HIM (1974): The Gay-Jesus Porn Film That May (or May Not) Exist

GNC

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#31
CarlosTheDJ said:
Do you think the band "HIM" know about this? :lol:
Truly, I sort of half thought they were named after the film...!
 
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#32
gncxx said:
CarlosTheDJ said:
Do you think the band "HIM" know about this? :lol:
Truly, I sort of half thought they were named after the film...!
Someone get on the phone to Ville Valo, maybe he has a copy of this movie in his attic. He certainly looks the type. :lol:
 

McAvennie

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#34
There was a hubbub, or maybe it was a kerfuffle, recently about Elton John outing Jesus.

His evidence seemed to be that Jesus was caring and understood human problems - so evidently that made him gay.

I didn't really understand John's logic or the hoo-ha over one bloke looking for column inches by airing an opinion in the media.
 

GNC

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#35
luscaslayer said:
Committing a bit of thread necromancy here, but I've managed to uncover a lot more about this film, including SEVERAL different advertisements and contemporary reviews. Looks like we can finally prove it existed.

Check out my blog entry on the subject (includes all the reviews and ads I found): http://obscurityandbeyond.blogspot.com/ ... -1974.html
Fantastic work there. So after all that it was a real movie after all? Now we have to ponder on why it was lost, was it forgotten about or did someone deliberately lose it due to its offensive nature? Mind you, when you see some of the stuff that gets released on DVD, you'd think there would be some profit in its rerelease.
 

luscaslayer

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#36
gncxx said:
Fantastic work there. So after all that it was a real movie after all? Now we have to ponder on why it was lost, was it forgotten about or did someone deliberately lose it due to its offensive nature? Mind you, when you see some of the stuff that gets released on DVD, you'd think there would be some profit in its rerelease.
I'm kind of half-considering writing to the guy who runs Something Weird video about this film. Considering the hundreds of weird obscurities they have unearthed and released on DVD, they are probably the people most likely to be able to track this down. It's possible that they don't even know it was truly a real film. On the other hand, do I really want to be remembered as the guy that helped find the gay Jesus porn? :lol:

As for why it's lost, there are a few possibilities:

1) It was forgotten about and is now rotting in a can in a warehouse or basement somewhere

2) It was either lost and destroyed by someone who was unaware of its controversial nature - in those days, before the video boom, low-rent exploitation quickies like this were considered much more disposable than they would be today, they'd shown in the cinema for a few weeks, and then they'd often never be shown again

3) It was deliberately destroyed by someone who was fully aware of its controversial nature - for example, it is believed to have been shown somewhere in Ottawa at some point, so it's not impossible that it was impounded at the border on the way back

4) It was destroyed by accident

5) Some collector has it and is, as we speak, gloating over it in his secret porn room under the stairs :lol:


I have a hunch there was only one print of the film made, as was not uncommon for very low budget films in those days (it costs thousands to print a 16 or 35mm feature-length film). The fact that it only seems to have been shown in one city at a time, sort of backs this theory up. If this is the case, something as simple as a malfunctioning projector could have completely annihilated the only copy in existence.

Something else that you can see from the ads is that the theatre (or whoever was responsible for advertising and distributing it) seems to have chickened out of selling on the whole "Jesus" angle after the first week of promotion. The first ad has a picture of Jesus's face and the tagline "Are you curious about HIS sexual life?", but later ads used images of a shirtless guy (and is that a caveman? :lol:) or a screenshot of three grinning men. Even where reviews were quoted in later ads, mentions of Jesus that appeared in the original reviews were ellipsised out. So it's like they were going to great lengths to hide the fact that the movie featured Jesus, when you'd imagine the controversy would be a great selling point. It looks to me like they were scared of something, or something happened after the first ad to make them scared. It's possible that they destroyed the film themselves to avoid further trouble, after it had played a few places and made its money back.
 

Twin_Star

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#37
luscaslayer said:
Check out my blog entry on the subject (includes all the reviews and ads I found): http://obscurityandbeyond.blogspot.com/ ... -1974.html
i second gncxx: that's the best bit of armchair-sleuthing ive seen for many a long season. As an aside, i liked the whole article; well written, funny and informative. it should go into the FT proper at some stage - a fortean fillum / oscar edition if they pull their finger out:)
 

luscaslayer

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#38
Twin_Star said:
i second gncxx: that's the best bit of armchair-sleuthing ive seen for many a long season. As an aside, i liked the whole article; well written, funny and informative. it should go into the FT proper at some stage - a fortean fillum / oscar edition if they pull their finger out:)
Thanks Twin_Star, I appreciate it! :D

As for it going into FT, I've always wanted to write a "forum" article for FT magazine but never found the right subject or enough time, so it might be good idea to adapt my blog post into one.

On the other hand, my mum reads Fortean Times too... :shock: :lol:
 

GNC

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#39
Hello, what's this?
http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/2012/12 ... 64674.html

A film portraying Jesus and his disciples as gay men has caused ripples of anger and complaints to the film classification board - even though it does not exist.

The British Board of Film Classification's (BBFC) senior examiner Craig Lapper said there was a "constant issue" with rumours that a movie version had been made of a controversial play called Corpus Christi.

The play, by Terrence McNally, is set in modern-day America and deals with issues including gay marriage but has never been made into a film.

Lapper said: "I think it was a bit of an internet hoax several years ago suggesting a film was being made of the play in which Jesus and his disciples were portrayed as homosexuals, and I can remember replying to people concerned about this blasphemous film back in the late 1990s.

And this year again, for whatever reason, there was another spike in people writing to us to insist that we ban this terrible blasphemous film. We just had to write back and say, 'This film doesn't exist'."

The BBFC received six complaints about it in 2011 and another two queries this year, with complainants often asking them to ban the film on the grounds it is blasphemous and offensive...

A hoax email has been doing the rounds for years which also refers to the mystery film. The email urges protests against the non-existant film.
Nobody better mention they may indeed be a gay Jesus movie, then. Imagine the kerfuffle.
 

MrRING

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#41
As a fan of the cult film scene, I've been hearing about this film, and if it does or does not exist, for years. While there seems to be some evidence that it was in existence at one time, it's not conclusive. Has there ever been an article about it in FT?

The Current Wikipedia article:
Him is a 1974 American pornographic feature film produced for gay audiences. It was directed by "Ed D. Louie" (thought to be a pseudonym) and featured homosexual mural artist Gustav Von Will (also known as "Tava") in the role of Jesus.[citation needed]

Background
The film focused on a young gay man who developed an erotic fixation with the life of Jesus Christ. The film initially premiered on 27 March 1974 at the 55th Street Playhouse at 154 West Fifth Street in New York City.[1] This run lasted until 23 May 1974. It returned to the Playhouse on 6 December 1974,[2] and January 1976.[3] The film also played at the Bijou Theatre in Chicago,[4] David Theatre in New York,[5] and the Penthouse II Theatre in Pittsburgh.[6]

The film was virtually unknown until 1979, when it was cited in the book The Golden Turkey Awards, where it was listed as the "Most Unerotic Concept in Pornography".[7]

Lost film
As of 2018, no copy of Him has been located. It was cited among the most sought-after lost films by the online magazine Film Threat.[8]

Many Internet sites have attempted to debunk Him as a hoax, owing to authors Harry and Michael Medveds' admission (within the book) that one of the films referenced in the pages of The Golden Turkey Awards was fabricated.[9] The real hoax, however, was Dog of Norway, a fictitious movie illustrated with a photograph of the Medveds' pet dog.[10]

Reviews of Him from Screw magazine, Variety, and The Village Voice have also been uncovered,[10][11] along with a number of newspaper advertisements for its New York theatrical run.[10][12]
There is an IMDB page on it, but it's also pretty slim with facts.
 

JamesWhitehead

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#43
We have an existing thread about Him here! :exor:


This link is still active and seems to contain the most thorough examination of surviving ads. etc.

The film clearly did exist at one time and may still be languishing in a private collection. Its disappearance is not entirely surprising, though: such niche-interest material would not have warranted the striking of many prints. Probably, just one? :dunno:

Hidden in the comments below the blog entry, there is a link to the updated pdf:
This reveals that a film containing footage from Him has been listed at the Kinsey Institute. It is awaiting digitization. :party:
 
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MrRING

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#44
Found - and found, apparently! I did a search on it, and I thought I had posted about it before but over the years I've been on so many sites I can't remember what is (or was) posted where.

I bow to your superior FTMB search skills! :bdown::bish:
 

INT21

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#45
That's not The Messiah, that's Brian. And he's a very nice boy.

INT21
 

JamesWhitehead

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#46
I have a strong feeling that the search for the film is a lot more interesting than the film itself. Only something which may be a short derived from the original material has been located at the Kinsey Institute.

Perhaps it contains the cat* and vacuum-cleaner sequences? :eek:

*This is probably technically illegal now, whether the cat chose to lick it or not! :cat:
 
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INT21

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#47
If Jesus was gay, and he was the Son of God, and God created Mankind in his own image, does that imply God is gay ?

INT21
 

Double - U

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#51
I'm the author of the PDF which has been linked on these forums several times. It's still being updated every now and then. I always upload the latest revisions to my website (www.youjusttypedmynamethreetimes.club), so check there for the latest info. I tend to amend the PDF as soon as anything new comes to light.

I'm also responsible for discovering the January 1976 screenings at the 55th Street Playhouse, as well as being the one who first stumbled across the Kinsey reel, although it was Billy A. Anderson's idea to look through the Kinsey collection in the first place.

Figured it was worthwhile making my presence known here. I'll be happy to contribute anything here when applicable, as well as answering any questions you might have.
 

MrRING

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#52
Do you know how extensive the film run was?

Were there any real protests or treats about the existence of the film from outraged folk?
 

Double - U

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#53
I've certainly never heard of there being any protests against the film. The fact that it was so obscure as to generally be considered a hoax up until as recently as a few years ago probably helped with that.

As for how extensive the run was, my PDF contains a rundown of all confirmed screenings, and screenings that have been reported but unverified. Needless to say, the first screenings took place at the 55th Street Playhouse between March 27th and May 23rd, 1974. The latest screenings we have a definite date for are the January 1976 screenings. A reliable source informed me of a screening at the Adonis Theatre in New York sometime between 1975 and 1977, although we don't have any exact dates for that. Of course, there are also the unconfirmed screenings for as late as the mid-80s, but we have no proof of these for the time being except word of mouth.
 

AlchoPwn

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#54
Internet Rule #34 tells us that if it exists there is porn of it. While there is quite a bit of Jesus porn, you won't find any porn featuring God. You will find porn featuring deities, but not the Judeo-Christian deity YHVH, who is seldom depicted, and is often said to be invisible. You will also not find porn featuring cathode ray tubes, because people aren't very imaginative.
 

MrRING

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#55
Double U: now that you've tracked down HIM, do you have any other holy grail "lost/maybe didn't even exist" films you are still looking to find?

And does HIM hold up, or is it a below-average example of the genre?
 

Double - U

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#56
Double U: now that you've tracked down HIM, do you have any other holy grail "lost/maybe didn't even exist" films you are still looking to find?

And does HIM hold up, or is it a below-average example of the genre?
I'm afraid you'll need to back up a bit. We haven't necessarily tracked down anything yet. We technically don't have confirmation of the footage in the Kinsey Institute being of 'Him', just a lot of good detective work and hunchs that lead us to believe it contains footage from 'Him'. That aside, I haven't seen the footage. I'm not even in the same country, so I'm afraid seeing it myself seems impossible.

I've contacted the institute about it, and they've stated that the footage hasn't been digitized and so they can't examine it. They've said they'll get back to me with more information once they have a chance to digitize it. Apparently, the digitization process is expected to start between October 2018 and January 2019. So we'll have to wait and see on that front.

Although in regards to the film's quality, I talked to Wakefield Poole about it. He's a (retired) gay porn director who saw the film during its original run in New York. He seemed adamant that it was "not very good" and "made on the very cheap".

And no, no other lost films I'm looking for at the moment. There's still so much we don't know about this film. For better or for worse, the mystery continues to interest me. Especially with a lost film made this recently, and in such a niche genre, I'm more likely to find out something new about this than something like London After Midnight.
 

MrRING

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#57
Thanks for the further clarification – sometimes my mind goes a million miles a minute and I lose track of the fine details that are probably obvious! J Based on the plot description, I can’t imagine it being completely amazing in any capacity, but anytime a weird flick is (maybe) discovered it’s a cause worth celebrating.

I’ve heard that much of the haul of films that became the Something Weird library was originally found when two guys were called to dispose of a film vault of some kind, and rather than throwing everything away they kept the prints and save a virtual ton of dreck and gold, slime and wonder. I wonder what other possible gems or curious obscurities might be in the Kinsey vault?
 
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