Controversy erupted yet again during Fantastic Fest on Sunday over the secret screening from the Drafthouse-associated American Genre Film Archive.
Festgoers who chose to attend the secret screening over other films showing at that time had no idea they were about to see a long-lost Ed Wood film called “Take It Out in Trade,” which, depending on who you talk to, is either a nudie/sexploitation film or a piece of actual pornography with violence against women.
Wood is best known as one of the most beloved terrible filmmakers of all time. Some see him as inept; some see him as visionary. Rudolph Grey’s apparently out-of-print book “Nightmare of Ecstasy: The Life and Art of Edward D. Wood, Jr.” remains essential reading.
But given the accusations of sexual misconduct against former Birth.Movies.Death editor Devin Faraci (a Drafthouse-owned publication) and Fantastic Fest co-founder Harry Knowles, many thought showing the movie without letting folks know what they were in for was in poor taste. Others defended the film.
Here’s a sample of what some people were saying on social media.
(Note: Todd Brown is the former Fantastic Fest programmer who quit earlier this month over the Devin Faraci controversy.)
I'm a little lot angry. As a film historian I know that Ed Wood film was not what folx are saying it is. And? IT WAS PRESENTED WITH CONTEXT.— Ariel Schudson (@ArchivistAriel) September 25, 2017
Main lesson learned from Ed Wood's TAKE IT OUT IN TRADE: It's very hard to play pool on a table where people are having sex. #FantasticFest— Tasha Robinson (@TashaRobinson) September 24, 2017
Apparently Fantastic Fest's retro secret screening was Ed Wood's long lost porn movie Take It Out in Trade. Way to read the room, fellas!— Chris Blohm (@chrisblohm) September 24, 2017
Controversial #fantasticfest AGFA secret screening, but the gender non-conforming couple in a 1970s Ed Wood film was amazing to witness.— Jarvis Mayhem (@JarvisMayhem) September 24, 2017