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If you were a male teenager in the mid-1980s, and you rented an X-rated video cassette by director Greg Dark, it’s likely that the song ‘Electrify Me‘ by The Plugz will still send a shiver down your spine.
This was the theme to the Greg Dark’s ‘New Wave Hookers’- starring Ginger Lynn, Jamie Gillis, and an underage Traci Lords.
This film, and others by Dark, offered a radically different vision from most other adult films. Instead of aspiring to mainstream movies, with straightforward plots and conventional actors, Dark’s movies were surreal, MTV-influenced videos, which featured some of the most imaginative and odd sex scenes ever filmed.
And then there was the sex itself: it was often deliberately un-erotic, nightmarish, and racially charged – who could forget seeing the African American performer Sahara’s scene with actors dressed as members of the Ku Klux Klan while she listened to gospel music for example? This was porn as surreal, provocative, performance art. It was new, it was shocking, and it was the start of the alt-porn movement.
Behind films like Black Throat, Between the Cheeks, Let Me Tell Ya ‘Bout Black Chicks, and The Devil in Miss Jones –Part 3 and Part 4, were the larger than life Dark Brothers – Greg and Walter Dark. They declared than porn was dead and that they would revolutionize it. They weren’t content with staying behind the camera either. They adopted flashy, white pimp characters, who wore fur coats, arrived at premieres in stretch limos, and flipped off the awaiting cameras.
No one had seen this before, and the mainstream media were quick to pick up on it. Greg Dark was the subject of various profiles. Esquire magazine claimed he was capable of extravagant cruelty and said that he might be the devil. Vanity Fair said that the Dark Brothers’ films were “sacrilege, no apology, hostile pathology, and hoarse gusts of laughter from the jaws of hell….”
So who was the creative force behind these films? And if he was so provocative, how was he one of the only adult filmmakers who went on to achieve success in mainstream film – where he almost single-handedly invented the erotic noir thriller genre, before becoming a much in-demand director of music videos for artists as diverse as Britney Spears, Mandy Moore, Ice Cube, and Snoop Dogg?
Greg Dark doesn’t give a lot of interviews. This is his story.
This podcast is 97 minutes long.
Greg Dark one-sheets
Greg Dark music videos
Greg Dark is hands down the MOST innovative and interesting director to come out of the industry in the 1980s. He ripped up the rule book, and whether you like his films or not, the industry was never the same again. There aren’t many that can say that.
Just look at what came before… Talk Dirty To Me, which was good but it aped regular films.
Afterwards? Buttman, gonzo, alt porn, and so on. All as a direct result of the Dark Bros.
Congratulations to the RR for this exclusive! I’m listening to it now, and this is a surprisingly truthful and thoughtful walk through the life of an cultured and smart artist.
Dark was the Hieronymus Bosch for our youths!
I’ve had a Greg Dark Erotic Thriller for years and didn’t even know it. Night Rhythms
YES!!! This is the episode I’ve been waiting for. Heck, I’ve been in contact with TRR about it. Last I heard they had reached out but Dark was not interested. I was assuming it wasn’t going to happen.
I was about ready to enjoy a Knight Rider marathon. KITT is on hold!
Really, really fascinating to hear Greg speak at last – and hear how he is an artist!!!
Is a comeback on the cards…? Maybe the interview will reveal an exclusive (I’m still engrossed so far….)
Thanks for the great interview.
Great episode… Sounds like he’s had an interesting time.
I used to own a copy FALLEN ANGELS on VHS ( fyi – I won it )… As far as I know, it’s still NOT on legit region one DVD.
Thanks for sharing the fabulous Greg Dark telling us how the trail keeps on keepn’ on. Yes it do.
Another superb interview, Ashley, with a legitimately talented and original artist.
Was interesting to hear that DEVIL 3/4 is his favourite work along with HOOKERS 2.
Fascinating career curve.
As most of his best material was shot on 35mm, is a future re-release on Blu possible?
Dark shook it up like nobody shook it up, and, despite aiming for unerotic erotic at times, he still managed to create some of the most volcanic sex scenes ever married to killer scores.
I was actually a semi-fan of his later work, the soft-core movies that became Cinemax staples in the 90’s. They were hardly masterpieces, but they were well photographed and well made as far as that genre goes. It seemed like he found a muse of sorts in Shannon Whirry, since she was in almost all of them. Several are available on the streaming channel Maddy GTV Late Night.
I also liked his Erotic Noirs, in particular Shannon Whirry is still one of my all time favorite soft-core actresses.
I used to make an evening’s entertainment of watching porn on my VCR. I would often rent both softcore and hardcore titles, starting the evening with softcore and working up to hardcore. Whenever I saw a new Shannon Whirry title, it would be the first thing I grabbed.
At the time, I didn’t realize that sometimes both the hardcore and softcore titles were directed by the same person.
The Dark Brothers’ tag line of “Purveyors of Fine Filth” drew my friends and me like moths to a flame. They certainly understood their market.
Brilliant, entertaining interview from the first word.
In my printer paper box of VHS tapes the first one with Ginger Lynn is in there.
It might be time to get a capture card for the machine and convert some VHS to computer format.
I never knew the Dark Bros. did “mainstream” video.
Always learning something from this page even after finding it late in the game.
As they say…save the best for last.
a very innovative and interesting adult film director. the dark brothers truly changed the adult film industry!
VCA pictures had a series of video cassettes around 1989 that were trailer compilations of some of their best films. One of the volumes had trailers for three or four different Dark brothers movies, including Deep inside Vanessa Delrio, White Bun Busters, Let Me Tell you bout Black Chicks and in Between the Cheeks.
Just seeing the trailers alone kind of blew my mind because they had the soundtrack song playing with the trailer. And the trailers were pretty much the same as the opening credits to the films as I later found out.
I can see how some of the scenes in the Dark movies we’re a little uneasy to watch- But I for one found most of those films very erotic and stimulating.
Alex DeRenzy borrowed from Dark at the beginning of Pretty Peaches 3. The scene with the big giant dress and the woman with all the layers of pantyhose on.
Dark Bros were groundbreaking. In high school I looked a little bit older so was fortunate to pass as an adult and picked up a VHS tape of Devil in Miss Jones 3 at an adult book store. I believe it was released by VCA. By far the best adult film I had seen up until that point in terms of production and script. The plot and acting were quite good. I always thought Lois Ayers looked so cool and hot in that movie. I still have a thing for girls with short hair to this day.
2 of the most memorable adult movies from my teen years (80s) were Devil in Miss Jones 3 and 4.
Saw them on the American XXXtasy satellite station during the years before they scrambled those channels and started charging subscriptions.
Krista Lane (nurse)and Ron Jeremy had a great scene, and Lois Ayres and Kevin James (wearing a silver suit) had a bj scene that is a must see.
Naturally, I videotaped those 2 movies and a handful more on VHS.
To this day, I can only watch XXX from 1990 or earlier.