Crikey it’s been a hot week, in fact I decided to take a few days off work to just laze about reading instead of working on my new commissions or writing my next blog about the super sexy artwork that I recently created for my ‘PEEP’ residency last month, so after finishing up my book about British sex queen Mary Millington, catching up on features in DarkSide magazine and starting the novel of the Omen (again) I figured I better get this second blog about ‘PEEP’ underway.
Okey dokey then, well I created and painted a number of 1970’s sexploitation and porno inspired film posters for my month long ‘Peep’ project studio residency based on various film genres that the adult sex film industry tapped into to make their own x rated, or indeed triple x rated sex versions and variations of.
My poster designs are my own ideas for imaginary films that I believe look like they could have existed back in the glory years of the late 1960’s through to the early 80’s. So I think I’ll concentrate on an individual design for each blog, so we are kicking off with my homage to the slap & Tickle of British skin flicks from the 1970’s ‘Cheeky Buns’.
British Cinema in the 60’s and 70’s had three major film franchises, Hammer, Carry On and Bond, all of them with plenty of sex and titillation and Christopher Lee, Sid James, Connery and Moore had plenty of totty to keep them occupied while sucking blood, assorted slapstick lechery and saving the world from megalomaniac super villains, the very best of British by far. Yet slumming it along below these highly successful movie classics, homegrown cinema also had lower end horrors from the likes of the Tigon studios, spy like crime spoofery from the duo of Morcambe and Wise and Dick Emery and a whole host of cheap, cheerful and sleazy sex comedies made like only British exploitation filmmakers could with one major thing in common, plenty of crumpet.
My poster painting for Cheeky Buns takes it’s inspiration from these sub Carry On skin flick comedies that got churned out back in the day, mostly dreadful badly acted yet fun quickies from a less up tight less politically correct age, well less ‘up tight’ if you liked sex and nudity, a nightmare if you were Mary Whitehouse.
I’ve recently been reading about the late great model Mary Millington,
the British queen of mens magazines of the 1970’s, mostly from porn king David Sullivan’s magazines ‘Whitehouse’ (named after middle aged anti porn and anti any kind of fun lobbiest Mary Whitehouse just to wind her up), ‘Park Lane’, ‘Playbirds’ and ‘Lovebirds’ as well as other publications like Knave.
She was also the most notorious porn film star from hardcore filmmaker John Lindsey’s stable and a strong anti censorship flag waver and advocate for making porn acceptable and de demonised in the UK for those adults who chose to enjoy it. She made a number of softcore sex flicks for Sullivan’s own adults film company, the most famous and successful one ‘Come Play With Me’ from 1977 directed and starring the legendary George Harrison Marks of nude girlie pic fame…any sheepish slack jawed teenage boy ( and most likely their sheepish dads) in the 1950’s and 60’s will remember his nudie pics of Pamela Green and other assorted pin ups that added a little spice to dreary old stiff upper lip post war blighty…stiff indeed.
It’s the films of Mary Millington and many other British sex romps that influenced my design for ‘Cheeky Buns’ with it’s hand painted art in an era that still employed artists to paint many of their posters even for low grade sexploitation trash.
I was inspired by the imagery used in film posters like ‘Adventures Of A Taxi Driver’ and ‘Can You Keep It Up For A Week’
plus the fonts and colour schemes from mens magazines of the era like the aformentioned titles
and Mary Millington photo spreads like the one pictured below, many from my own collection of 70’s mens mags.
It was important that I get the correct vintage look regarding colour schemes and fonts so I employed a healthy pallet of sleazy lecherous and HOT Yellows and Oranges trimmed in red, brown and black…
colours that recall said Brit sex flick posters as well as hardcore American classics like ‘Deep Throat’.
I’m glad to say that while I was working on this poster it caught the attention of a guy passing by the studio which is an old shop still sporting the 1950’s windows and door which is painted black. With my own window dressing of red beads, three light up red triple XXX signs and a red ‘Peep’ light box and interior walls painted red and pink I managed to transform it into a pretty convincing looking 70’s sex shop come peep booth. In fact several shifty and gormless teenage boys wandered in one Saturday asking if I sold ‘really dirty DVDs’ so it must have looked pretty authentic. Anyway this guy passing came in and introduced himself. He is a big movie buff with a love for vintage movie posters and was fascinated with my work. He was an avid collector of original posters during the 60’s and 70’s and acquired two decades worth of posters from local cinemas here in Norwich. After chatting for awhile he said he now needs to clear out some of his collection so he is selling them, ”would I be interested in buying any?”…”Hell yeah, do you have any Charles Bronson, horror or sex flicks?”…”Yes, Bronsons ‘Red Sun’ and a skin flick double bill, I’ll bring em’ in”.
Several days Later my new mate Peter came back with about ten 70’s classics, I couldn’t afford them all so I had to leave ‘A Man Called Horse’ ‘Man From Hong Kong’ and a number of others but grabbed ‘Red Sun’ and that sexy double bill. ‘Sex Of Their Bodies’ and ‘Love Hungry Girls’ are both Italian softcore porno imports ( a common practice with Brit film distrbuters in the 70’s) billed together on this British release poster. Not the painted kind but instead the cheaper collage variety that sported black & white photo shots with neon coloured backing and bright fonts, still very cool with that sleazy scuzz factor. I recall seeing many like these displayed in grubby flea pit cinema windows around the Midlands when I was a kid, just wish I could have snuck in, a by gone era now long lost. I’m proud to own this in the knowledge that Pete saw this in 1973 in a cinema here in Norwich, many thanks man for passing it on to me.
On more interesting thing about ‘Cheeky Buns’ before I wrap this blog up…as I was putting the finishing touches to this piece my wife Susie who was helping out that day around the studio nipped out to the post office and on her way back checked out a local charity shop. She came back all excited with a little gift, she had only found an autographed photo of British smut film god Robin Askwith for a quid,,,Robin f*ckin’ Askwith who could have easily been in ‘Cheeky Buns’ , how freakin’ cool is that. Of course it’s signed to some fella named John, I have no idea who the heck John is but it’s Askwiths autograph…must have been an omen baby, the Gods where truly watchin’ over me.
And last but not least, my two mates Reeks and Glover, two real life Cheeky Buns posing with the finished poster..
the Sweetest peaches get the cream.
All artwork from the PEEP collection including Cheeky Buns are for sale so drop me a line if interested.
Thanks to my friends Simon Watson and Gary Yallop for some of the work in progress photos used here.
Till next time folks keep the British end up…Happy Days
Lovely Simon. Very inspired. Please give us a price of a picture involving a man and a woman. Thanks Nina x
Hi Nina – thanks for your comments, I’ll drop you an email about a commission.