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On this episode of The Rialto Report, we track down the mysterious Ray Horsch, director of The Erotic Memoirs of a Male Chauvinist Pig.
With tales of drug smuggling, live sex shows, pornography, industrial espionage, forged Picasso etchings, Jayne Mansfield, Viet Nam desertion, counterfeit $10 bills, meth production, controversial art… and sex with a car?
This episode running time is 101 minutes.
In February 1973 Ray Horsch shot his first pornographic film, The Erotic Memoirs of a Male Chauvinist Pig.
Deep Throat had been released only six months before – and America was still fascinated with how far a girl had to go to untangle her tingle.
Ray’s film was shot in Philadelphia but it stars many of the New York regulars such as Georgina Spelvin, Darby Lloyd Raines, Tina Russell, and Helen Madigan.
But this film was no lighthearted comedy about oral sex. Ray’s not that type. In fact his film is remarkable for the number of taboos it covers.
Golden shower? Check. Blood? Check. S&M and bondage? Check. Rape? Double Check. Underage sex? What do you think? If you wanted socially redeeming features, you should’ve been down the block checking out Ryan O’Neil playing in “Love Story”.
What’s more the film was funded by Sam ‘The Barber’ Larussa of the Phillie mob, it was shot in the house of people working in the local District Attorney office, and when Al Goldstein reviewed it for Screw magazine, he said it was well made but he found it disgusting. Not bad for a filmmaker who’d been working for Sesame Street until then.
And yet, consider this. Male Chauvinist Pig is probably the most conventional thing Ray Horsch has ever done.
He describes himself as a banknote forger, artist, writer, drug smuggler, art forger, army deserter, fugitive, photographer, sociopath, ex-convict.
I don’t argue with anyone with a resume’ like that – except in this case, that’s only half the story.
In the 1990s, Ray Horsch return to filmmaking when he produced and directed a series of erotic “couples oriented” documentaries entitled “Lovers” for Candida Royalle’s women-oriented Femme distribution company.
At this point he was over 50 years old, and also made appearances in front of the camera in the public sex themed films, Streets of New York, before directing a series of increasingly controversial films that drew accusations of misogyny.
I met up with Ray several times a few years ago, and always enjoyed his company. Even though he relished the role of being a villain, and looked the part with his long, wild black hair and an eye patch, I figured that after a life of living dangerously he was probably now happy with a quieter existence, and had left his criminal activity in the past.
Apparently when Ray was out running errands one day, his live-in girlfriend called the police to report a suspected intruder at his house. The property was checked and nothing was found, but when the officers looked in the basement, they discovered a vast indoor marijuana growing operation. Equipped with gloves, respirators, and body suits, police officers descended and spent the day removing hundreds of high end marijuana plants. Ray returned home later but seeing the cop cars parked outside he decided to take off by running into the nearby fields before being apprehended.
Press reports said the police also found an M-1 carbine rifle and ammunition, whips, chains, handcuffs and graphic photographs. Then it was alleged that Ray had attempted to lure a 9-year-old girl into his car as well. These charges were subsequently proved to be unfounded.
Now four years on, he’s been released from jail, and so I was keen to catch up with him.
Ray Horsch photos:
For more details about Ray Horsch, visit his website here.
For more details of Candida Royalle, visit her website here.
To buy the newly restored version of The Erotic Memoirs of a Male Chauvinist Pig, visit the Distribpix website here.
With thanks to Moon in the Gutter for the screen shots.
I was hanging about for my fix, the podcast should really become weekly! And put out those t-shirts! More on the podcast after I ‘ve had the time to savor it. Thanks!
And we’ve had a number of people inquire about t-shirts, so will be making them available any day now.
If only 50% of this interview is true, it’s one of the wildest stories I’ve ever heard – this has everything thrown in including the kitchen sink…!
Ok, so who’s got the film rights to this one?
Since you said film rights, apparently Ray has the rights to Anton LaVey’s Satanic Bible. Not into this shit at all, but I was laughing listening to it, because it is indeed a good investment (esp. for $150 that he got it for in the 70s), albeit one that is going to pay in an indefinite time frame.
It could be the Bizarro version of that Leonardo Dicaprio film Catch Me If You Can!
Best show so far. Sheer class – Ray Ho(e)rsch is one crazy dude.
And now I’m going back to listen to it a second time.
Whatever else this guy is, he’s an absolutely fantastic photographer! I checked out his website and his stuff is utterly amazing. Dark and sexy and beautiful!
I’d urge anyone who enjoyed the podcast to check out the photography on Ray’s site (www.eroto.com)
And if there is anyone who’s interested in exhibiting Ray’s work, please get in touch!
Blown away by the podcast. (but that won’t stop my regular weekly listening of the Jamie Gillis one 😉 )
Ray sounds like a really cool guy and his innumerable achievements and adventures are funny, poignant and at times jaw dropping too.
I wish him all the best in his life, I hope he quickly gets back on his feet, he’s got a knack for this anyway. And that his wish becomes true about the next “sexual” niche he’s looking for becomes true.
Great work Ash, and great choice to go with proto punk. Bring on the T-shirts.
Oh, and since you guys are hosting the next podcast around New Years, Happy Christmas to everyone, and properly adult.
Thanks S – and Happy Holidays to you too..!
Ray – I salute you for a life well lived.
There are some hairy moments in there but you’ve packed it with sort of excitement most only dream about.
Joaquin Phoenix in the lead role of the film version?
P.S. Rialto is the best, most informative program. Wake up distribution companies – this is the kind of extra you should be adding to your product!
On my second listen of the Ray Horsch podcast. Never heard of Ray, was expecting his story would be similar to some of the other Rialto Report podcasts (Edwards, Savage, Revene. Instead, I hear this picaresque tale, with counterfeiting, drug smuggling, art forgery, forged passports, and oh, yes, making pornographic films (and filming a Black Mass). Enough material for several Johnny Depp movies! Very well done podcast by the Rialto Report crew, on a person who literally has nine lives.
Thanks Frank – we appreciate you listening!
Hey, Ash! This is Amy. Maybe you remember me? I’ve known RC for over a decade and was married to him for three years and was there when you filmed an interview with him at our house several years back. I also performed as “Samantha Sweet” in Neville’s S.O.N.Y. and Taxi Tales and some other films.
I just want to say that the podcast was great but it probably covered less than 10% of his life! For example, in Europe he is maybe known much more as a controversial artist than a porn guy. I went with him when he had an exhibition in Rome where he was treated like royalty. I met a lot of famous people who collect his work like Michelangelo Antonioni who said that he admired RC since his first acquisition in 1969 which was a picture of a naked woman nailed to a cross.
But what I want to say most is that RC is nowhere near the evil person he makes himself out to be. I know for a fact that he absolutely never, ever hits or abuses a woman unless she really wants him to and asks him politely. I never wanted him to and he never did except when I was in his Evil Master series and also his Slaves film and it was for the camera. Also, life with him was mostly an adventure. I got to spend “quality time” with gorgeous women like Christie Lake and Carly Sparks and Anna Male and since he was always bringing home stray women like some people bring home stray cats I never knew who I would wake up with us in bed in the morning. LOL!!
Hi Amy – yes, I remember you well from the first time we came to visit Ray. Thanks very much for getting in touch!
Your comments on Ray are true – in fact we had to cut a number of stories from this episode as it was already the longest show we’ve done..
Despite the provocative title of this show, Ray has always been the kindest and most considerate person we’ve had the pleasure to meet.
You mean THE great filmmaker Antonioni?? I am not surprised actually as back then the line between high art and so-called “porn” was not as literal or strict. I would love to see any archival material on Michelangelo Antonioni, not to get too far off topic.
Love this episode – thanks Rialto for the best programming out there.
Ray – I hope you find success in the future. I checked out your site, and you have an impressive body of work. Good luck.
Ray sounds like an absolutely fascinating individual…can’t wait to listen to this podcast! Looking over his body of work, I’ve seen a few titles through the years, but Chauvinistic Pig looks like another obscurity in the Distribpix catalog I never expected to see and knew little about that. I’m sure I’ll be checking it out soon!
Thanks Roy – and we would urge everyone to check out the Distribpix release of ‘Chauvinist Pig’ – they did a fine job in remastering it and it has never looked better.
Blown away by this interview! Ray’s life would make an incredible film, ala “Confessions of a Dangerous Mind.” As someone who worked with him years ago (as a spotter during some of the “Streets…” projects, a reviewer of his work, then doing PR for his photography projects), it’s great to see Ray still kicking butt.
Hey, Cathy… YOU should write RC’s story! You always were such a great writer and like the only woman’s perspective in the whole porn industry.
Hi Cathy – we’re fans of your many incarnations, but didn’t realize that you’d worked with Ray in the past. We’d love to hear some of your stories some time too!
Thanks for your comments!
There’s a popular tv and radio ad for a beer, that features a man who is simply referred to as “the most interesting man in the world.” Well….before anyone hands out that title, they should listen to this podcast with Ray Horsch. Ashley, you asked the right questions, tough questions and Ray was never at a loss for an answer. Like the question about some of his film work being viewed as misogynistic. I’ve been asked a similar question but Ray could articulate would I could not. I completely “get” his answer. Now, to begin with, I’m an R C Horsch fan. I shot roughly 48 sex scenes for a series called NY Video Magazine (not to be confused with my Streets of NY series) and of those 48 scenes, my favorite was a scene that Ray did with an Italian actress named Mania. I liked it for it’s creativity, it’s honesty and the pureness of the sexual energy. As for Ray’s erotic photography, I don’t want to compare one artist with another but Ray’s work resonates with me. It’s brilliant. It’s profound.
I created a series called “Streets of New York,” but gave up the series after the 4th volume. Longish story, I suppose. Ray worked in a subsequent volume for my former partner, Neville Chambers, and I was very amused, literally chuckling, listening to Ray’s response to your question about the concept of the series….I conceived. His answers were humorously fascinating to me, informative, as I’ve never seen any of the volumes that were produced after I left.
In any event, your podcast with Ray is fascinating. One could easily argue, he is simply “the most interesting person in the world.” Thanks so much for that interview.
Another fantastic interview. The reason why these are so good is your questions, you are a fantastic interviewer. This interview is incredibly psychological, deep and honest, you are a true documentarian. The whole psychology behind all of this is so vital. I wasn’t sure how I was going to feel about Horsch, but he is a very articulate and extremely bright individual, in fact too bright, so much so that when overtly bright people get bored they do things some off us more cautious folks wouldn’t.
Interesting, he speaks of “stunt cocking” on a picture where they ran out of film before the cum shot. Ages ago I was friends with Joe Marzano, who made a soft core version of Venus in Furs which was distributed by Harry Novacs company. Marzano claimed he made a porn film with Dolly Sharp, and he also spoke of running out of film during a cum shot. One wonders if this was the same film? I can’t remember if Marzano claimed he ever finished this film. And we’ll never really know now as Marzano as been dead from quite some time. Marzano was an associate of Lou Campa, who also worked with Carter Stevens.
Anyhow, the type of work I’m doing today allows me to listen to these podcasts. Hence I hope to get a few more in today. Keep up this excellent work.