Video Vulture errata

Sometimes I screw up

I try like hell to keep this column factually accurate but I’m only human. In the 15 years that Video Vulture has been in print I’ve written a few things that turned out to be incorrect. It’s tempting to keep quiet and hope that nobody will notice but I think it’s important to address these errors publicly and to show a willingness to acknowledge one’s mistakes from time to time. And so:

• Error #1: There’s a remarkable scene in Beneath the Valley of the Ultra-Vixens (1979) in which a gay dentist runs back and forth through his office trying to find tools to break a troublesome patient out of his closet. He tries a crowbar a cartoonishly large sledgehammer a double-barrelled shotgun and finally a chainsaw. Meanwhile the patient’s huge-breasted wife is having enthusiastic noisy sex with the dentist’s busty nurse/receptionist on the reclining chair. The two women are sharing a 17-inch double-ended dildo and are getting increasingly acrobatic with it while completely ignoring all of the chaos erupting around them.

I seem to have forgotten the point I was going to make. No wait a minute — in the Oct. 23 1997 issue of Fast Forward Weekly I asserted that the bosomy lesbian nymphomaniac nurse was played by Uschi Digard when in fact it was Sharon Ceccatti. I’m not sure how I got that wrong — I must have been distracted. Sorry!

• Error #2: In the May 31 2001 issue I mentioned that actress Tamara Shanath who plays the little girl in Cronos (1993) has actual psychic powers that allow her to see while blindfolded and to look through walls. This is erroneous because real-life superpowers don’t fucking exist. I must have temporarily forgotten that.

• Error #3: While writing about the Ilsa films in the September 11 2003 issue I mentioned that the decadent Arabian sheik character “El Sharif” from Ilsa Harem Keeper of the Oil Sheiks (1976) was played by none other than acclaimed actor/writer/monologist Spalding Gray using a pseudonym. This was an unusual claim so I made sure to check two different sources before reporting it. Unfortunately my first source (the film book Sleazoid Express by Bill Landis and Michelle Clifford) turned out to be incorrect and my followup source ( IMDb.com ) simply repeated the error. El Sharif is actually played by Jerry Delony (credited here as “Victor Alexander”) most famous as the “we’ve been on the moon since the ’50s” conspiracy nut from Slacker (1991). Watch both movies back to back — there’s no mistaking the guy.

It’s tempting to rely on IMDb as a source forgetting that it’s constantly edited and updated by multiple users just like Wikipedia. IMDb has since removed Spalding Gray from the Ilsa Harem Keeper of the Oil Sheiks cast list but still lists “Victor Alexander” as one of Gray’s pseudonyms.

I feel really bad about this one because Spalding Gray committed suicide four months after the column appeared. It seemed obvious to me that the man had read my piece misattributing him to a piece of sleazy nazisploitation cinema and became too upset to continue living. Sorry Mr. Gray! I thought you were great in Swimming to Cambodia (1987)!

• Error #4: In the December 23 1999 issue I publicly announced that the Y2K bug probably wasn’t going to be that big a deal and that the worst we’d have to suffer through would be adjusting the time and date settings on our computers just like we always have to do when there’s a leap year or Daylight Saving Time or whatever. This turned out to be ridiculously short-sighted and naive of me because as we all know the Y2K bug completely destroyed society and doomed the remnants of humanity to living in a post-apocalyptic wasteland full of crashed airplanes erased bank accounts and roving bands of rabid cannibals.

• Error #5: The previous entry is incorrect. Y2K didn’t happen. We’re all fine. Whew!