blight upon mankind as long as human history — when in actuality it has only existed for just over 150 years. It’s like being born into a cult now — where generations grow up, live, and die, never questioning why depictions of nudity/copulation are kept behind closed doors — or wondering if there ever was a time when they were not.
3) If you were given the financing to write and direct a porn film, what would it be like?
Well, I already produced a XXX porn film a couple of years ago — the first heterosexual biblical porn epic: THE CUMMING OF JIZZUS. It’s got faith-filled fisting, prophetic piss drinking, and even some lesbian lepers! JIZZUS had a ridiculously tiny budget though, and there are so many other things I’d like to do with the genre, but I just have not a single ounce of passion for the process of filmmaking. My passion for creativity resides in print. I’ve got a massive, engorged, veiny, purple boner for the printed page, the written word, and the illustrated pen+ink line. But you said if I were “given the financing”, and the concept that money would be no object suddenly does remind me that I’ve always wanted to make a XXX post-nuke end-of-society film called HUMP MONKEY WASTELAND. H.M.W. would feature ROAD WARRIOR style vehicles, destroyed buildings and rubble, grease-smeared violent girl-gangs wearing headbands and football shoulder pads, and all kinds of filthy sex mixed with dystopian violence. There would be desperation, revenge, romance, action, and freaks. Back when I was actually seriously thinking it was something that was feasible to do, I’d even found a guy here in Vancouver who had a hole in the side of his cock, would inject lighter fluid into the hole, would set his piss stream alight, and could literally SHOOT FIRE OUT OF HIS COCK! He was gonna be my star. Man, what could have been, Don. What. Could. Have Been.
4) If you could produce a special edition DVD for any unreleased cult film, what would it be — and what kind of special features would you include on the disc?
Fuck man, good question, and I’m gonna have to give two because it’s a tie!
Featured in Cinema Sewer Vol. 2. This is my fave mondo of all time, and also one of the most prized documentaries in my collection. There is a rare dvd that came out in region 2, but there has been no domestic North American release — and that breaks my heart. This movie needs to be seen.
* An hour long featurette about the movie, it’s aftermath (a guy was arrested for owning a copy in the UK in 1992), and the man who made it, Leonard Schrader. He was such an interesting guy, you could make a whole movie just about him and his brother, Paul “Taxi Driver” Schrader, and it would just totally slay people dead.
* A pop-up video style text commentary track that gives insight, context and information on the people places, and events that make up the violent jaw-dropping caught-on-camera clips in the film — many of which have never been seen anywhere else.
My second fantasy dvd would be:
THE DOGVILLE SHORTS (USA Circa 1929 to 1931)
These thing are just jaw-droppingly bizarre. A series of black and white short films starring dog actors wearing clothes, and moved around sets on wires as if they were living puppets. Some of them learned to walk on their hind legs and did the scenes that way, but they look even more weird. Only DOGWAY MELODY has ever made it to dvd as an extra feature on one of the BROADWAY MELODY releases, but the rest of these fucking things need to be unearthed too. There is one where dogs play college football, and the entire audience in the bleachers are all dogs as well. It’s just madness. Search “dogville shorts” on youtube and get a whiff.
* Something, anything, explaining whose idea this was, and how the fuck they pulled these things off. Dogs acting as dogs are hell on a set at the best of times, it must have been pure madness trying to get them to act as humans. A commentary by a knowledgeable classic film historian would be great. Eddie Muller is always keen for that kinda poop. He knows his stuff.
For sure. I’m actually pretty excited about the exclusive new stuff, as I believe it is some of the best work I’ve ever done in Cinema Sewer. There is an 8 page article about my favourite classic porn star, Rene Bond, and it features one of the very few interviews she ever did before she passed away. A feature on Indonesian action star, Peter “Rambu” O’Brian. A giant 12 page feature about Golan-Globus/Cannon films, and what I consider to be the 50 best movies they produced throughout the nineteen eighties. A great article written by you, Don — about the most noteworthy classic “Southern Discomfort” (aka Hillbillies mistreat city-folk) exploitation cinema. A feature about rare 1970s documentary that starred a wheelchair-bound pervert who ran a town in Indiana called “Naked City”, lived in a giant geodesic dome, and hired naked women to push him around and sit in his lap. All that, and the answer to this stumper of a trivia question: Which Russ Meyer girl is now a conservative Obama-hatin’ republican blogger? Anyway, that is just the tip of the turdberg. There is farrrrr too much new stuff to list here!