Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Ed Wood Wednesdays: The Wood Loop Orbit, Part Five by Greg Dziawer

John Holmes is ready for his closeup in Fanny Up.

Fanny Up  

This week, we're once again entering the Wood Loop Orbit, in which Edward D. Wood, Jr. possibly played some part in the creation of short pornographic films during the 1970s. In my estimation, the 8mm loop Fanny Up, the sixth loop in the John's Girls series, was subtitled by Ed at very least, to bury the lede.

Logo for the John's Girls series of loops.
There is an evident and genuine artistic concern on display throughout Fanny Up, clearly an evolution for the creative principles responsible for the majority of the Bloom-family loops. Swedish Erotica was about to return, soon the pillar of the Bloom enterprise, and with it came a set of new aesthetics. Bearing copyright dates of 1975/1976, though likely shot a bit earlier, John's Girls was the artistic pinnacle of the second phase of the Bloom-family loop aesthetic. The first phase, the Cinema Classics loops, though initially lacking subtitles, were far more perfunctory and far less ambitious, but not without their Woodian charm...yet another story that will be told.

Back to Fanny Up, a jewel of a loop in a great series: Naked by the strikingly blue pool, a pretty young blonde with heavy blue eye shadow brushes her hair. Her male costar, John Holmes, wearing a powder blue shirt open to the belly button, with an appropriately huge belt buckle, dials the (also powder blue) rotary phone in his kitchen. The girl by the pool, Tonie, puts down her brush and picks up the phone with a suitably long cord. Ed Wood's captions take it from there.

John Holmes on the powder-blue phone in Fanny Up..

Tonie: HI JOHN.

Tonie: WHAT IS DOING?

Tonie: OKAY, GREAT.

John: BYE.

Tonie: BYE.

She walks into the camera, as we disappear into her pubic hair. We re-emerge as John walks away from us, opening his door to let her in.

John: HI, GLAD YOU COULD MAKE IT.

John: YOU LOOK GREAT TONIE.

Tonie walks into camera, face first, at the tail end of a shot that opens with John walking away from the camera in medium close-up, down the hall to his front door. John leers at her from behind, giving an uncharacteristically emotive performance throughout in veritable and fittingly silent-movie pantomime. He mugs, smacks and licks his lips, and here, as he walks down the hall behind Tonie, leers with gleeful abandon.

Continuing to deconstruct time and space while merging the protagonists, we cut to John walking away from the camera, behind Tonie, as the pair enter a plain room.

John: SIT DOWN. 

A beige sectional. A coffee table. An abstract painting on the wall, against a bare, light-beige wall. John knocks Tonie's knapsack off the edge of the couch, rather purposefully, with his elbow, and is disingenuously apologetic.

John: OOOPS, SORRY.

Tonie: I WILL GET IT.

And as she bends over the back of the couch, her skirt lifts to reveal her panties. John, who seems to possess magical sexual powers in the Bloom-family loops, promptly begins to fondle Tonie's ass. Two minutes into a nine-minute loop, and the action is finally underway!

John: OH! WOW.

Foreplay ensues, a shot zooming rapidly in on the bullseye as John begins to fondle the goods.

John: UMMM!!!

This is one of the most common captions in the subtitled loops, with myriad variations on the number of M's and I's.

Tonie: WHAT ARE YOU DOING?

A characteristically weak protest—and rhetorical question—in the larger family of loops. He is clearly performing cunnilingus on her from behind with her black panties pulled aside. She acquiesces in mere seconds.

Tonie: OHH!! THAT FEELS SOOOO GOOD.

A dreamy dissolve lands on Tonie's face in close-up, hanging over the couch, her previously blank demeanor now masked in animal-like expressions.

Tonie: AHHHHH!!!!!

Another common caption:

Tonie: TAKE OFF MY PANTIES.

Tonie: NOW MY TURN.

As she fishes John's cock out of his fly, there is a quick cut to her startled face, dissolving into her performing oral sex.

Tonie: UMMM!!!

John: NICE TITS.

Tonie: WHAT A COCK. OHHHH!!!

More dissolves, and a very mobile camera supplying superfluous artistry. Then John suddenly and rapidly walks into the camera, leading with his semi-erect cock.

John: SUCK IT, TONIE.

John: AHHHH!!!

Tonie: UMMMM!!!

John: LET ME PUT IT IN.

Tonie's garter belt and black stockings remain on, as she reacts—characteristically in these loops— in momentary pain.

Tonie: OH, IT HURTS.

Tonie: AHHH!!!

It only hurts at first, as they say.

John: ROLL OVER.

Close-ups of Tonie grimacing, and gynecological close-ups.

John: GET ON TOP.

Tonie: AHHH!!!

Tonie: IT IS TOO BIG.

Tonie: STOP! STOP!

Dissolve. She doth protest too much.

Tonie: PLEASE DON'T STOP.

John: MILK ME, MILK ME.

Tonie: UMMM!!!!

After a series of dissolves, we arrive at the film's literal climax. Mere years into its mass existence, hardcore pornography had ossified into a cumshot across the face, closing the loop (no pun intended) of the male control—dare we say rape—fantasy.

"The End" appears in the blocky font that closes hundreds of Bloom-family loops, as the camera zooms quickly in on Tonie's face. The film then fades into blackness.

For the record, that's 34 lines of subtitle, totaling almost 90 words, 3.8 words per line. Characteristically terse, these numbers land close to the mean.

Ed liked the term "fanny." He liked it a lot. The word permeates media across the Bloom enterprise.

In next week's Ed Wood Wednesdays, we'll travel further out into the unknown world of the Wood Loop Orbit, identifying key players and numbers that will shape our future Ed-tributions, in the future.

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