Lone Wolf Sullivan is a writer, songwriter, and studio musician.

Monday, June 15, 2009

A Home at the End of the World (2004) * * *

In suburban Cleveland in the 1960s, people have a habit of dying around rebellious 14 year-old Bobby Morrow (Andrew Chalmers). First his hippie brother, then his mother, and then his father. Bobby moves in with the family of his best friend from school, conservative and gawky Jonathan Glover (Harris Allan). When the two boys sleep together, even before Bobby moves in permanently, Jonathan puts the moves on him, and Bobby gets involved. The two are inseparable until Jonathan's mother Alice (Sissy Spacek) discovers them in a VW together and Jonathan pulls away from Bobby. Bobby helps Alice accept her son's homosexuality, and she teaches Bobby how to bake, setting him on a career path.

Eight years later, father Ned (Matt Frewer) decides that it's time Bobby move out on his own. Bobby (Erik Smith) follows Jonathan (Dallas Roberts) to NYC, only to be rejected by his childhood friend, at which point he turns to Jonathan's roommate, the free-spirited Clare (Robin Wright Penn), for solace. Jonathan shares a colorful East Village apartment with the bohemian and somewhat older Clare. Bobby (Colin Farrell) moves in, and the three create a nuclear family in the 1980s.

Clare: (on Bobby, when meeting him for the first time) Where did you find him?
Jonathan: He found me.
Clare: Jonathan, blue is your friend. See, blue is the color of sky and water.
Jonathan: White goes with everything
Clare: Yes, well, honey, it's a house, not an outfit.
Jonathan: Hey. I'm sorry about... well, all this. I knew I'd see you both again. I just imagined... well, different circumstances.
Clare: It's OK.
Bobby: It's OK.

Although Jonathan is gay and highly promiscuous, he is deeply in love with Clare, who seduces and falls into a relationship with the bisexual Bobby. Their romance occasionally is disrupted by sparks of jealousy between the two men until Jonathan, tired of being the third wheel, disappears without warning. He re-enters their lives when Ned dies and Bobby and Clare travel to Phoenix, Arizona for the services. The three take Ned's car back east with them, and impulsively decide to buy a house near Woodstock, New York, where Bobby and Jonathan open and operate a cafe while Clare raises the baby daughter she and Bobby have had.

Bobby: Clare, come on.
Clare: I'm pregnant, you f**kers!
Jonathan: Bobby, if you want my family so badly, I hereby bequeath them to you. No, better yet, I hereby bequeath you my whole, entire life. I hereby dub you Jonathan Glover. Tomorrow, when they cremate my father's body, you can be the son and I'll be the best friend. You can come back from the service, and you can console my mother!
Clare: Jonathan, stop it.
Jonathan: You're better at it than I am! You're better qualified, so go! Go at it. Be their son, with my blessing!
Clare: Listen to me, you little s**t! All he's ever done is worship you. And all you've ever done is walk out on him. Don't you dare speak to him like that, you hear me?
Jonathan: You don't know what you're talking about. You don't know the first thing about worship.
Clare: Do you know--do you have any idea how much--how much I wanted you? How much I loved you, you asshole. And then - what an idiot I am. How pathetic is that? Me in love with you. And then Bobby comes along, and I fell in love with this one, and I think that we... that the three of us, maybe we could... F**k it. Just leave me alone and go back in the house and have a drink.

Jonathan discovers what appears to be a Kaposi's sarcoma lesion on his thigh and, although Bobby tries to convince him it's simply a bruise, others soon appear. Clare takes the baby for what ostensibly is a brief visit to her mother in Philadelphia, but Bobby and Jonathan accurately suspect she has no intention of returning and Bobby decides to care for Jonathan during his last days. On a cold winter day, they scatter Ned's ashes in the field behind their home, and Jonathan makes Bobby promise he will scatter his in the same place following his now inevitable early death from complications due to AIDS.

(last lines)
Bobby: I've been thinking. We should repaint Rebecca's room. Like, pink. She'd like that, don't you think?
Jonathan: Mm-hmm.
Bobby: She'll come back someday. To this house, I mean. It'll be hers.
Jonathan: I guess it will be.
Bobby: She probably won't want it, right? She probably won't have any idea what to do with it. But still, it'll be hers, y'know?
Jonathan: It'll be hers. Listen. This'll be an all right place to put my ashes, too, OK?
Bobby: Sure. I mean, whatever you want.
Jonathan: You've built us a very good home.
Bobby: That's not what... That's what you did. That's what you did for me, y'know?
Jonathan: It's funny, isn't it?
Bobby: What?
Jonathan: The big, beautiful, noisy world. Everything that can happen.
Bobby: Yeah. It's funny.
Jonathan: Growing up in the country doesn't doom anybody to good behavior. Most of the realy interesting murderers come from derelict farms.

This movie does a great job of evoking the late 1960s in America, and looks at what we mean by love, commitment and loyalty. More importantly, it re-examines the idea of family, and shows us how it can be redefined. Probably the writer did not intend to punish his characters for their deviancy, but it does seem to be the case. The thinness of the material is a handicap, with numerous emotional scenes left dangling in a narrative vacuum. Some obvious scenes, like the birth of Claire's baby, are inexplicably left out. The changing of the years with a selection of golden oldies becomes tiresome, and the sweet and funny adolescent earlier passages are exhausted by the time we reach the somewhat abrupt conclusion. Farrell's controversial frontal nude scene, allegedly cut for being distracting, was not restored for the DVD release. But the DVD includes a short making-of documentary.

Film critic Roger Ebert wrote: "The movie exists outside our expectations for such stories. Nothing about it is conventional. The three-member household is puzzling not only to us, but to its members. We expect conflict, resolution, an ending happy or sad, but what we get is mostly life, muddling through... Colin Farrell is astonishing in the movie, not least because the character is such a departure from everything he has done before." A.O. Scott of the New York Times wrote: "The actors do what they can to import some of the texture of life into a project that is overly preoccupied with the idea of life, but the mannered self-consciousness of the script and the direction keeps flattening them into types."

The cast also includes: Ryan Donowho (Carlton Morrow), Asia Vieira (Emily), Quancetia Hamilton (Dancing Party Guest), Jeff J. J. Authors (Frank), Lisa Merchant (Frank's Date), Ron Lea (Burt Morrow), Michael Mayer (Jonathan's Co-Worker), Barna Moricz (Wes), Virginia Reh (Woman at Home Cafe), Joshua Close (Reiner), and Wendy Crewson (Isabel Morrow). Michael Cunningham wrote the screenplay based on his 1995 Pulitzer Prize-winning novel "The Hours". Duncan Sheik composed the original music, and the soundtrack includes songs by Laura Nyro, Leonard Cohen, and Dusty Springfield. Michael Mayer directed.

My Own Private Idaho (1991) * * *

Mike Waters (River Phoenix) is a gay hustler standing alone on a deserted stretch of highway somewhere in Idaho. He starts talking to himself and notices that the road looks "like someone’s face, like a f**ked-up face." He suffers from narcolepsy, experiences an episode and dreams of his mother comforting him as he replays home movies of his childhood in his mind. Mike wakes up to being fellated by a client. After his hotel encounter, he returns to his favorite spots to pick up potential clients. A wealthy older woman Alena (Grace Zabriskie) takes him to her mansion where he meets two fellow hustlers she also hired. One of them is Scott Favor (Keanu Reeves), Mike’s best friend. Mike is in love with Scott, who insists he is straight and his hustling on the streets is only temporary. While preparing to have sex with the woman, Mike experiences another narcoleptic fit and awakens the next day with Scott in Portland, Oregon.

Scott: I never thought I could be a real model, you know fashion-s**t, cause I'm better at full body stuff. It's okay so long as the photographer doesn't come on to you and expect something for no pay I'm trying to make a living, you know, and I like to be professional 'Course if the guy wants to pay me, then s**t-yeah. Here I am for him. I'll sell my ass, I do it on the street all the time for cash. And I'll be on the cover of a book. It's when you start doing things for free, that you start to grow wings. Isn't that right, Mike.
Mike: What?
Scott: Wings, Michael. You grow wings, and become a fairy.

Mike: (in a coffee shop) How'd we get home?
Scott: That German guy. Hans. He brought you downtown, you were passed out. He said he was heading to Portland, so I asked him for a ride.
Mike: For some reason I'm forgetting a German guy named Hans.
Scott: Well. You were sleeping.
Mike: How much do you make off me while I'm sleeping?
Scott: Just a ride, Mike. I don't make anything. What, you think that I sell your body while you are asleep?
Mike: Yeah.
Scott: No, Mike. I'm on your side.

Mike and Scott are soon reunited with their mentor Bob Pigeon (William Richert), a middle-aged man and father figure to a gang of street kids and hustlers who live in an abandoned apartment building. Scott, the son of the mayor of Portland, admits to Bob in private that when he turns 21, he will inherit his father’s fortune and reject the street hustler lifestyle. Mike yearns to find his mother and he and Scott leave Portland for Idaho to visit Mike’s older brother Richard (James Russo), who lives in an old trailer. Richard tries to tell Mike who his real father is but Mike says that he knows it is Richard. He tells Mike that their mother works as a hotel maid and when Mike and Scott visit the hotel they find out that she went to Italy to find her own family.

Bob: Scott. When you inherit your fortune, on your twenty-first birthday, let's see... how far away is this?
Scott: One week away, Bob, just one more week.
Bob: Let's not call ourselves robbers, but Diana's foresters. Gentlemen of the shade. Minions of the Moon. Men of good government.
Scott: When I turn twenty-one, I don't want any more of this life. My mother and father will be surprised at the incredible change. It will impress them more when such a f**k-up like me turns good than if I had been a good son all along. All the past years I will think of as one big vacation. At least it wasn't as boring as schoolwork. All my bad behavior I'm going to throw away to pay my debt. I will change when everybody expects it the least.

Richard: That guy. He was your real dad, Mike.
Mike: Don't f**k me in the head anymore man! I know the f**king truth! I know who my f**king real dad is!
Richard: Who?... Who?
Mike: Dick, you. Richard, you're my dad. I know that.
Richard: You know too much.

Mike: What do I mean to you?
Scott: What do you mean to me? Mike, you're my best friend.
Mike: I know, man, I know... I know... I know I'm your friend. We're good friends, and that's good to be, you know, good friends. That's a good thing.
Scott: So...
Mike: So I just...(pauses) That's okay. We're going to be friends.
Scott: I only have sex with a guy for money.
Mike: Yeah, I know, I mean...
Scott: And two guys can't love each other.
Mike: Yeah. Well, I don't know, I mean, I mean for me, I could love someone even if I, you know, wasn't paid for it. I love you, and... you don't pay me.
Scott: Mike...
Mike: I really wanna kiss you, man. (pauses) Well goodnight man. (pauses again) I love you, though. (pauses again) You know that. I do love you.
Scott: (moves some things out of his way) Alright, come here, Mike. (pats the ground) Let's just see. It could be fun. Just gonna see, come on.
(Mike moves over towards Scott and lowers his head. They presumably start to kiss)

In Italy, Mike and Scott find the country farmhouse where Mike’s mother worked as a maid and an English tutor. The young woman Carmella (Chiara Caselli) who lives there tells Mike that his mother returned to the US months ago. Carmella and Scott fall in love and return to the US leaving Mike to return home on his own. Back in Portland, Bob and his gang confront a newly reformed Scott at a posh restaurant but he rejects them. That night, Bob has a fatal heart attack. The next day, the hustlers hold a rowdy funeral for Bob while in the same cemetery, a few yards away, Scott attends a solemn funeral for his recently deceased father.

Mike is back on a deserted stretch of Idaho highway. He falls into another narcoleptic stupor and two strangers pull up in a truck, steal Mike’s belongings and drive away. Moments later, a car pulls up and a driver picks Mike up, places him in the vehicle and drives off.

(last lines)
Mike: I'm a connoisseur of roads. I've been tasting roads my whole life. This road will never end. It probably goes all around the world.

This melancholy film loosely based on Shakespeare's "Henry IV", Part 1, is a dreamlike, eerie, haunting, engaging, and often surreal masterpiece. The plot is loose, cinematography is lush, and River Phoenix gives one of the best performances of his tragically short career. It's a marvelous balancing act: the movie feels grungy and and as transcendent as poetry at the same time. There is a lot of vulgar language, nudity and simulated sex. Strangely, at no point in the film is AIDS mentioned, although Mike is seen carrying a condom in one scene. Whatever the reason, AIDS does not exist in this movie about promiscuous hustlers.

Film critic Roger Ebert wrote, "The achievement of this film is that it wants to evoke that state of drifting need, and it does. There is no mechanical plot that has to grind to a Hollywood conclusion, and no contrived test for the heroes to pass." The origins of MY OWN PRIVATE IDAHO come from John Rechy's 1963 novel "City of Night", which features characters who are street hustlers that do not admit to being gay.

The cast also includes: Rodney Harvey (Gary), Michael Parker (Digger), Jessie Thomas (Denise), Flea (Budd), Tom Troupe (Jack Favor), Udo Kier (Hans), Sally Curtice (Jane Lightwork), Robert Lee Pitchlynn (Walt), Mickey Cottrell (Daddy Carroll), Wade Evans (Wade), Matthew Ebert (Coverboy), Scott Patrick Green (Coverboy / Cafe Kid), Tom Cramer (Coverboy), Vana O'Brien (Sharon Waters), (Shaun Jordan (Cafe Kid), Shawn Jones (Cafe Kid), George Conner (Bad George), Oliver Kirk (Indian Cop), Stanley Hainsworth (Dirtman), Joshua Halladay (Baby Mike), Douglas Tollenen (Little Richard), Steven Clark Pachosa (Hotel Manager), Lannie Swerdlow (Disco Manager), Wally Gaarsland (Rock Promoter), Brian Wilson (Rock Promoter), Mark Weaver (Rock Promoter), Conrad "Bud" Montgomery (Rock Promoter), Pat Patterson (Cop), Steve Vernelson (Cop), Mike Cascadden (Cop), Eric Hull (Mayor's Aide), James A. Arling (Minister), James Caviezel (Airline Clerk), Ana Cavinato (Stewardess), Melanie Mosely (Lounge Hostess), Greg Murphy (Carl), David Reppinhagen (Yuppie at Jake's), Tiger Warren (Himself), Massimo Di Cataldo (Italian Street Boy), Pao Pei Andreoli (Italian Street Boy), Robert Egon (Italian Street Boy), Paolo Baiocco (Italian Street Boy), Mario Stracciarolo (Mike's Italian Client), Heather J. Braden (Yuppie at Jakes), Kirsten Kuppenbender (Portland Street Girl), Jesse Merz (Mean Kid #2), Tom Peterson, Eli Swenson (Street Hustler), and Gus Van Sant (Man behind hotel counter). Bill Stafford composed the incidental music. Gus Van Sant wrote the screenplay derived from William Shakespeare's stage play "Henry IV". He wrote the original screenplay in the 1970s when he was living in Hollywood. Directed by Gus Van Sant.

This milestone independent film is now available on DVD from the Criterion Collection. It includes a two-hour interview with Van Sant (audio only), a new making-of retrospective, interviews galore, deleted scenes, and an impressive booklet with essays and printed interviews.

WADD: The Life & Times of John C. Holmes (1999)* * ½

This documentary is an in-depth look at the "King of Porn" as told by those who knew him. The main thing we learn about John Curtis Holmes (1944 -1988) is he was "a bullsh**ter who believed his own bulls**t". Furthermore, his manager who tells us this is also a bullsh**ter. For example, he lies about the gay films Holmes appears in to protect his straight image. So it's a good idea to be skeptical of statements made by those interviewed. No two people have exactly the same take on Holmes, and their stories often contradict one another.

Veteran documentary director Cass Paley tells of the sordid and often bizarre rise and fall of Holmes, attempting to unravel the myths surrounding him and show the darker side of his persona. Starting from his humble upbringing in rural Ohio, the film chronicles his rise to fame from the "Johnny Wadd" detective series, to his 27 fan clubs and his reported $3,000 a day salary. John Holmes was quite a good actor and in porn films constantly shows his c**k to the camera. He is the undisputed "King of Porn". In WADD John Leslie says, "John Holmes was the first, and you can't replace the first...That's why he will never be topped in that sense." And Larry Flynt says, "John Holmes' name is synonymous with the adult entertainment industry. His participation was legendary, and his work will be legendary for many decades to come."

Through interviews and clips from some of his 2,500 plus films, a disturbing dark side emerges from his good old boy image. He came from a broken home, had an abusive childhood, kept a wife secret from his porn colleagues for 19 years, pimped out his 16-year-old mistress for drug money, was arrested and incarcerated for his connection with a grisly mass murder, and eventually died of complications from AIDS. In the process, Paley shows us the wild porn industry world during its 1970s heyday. There are brief nude and sex scene clips in the first half of the film, but only a few with hard-core penetration.

Famous for his gigantic uncut monster c**k, John Holmes led a hedonistic high life with a plethora of drugs, and was surrounded by beautiful porn starlets. Veteran porn actress Annette Haven states, "It's true that his c**k was never hard. It was like doing it with a big, soft kind of loofah." Let me translate: like all big d**k porn stars, John Holmes used a vacuum pump cylinder, so usually his c**k had a hard inner core but was softer on the outside.

Aged 25 when censorship changes ushered in legal hard core pornography, Holmes' 13 inch d**k quickly established him as the genre's main attraction. Ron Jeremy has stated that Holmes was actually 11½ inches and used to brag that he was 14 inches. The sex, fame and drugs of the 1970s and '80s made him increasingly paranoid, arrogant, delusional and out-of-control, culminating in a series of brutal drug-related murders that Holmes at the very least witnessed on Wonderland Avenue in 1981. He was incarcerated in connection with the murders, but released due to lack of evidence, then charged with committing 4 murders, but acquitted. Finally, he was released from jail regarding contempt charges for remaining silent at his trial.

In 1972 Holmes was arrested for pimping and pandering, but he avoided prison time by becoming an informant for the LAPD. While at the top of the porn industry he was a police informant against it. Mike Sager says, "It's ironic that here he is credited with single handedly bringing porn to people's attention, yet at the same time he was simultaneously having all these other stars busted." Furthermore, even though he knew he had AIDS, he flew to Italy and made a film with Italian porn star Cicciolina. She says in WADD that she knew he was sick, but thought it was just flu.

Now John Holmes is a legend, the only porn star who is a bona fide mainstream celebrity. Everybody has heard of him and most have seen his c**k. Two Hollywood movies, "Boogie Nights" and "Wonderland" are loosely based on his life. Although this film was released by VCA Pictures (a porno film distribution company), it does not aim to titillate. WADD is an honest attempt at making a serious documentary. But there is a fair share of nudity, foul language, and quite a few brief glimpses at Holmes' monster c**k. The organ itself is the main reason to see Holmes, and those who watch this documentary just for that will be disappointed.

Paley interviews most of the people involved with Holmes during his life: his manager (Bill Amerson), his first wife (Sharon Holmes), his mistress (Dawn Schiller), his porno film directors, etc. Unfortunately, two important people in Holmes' life, his wife and his mistress, are shown in semi-darkness. Although their information is clear, we can't see or identify with them. Holmes comes across in many different ways. Some claim he was gentle and friendly, others claim he was a jerk. In interview clips he is handsome, intelligent, articulate, charming, confident, happy, energetic, and charismatic. He said that he slept with 14,000 women. Everyone denies this figure, and say the actual number was realistically somewhere around 3,000. Even Holmes couldn't remember which stories were true. Paley presents all this conflicting information and doesn't sort it out for us. Or maybe he couldn't. John Holmes seems to be a multi-faceted enigma.

WADD runs a lengthy 110 minutes. It was shot on video and lacks a unifying narrative voice. Using a narrator to present facts and stories would have improved this talking head documentary. With too much focus on Holmes' friends and family, everything becomes muddled, biased, and questionable. The film is intelligent, fascinating, and entertaining, but scattered. Lone Wolf has a great feature article about John Holmes in an issue of "Rolling Stone" magazine. However, after viewing this documentary, I realized most of the "information" in the article is bulls**t. The bottom line is this film is for those interested in the adult film industry and fans of John Holmes who should beware of the plentiful bulls**t.

The cast includes: John Holmes, Sharon Holmes, Dawn Schiller, Bill Amerson, Denise Amerson, Sean "Duke" Amerson, Juliet Anderson, Paul Thomas Anderson, Det. Tom Blake, Bunny Bleu, Martin Brimmer, Paul Cambria, Bob Chinn. David Clark, Ron Coen. Misty Dawn, Mitchell Egers, Don Fernando, Larry Flynt, Al Goldstein, Annette Haven, Bobby Hollander, Jim Holliday, Ron Jeremy, Gloria Leonard, John Leslie, Vonda Lia, William Margold, Sharon Mitchell, Kitten Natividad, Richard Pacheco, Ann Perry, Candida Royalle, Mike Sager, "Reb" Sawitz, Ilona Staller (Cicciolina), Joel Sussman, Kenneth Turan, and Bob Vosse. Scripted by Martin Brimmer with music by Brad Raylius Daniel and Tad Dery. Cass Paley produced and directed, but in the credits uses the name Alan Smithee, meaning he does not want to be associated with the film--possibly because 15 minutes were removed from his documentary.


John Holmes: It was the third year in college. The girl next door asked me if I wanted to make $100. And I said, Who do I have to kill? $100 is a lot of money. She said it was for a stag film and the producer was looking for someone who was overtly large. So I said sure. I wasn't planning on going into political sciences, so I figured what's it matter? So I made a stag film.

* If one respects what you do, what you represent, and how you speak and how you carry yourself--you don't have to be overly macho, you don't have to be over-complimentary. Gain her respect. And treat her as an equal. Don't bullshit her. Treat her as a human being. Treat her as you would treat yourself. As soon as you have that respect from her, she'll treat you with the same respect that you show. Then you f**k the s**t out of her.

* You really cannot trust anyone about anything 100%. It's lonely, but it's just one of the sacrifices to be successful in the field.

* Everything in life is an act. Everything. It's the performance that counts.

* I did the orgy trip for 2 or 3 years. Almost every week-end. In between tricks and freebies and girls in films, and keeping track of the films and averaging out how many girls you go to bed with in each film helps a lot. It's slightly over 14,000.

* (why he stays in the bathroom so long on sets) I don't always hide in the bathroom, sometimes I hide other places. It's just that the bathroom is usually the only room with a lock on the door.

William Margold: We're talking about a d**k from my elbow down.

Bill Amerson: I saw John measure himself several times, it was 13 and a half inches. I first met John Holmes in 1969 while casting for some still magazine work at the "Crossroads of the World" on Sunset Boulevard. We had an open casting call. It was towards the end of the day, and in walked this tall, skinny, very skinny, kid with somewhat of an afro haircut. He didn't look like the type of male model we could use for our nude photo shoots. My business partner said anyway to take him in the back room, have him take off his clothes to take some polaroid snap shots of him, say "Thank you very much", send him on his way, and that was that. We went into the back room, he undressed, I set up the camera when he turned around, I took one look down at the size and length of his appendage, before I even took the first photo I said to him, "You're going to be a star." And that's how I met John Holmes.

Interviewer: Do you take drugs?
John Holmes: No.
Interviewer: Are you sure? You honestly don't take drugs?
John Holmes: No, I don't take drugs. Drugs take me.

Bill Amerson: The closest John ever got to UCLA was stealing something out of a car in the parking lot. John didn't go to UCLA, he quit school in the 9th grade.

(on the Wonderland Avenue murders)
Det. Tom Blake: John then told me, "Hey, if I testify against these people who did the murders, or if I say anything to you about anything, Sharon's gonna be dead. Dawn's gonna be dead. The rest of my family and friends are gonna be dead. They won't kill me, they'll kill my whole family. What do I accomplish?" So then, John said, "Look, you can put me in jail, charge me with those murders, I don't care. I'm gonna take my chances. I can't testify or tell you what happened. I'm going to take my chances." He finally said, "And Tom, I'll deny ever having this conversation with you. If you tell anyone what I said, I will deny ever talking to you about this."

Ron Jeremy: What was so fascinating about John Holmes was the fact that he had this gigantic penis. He was just this tall, skinny, overgrown little boy with this huge schlong. And when it comes down to porn, no matter how you slice it, that's is what people get a kick out of. I mean today, you can have all the good looking guys with the muscular, body-builder physiques. But guys in the audience just want to see this long, gigantic penis on some skinny guy going into the vagina of some cute blonde or brunette.

Candida Royalle: John had a real Jeckyll/Hyde personality. One minute, he could be sweet, charming, and pleasant to talk to. The next, if you say the wrong thing to him, or provoke him in the slightest, he could become this angry, ranting and raving guy you want to avoid at all costs. Now, I never was victim of any of his moodiness other than, he knew he could throw his weight around on the set. So if there was something he didn't want to do, if he wanted to stop, that shoot was shut down.

Bob Vosse: Almost no one in the business knew John Holmes or anything about his personal life about where he was born, lived, his family, his wife, or anything. John had almost no social life and very few friends. He didn't want you to be his friend. I tried to be John's friend, but I can't say that I was ever his friend. He didn't want friends. I shot much more than half of the films John made in his life. John never trusted me, but he never trusted anyone. Believe it or not, I never had John's home phone number. In all those years, in the nearly 20 years that I knew him, I never had a phone number to reach him at, and he never told me or anyone his phone number or his home address. If I wanted to contact John, I would have to phone this answering service in Santa Monica, leave a message, and wait for him to call me back. And this was true with everybody. Even at the height of his career, directing the Swedish Erotica films, I never had his address or phone number. Despite working with him all those years, and all the money we paid him, we never had a phone number for him.

Sharon Holmes: John never considered anyone in the porn business his friend. He used people, just like he felt that he had been used all his life. I never met any of the people that John worked with. To John, everyone in the business he worked with he referred to them as "dirt," "scum", "slime", or "bastard." And I'm not talking about "bastard" in a kind way. By early 1980, John couldn't find work, or couldn't get enough money from work to support his escalating drug habit, is when he began robberies. He was often out of the house on robbery or drug runs and the less I saw him, the happier I was. John asked me to come with him and start a new life and I told him, "You can't change"... It was the first time in my life that I used the word "f**k", and I told him to "Get the f**k out of my life"... And that basically was the last time we ever spoke.

Bob Chinn: I first met John Holmes in 1971...he told me that he was an actor. So I said, "Well okay. What have you done? Show me your credentials." And so, he pulled down his pants... and showed me his credentials...By 1979, it was difficult for John to maintain an erection when he had done so much cocaine. To require him to get erect would take a lot of time and a lot of patience. But I didn't have the time, the patience, or the budget to deal with that...John had this compulsive, tendency to lie all the time. He loved lying. Tall tales, white lies, you name it. He would go on lying about stuff even after you knew he was lying, and he would still go on lying after he knew that you knew he was lying.

Bill Amerson: Oh yes, John did believe a lot of his own lies. John often got so carried away with lying about stuff that he frequently began to believe his own lies himself. One of the stories that John told to the public was of my doing. During the early years of his career, John and I came up with a story about John being a gigolo. Once a year during the late 1960s and early 1970s, John would fly to England to stay for a week with a wealthy, middle aged widow named Lady Agatha to be her companion and escort. She would pay him $10,000, as well as pay for his round-trip plane ticket and give him one diamond a year so he could it put onto a ring that he wore on his right forefinger. Now for the record, none of that was true. But the public loved hearing it and the press ate it up. Many years later during the summer of 1984, John and I rented a fishing boat and we went fishing off Catalina Island. John then started talking about the old days, and how he loved traveling on location to Mexico, Hawaii, etc, to film some of his films. During that time he said, "Remember when I used to go to England once a year to meet with Lady Agatha?" Incredulous, I looked at him and patiently said, "John, you never went to England in your life." John said, "What do you mean?" I said, "We made that up. Don't you remember? That was a story you and I made up together for the press." After a pause, John said, "Oh, that's right." So, bottom line, he did believe a lot of his own bulls**t.

(last lines)
Sharon Mitchell: I know where to find him. I can always push "play".

Selected John Holmes Films

Johnny Giant (1969)
Body Lust (1969)
Sex and the Single Vampire (1970)
The Danish Connection (1970)
Johnny Wadd (1971)
Flesh of the Lotus (1971)
Fulfillment (1971)
Blonde in Black Lace (1972)
Tropic of Passion (1973)
The Danish Connection (1974)
Oriental Sex Kitten (1975)
Tell Them Johnny Wadd Is Here (1976)
Liquid Lips (1976)
Fantasm ('Fruit Salad' segment) (1976)
The Autobiography of a Flea (1976)
Tapestry of Passion (aka Black Magic) (1976)
Hard Soap, Hard Soap (1977)
Eruption (1977)
The Jade Pussycat (1977)
Pizza Girls (1978)
The China Cat (1978)
Blonde Fire (1978)
The Erotic Adventures of Candy (1978)
The Senator's Daughter (1979)
Taxi Girls (1979)
California Gigolo (1979)
Sweet Captive (1979)
Insatiable (1980)
Prisoner of Paradise (1980)
Aunt Peg (1980)
Up 'n Coming (1983)
Nasty Nurses (1983)
Private Pleasures of John C. Holmes (1983)
Girls on Fire (1984)
Looking for Mr. Goodsex (1985)
The Grafenberg Spot (1985)
Rockey X (1986)
The Return of Johnny Wadd (1986)
Saturday Night Beaver (1986)
The Rise of the Roman Empress (1986)
The Devil in Mr. Holmes (1986)
Young John Holmes 1 & 2 (2001)
Around The World With John Holmes (2005)
The Early Films of John Holmes (2007)

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