The following is based on a recent post I made on the Something Weird Video Facebook group, which in effect is a review of the SWV release of THE FILTH SHOP (1969) and two of the other shorts on that “disk”. I’ve kept it mostly intact, although I do add some location-specific pictures and a short video. Note: some of the title screen grabs have some naughty bits that couldn’t be censored (otherwise the title would have been covered as well), so this is a bit NSFWish.Spicy Goldman
(Posted on SWV FB page July 23, 2020)
Since it’s been discussed a couple of times in the last week or so [this was on the SWV Facebook group in July 2020], I was reminded that THE FILTH SHOP was on my list of unseens, and I decided to take the dive today. I went with the instant download option (which I’ve been doing for these “maybe” films), but this time the website refused to take my preferred card (this isn’t a complaint, I’ll come back to this). Fortunately I had no trouble with card #2 and was able to download without any further issue (a highly recommended option, when it takes your card ?).
One of the things that drew me to this film was the New York locations, especially the “Filth Shop” itself, which it turns out shows up for the first minute, and then is never a part of the rest of the film, at all, in any way. But that small glimpse was enough to give me what I was looking for: it’s location.
So we find that the “filth shop” was Bob’s Bargain Books, which was at 107 W 42nd Street. It of course is long gone, and has been replaced by a freaking Bank of America Tower ?, which it turns out was the very card that refused to work for me in the first place! I’m sure it was just a coincidence…or is Lola Lust and Satan in cahoots with BofA now ?
Turning to the film itself, I was originally going to just say it’s as “out there” as has already been noted and leave it at that, but after a second viewing (I know, I know), my revised position is that this film actually has a bit of everything: a [nearly] split beaver opening, guy-girl, girl-girl, guy-guy, inter-racial…and yet I was still left feeling rather underwhelmed. I’ll be honest that opening scene confuses me given the rather paltry level of skin in the rest of the film, but I will say it’s soundtrack pretty much saved the film for me overall. All in all I’m glad I have it, and I’m sure I’ll queue it again at some point, probably.
As for the locations (which again was one of the drivers for me), I was somewhat disappointed we didn’t get more of NYC. As already mentioned the “Filth Shop” itself was at 107 W 42nd, and aside from some panning shots of the Times Square area that are just meh at best, the only other sighting that interested me was of the King of Pizza, which was at 208 W 42nd Street, and of interest mainly because it’s the same spot that is seen in FLESHPOT ON 42nd STREET a couple of times (I call it Dusty’s Corner, because it seems to be where she gravitates to for safety).
There are also two other shorts on the DVD/download. The first, A SNEAK PEEK AT STRIP POKER, is about a strip poker game (as I’m sure comes as no surprise). It served its original purpose of filling screen between features, but not much else. Next there is Coming Atractions for a film called BANNED (1966) which promises to show scenes which had previously been, well, banned. The second short however, NUDE A GO GO, while also being exactly what the title promises, was much more enjoyable, if for no other reason than where else can you see a topless go-go dancer in front of an aerial view of the Port Authority Bus Terminal? It’s soundtrack was also pretty enjoyable, for what that’s worth. Oh, and there are dancers that, well, dance, so it’s got that going for it too, which is nice.
End FB Post
I’m not going to attempt to go into any detail on the background of the film, it’s makers, actors, etc., this post would never see the light of day (you should see my backlog…). But suffice it to say for now that it was an early film by the pseudonymous Looney Bear, which was actually Jack Bravman (who uses his own name on this film as the Producer). Bravman was also the person behind Wizard Glick, who is credited as the Editor. LB also get’s credit as the Writer and Narrator, which raises the question: is the guy playing “Satan” actually Jack Bravman himself?
That’s it for this post. Maybe sometime we’ll revist Looney Bear (we will).