|Modern Pulp||Apr 26 2012|
This is one side of a chirashi, or two-sided mini-poster, for Gerard Damiano’s 1977 porno flick Water Power, with Sharon Mitchell and Jamie Gillis. Like most chirashi, it features art produced especially for the Japanese market, which makes it highly collectible (assuming you actually dare to collect porn posters). The image doesn’t really read as erotic to us, but then neither does the movie—enemas, yuck. But hey, if you’re into that sort of thing, we don’t judge. Whatever floats your butt. We’ve taken a photo of the reverse side of the poster, below, and we also had a more conventional Japanese Water Power poster, and we threw that in just for the fun of it. The film had its Japanese premiere in Tokyo today in 1980. Side note: we snagged a pile of these chirashi with no idea what movies they were for, and once we found out they were for pornos decided not to post them. But now we’ve changed our minds because the images are interesting, after all. So look for more of these down the line.
|Sex Files||Jun 20 2009|
In the U.S. this week, declassified FBI documents revealed that the U.S. government conducted a wide-ranging investigation into Gerard Damiano, director of the 1972 porn film Deep Throat. The heavily redacted documents showed that FBI agents across the nation were directed by top figures at the agency to conduct a campaign of harassment and intimidation against Deep Throat producers and distributors in a deliberate effort to stem the tide of sexual freedom that was sweeping the nation. Records show they seized prints of the film, and questioned everyone associated with its distribution, from delivery boys to theater managers.
Included in the stack of documents is an August 1973 letter stating that Damiano was being considered for prosecutorial immunity. The papers don’t say what crime exactly Damiano had committed, but at the time the film was thought to violate obscenity statutes and, because of an assumed link between porn and organized crime, various RICO charges might also have been considered. Ironically, the second-in-command at the FBI at that time was Mark Felt, who would soon play Deep Throat in real life when he became a secret source for Carl Bernstein and Bob Woodward during their Watergate investigation into Republican Party corruption. He adopted the moniker Deep Throat as his code name, and his real identity remained a mystery until he came forward in 2005.
Despite the FBI’s efforts, the tides of cultural change were too strong. What had been universally offensive just a generation before was seen as entertaining in 1972, and Deep Throat became the most popular x-rated film ever released, eventually earning more than 300 million dollars after an initial investment of around $25,000. At the height of the Deep Throat craze, the film was booked into mainstream cinemas and moviegoers attended packed showings without an iota of shame. Since then American culture has changed again, and, though consumption of pornography is so widespread it generates untold billions of dollars in yearly revenue, it has lost its aura of respectability and is virtually always consumed in private.