Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Leonard Kirtman and International Film Industries

Leonard Kirtman is probably best known to Temple of Schlock readers as the director of CARNIVAL OF BLOOD (1971) and THE CURSE OF THE HEADLESS HORSEMAN (1972) and the producer of John G. Avildsen's first film, the nudie TURN ON TO LOVE (1969), but he had a long career as a producer and/or director of softcore and hardcore adult movies (SEX CIRCUS, DEATH BY INVITATION, THE FARMER'S DAUGHTERS, EROTIC DR. JEKYLL, THE AFFAIRS OF JANICE, SEX WISH). In 1977, Kirtman relocated his International Film Industries (and its videotape/cable TV division, Video Programs International) from Manhattan to nearby New Rochelle, NY, once the home of the Thanhouser Company and Terrytoons studio. In the article below, published in The Standard Star (12/14/77), he outlines his plan to produce more mainstream fare and states that his company will not be making adult films.

HERBIE THE SUPER DOG never got finished, if it was even started, but Kirtman -- under the pseudonym "Leon Gucci" -- did manage to crank out such hardcore hits as FEMALE ATHLETES, COED TEASERS, TARA, THE SEDUCTION OF CINDY, and THE EROTIC ADVENTURES OF LOLITA during his stay in New Rochelle (For slimy Kirtman stories, check out issues of Bill Landis' Sleazoid Express 'zine and the 2002 documentary DESPERATELY SEEKING SEKA). By 1986, with the majority of hardcore being produced on videotape rather than film, Kirtman was gone from New Rochelle and, judging from the IMDb, no longer making movies of any kind in any format.

(Above) The Standard Star, 9/4/78

(Below) BOUNCE ad from a 1978 issue of Boxoffice, courtesy of William Wilson of Video Junkie Strikes Back from Beyond the Grave.

(Below: 450 Main Street in New Rochelle today)

1 comment:

Nate Miner/megweilo@yahoo.com said...


Wow, like finding a new friend. Don't know if you remember me - Nathan, I used to edit Bits n' Pieces about 20 years ago!! I was looking up Leonard Kirtman and there was the Temple of Shlock logo after all these years! Glad to see you have continued into the computer age.