Straightening the Record + More BLACK LOVE!
A number of you have recently contacted us regarding concerns that H.G. Lewis might not have actually been involved with these films. Well, we can assure you that he was.
In addition to the use of familiar pseudonyms "Lewis H.Gordon" and "Sheldon Seymour," present on all three films, Herschell and others have indeed gone on record regarding the making of these films on numerous occasions.
For written evidence, refer to the crucial guide to all things Lewis, A TASTE OF BLOOD: THE FILMS OF H.G. LEWIS (pages 138, 143, 145). The book features quotes regarding all three films from both Herschell and David Friedman.For instance, on page 138, Friedman describes a visit to the set of ECSTASIES OF WOMEN and shares an anecdote about watching Herschell direct: "The funniest thing about Ecstasies of Women is a scene where the four guys are sitting at a table talking. Herschell sets up his old Mitchell camera and a thousand fast loads of film, and frames the guys with the typical 'Herschell Master Shot'...." The story goes on much longer as Friedman discusses his memories of the film. On page 145 of the book, Herschell discusses BLACK LOVE, stating that he was hired to make the film by a guy named Robert Smith who owned a number of Chicago area Baskin Robbins.
For those who don't have the book, check the top review of it on Amazon.com in which the reviewer mentions ECSTASIES OF WOMEN and BLACK LOVE by name.
In Frank Henenlotter's recent documentary, THE GODFATHER OF GORE, included is an interview segment with Herschell during which he talks about all three films. We don't have a copy of the doc handy to give you exact time code, but the interview is part of a lengthy series of video outtakes included in the extras. Herschell's statements regarding the films occur in the final third of the segment during which which he briefly discusses both LINDA and ECSTASIES.
Regarding ECSTASIES, he says ""Tom Dowd found a very pretty young girl in Los Angeles whose name was Sharon Matt. She looked very, very innocent and you had the urge to give her a soda pop of some sort. That obviously was not the totality of Sharon Matt, but that was the image she projected on the screen. And Tom was determined to make a movie starring Sharon Matt, and that's what we did, and it was called The Ecstasies of Women."
Regarding LINDA, he shares a memory of the uncomfortable environment caused by the Manson Family while the film was shot on the Spahn Ranch: "We knew they were crazy. They were absolutely insane. They had a dog and they had put this bell around the dog's neck. And when the dog would move the bell would... it was driving the dog crazy. So one of our crew members tried to take the bell off and they threatened to kill him. For taking the bell off the dog's neck. That's the kind of people they were."
He also briefly mentions BLACK LOVE and tells a similar story to what was printed in the book, however in contrast to his statement in the book that he "made the film for" Robert Smith, in the documentary he claims he was only the cinematographer making the true extent of his involvement with BLACK LOVE a bit vague. Making matters even stranger is that, despite Herschell's claim that his involvement with BLACK LOVE was restricted to that of a hired hand and that he essentially walked away from the film when it was completed, BLACK LOVE was sold as a double feature with MISS NYMPHET'S ZAP-IN, a completely unrelated nudie film Herschell had directed one year earlier, in 1970, in Los Angeles, also under his Sheldon Seymour pseudonym. Because these two productions were produced over a year apart, in different cities and for different people, the only link between then is Herschell, but how he factored into their being distributed together remains a complete mystery.
So hopefully this alleviates any confusion or lingering questions regarding Herschell's involvement with these movies.
Thanks to those who brought this issue to our attention. And thanks again to everyone for your continued support.
Best - The PB Staff
PS- Enjoy another BLACK LOVE video.