So you may ask, “Spicy, why did you take the time to a) watch INFRASEXUM in the first place, b) find almost all of the filming locations, and c) write a blog post about it?” And my respectful answer would be “What the hell do you care? You’re the one reading it!”
But in any case, INFRASEXUM, Carlos Tobalina’s first foray into film making (that we know of, I bet old Benny did some stuff off the record prior to this, wink wink, nudge nudge…). It’s probably one of his more coherent efforts, because once he went hardcore things really took a turn for the, um, is worse or weird the better word choice here?
But in INFRASEXUM we have a somewhat straight forward plot, a decently constructed and filmed effort, and one that actually does a good job of capturing the late 60s So Cal culture. So why not do a blog post on it? Why not indeed, and I think we’ve done a decent job of finding the locations, although there are three or four locations that still ellude our team of trained monkey detectives. If you happen to know or have any leads on these locations, or find anything incorrect in our suggestions, please contact us at [email protected], and you’ll receive four free tokens to The Capri Show World Center to use at your adult discretion.
Now, to be clear, this is not meant to be a review of the film or any versons of it (Vinegar Syndrome offers the definitive DVD btw), and it by necissity contains “plot” spoilers, so I’d recommend watching the film first if you really want to expereience the full impact of INFRASEXUM, which, in Tobalina’s own words, is “so different from any other motion picture you have ever seen — and yet so very real — (it was) bound to set an entire new trend in motion pictures: A trend to the more frank, more audacious, films of the future!”. Well, whether it was the reason or not, within a year of its realease the world had in fact shifted to full hardcore, and Tobalina was right there with it. But that’s another saga for another post, for now, enjoy the locations of INFRASEXUM.
Peter’s House – NFC
Well, we start right off with a NFC (No Freakin’ Clue) location, Peter’s house itself. While there are numbers on the house they are sufficiently blurred that I’ve not been able to use them to develop even a loose lead at this point. But if/when I do find the location I’ll update this post accordingly.
Office – Tishman Plaza – now Century Plaza
Peter’s office is in what at the time was known as the Tishman Plaza, and is now the Century Plaza, which is on Wilshire BLVD between Normandie (Irolo) and Mariposa. In the film it is the epitome of 50s/60s Businessman, but now it seems a bit more down-market blah (although that can be said of almost everything, right?).
Thrifty Car Company – 5653 S Atlantic BLVD
After leaving his former life behind, Peter buys a used car for his journey from what appears to have been Thrifty Car Company, which was at 5653 S Atlantic BLVD. Given that Tobalina was, among other things, a used car salesman before becoming a internationally renowned film producer, one wonders if this could have been one of his former employer’s lots…The location is still there and still a used car joint, Jenny’s Auto, and the garages and houses behind it are still there as well.
Peter jets off to Vegas in his new (to him) car, and I mean what rich, recently singled guy with ED wouldn’t head straight to Vegas? Locations are all well-known, no current snaps needed
Galaxy – 8923 Sunset Strip
Hamburger Hamlet – 8931 Sunset Strip
After checking into his motel Peter begins to wander down Sunset Strip from Clark to Hilldale, a block that for over a decade was one of the most Happening places on earth (at night), and Peter hits a few of those places, starting with the Whiskey A Go Go (you see Peter’s feet in front of that), then you have The Galaxy (see picture), and finally Peter stops at the Hamburger Hamlet where he first meets Carlos (Mr Tobalina Himself).
Whiskey A Go Go – maybe
After meeting up with some of Carlos’ ‘hippy friends’ the group moves back down the block to what I beleive is the Whiskey A Go Go. I’m 85-90% sure on this one, but pictures of the inside, espeically back then, are few and far between. I did find a video of a concert from 1967, and it does seem to match up to the general layout as seen in INFRASEXUM, but I’m still not 100% sure.
The Pad – NFC
Carlos sets Peter up with a place to stay, The Pad, and it’s the second NFC location of this post. Again, I’ll keep digging, and IF I do manage to determine it’s location I’ll update this post accordingly.
Hook-up House – NFC
The next NFC location (not doing well with these houses…) is where Carlos sends Peter for his (failed) double-hookup. We even get a house number (420), so there’s hope I’ll someday find this location.
Hippie Park – Elysian Park – maybe
Carlos takes Peter to what appears to be a type of Love-In Happening, and this one is one the line between a Maybe and a NFC, but I’m going for broke so here’s my “theory”: this probably is Elysian Park, where a number of these Love-Ins occured in the late 60s, and this might be part of the Autumnal Equinox Love-In in late September 1968. The timing, as we’ll see in a bit, is just about right…
Akron – 4400 Sunset Blvd – maybe
Peter decides his true love is painting, so he heads to the nearest Akron store and stocks up on art supplies. This location is a guess, but given that Tobalina liked to keep his shots close together (good schedule management if you ask me) then I think there’s a good chance that the main Akron on Sunset Strip is the likeliest candidate for this location. At some point the last 51 years the Akron building had been replaced by a Circuit City, which is also now an empty shell.
The Thug’s Lair – 2035 Rodney Drive
“Superb, but too strong in the love scenes. The Color Photography is excellent, the story moved me and the comdedy is just hilarious.” – Linda Nakamura, 2035 Rodney Drive, Los Angeles, 90027
Yep, Tobalina used one of the film’s locations as the address for his fake quote!
That being said, the actual buildling at 2035 Rodney does not appear to be the same as in the film, either it has been significantly altered, or at some poin in the last 51 years a newer structure replaced it. But as can be seen from the area around 2035 this is the same location. I’m going a little out of the timeline here (this is Tobalina post after all), so the last three comparisons are from later in the film when Peter is lured to the Thug’s Lair, and the very last one is a reversed view (I can only do so much with Google Maps yo!). This is my least favorite section of the film, but one I guess Tobalina felt compelled into include since Roughies were still somewhat en vogue at the time(?).
— Update Dec 29, 2019 —
In digging into other aspects of C. Tobalina’s background I came across another link to this house, nay I say a “smoking gun”? This location was listed as the residence of Maria Pia Tobalina (Mrs Tobalina) on her Naturalization form.
Abduction Lot – Food Giant – 2035 Hillhurst Ave
Now we get to the abduction of Mrs. Allison, which occurred before the last three pictures above…At the time 2035 Hillhurst was a Food Giant, and today it is still in the grocery store business as an Albertsons (which is interesting to me, because all the Albertsons in Florida were bought by Publix years ago). Hillhurst Mart across the street was at 2060 Hillhurst, and the Blue Ribbon Coin-op Laundry (which is now a YEN Sushi & Sake and a Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf) was at 2081 Hillhurst.
MacArthur Park – Bird Porn
Peter hangs out in MacArthur Park to mull over the horrors that have recently happened to him (and his now expired wife), and amazingly Tobalina manages to coax the local aviary population into what can only be described as bird porn. We get to see pigeons and ducks going at it, and it appears to have been spur of the moment, right there in the park (the porno gods really did shine down on Tobalina!).
Mardi Grad de Mexico – Universal Studios Entertainment Center
Perhaps to give Peter some painting ides, Carlos takes him to the Mardi Gras de Mexico show at the Universal Studios Entertainment Center, which was at the corner of Lankershim and the Hollywood Freeway. The Entertainment Center was decades before the Universal theme parks of today, but for sure a direct ancestory of them. From July 19 through September 15 (extended from Sept 2) the Mardi Gras de Mexico was staged at this location, and it seems that it a fairly big deal, or at least had the full Universal PR department behind it making it look like it was a big deal. They even got then-governor Ronald Regan in on the publicity.
I’m positive this is the same show as seen in INFRASEXUM, if for no other reason that the pole that we see the guys swinging from and Carlos later attempts to climb. And the timing of this fits with the Autumnal Festival mentioned above.
Painting in the Park – Mulholland Memorial Fountain
Peter kicks his painting into high gear, and almost immediately gets picked up by a nymphomaniac driving by. Is that all it takes? He was painting on the sidewalk (as he says, he didn’t care) adjacent to the Mulholland Memorial Fountain, which isn’t far from another location a few ticks down the page.
Nympho Girl’s House – NFC
Peter meets up with Nympho Girl at her place, and proceeds to proove yet again he just can’t get it up. This is the final location that I currenlty have No Freakin’ Clue where its at.
Carlos Steals a Cop Car – Hillhurst and Franklin
Feeling bad for Nympho Girl he does what any self-respecting actor looking for work would do and he calls the Producer, Director, Write, Co-Star-of-the-film Carlos Himself over to satisfy said Nympo. Unfortunatly for Carlos he has no wheels to get him to what amounts to a Sure Thing, and after failing to hitch a ride he does what any other self-(un)respecting horn-dog would do, he steals a cop car! This all occurs at the corner of Hillhurst and Franklin, a few block down from where the Abduction Scene occurred a bit earlier. In fact the Los Feliz Cleaners sign (1922 Hillhurst) still appears to be in the same place!
Sunnynook Pedstrian Bridge – LA River
Peter contemplates suicide while taking a walk over the Golden State Freeway and the LA River via the Sunnynook Pedestrian Bridges, probably a good location to off oneself. However he foregoes said termination until another day. I’m 95% sure this is the location for this scene, for two reasons. First, I couldn’t find another pedestrian bridge configuration that had both a major highway and the LA River, and second, its a few blocks east of the Mulholland Memorial Fountain location from earlier, so I’m guessing this was a single afternoon’s filming session for Tobalina and Erroff.
Capital Records – 6270 Yucca
Peter and Carlos have become real friends by this point, and Peter feels compelled to gift Carlos $10K as a token of their friendship. I wished I had friends like Peter! We see them walking down Yucca (in front of 6270), a block over from Capitol Records and just beyond what at the time would have been KFWB, which was demolished in 2014.
Before we leave this location, it’s worth noting that Tobalina and Erroff have probably just left Carlos’ office, which was behind them at 1800 Argyle. Carlos hints at this in the same set of ad quotes from earlier.
“I hadn’t seen a movie in a long time. Seeing INFRASEXUM made up for it.” – Susan Smith, 1800 Argyle (404), Holllywood 90028.
Starlite Motel – 3320 W Olive
On the advice of Peter’s doctor, and being the good friend that he was, Carlos helps Peter recreate the best screw of his life by a) finding the motel it occured at so many years before (The Starlite), and b) finding a willing participant to act as his partner (from The Charitable Sex Society!). The interesting thing about this motel is that in the film Peter says Carlos had to “find” it, but if we go way back up the page to near the top we see it’s the same stinking motel Peter stayed at before moving into The Pad! We caught you Carlos!
Now the entire area has been demolished and offices for Warner Brothers and the CW Network are there. So in a way Tobalina actually shot part of a film at Warner Brothers! And no, I haven’t found any evidence for The Charitable Sex Society, and the phone number on the card didn’t turn up anything of interest either (you’re welcome)**see update below.
Fern Dell Nature Trail – Moco-Huenga Canyon
Our final location is the Fern Dell Nature Trail, which is part of/adjacent to Griffith Park. I believe the location of the scene is about half way up the train between Black Oak Drive and Red Oak Drive (red circle). Here Peter, while painting a rather abstract number, is approached by an art dealer who wants to purchase the work on the spot (do only rich guys have this kind of luck?).
We see the dealer’s card, and it indicates he’s Jay Colonna. Well, there actually was a Jay Colonna (John Colonna, June 24, 1924 – March 15, 2003) in LA at the time, who was, among other things, a song writer,Keystone Kop (really), a show producer, record producer (Magnet label), and was in other films, including I AM CURIOUS TAHITI, LADY GODIVA RIDES, DOUBLE INITITATION, NOTORIOUS BIG SIN CITY, UP YOUR ALLEY. So I’m guessing this was THAT Jay Collona. This guy deserves his own post, so he’s going on the list.
Back at the Pad
This vote of confidence gives Peter the courage to attempt to paint a nude, and of course this “fixes” his problem (hooray!), although at the very end he either falls asleep or dies on Laurie, the poor nude model. And we also get one final appearance by (probably) Carlos/Tobalina, in silhouette as the camera pulls away!
***UPDATE January 22, 2021
Revisiting this business card, we have now confirmed that HO 7-553 (467-5533) was actually the phone number to the Tobalina C Productions, INC office at 1800 Argyle Ave, Suite 404A itself! This may sound familiar, and it’s because we saw this address referenced twice in the Capital Records – 6270 Yucca section of this post.