Running out of title names for all their new releases, producers looked to outside sources. The Reverend Jim Bakker /Jessica Hahn affair inspired PTL (Pay The Lady). English literature, patriotism, comic strips, and network television begat Great Sexpectations, Yank My Doodle, It’s a Dandy, Bedman and Throbbin’, Vasoline AlleyGonad the Barbarian, The Twilight Moan, Genital Hospital, and Leave It To Cleavage. Even commercials played a role, with Mikey Likes It and This Butt’s For You.
Among the ripoffs of Hollywood titles were Backside to the Future, All That Jizz, The Load Warriors, Jane Bond Meets Thunderballs, The Poonies, Romancing the Bone, Pumping Irene, Poltergash and The Sperminator. There were Bimbo: Hot Blood, Part I and Ramb-OHH! ; Beaverly Hills Cop, Beverly Hills Cox, and Beverly Hills Copulator; and Sister Dearest, Daddy Dearest and Mommy Queerest. A full-page AVN ad for Executive Video’s Butts Motel II featured a woman in a shower being assaulted by a figure in a granny wig brandishing a dildo.
And then there was Debbie.After the sequels to the original hit reached Mark Curtis’ Debbie Does Dallas IV, producers branched out with Debbie Goes to College, Debbie Does ‘Em All, and Night of the Living Debbies. Bob Vosse directed Debbie Duz Dishes, and Spinelli couldn’t resist And I Do Windows Too, inciting Dishes distributor Adult Video Corporation to complain “WE WERE RIPPED OFF!” Debbie Does Dishes III producer Richard Aldrich announced in AVN his plans for Bang the Debbie Slowly. Wanting their own “Debbie” title to cover as much porn turf as possible, Essex Video called their l987 release Debbie Does the Devil in Dallas.
Walt Disney Productions sued Ventura Video, fearing the public would confuse the hardcore In and Out in Beverly Hills with Disney’s Down and Out in same. Victoria’s Secret, the lingerie company, sued Soho Video over Victoria’s Secret the porno. Mitchell Brothers Film Group won $l60,000 in remunerations and punitive damages from Essex, plus an order restraining that manufacturer from using “Green Door,” “Censored Door,” the word “Door” in green colors, or “a visual depiction of a green-colored door.”
“I shot this picture with Shanna McCullough called Ecstasy,” Spinelli told me. “So just when I release it, this schmuck (Lawrence T. Cole of Now Showing) releases this cheap piece of shit under me called Xtasy–spelled with an ’X’–with Shanna on the box. All I could move was 1500 pieces.” Spinelli swore he’d never again mention the name of a title he was working on until the day it was ready to hit the street. Years later I was doing sound on a Spinelli set and asked him the name of the movie we were making. Spinelli replied, “Number 1027.”
Desperate over dwindling sales, companies concocted offbeat promotional gimmicks. Intropics pushed the safe-sex angle in The Huntress with a condom in every cassette box. An order of any size for Caballero’s Stiff Competition came with an exploding penis slinky in a can. Naked Scents included a vial of cologne. Fifty Fashion Fantasies boxes hid gift certificates from Fredericks of Hollywood. Twenty lucky people pulled out their Beverly Hills Copulator cassettes and found a gift certificate for “the dream date of a lifetime with Traci Lords.” Howard Farber of Video-X-Pix complained that things had gone too far when he was offered cassette boxes that were supposed to contain human pubic hair.