Locally made classic porn at PhilaMOCA

We're showing you the venue (PhilaMOCA), not the hardcore porn inside.
We’re showing you the venue (PhilaMOCA), not the hardcore porn inside.

While International House continues its month-long survey of landmark films of the sexual revolution, PhilaMOCA will play host to a pair of films that made less of an impact but stick closer to home. Presented by Danger After Dark, “SOS: Screw on the Screen” (1975) and “The Erotic Memoirs of a Male Chauvinist Pig” (1973) are both porn films shot in Philly during the heyday of theatrically distributed adult films.

“SOS: Screw on the Screen” is a combination of hardcore porn and sketch comedy that attempts to bring the titular magazine to cinematic life. Featuring infamous “Screw” publisher Al Goldstein, who passed away last month, the film stops in at the long-defunct Locust Strip Cinema for one of a wide variety of skits and performances.

The entirety of “The Erotic Memoirs of a Male Chauvinist Pig” was shot in Philly by Ray Horsch, including an emergency room scene filmed in what is now Hahnemann University Hospital. That’s far from Horsch’s most audacious location; another film, “Miss Terry Takes a Liberty,” featured scenes of public sex in a variety of local historic landmarks. “That was back when you could actually touch the Liberty Bell,” Horsch says, “and bang on it if you wanted.”

A self-described “villain,” Ray Horsch, now 70, has led the sort of life where shooting porn at notable tourist attractions rates little more than a footnote. He’s been a lifelong pornographer, a drug smuggler, a forger of art and banknotes, and an ex-con several times over (most recently for the 2009 discovery of a pot-growing operation in the basement of his Bucks County home). His films and photography have tended to dwell on the darker aspects of sex, leading to accusations of misogyny and exploitation.

“My interest has always been in sexuality as a entirely legitimate area for artistic investigation, but I seem to be relatively alone in that view,” Horsch says. “Anything involving a naked person is assumed to be purposed for arousal and titillation, end of story. It’s like saying that Spielberg made ‘Schindler’s List’ because he gets off on seeing people tortured in concentration camps. It’s absurd to say that, and I think it’s equally absurd to put that one-dimensional, childish view onto sexuality.”

Those concerns were already evident 40 years ago in “Male Chauvinist Pig,” which Horsch insists was intended as satire but which aggressively tackles any and every taboo imaginable. “Just about every imaginable sexual deviation is lampooned in some way, including the theatrical audience for the films themselves,” Horsch says. “It’s much more neurotic than erotic and in order to get off on what was going on in the film you’d have to be pretty sick yourself.”

Philly-Shot XXX Double Feature
Jan. 17, 8 p.m.
PhilaMOCA
531 N. 12th St.
$10
www.philamoca.org


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