Jun 26, 2014
A couple months ago, I went to a closing sale for Baltimore’s greatest video rental chain in the hope that I would be able to purchase some rare gems at a discounted price. The owner of this now defunct video chain is a rather goofy and borderline obese Hebrew with a perfectly circular bald-spot on the back of his head who I once overhead discussing to one of his equally bloated kosher comrades about how the Jewish diamond industry is just as sketchy as the film industry, which I certainly do not doubt. Anyway, during the closing sale, I managed to find a VHS compilation tape entitled Loads of McDowell featuring the eponymous short Loads (1980) and a couple other short films directed by American underground queer auteur Curtis McDowell, who is undoubtedly best known for his campy and semi-pornographic epic “old dark house” horror parody Thundercrack! (1975). Assuming the video would be only a couple dollars or so, I eagerly approached the Judaic proprietor of the business and asked him how much it cost, only to discover that the shameless penny-pincher wanted $70 for the single VHS tape (!), with his absurd reasoning being that it is out-of-print and he could not find a single copy of the film online for sale, so it must be worth a lot of money. Needless to say, I rejected the old miser’s offer and told him that I would go download the film somewhere online that same day, which I did. Indeed, if not solely for novelty reasons, I had to see a film with the proudly sleazy title ‘Loads’ and, to my surprise, the wantonly titled work was even more decidedly depraved and debasing than I suspected it would be. While I was expecting loads and loads of tasteless campiness as is typical of auteur McDowell's oeuvre, the short turned out to be about 19 minutes of camp-free unhinged faggotry of the scum-and-cum-lathered sort where the colon-choking director sucks off a couple swarthy and ugly short men of the ostensibly heterosexual sort and describes in disgustingly degenerate detail about his sick love for straight men. Shot on scratched 16mm black-and-white film stock in a mostly dilapidated apartment that looks condemned and starring a couple longhaired and tastelessly tattooed losers who look like they just were released from the drunk tank of an urban Irish-American ghetto, Loads is certainly full-blown pornography, but due to its overwhelming aesthetic odiousness and amateurish home-movie-style, McDowell somehow managed to sell it as cinematic art to art fags and gay rights activists. Apparently inspired by former Miss Oklahoma and Florida Citrus Commission spokesman Anita Bryant’s moral crusade against cum-guzzling (which she depicted as something akin to vampiric cannibalism), Loads is more or less a micro-movie manifesto-cum-diary that makes it quite clear why director-narrator-star-agitator McDowell died of AIDS in 1987.
As Indiana-bred bum bandit McDowell describes via narration at the beginning of Loads, he met his first heterosexual victim—a bodybuilder with a small stature—at a bath house and since “there weren’t very women to go around,” the straight muscleman eventually settled for “second best” and went home with the hyper horney homo director of the film. Of course, McDowell did not mind being the man's second choice as he gets really “turned on by straight men” and eagerly paid the less than buff Bodybuilder to spill his straight seeds onto some vintage porno magazines featuring bodacious babes with boob boobs and bushes. To the delight of the terribly debauched director, the Bodybuilder started a “chain reaction” in regard to eager gay-for-pay rednecks, as various heterosexual hicks of the seemingly racially mongrelized sort became enticed by the prospect of being paid to do hand-to-gland combat for an exceedingly effete Midwestern mud-packer. Needless to say, some of the prole pole-strokers were somewhat baffled by McDowell’s fetishistic requests, or as the director explains, one of the men “didn’t understand why I wanted to film he peeing…especially laying underneath his legs.” Probably the dumbest of all the pseudo-hetero hillbillies is a guy who hooked up with McDowell solely because he wanted the countless trashy tattoos covering his stocky and hairy body immortalized on film. When McDowell got “bored or daring” he sucked off a guy that he describes as being like “a crude little monster of a boy” at a semen-soaked porno theater. As one can expect from a film directed by an exceedingly eager inspector of manholes, Loads concludes with a climatic collage of climaxing cocks, with McDowell having loads upon loads unloaded on his face, including his conspicuously gay leather-fag-like mustache. Indeed, if you ever wondered why homos have a thing for mustaches, McDowell's sperm burper themed short has the rather appalling answer.
Featuring director McDowell performing what some pretentious gay studies professor might describe as “avant-garde anilingus” on a man whose gooseberry grinder is more furry than the armpit of a middle-aged Mexican barmaid, Loads is certainly less artistically inclined than the works of auteur pornographers like Fred Halsted and Jack Deveau and thus does not seem particularly groundbreaking, especially where artsy fartsy queer blue movies are concerned. Indeed, whereas Halsted was a bone-braking and ass-fisting alpha, McDowell was, as his lo-fi homo home-videos demonstrate, a passive ‘power bottom’ who literally had to pay to play when it came to finding performers. Undoubtedly, compared to the director's campy cocksucker horror-comedy epic Thundercrack!, Loads seems more like a plodding premature ejaculation, even if it is probably McDowell’s most personal, incriminating, and visceral work (indeed, how many other filmmakers have filmed themselves slurping up the less than sanitary spratz of countless dirtbag dudes who look like they could be bastard son of Charles Manson?!). Considering she felt one of the longhaired gay-for-pay heteros bared a striking resemblance to her own father, my girlfriend (indeed, she and I are probably the only couple in the entire world that watches vintage gay/lesbian porn together) found Loads to be a rather revolting experience, though that did not stop her from laughing at McDowell's obsessive, if not poorly articulated, anecdotes regarding his commitment to turning bad boys into joy boys. Of course, McDowell’s short does feature some scenes of accidental comic relief, as demonstrated by narrated remarks from the director like, “Then there was the one who was really uncommunicative. I directed him to say “suck it.” He said “suck it” so realistically that I sucked it with gusto” and “It’s such a beautiful, thick ass. I would have loved to have stuck my dick in there.” Concluding with McDowell saying, “fuck his ass” in a rather animalistic fashion and a man moaning as a result of an orgasm after assumedly being savagely skull-buggered by McDowell, Loads is ultimately poof celluloid poetry in its most unsophisticated form as a sport of American proletarian equivalent to Jean Genet's avant-garde short A Song of Love (1950) aka Un chant d'amour, thereupon most likely only being of interest to old school porn addicts, underground film fanatics, and those majorly masochistic individuals who wallow in asinine aesthetic torture. With its pornographic depiction of a group of mostly short, swarthy, and ugly men who would probably repulse 99.9% of heterosexual women and gay men, Loads ultimately proves that, if nothing, McDowell was certainly right about one thing when once remarked, “No one is a sex object, but anyone can be a sex subject.”
Posted by Soiled Sinema at 4:24 AM
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