1. ‘Lobes of Frenzy‘ (US, 1936) A great lost western, ‘Lobes of Frenzy’ was directed by first time director Hoot Mossbanger, a German dissident from Berlin who had fled his home country after persecution due to his sexuality. Having a basic training in art photography, Hoot persuaded RKO to give him $45,000 to make a homo-erotic cowboy film. Stand out moments include the duel where the two gunslingers draw clay penises out of their holsters instead of guns, and the bar-room fight involving 26 naked men, a horse and, making his film debut, Montgomery Clift dressed in a rabbit suit.
2. ‘Yes, There’ (UK, 1951) A bold attempt to educate the British public or soft-core smut? This half-documentary, half porn-film was directed by Dennis Fenner, the enfant terrible of the British film industry. Immediately banned in its first weekend, the film dealt with such themes as S+M, prostitution and numismaphelia, a little-known fetish where individuals derive sexual pleasure from rubbing themselves with banknotes. The scene where Harry H Corbett, soon to appear in ‘Steptoe and Son’, ‘blows his wad’ can be seen on YouTube occasionally.
3. ‘Titty, Titty, Titty’ (UK, 1960) Diana Dors appears in an adaptation of Jane Austen’s ‘Persuasion’. The action is moved to Brighton in the present day. Dors appears drunk throughout the film and continuity is all but forgotten – a character who dies half way through the film appears at the end without explanation, and Dors’ hair changes from blonde to red even after she is decapitated.
4. ‘Apocalypse Now 2: Kurtz fights back’ (US, 1985) An attempt to recreate the success of the original, ‘AN 2’ was directed by Penn Shefford, but lacked the genius, the actors and the setting of the original. Kurtz, played by Nick Nolte, has escaped from Cambodia and is now living in California. He sets up a new army of mercenaries but, due to money issues, Shefford could only afford another four actors. He overcame this with clever editing, latex masks and hand puppets. Nolte sued to have the film deep-sixed and Shefford stole the tapes, though clips have surfaced on YouTube.
5. ‘Moo’ (Canada, 1977) A film directed by a cow. The civic zoo in Calgary, in an effort to boost visitor numbers, provided a cow with a film camera and coaxed it into producing a short fiction film. The finished piece lasted 7 mins and consisted of the cow’s tail swishing, some grass and the sun setting.
6. ‘Utsana, Utsunu’ (Japan, 1997) Ichi Uma-Sapporo was a left field film-maker before this film was made, but he pushed the boundaries with his last effort. Shot entirely with pin-hole cameras made of hollowed-out watermelons, the film, about a farmer’s struggle with sleepwalking, was meant to be projected onto wheat. Cinema-goers voted with their feet and Uma-Sapporo sadly took his own life with sashimi soon after.
7. ‘The Human Bagel’ (Germany, 2009) A mad scientist decides to stitch the fingers of five accountants together to form a chain. No one saw it.