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.
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Blood, Breasts and Bullets:
|Brenda Horne, about to meet a very sticky end indeed in the shocking climax to Bitch-Queen of the Reich|
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.
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!"
The story so far. It continues. Like a serial, right? So keep checkin' back real regular.
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|...the Last Gas Pump...aw hell, you know where it is by now.|