BOOTLEG FILES 457: “Dogarama” (1971 porno film starring Linda Lovelace).
LAST SEEN: The film can be found on several adult video websites.
AMERICAN HOME VIDEO: Not that I am aware of.
REASON FOR BOOTLEG STATUS: A notorious film that cannot easily be shared.
CHANCES OF SEEING A COMMERCIAL DVD RELEASE: Oh, I hope not.
In 1972, the X-rated feature “Deep Throat” became the surprise sensation of the year. A great deal of the media fascination with this unlikely production centered on its charming leading lady, the hitherto unknown Linda Lovelace. Indeed, Lovelace’s fame became so pronounced that she was welcomed as a guest on Johnny Carson’s “Tonight Show” and at the Academy Awards ceremony.
But as Lovelace’s celebrity grew, strange whispers began percolating about another movie starring the clothing-free lady. Unlike the loopy soft-core comedy of “Deep Throat,” the other film ventured into the unpleasant taboo territory of bestiality. Lovelace initially claimed to be unaware of any such film, but she was eventually acknowledged its existence after prints began to surface.
The film in question was shot in 1971 and has been released under a variety of titles, including one that is inappropriate for publication in a family-friendly surrounding, but it is perhaps best known as “Dogarama.” This production is something of a legend in pornography history – and while many people have heard about the film, relatively few have actually seen it.
“Dogarama” was one of a seemingly endless number of “loops” produced in the early 1970s. Loops were short 8mm porno flicks that were made quickly and cheaply for distribution in the growing number of X-rated theaters and peep show venues that proliferated in American cities; some loops were also sold through mail order catalogues, in violation of the U.S. postal laws of the era. The loops had little in the way of artistic value, and there was a certain sense of seen-one/seen-them-all to their offerings.
With “Dogarama,” however, things were a little different. Rather than concentrate on male-female sex, this loop introduced a canine participant into the carnal romp. It is unclear who came up with this idea, but even in the raucous early 1970s this concept was more than a little extreme.
“Dogarama” begins with a fairly typical porno scenario, with Lovelace and reigning X-rated stud Eric Edwards enjoying each other’s company. Or, at least here, he is having more fun than she is. When Edwards is satisfied, he abruptly dresses and departs, leaving poor Lovelace in a most unsatisfactory mood.
Ah, but sexual salvation awaits her via the trust pet dog. This happy bow-bow – it is not certain whether it is a German shepherd or an Alsatian – appears to take his job as man’s best friend very, very seriously. For the remainder of the film, the viewer is treated to glimpses of Lovelace showing more than a maternal interest in the dog, while the four-legged star reciprocates with several aggressive displays of (what else?) doggie-style sex.
There is no nice way to put this: “Dogarama” is a thoroughly disgusting experience. The film provides extreme close-ups of Lovelace pleasuring the pooch in a variety of ways, and the poor animal plays alpha dog to his willing human partner. Anyone with a weak stomach should stay as far from “Dogarama” as possible.
But, at the same time, this is also a weirdly confusing endeavor – and in its excessive awfulness, it raises a host of questions that will puzzle the sensitive viewer. For instance, did anyone making this film genuinely believe that people would find this stuff erotic, or even amusing? Was some sort of sick statement being made with “Dogarama” that equated women with pet dogs? Did notion of animal abuse ever permeate the planning behind the film shoot? And, quite frankly, how did people react when they ambled into X-rated venues in 1971 and witnessed this unlikely spectacle?
The story behind the film – and, for that matter, Lovelace’s relatively brief porno career – has been the subject of considerable debate. Lovelace, as stated earlier, initially denied ever being in the film. When Screw Magazine publisher Al Goldstein obtained a print and published screen freezes, she accused him of faking the stills in order to cash in on her fame. But the curiosity about the flick never evaporated, and Lovelace would be unhappily reacquainted with the film during a visit to the Playboy Mansion, when Hugh Hefner admitted that he had a print in his private film collection.
Lovelace would eventually be forced to say that she participated in this film and in a second (but lesser known) loop that included another go-round of sex with a dog. However, in her 1980 autobiography “Ordeal,” she would insist that she was violently coerced by her then-husband, Chuck Traynor, to make love to a dog on camera. Lovelace accused Traynor of inflicting a “brutal beating” and threatening her with a gun prior to the shoot, and she sought to expunge the memory of the film by claiming its creation was the most painful moment of her life.
However, a number of writers investigating Lovelace’s life have questioned her version of the film’s production and of Traynor’s behavior off-camera. Co-star Eric Edwards, who half-jokingly noted that the dog’s owner received a larger salary than he did, claimed that Lovelace was “really into it” and showed no signs of being forced by anyone to perform against her will. Indeed, in watching Lovelace’s enthusiastic actions in “Dogarama,” it is hard to see any signs of a woman doing something against her will. If she was acting under the threat of gun violence, then her free-spirited interaction with the dog represents some of the most convincing acting ever captured on camera.
“Dogarama” was never registered for a copyright, so it has always been a public domain title. However, problems with its content – not to mention the none-so-secret involvement of certain organized crime elements running the skin flick business – have discouraged widespread bootlegging of this title. Some badly duped prints have floated around for years, and a few can be located on several adult video websites.
Ironically, “Dogarama” would never have been recalled had “Deep Throat” not become a cultural phenomenon and Linda Lovelace not become a household name. To borrow a line from Brad Pitt: Fame is a bitch, man!
IMPORTANT NOTICE: The unauthorized duplication and distribution of copyright-protected material, either for crass commercial purposes or profit-free shits and giggles, is not something that the entertainment industry appreciates. On occasion, law enforcement personnel boost their arrest quotas by collaring cheery cinephiles engaged in such activities. So if you are going to copy and distribute bootleg material, a word to the wise: don’t get caught. Oddly, the purchase and ownership of bootleg DVDs is perfectly legal. Go figure!
Posted on December 7, 2012 in Bootleg Files, Features by Phil Hall
If you liked this article then you may also like the following Film Threat articles:
- THE BOOTLEG FILES: “LINDA LOVELACE FOR PRESIDENT”
- THE BOOTLEG FILES: “LINDA LOVELACE FOR PRESIDENT”
- INSIDE DEEP THROAT
- THE BOOTLEG FILES: “DON’T WORRY, WE’LL THINK OF A TITLE”
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