Fantastic Fest Attendees Disturbed By Secret Screening Of Lost Ed Wood Porno ‘Take It Out In Trade’

Posted by September 25, 2017 Comment

A Fantastic Fest screening of Ed Wood’s Take It Out In Trade, a softcore pornographic comedy filmed in 1970 that was believed lost until 2014, sparked negative reactions after some attendees say they weren’t adequately warned about the film’s content.

Advertised as a secret screening and organized by Lisa Petrucci, Something Weird, and the American Genre Film Archive, the showing sparked criticism on Facebook. In a widely shared public post, Todd BrownScreenAnarchy founder and former longtime Fantastic Fest programmer who resigned in response to news that Devin Faraci was still working for Alamo Drafthouse, wrote:

So at a festival currently wrestling with issues around sexual assault and sexual harassment you’ve just taken multiple cinemas full of people who don’t know what they’re getting and given them porn and violence against women.

At the Q&A at the end of the screening an audience member asked why the festival would choose to show a pornographic film given the current situation at the festival. This question was not answered. Instead the audience member was told to speak with somebody in private. Because apparently dropping a pornographic film on multiple rooms full of people without warning is fine but a public conversation about sexual violence within the community is not.

Responses on Facebook have been mixed to negative, with some attendees defending the showing. “I praise the preservationist work that AGFA does; it’s incredibly important. But as an audience member this didn’t seem like the right time to stand on two consecutive days of porn,” said one commenter on Brown’s post.”

“I was at the screening and I agree calling the decision ‘tone deaf’ is an understatement,” said another. “I was excited for a previously unseen Ed Wood title, but I was so angry through the show that I finally left perhaps 10 minutes before the end.”

Some comments in a Facebook fan group dedicated to Fantastic Fest noted that it was uncomfortable for women to be unknowingly sat next to or in-between men watching a pornographic film, while another argued that Lisa Petrucci, Something Weird, and the AGFA shouldn’t be accountable for the scandals surrounding Fantastic Fest co-founder and Alamo Drafthouse CEO Tim League, former Alamo Drafthouse employee Devin Faraci, and Fantastic Fest co-founder Harry Knowles.

Faraci parted ways with Alamo in 2016 after a sexual assault allegation was made public, but was apparently quietly rehired by League soon after. When it was revealed that Faraci was still working for Alamo, Todd Brown resigned as director of international programming for the festival, and the film Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri pulled out of the festival. Harry Knowles, co-founder of Fantastic Fest and founder of Ain’t It Cool News, didn’t attend the festival, and Ain’t It Cool News dropped out as a sponsor, amid allegations that Knowles sexually assaulted a woman on several occasions at Alamo Drafthouse events. Additionally, the report claims that the woman, a longtime friend of Tim and Karrie League, informed the pair about the incidents and were told to just try to avoid Knowles. League co-founded Fantastic Fest with Knowles a few years afterward, in 2005. Knowles has “categorically” denied the allegations.

Take It Out In Trade stars Wood, Duke Moore, Nona Carver, Michael Donovan O’Donnell, and Linda Colpin. EdWood.com describes the film’s plot as: “Private Investigator Mac McGregor (O’Donnell) is hired by Frank & Donna Stanley (Moore & Riley) to find their missing daughter. After travelling the world in search, he finds her (and much more) at ‘Madame Penny’s Thrill Establishment’.”

UPDATE: Alamo Drafthouse CEO Tim League has provided Bleeding Cool with a statement about the various sexual assault and harassment allegations. League apologized to “the women we have let down” and said that Fantastic Fest is building a new board of directors as part of an effort to make Fantastic Fest “a safe and welcoming environment for all of our staff and guests.” Read the full statement here.

 

 

(Last Updated September 26, 2017 8:37 am )