Greetings my little gorehounds, today you are in for a treat, as we meet up with Robin Bougie, editor and the mind behind twisted brainchild Cinema Sewer- an adults only guide to the sickest and sexiest cinema. It is ironic that the week our misguided leader in the UK is waging a war on online porn, with the prospect of mandatory filters on ISPs which remove all the interesting content, that I should find myself interviewing one of the most inspirational pornographers around. I am sure my mother would be proud! Vancouver based Robin, journalist, cartoonist, writer, pornographer, uses Cinema Sewer as a forum to introduce readers to the most sleaziest, shocking, gross, smutty and bizarre elements out there in the entertainment industry, and the only thing I can compare it to is UK Bizarre Magazine, on steroids, multiplied by a hundred. To dismiss Cinema Sewer on the grounds of just pure filth for filths sake would be a massive mistake, for it is engaging, well-informed, brilliantly funny, and has some of the most grotesquely fun illustrations I have certainly ever seen. From issue one I was hooked, and as number four is about to come off the press any day now if you have not already welcomed this treasury of glorious obscenity into your life now is the perfect time to play catch up.
To begin to summarise the content is an impossible task, all I can say on that is for a lover of the bizarre and extreme it certainly provides many hours of inspiration. I thought I had pretty much waded through the depth of sleaze and eye-opening cinema, but this book makes me realise I have only touched the tip of the iceberg, in the words of Hellraiser’s Pinhead Cinema Sewer proclaims to me ‘we have such sights to show you’. In reading you can tell it is pretty much a labour of love for author and editor Robin, written in a refreshingly personal tone, with handwritten text and plenty of eye-popping imagery this is one book you won’t want to put down. I am grateful to UK’s own FAB Press for picking this long running publication and publishing it into book format and as well as having four editions of Cinema Sewer FAB will also be bringing us Robin’s next project Graphic Thrills (A little bit more of this later). Oh but it does not end there Ladies and Gentlemen, if you really want to step things up a gear, Robin also produces an annual edition of underground comic Sleazy Slice, available here.
Robin extends this personable style of writing through his interactions with fans, and engages with them through his LiveJournal account. But for those who really want the personal touch you can have your own custom piece of hand drawn smut placed right into your copy of Cinema Sewer by contacting Robin through his site here.
As celebrators of all things distasteful here at the Gore Splattered Corner we are very proud to present to you our interview with Robin, and would like to thank him for taking the time for stopping by and having a chat with us.
“Cinema Sewer has only recently reached our somewhat sheltered British shores when it was picked up by FAB Press, how did it all get started?”
Robin- “Well, not too recently. The first Cinema Sewer collection from FAB came out in 2007, and now the fourth one has just been released. Actually I guess that is kind of recent since Cinema Sewer started as a zine back in 1997, but I needed a few years to really make it into something that anyone would actually want to spend money for. I had to fine tune it, and spend a few issues to get it up to speed. I mean, when I first started I didn’t even have the internet or many film books. Researching the kind of info I wanted to write about isn’t really easy without the right kind of resources. It’s not like you could just hop down to the library and take out all the books on Japanese tentacle porn, you know? That kind of stuff just didn’t exist, and even if it did, I doubt the library would stock them. People are so spoiled with the internet now!
I got in touch with FAB via the Fantasia Film Festival in Montreal Quebec here in Canada. It’s pretty much the finest genre film festival in the world, to put it bluntly. It’s a must-visit at some point. It’s like mecca for cult film fans, especially if you’re into oddball Asian stuff. And it’s an amazing place to meet directors, publishers, stars, artists — all of whom travel from around the planet to be there, and are into the same shit as you are. You end up going drinking after the screenings, going to strip clubs, and shmoozing — and getting book deals. Thusly: the creation of the Cinema Sewer book series.”
“At the time of writing our Prime Minister David Cameron is talking about putting porn filters on all UK ISPs, what do you think about the anti-porn movement in general, and as sex is EVERYWHERE what do you think about the notion of drawing lines around ‘acceptability’ when it comes to sexual imagery?”
Robin-“Right, I just read about that. He wants to have pornography blocked by internet providers in the UK.
Mr Cameron also recently said that he plans to make the possession of online pornography depicting rape illegal. Not just an optional “blocking” like he wants to do with vanilla XXX, but fucking illegal. Now that there is jaw-dropping to me. To be crystal clear here, we’re not talking about actual rape, we’re talking about actors or amateur couples portraying it.
That would basically make the possession of any depiction of sex with external control into a criminal act. But what is really amazing about it is that he just announces this shit like he’s being all proactive about saving the children or whatever horseshit platform he’s shoveling, and doesn’t say where the line is drawn, and I honestly don’t even really know how one would draw it.
That’s the problem with censorship, it’s never as simple as they make it sound. Is that all depictions of rape (such as in horror movies), and consensual BDSM and bondage images as well? Is the written word exempt, and why? Is any form of depicted coersion with sexual overtones now going to be banned? Better yet, how are they funding the astonishing amount of man hours that will go into sorting all that content for all the various forms of media? You’ll have to open everyone’s mail to make sure they’re not smuggling it into the country, too. His government must be loaded with piles of extra money to pay for all this! You don’t just press a button and now all the rapists can’t get boners, but that’s what he makes it sound like.
The level of presumption and ignorance here is amazing to me. I mean, it’s so easy to say “rape porn” as a clear cut buzz word to get public support behind you, but there are a so many gray areas here. Again, we’re talking about consenting adults playing at forced sex fantasies, and making that fantasy into a criminal act on the same level as *actual* filmed baby-fucking. I’m just shaking my head. I don’t know how people are taking this sitting down in the UK, I really don’t, but I guess I shouldn’t be too shocked since this is the same place where horror movies were basically outlawed.
There was a great quote I read once, that the only people who routinely confuse fantasy and reality are censors and psychopaths. I think that applies here.”
“Porn, horror, exploitation, all genres of the ‘body’, some directors; Jess Franco, Coffin Joe, Joe d’Amato, successfully made careers out of combining the three sub elements, do you think sex and horror are intrinsically linked?”
Robin-“I think sex and death are to some degree, yeah. The beginning and end of life. There is also a primal brainless aspect that is prevalent in both violence and the act of humping that is hard to ignore. I think there is a lot more to explore there, actually, and that most directors throughout film history have gone about combining the two in pretty limited ways. I talked about that a little in my new book, about how the horror genre has had something of a tortured relationship with sexuality, where the virgin always lives to see another day and the slut is violently slaughtered. That’s an interesting genre trope, but ultimately a limited one that is as tied to those same Victorian values as Mr. Cameron’s aforementioned plans for eradicating images of cocks and cunts.”
“There is an amazing amount of detail that goes into your work, (written and illustrated) making it in my opinion a compelling read, how much work goes into each piece you produce?”
Robin-“It’s different for different articles and comics I do. Sometimes I’ll bang out a first draft for something in an evening. Other pieces I’ve literally been working on for 3 years, and still aren’t done. Not because they’re longer than the one-nighters, but because the story I’m relating hasn’t finished, or the facts I want to research haven’t come to light, or the person I want to interview can’t or won’t be reached. That’s one of the fun things about journalism, I guess.”
“What artists do you draw inspiration from?”
Robin- “My wife, Rebecca Dart is my biggest inspiration for art. She’s immensely talented, and has a rad work ethic that I’m always pushing to equal. I’m not being humble or self denigrating when I say she’s far better than I am. She’s a comic artist, and an animator. She did character designs for season two of that new My Little Pony series. That crazy goth villian pony, Queen Chrysalis — that’s her creation! Bronies will know who I’m talking about here. The rest of you are shrugging, I’m sure. hahaha! Rebecca is incredible, though. She’s taught me a lot, and we both draw on a big table custom made for two. We’ve been together since we were 17, and have cultivated our weird tastes together. She’s my very best friend.
I’m also really inspired by 5 artists in particular: Milo Manara, Dave Cooper, Earl Norem, Robert Crumb, and Norm Saunders.”
“Most of the topics you cover are pretty far out, is there anything that is off limits?”
Robin- “Nothing aside for the fact that I tend to shy away from anything about underage sex, even if the movies I’m talking about are 100% legal. This society is way too sensitive and knee-jerky about that topic at this moment in history, and innocent people are being jailed for making the mistake of being ignorant of the sheer magnitude of it.
There was a guy here in Canada a couple years ago, Ryan Matheson, a 27-year-old comic book reader and amateur artist. He ordered some Manga graphic novels online through the mail, was charged, and had to spend $75 thousand Canadian dollars in legal fees to clear his name. That’s about $48 thousand pounds. Also, imagine the stress of the threat of being jailed as a dude that’s supposedly into kids? What a nightmare. Your stay in prison would be a living hell. He was ultimately cleared of any wrongdoing, but he was traumatized by the whole experience.
Here’s the thing, though. The comics he ordered had parts where underage looking characters were screwing, but if you’ve read any fucking Japanese comics at all, you know ALL the characters look cutesy and underage! That’s just how they draw them! Even old men look like babies with moustaches in Anime and Manga. And besides, how old is a line on a sheet of paper anyway? Do you count it from the age when you drew it? Is that when it was born? Can you go to jail for underage stick figures? It’s just so dumb. It’s a victimless crime, and they’re trying to lock people away for reading or making comic books. So yeah, I’m pretty weary of that garbage. That I even have to think about it at all is beyond stupid. No children are being kept safe with half of these idiotic laws drafted up in the name of stopping pedos.”
“Where do you draw your inspiration and motivation from?”
Robin- “Music. This is gonna sound odd, but in recent years I’ve discovered the perfect music that gets me into a creative state of mind so I can get lost in my work. It’s a German prog musician from the 70s named Klaus Shulze. I just put on one of his 1970s albums like “Cyborg”, “La Vie Electronique 3”, or “Body Love 2”, and bam, I’m in there like a lubricated boner! Hours just drift by, and when I come out of it, some work is done! It’s very cool. I hope his magic powers don’t wear off anytime soon, because thousands of hours of my work have gone by much smoother because of the dozen or so albums of his that I have.
And as far as motivation, I just do work that I would want to see. That’s about it. I think any creative individual that is doing interesting work of any kind is filling a void. They’re doing what they don’t already see being offered. A slight twist on what’s already out there.”
“You cover some stuff which is downright impossible to get hold of, so far has anything managed to allude you? What would be your top 5 Holy Grail of films you want to see?”
Robin- “Oh, I don’t know. I don’t think I have a holy grail list. I have a ‘want list’ that is ever changing as I find stuff. Here, let me grab it and see if there are a few on there… hold on.
Well, lets see I’ve always wanted to see RAT FINK. Now, I’m not talking about Big Daddy Roth’s rat character, or RAT FINK A BOO BOO, I’m taking about the 1965 John Landis movie. And when I say John Landis, I don’t mean the guy who directed Eddie Murphy’s COMING TO AMERICA and TWILIGHT ZONE: THE MOVIE, I mean… oh man. Ok, lets go onto the next one. I’m even annoying myself at this point. No one has even heard of this lost movie, so why am I even babbling about it?
Um, I’d also really like to see a TV movie that came out in 1992 called THE JACKSONS: AN AMERICAN DREAM. Mostly because Lawrence Hilton-Jacobs starred in it as Joe Jackson, and I really like him. He was Freddie Boom Boom Washington on WELCOME BACK KOTTER. That he wasn’t a giant star, and a guy like John Travolta was, speaks to lack of opportunities that talented black actors had in the late 70s and 80s.
I’d like to get some of the GIRLVERT series of porn dvds that came out in the mid 2000’s. They starred Ashley Blue (aka Oriana Small) who later wrote a tell-all biography about her time in porn also called “Girlvert”. Listen, this is no bullshit: It’s pretty much the best book ever written by a former pornstar, and most people have never even heard of it. So anyone reading this should totally get that. She’s like a female Charles Bukowski, man. Just an amazingly gifted writer who has nearly no experience writing, and is totally unashamed and unrepentant about the several years she spent doing massive amounts of drugs and choking on dicks for a living. She dishes all the dirt in a very matter-of-fact manner that feels refreshingly honest. Anyway, I want to get more of that series because she’s super abusive to all her female co-stars in totally entertaining ways in it. They all look like they’re having a blast, and she’s just an amazing dirty-talker! She always looks like she’s got an evil secret, you know? That’s just her natural resting face. I just think she’s the cat’s pajamas, Kat. I could jerk off to her all day long. In fact, I think I might. They just put her in the AVN porn hall of fame a couple months ago.”
“Who is the most interesting person involved in film that you have met?”
Robin-“Hahaha! I don’t even know! I know it sounds dumb, but I’m afraid to say anyone because I’m sure someone will be reading this, and feel bad that I didn’t think they were the most interesting. Ugh, I’m so Canadian. Always afraid of hurting people’s feelings. Sorry, that’s a terrible answer. Okay, Jamie Gillis. He was the most interesting, and may he rest in peace. There. I stepped out of my comfort zone just for you, Kat!”
“How do you see your career progressing from here? Anything planned for the near future?”
Robin- “My new book series Graphic Thrills is coming out in October from FAB Press, and it’s a full color oversize posterbook with a focus on classic poster art for XXX American films made from 1970 to 1985. Harvey at FAB and I put years of work into it, getting the posters (some of which came from a local porn theater) restoring the posters, tracking down the people who directed the movies, and the people who painted the images on the one sheets. It’s just fucking gorgeous, and there will be a hardcover and softcover version available. I honestly think it’s the best writing I’ve ever done, and I’m thrilled with the cover that UK artist Ben Newman has done for it, so be sure to check it out when it comes out. I hope it does well, because if it does there can be more volumes in the series, each with a slightly different focus on sleazy poster art from yesteryear.”
Check out FAB Press here: http://www.fabpress.com/
More on Graphic Thrills: http://www.fabpress.com/vsearch.php?CO=FAB138