And here’s a two disc set of Wakefield Poole films.
Disc 1 features Take One, which Poole describes in a video introduction as “(his) version of A Chorus Line, asking about their lives and sexual fantasies”, set in and premiering at the Nob Hill theater.
Apparently, what we have here is a director’s re-edit, with deleted scenes included separately for those interested. The film is a sort of documentary, with Poole himself on camera alongside his production team, which then devolves into one of Poole’s typically artsy and low budget but aesthetically oriented shoots of guys playing with themselves or what have you while talking up a storm.
One guy “screws” a classic car. Another pair of lookalike brothers swap their construction flannels for Rob Halford biker gear and go at each other (yeesh on several levels!). A stoner type claims to live in the desert in a weird “moonscape” of a bluff. Nothing much happens with him, though he does chat in the buff for a bit…oh, hold up. Is that him in that nasty bar scene? Sheesh.
Whoops, same guy again, with Kid Rock in a cramped attic apartment. Same guy again, with another guy in the desert. Is that the same guy again at the theater, making use of the “glory holes” in the john? Oy. Could be several balding guys with mustachios, who knows…this is running on 36x speed.
Suffice to say, this one’s a lot raunchier than Bible, Boys in the Sand or even Bijou – definitely not one for straight crowds, and what few aesthetics appear (the little apartment with the Warhol prints Poole and crew are chatting in, the bar and theater lobby) are kinda rapid fire before he goes full on nasty.
Take One comes with a 12m extra “Wakefield Poole in San Francisco”, which covers Poole’s personal life and how it interacted with and to some extent influenced the films he made during this period…like disc 2 “bonus feature” Moving, or the porn theater and live gay sex shows he ran at the time (a discussion of which takes up a fair portion of the running time, and which play a part in Take One). Even Sylvester plays a brief part in the proceedings…”do ya wanna funk” indeed!
Following on from that, we get the “Roger” short discussed at length in the earlier extra (which consists of the so named individual playing with himself for about 5m…that’s it, folks), and 12m of footage from the pride parade Poole filmed on arrival in SF in ’74.
Next disc is Moving, which comes with a 5m extra discussing (and displaying) some of the more unsavory portions of the film (good Lord! ugh…) and one star doing a popper and getting his face set on fire in the process (!)…what the hell kind of set is this anyway?
Poole delivers another video introduction, where he talks about being the first 8mm mailorder company (to distribute Boys in the Sand to those outside the “ten or so cities in the US where we could play it”).
Boys star (and Metzger veteran) Casey Donovan stars as a guy wandering around a rather nice home (complete with a gorgeous offset greenhouse, kidney shaped in-ground pool and tennis court!) where he finds another guy to get nasty with. And I do mean nasty.
Then he finds a motel, and gets it on with another guy. Then some short pale guy with Bing Crosby jug ears wanders into an apartment, stares at (and beats off to) an Egon Schiele sketch of himself on the wall and gets it on with that first guy from the snazzy house. That’s it, folks.
All I can say is, I saved the Wakefield Poole films for last because I figured they were, relatively speaking, “safe” given their provenance.
While Bijou got a bit raw and Boys in the Sand had its moments, they left me with the impression that Poole was an artistically minded director, sort of a low rent Radley Metzger of the homoerotica set.
Boy, was I wrong.
While I certainly appreciated the aesthetics of that first house in Moving and see some deliberate connection between Donovan’s opening scenes here and those he delivered in Boys in the Sand (the pool shots are practically frame for frame, before things turn hardcore), I am decidedly not the audience these were created for or targeted towards…so all I can say is, buyer beware.
Seriously…people get off on this? “Essential fluids”, my ass.
Hey, to each their own, and your life, your business – I do firmly believe that everyone has the right to live how they want, so long as nobody’s getting hurt and you’re not stepping on other people’s rights to the same.
But as for me? These two were a bit too much.
In all honesty, I think I have to go take a Gaviscon or something, I’m actually feeling a bit nauseous.