Wednesday, January 23, 2013


A sneek peek at my new book, scheduled for later in 2013...more details posted here as they become more concrete.
by John Harrison
Before the emergence of Linda Lovelace, Marilyn Chambers and Georgina Spelvin, Rene Bond was about the closest thing America had to a celebrity porn starlet. A naturally pretty, sweet and youthful looking brunette (mostly), Bond entered the adult industry in 1969, appearing in over 300 8mm ‘loops’ (including some extreme bondage ones) and features, both softcore (Please Don’t Eat My Mother, Country Cuzzins, Convict Women, Ed Wood’s Necromania) and XXX (Teenage Sex Kitten, Cream Rinse and the classic Teenage Sex Fantasies). Known for her impressive oral techniques, and possessing an enhanced bust rumoured to have been paid for by low budget exploitation producer Harry Novak, Rene Bond disappeared from both the porn scene and public life in the late 1970s, her last known appearance being on an episode of the television game show Break the Bank in 1986. She died of liver failure in 1996 at the age of just 45, unaware of her burgeoning status as a cult figure and porn pioneer.



Just finished my annual viewing of Tobe Hooper's original Texas Chainsaw Massacre (1974). Just gets better to me with every passing is one of those movies that is always there in my all-time Top 5 (of all genres), and I can't see anything ever being able to push it out (though I more than welcome any serious challengers).
For all it's brutality and gut-level terror, I also find TCM to be a very funny film in many ways, though it took me several viewings to really see and appreciate the humour in it, so effective was its horror. I view it almost like a live-action 1950s EC horror comic - characters like the Hitchhiker and the father were almost straight out of a classic EC story. The EC comparrisons are I think compounded by the fact that, just like their old stories, the movie had plenty of brutal violence but no nudity or overt sexual activity (something very rare for what was essentially a low-budget regional film aimed mostly at the drive-in crowd). And the first apperance of Leatherface (Gunnar Hansen) has to rate as one of the most economic but effective introductions of a monster in horror movie history.
I first saw TCM back in 1983, when the ban on the film in Australia was finally lifted. I was 19 and had been reading about the film in books like Splatter Films and Cult Movies, and an issue of Fangoria with a Hooper interview, so I was very excited to hear it was finally getting a cinema release locally (and I was now old enough to see it). The film was being screened in Melbourne at a cinema that was undeground off a little alleyway in the heart of Melbourne had shown arthouse and exploitation stuff in the 70s but by this stage was more grindhouse/adult stuff (they would later go exclusively hardcore sex for the last remaining years in the early-nineties).
I remember showing up for the first session of TCM on opening day, buying a ticket from a girl who looked confused having to wear clothes for a change, and sitting with baited breath in the cinema (with about three other people), only to be let down when an announcment came on that there was a problem with the projector and the days' sessions were cancelled. So I was even more wound-up with anticipation when I returned the following day - the experience was worth the wait though. I still have the little promo poster I pulled off the grimy lobby wall when no one was looking:

Saturday, January 19, 2013


By John Harrison
Blood on the Windscreen takes us on a gaudy journey through one of the most foreboding of all film genres: the Driver’s Education film.

Shown in classrooms across America, the Driver’s Education film hit its peak in the early-1960s, when the notorious Ohio based company, Highway Safety Films, Inc., began producing a series of in...
credibly graphic and unnerving 16mm shorts that showed young high school kids no mercy as it attempted to curb the slaughter that was taking place on American freeways.

Featuring a history of the genre, a look into the sordid underbelly of Highway Safety Films, Inc., an A-Z filmography and an interview with Bret Wood (director of the classic documentary on the subject, Hell’s Highway), Blood on the Windscreen is your perfect (shattered) window into this unique and disturbing era of classroom education.

Blood on the Windscreen will be available through Amazon from January 2013 and is published - suitably enough - in the style and format of a vintage educational booklet from the 1960s.

ISBN: 978-1481073455/Pages: 28/Price: US $6.00