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The Last Gas Pump on the Left!

Wherein a tender tale is told of Miss Bonnie Hart, keeper of the last gas pump stop in Texas, and her knockabout adventures with a white slave trader, a gang of hillbilly lotharios, several dozen armed state troopers and a Poulan 306a chainsaw named Chucky.

Grab a copy of the the whole damn novel Kindle eBook thing right here. 

Blood, Breasts and Bullets:
An Exploitation Introduction to The Last Gas Pump on the Left

by Yoss Clitterthrop, II.

"Just Drive on...
Whatever You Do, Don’t Stop at...
The Last Gas Pump on the Left..."

  So warned the cinema and radio advertisements back in the day. I still remember hearing it on the car radio as I drove my Dad's old T-bird out of town to meet my girl down by the old watermill...but that's another story. Written during the height of the grindhouse/exploitation movie scene in the mid-1970s, The Last Gas Pump on the Left is a long-forgotten relic of that bygone era when sex, blood, gore and violence filled the screen (often at the same time). Unreleased at the time due to ‘legal complications’ involving the writer/director’s lack of service in Vietnam, and allegedley burdened with an automatic ‘X’ rating even before the film was submitted to the MPAA, this legendary but never-seen movie has lain lost since 1975 when the director refused to allow any cuts to be made to his movie. He said: ‘I’ll wait...for the day when this country finally grants its citizens true freedom of speech and expression, when there is no more draft, no more war in South East Asia and Mr. Nixon and his fascist buddies wise up to the fact that people wanna see tits, blood and guns in their movies, not in their f**king news!”

  Dwight Alpenslack, the director, submitted the film four times to the MPAA before finally refusing to take an 'R' rating. Only in the last year, 2012 (and over 35 years after the film's completion), did the MPAA finally pass an unrated version of the film, a spokesman conceding: "Torture porn seems to be everywhere now, with graphic brutality coming out of Hollywood every month. God knows what people will think of this, with it's lousy acting, drunken camerawork, infantile script and tomato ketchup blood sacs. The lead actress has a great pair, though."
  As most connossieurs of crank cinema will attest, the foundations of the modern taste for ultra-violent movies were laid in the late '60s and '70s with films such as this, and others of its kind: I Spit on Your Grave, She-Wolf of the SS, Texas Chainsaw Massacre and They Call Her One-Eye - starkly nihilistic, often with no moral core, and with little intention on the part of the writers other than to titillate and shock. And yet a certain air of innocence pervades - a sense that while nobody behind the camera, or in front of it, was ever remotely convinced they were making art, it was produced with serious intentions in the spirit of freedom which the 1960s heralded. That curious atmosphere, so refreshingly free from smarmy contemporary post-modern irony and knowing winks to the audience, is something that makes the movie all the more appealing.
  Now, lovingly restored from original prints, and featuring a full cast and crew bio, we proudly present to you for the first time – in all it’s psychotic, deliriously brutal glory – the story of Bonnie Hart, owner of the eponymous last gas pump in Texas before the Mexican border. When a mother and her adult son come crashing into Bonnie’s world one day, her life will never be the same again...and nor will that of anyone else who dares to stop at the The Last Gas Pump on the Left.
 For fans of bloody mayhem, revenge exploitation and just plain kick-ass brutality, this is the ultimate grindhouse movie experience. Contains sex, nudity, extreme violence, harsh language and some real rats being munched by rattlesnakes. But it's okay, folks...that's nature. So are naked butts and boobs and dongs, and don't let anybody out there try to tell you otherwise.

We hope your ride will be memorable, in more ways than one. Mine certainly was.

Yoss Clitterthrop, II.
Wagnersburg Penitentiary, November 2012.
P.S. I never killed her by the watermill...I didn't do it at all, dammit! I was framed!!!
The Last Gas Pump on the Left
Cast & Crew Biographies

Martha-Jane Baerbacker (‘Bonnie Hart’)

Martha-Jane was born into a beatnik commune sometime in the early 50s, though nobody is very sure exactly when. After spending most of her teenage years hitchiking across the mid-west, she finally came to Hollywood where she was picked by Herschell Gordon Lewis to appear in his unfinished picture, Blood-Coated Nudists. She then starred in a number of popular sexploitation classics, most notably Love Children in Heat (1971) and Strip Me, Whip Me! (1973). She was to have featured in the notorious XXX feature I Cum in Your Throat (1972), but was fired after vomiting over co-star Michael Reems in one climactic scene. It is said that Dwight Alpenslack originally wanted to recruit ex-Playmate and Gator Bait star, Claudia Jennings, for the role of Bonnie Hart but was unable to negotiate an effective deal that involved more than "a few bucks and a bottle of Jack". Having just completed her second film for HG Lewis, The Godfather of Guts, Martha-Jane jumped at the chance to, as she said at the time, "...git naked in front of loads of people again. Well, I always wanted to be a stripper when ah wuz a kid!"

After her appearance in Last Gas Pump and the surrounding media controversy, Martha-Jane had attracted the publishers of upcoming lowbrow men's magazine, Lecher, and her first photographic spread appeared in May 1974. She also featured on the cover, with the tag line 'Totally Nood: the Texas Honey Whose New Movie is Too Shocking for Cinema!' A year later, she was Lecher's centerfold of the month, along with an interview which is reprinted here in its entirety.

A natural-born Southerner, Martha has remarked of herself; "Ah git ryeal myad when folks call muh a dumb blonde...ah’m a goddamn redhead, fu’cryin’ out loud!"

Benny Bing Talks to Martha-Jane Baerbacker in the Summer Special issue of 'Lecher' Magazine, 1975

Benny Bing: So, Martha-Jane. Here you are on the set of your new movie. What’s it about?
Martha-Jane Baerbacker: It’s called Naked Biker Sluts Terrorize Arkansas, but I can’t tell ya anything what it’s about.
BB: Yes, I see. OK, well we won’t ask you to give away any close-guarded secrets then.
MJB: I will say just this, though. I take ma clothes off a lot in it.
BB: You do?
MJB: Oh yeah. Almost every scene. Cuz I’m one of the naked biker sluts.
BB: You are? Far out.
MJB: Yeh, it’s ma most challenging role yet.
BB: Really. Tell us why.
MJB: Cuz ya see, sittin' naked on a bike, like, ya get kinda sweaty underneath ‘n all. So ya can like, slide off real easy if y’ain’t careful.
BB: Uh huh. We wanted to ask you, Martha-Jane, about the movies you’ve been in so far. A lot of them seem to feature extreme violence and sex to a high degree. Do you feel these movies have an effect upon the people who watch them?
MJB: Ah reckon the guys who watch ‘em jerk off a lot, if that’s what ya mean. Oh ma Gawd – can I say that? I’m real sorry.
BB: Sure you can, Miss B. This is a guy’s magazine, after all, that happens to feature a lot of naked women in its pages. Including, of course, your very good self.
MJB: Oh yeah. I forgot about that, so I did.
BB: Yes, that’s okay, Miss B. Although, let me just explain what I meant in my last question. I want to know if you think the films you make have a harmful effect...all that blood and violence.
MJB: Yeh.
BB: You do?
MJB: DO what?
BB: Think they have a harmful effect.
MJB: What do? Sorry, I was thinkin' about guys jerking off over ma titties.
BB: Right. Uh, Last Gas Pump has never yet been shown in America. Bootleg copies are rumored to circulate, but the director refuses to cut his film to gain a lesser rating. You made this movie which maybe nobody will ever get to see. What do you think of that?
MJB: I think it's a real shame, but I mean, it's his movie. And Dwight was such a honey to work with. Always made sure ah took mah clothes off in just the right way. I think the movie ratings in this country are just stupid, anyway. Let folks see what they want. I mean, nobody nails their butts to the seats now, do they? Though I've sure had ma butt nailed in plenty of seats, I'll tell you.
BB: Do you think this obsession with sex is taking over our nation?
MJB: Aw gee, I sure hope so. I can't get enough of it.
BB: Hmm. I may hold you to that later.
MJB: You can hold me to anythin' you like, daddy. Wall, lamppost, bed, kitchen floor-
BB: Er, in the meantime...um...lovely. Wow. Absolutely beautiful. But I was going to ask something.
MJB: Cowgirl.
BB: Huh?
MJB: Cowgirl. It's ma favorite position. Is what you wuz gonna ask now, wasn't it?
BB: Uh...yes. No, actually. Look. This report here states that the extreme feminist group, True Women Against Terrorist Sex, have singled out you, and a number of other performers and artists, as setting back the cause of the women's movement. They view the work that you, and indeed, all of us here at Lecher, do, as depraved, immoral and degrading.
MJB: Aw, that's really sweet of them to say so. Ah luv ma fans.
BB: Uh, Miss Baerbacker - they're against what you and I both do. In our respective careers, that is. How do you deal with that kind of opposition?
MJB: I say they ain't never been whacked in the backdoor by a ten-inch schlonger, cuz if they had, they wouldn't be jealous of me gettin' it.
BB: So you really enjoy what you do?
MJB: Aw hell yeah! You don't think it's for the money, do ya?
BB: Martha-Jane, on behalf of all the folks at Lecher, let me thank you for speaking to me today. It's been a pleasure.
MJB: Aw, shucks. And we ain't even gotten started yet!

Editor's Note: As this edition of Lecher went to press, we have heard on the grapevine that director Dwight Alpenslack is now planning a sequel to Last Gas Pump, provisionally titled Bonnie Gets it Up Down South which, he promises, will be ‘lighter in tone than the original, with a bit more skin and less strawberry syrup’. Whether Martha-Jane Baerbacker will return to the role is anyone’s guess, as further rumors state she has recently converted to extreme Christianity under the guidance of the charismatic Reverend Jim Jones.
Content (c) Lecher Magazine, June 1975. Reproduced without any permission whatsoever - who gives a shit??

Brenda Horne (‘Virginia S. Pring’)

Born in 1932 in Wisconsin, buxom Brenda started her movie career in the late ‘50s, playing opposite Spencer Tracy in the little-known musical comedy western A Buttfull of Buckshot. A promising career was then curtailed for over a decade by a heady cocktail of rock and roll (she was a groupie for the Rolling Stones and the Stooges) and LSD, and by her own admission, “slept and tripped her way through the '60s...though I reckon I tripped once too often and fell flat on my face."
Brenda Horne, about to meet a very sticky end indeed in the shocking climax to Bitch-Queen of the Reich
Trying to get her life back on track, Brenda turned her hand to various occupations, including stints as a dental nurse and running her own motel, but her early introduction to films had a lasting impression on her. In 1972 she was interviewed for the rockumentary feature Rockers, Rollers and Rumors which attempted to dish the dirt on the famous bands of the previous decade. Brenda's drink-induced recollections of a night spent with Charlie Watts and a jar of gherkins is the film's outrageous highlight. 

In 1974, she resurfaced in the notorious Euroschlock flick Bitch-Queen of the Reich, playing the bisexual, dominatrix Commandant of the title. On a trivia note, Martha-Jane Baerbacker has an uncredited role as one of the girls in the sixth shower scene. She was chosen for the part of Virgina S. Pring in Last Gas Pump because, according to director Dwight Alpenslack, "I love a middle-aged actress who ain't afraid to go down on a dude in front of a camera, in the name of entertainment." Certainly Brenda's contribution to Last Gas Pump constitutes some of the most explicit and controversial scenes in the film. Despite being over 40 (agewise as well as bust size), she then secured a number of parts in a string of European trash films, appearing alongside such luminaries as Laura Gemser, Klaus Kinski and Nieves Navarro, and as such became something of a minor cult figure. Of her own physical assets, Brenda is recorded as saying, "I like to give ‘em a damn good airing at least once in every picture." By the 1980s, Brenda was co-starring in the long running TV soap Oil and Trouble, as DD Kuppz, the wife of Texas oil millionaire "Big" TT, and became a household name, after which she retired from acting completely. Brenda now runs her own gun store in Alabama with her seventeenth husband.

Eddie van der Flint (‘Jake’)

South African-born van der Flint, youngest son of 13, grew up on the streets of New Jersey after the Second World War and in his early years was a runner for the local mafia. He spent six years on Alcatraz for aggravated burglary, and during his time inside was encouraged to take up acting by the prison chaplain who befriended him, amongst other things. Upon his release, Eddie starred in stage runs of The Tavern of Peace and the musical All The Little Children. However, acting proved a difficult career to keep, and Eddie turned back to crime to finance his whiskey and fruit machine habits.

Eddie spent a year in Vietnam but was sent home after being shot in the left buttcheek while attempting to get it on with a Saigon prostitute during a firefight. Following his return, his only notable film role was as ‘Bobby-Jim-Bob’ in the revenge/ exploitation thriller, Cajun Gator Girls (1971), in which his character has his testicles unconvincingly bitten off by a plastic alligator (rumors stating that Eddie’s overwrought performance is due to him laughing at the sight of the ‘special effects’ man manipulating the alligator like a sock puppet are unfounded). Spotted by Russ Meyer in 1972 when Eddie was fleeing arrest in Texas for cattle rustling, the 'King of the Nudie-Cutie’ was able to bail Eddie in order to star him in his upcoming feature, Boobiez!, in which he played the impotent husband of the superbly-endowed Meyer regular, Connie McCunnie.

Dwight Alpenslack met with Eddie in late 1973 on a protest match, in which Eddie was arrested for pinning his Purple Heart to the seat of a Dallas policeman’s pants. Impressed by this act of defiance, Dwight promised him a part in his next movie, and the deal finally came good with his role as Virginia S. Pring's son Jake in Last Gas Pump. Allegedly Eddie had a role in the legendary gay stag feature, Burt and the Backdoor Boys, but this has since been disproved and is now known to be one of his brothers, either Freddie or Paddy, both of whom were active in the San Francisco scene. Eddie van der Flint made only one further acting appearance after Last Gas Pump, a supporting role in the 1980 Italian gorefest Cannibal Biker Hell, directed by Umberto Spazi.

Dwight Alpenslack (Writer/director/editor)

Dwight began his film-making career with the sophomoric Schwarz (1968), a quasi-mystical space-opera featuring a race of amazonian aliens who wear nothing more than green body paint. After just managing to graduate from high school in 1969, Dwight successfully dodged the draft by pretending to be an artist and illustrator for various low brow magazines and comics publications. He teamed up with old school buddies to produce Blood on the Butcher’s Breasts (1972), a soft-core stalker thriller which enjoyed some notoriety on the drive-in circuit, and inspired a riot in Arkansas where furious parents set light to the cinema which refused to withdraw the film.

Following a meeting with his hero, Robert Crumb (in which Dwight swiped over $3,000 from the underground artist’s hip pocket), Dwight was able to finance his next feature, the crude but effective animated sex-comedy Mr. Dawg Does it His Way. After paying back Crumb from the profits of Mr. Dawg to avoid criminal charges, Dwight went on to establish himself as a cartoonist in residence for Lecher magazine, wherein he created the endearingly accident-prone character Amber Rivers.

By 1974, Dwight was ready to return to cinema with his third effort, which he originally entitled Last House on the Left before it was pointed out that somebody else had already used that title. Dwight reshuffled his script and relocated to a tiny gas station near the Texas border, and exploitation cinema history was created.

Filmed in three weeks entirely on location in early 1974, and with a budget of only $20,000, Dwight had high hopes for the film. The grindhouse and exploitation circuit was in full swing, but the MPAA had other ideas. They objected most strongly to the references to incest in the script, calling it "perverted and anti-Christian". Despite the lack of a rating, Dwight ran advertisement campaigns in the hope that enough public interest would help sway the classification board onto his side. However, it only resulted in queues of angry protesters picketing cinemas, demanding to know why they were being subjected to adverts for a film that didn't exist. Many regarded the whole thing as a joke, and the movie's very existence was challenged in the press.

Desperate now, Dwight and some friends launched a commando-style raid on a late-night cinema showing Citizen Kane. They swapped the reels out with Last Gas Pump, but ten minutes into the screening, the cinema had emptied. Responding to the news story, Dwight admitted his part in the scheme but was glad that he had proved the existence of his movie. He then shelved it completely and, disgusted with cinema in general, spent the next thirty years drawing Amber Rivers strips until Lecher's demise in 2005. Dwight killed off his cartoon character (who was now nearing 50) by having her eaten alive (in more ways than one) by a tribe of sex-hungry cannibals. This grotesque climax to a worthy career turned his attention back to the dusty reels of Last Gas Pump sitting on his attic shelves...and for the next three years, he worked single-handedly to restore and reveal his lost epic to a new audience. Asked about the movie prior to its premiere in New York City, 34 years late, he said simply:
 "These candy-ass Hollywood cowboys think they know movies. They think they know what 42nd Street and exploitation was all about. I will tell you, boy - they don't know nothing. They couldn't make this shit any more. Jesus Christ, half of my cast is dead, y'know? This is the real thing, Daddy-o. This is the Big Mama, the King, the Grand-Daddy of 'em all. Why? Cos it's got everything. It's got tits, ass, bush you'd need a hedge trimmer t'get thru'...- when did ya last see that  in a flick, huh? - it's got blood an' guts, it's got balls, it's got guns an' babes, it's got zombies an' white slavery an' cannibals an' torture an' sick sick motherfuckin' sick shit that you ain't even gonna believe. This ain't a porno with a bit of blood, or some psycho killer shit with a bit of T an' A. This movie's gonna make your eyes bleed, pal. This is a movie apocalypse. A holocaust. A porno holocaust. Yeah. That sounds like a good title for a movie...hey, just get your ass inside and find out for yourself, alright!"

Now available...
The fully restored, re-edited, completely rebooted and totally unimproved
Last Gas Pump on the Left! - cinematic hell for moviegoing sinners!
The story so far. It continues. Like a serial, right? So keep checkin' back real regular.
Page 1  Page 2  Page 3

...the Last Gas Pump...aw hell, you know where it is by now.

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