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“Barry Mahon helps to destroy another Hollywood Film Great!”

19 Jun

I was always an admirer and fan of the ever-beautiful Rita Hayworth. After seeing all of her movie classics I tracked down her later films. Beyond the shadow of a doubt the worst film (of 61) in her long career was a soft-core pornographic film ‘The Naked Zoo’ (1970)!  It was written, directed, and produced by William Grefe.  The film was shot in Florida as cheaply as possible with grainy 16MM film.  Not only is the picture slightly out of focus, the soundtrack is horrible. Rita’s co-star was Stephen Oliver who starred on the popular, prime-time series ‘Peyton Place’ (1966-1968) plus look for Fay Spain and Joe E. Ross of ‘Car 54″ in smaller roles.  After the film was shot, Grefe decided to pad-out the film’s length with several LSD, Party-Orgy sequences and turned to one-time Errol Flynn director and associate Barry Mahon to shoot the extra scenes.  Thankfully Rita Hayworth does not appear in these scenes and acquits herself well as an actress.  In fact in the original footage she is still lovely to look at.  After this wretched, degrading film, which only played at ‘nudie house’ theatres in the US, Rita Hayworth went over to MGM to shoot “The Wrath Of God” (1972) with Robert Mitchum. Sadly Miss Hayworth’s dementia was taking hold. The director Ralph Nelson gave her only a few lines and kept her in shot so that she could get paid. Afterword she went to England to make a horror film directed by Freddie Francis. After a few days of filming, Rita fled Britain in fear and never acted again anywhere. She was replaced by Kim Novak in the film “Tales That Witness Madness” (1973) which was excellent. Rita Hayworth died in 1987 from Alzheimer’s disease. Barry Mahon continued to write, produce, and direct cheap pornographic films for the rest of his career. Ralph Schiller

— rswilltell

 
 

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  1. Gentleman Tim

    June 19, 2017 at 2:35 pm

    Much of the world was going to pot in those days, Ralph, with Coconut Grove being a high-end LSD epicenter in FLA. I believe some of The Naked Zoo outdoor scenes were filmed by Baron Sepy’s place. What a shame they lured the wonderful but mentally declining Rita into their zoo.

    www.dailymotion.com…

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  2. shangheinz

    June 21, 2017 at 9:13 am

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    Thank you Rushstreet Ralph for telling it like only you will. Ace and mole Barry Mahon wasn`t entirely into nudie soirees but also into kiddie matinee films (for example: “Santa Claus and the Ice Cream Bunny”). A tough act to follow, but if anybody should look for an exploitation explanation, go and look here: nightflight.com…
    and here:
    nightflight.com…

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    • rswilltell

      June 21, 2017 at 3:32 pm

      Thanks Heinz for the correction! Mahon was always searching for that rainbow, high and low!

      Thanks to Tim for putting the DVD box cover out there and links to clips of the film. Mind you,

      Rita Hayworth is doing good dramatic work in garbage. The signs of dementia didn’t manifest until her next film, her last. Ralph Schiller

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      • Gentleman Tim

        June 22, 2017 at 2:16 am

        At least it was in “Phychedelic Color”, Ralph.

        the_naked_zoo_3_us1sh.jpg

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      • shangheinz

        June 22, 2017 at 2:29 pm

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        RR, there are two sides to Barry J. He also was a devoted dad, very much like Errol. But instead of soaring high with a finished Tell movie, both took a nosedive and got lost in the Big Boodle Triangle.

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        • rswilltell

          June 22, 2017 at 2:51 pm

          Heinz; Good of you to point out the other side of Barry Mahon. The BBC Radio produced an outstanding, first-rate documentary on the ‘William Tell’ disaster and it include extensive interviews with Barry Mahon. He spoke with great love and affection for Errol Flynn, and detailed how the Italian bank colluded with the Count to clean out the production funds illegally. Mahon said he once went to visit Flynn once and found him in a sauna bath with two young, gorgeous Hollywood stars! One would later win two Oscars for her screen work and the other was married at the time to a big British star who was working for MGM! Barry Mahon spoke with great sadness as he revealed a secret behind the death of Errol Flynn. Over at the Zaca website, the secret was hotly denied by representatives of the Flynn Estates. However Earl Conrad confirmed the truth in his thinly disguised novel of Errol Flynn, ‘Crane Eden’. Ralph Schiller

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          • shangheinz

            June 26, 2017 at 5:36 pm

            I remember the radio bit you mention well. Barry came across as a teller of tall Tell tales. I wish you would post your superb synopsis here, Ralph. Thanks for sending me on the street beat again with your recommendation of Earl Conrads ” Crane Eden”, which I have yet to read. Has the EF Estate’s reaction to it been a topic on the EF Blog? Off to the chase with haste, Heinz
            PS: Here’s Mahon explanation on (s)exploitation: shop.filmlinc.org…

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            • rswilltell

              June 26, 2017 at 6:49 pm

              Heinz; That synopsis is over at the Zaca website and only Brian Twist the Zaca’s skipper can post it here if he chooses to do so. The Flynn Estates had no reaction at all to “Crane Eden” but they were hostile to Barry Mahon. Funny thing, when listening to the BBC show on ‘William Tell’, I was impressed with Mahon’s candor, and sincerity. At that point in his life he had nothing to gain by lying. The one fantastic claim he made was confirmed by Earl Conrad. Mr. Conrad is one of the finest authors I ever had the pleasure to read. For Earl Conrad, seeking the truth was everything which made him a great writer. Thanks Ralph Schiller

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    • Gentleman Tim

      June 22, 2017 at 2:06 am

      Fascinating, pirateheinz.

      Unfortunately, I never made it to Pirate World, though I drive by the old location in Dania once a month or so. Sergio may have made it there and therefore recognize some of the Barry Mayhem site, set, and scenery.

      Fortunately, I have never watched any of these cinematic disasterpieces, including his butchering of Baum. Last thing I want to see is the Wicked Witch of the East in the nude. Errol would have had a good laugh at that. Barry really went down in flames after reportedly heroic years in WWII. I imagine he made these films with the goal of having sex with the female cast . He probably told them a lot of Errol stories, too – and likely partied with Baron Sepy down in Coconut Grove, too. One thing for sure, Bad Boy Barry did manage to recruit a lot of beautiful women for these god-awful movies.

      Prostitutes-Protective-Society.jpg

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      • Sergio

        June 22, 2017 at 12:02 pm

        Well I got to say Fla-Tim – I knew that park (Pirates World) about as good as my own house, which was not far from it. Every band mentioned in the ads, I’ve seen there and many upon many more. I remember one were we snuck in, which was a good to many times; Grand funk Railroad was playing, and a couple of hundred KKK, white hoodies, was marching down Sheridan street into the parks parking lot and a riot broke out against them -fun loving Hippies we were against racial scum they were. My friends car, an old Studebaker got a big boulder thrown through the windshield in the mist of this big scrimmage. Finally the cops came. LOL! we didn’t feel a thing being in the “Groovy” state of mind we were in, ahemmm!
        Cool thing is Grand Funk came back the next night to play for free because of the chaos the night before. Yep! I seen them all there; Zep – Doors – Faces – Bowie and even that famous Johnny winter Live album, partially recorded there. My parents in the late 90’s bought a condo across the street from the old Pirates World are, which is also a condo establishment. I sold it after there death in 2014.
        By the way there were places in north Miami like the Electric Mushroom and The Place and of course The Image; many early Hard rock groups, such as Cream, Blues Image, etc. played – great places to trip your brains out and while looking at the great light shows of the time; oil base colors on an overhead projector. LOL!
        Greynolds Park was down the street also in North Miami. This was the place were all us hippies would go on weekends and cop our hallucinogen’s for the week. Strange how we survived all this?
        So if ever you want to know about any South Florida area and its time, just ask, I am sure I have a million stories. in fact some continued in to my career in which I talked to some of those same musicians I had seen earlier in my life and then toured with them and we shared some stories of them up on those stages and me watching. Very cool….

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        • Gentleman Tim

          June 23, 2017 at 4:04 am

          Very Cool, Indeed, Sergio!!!

          Hippies in a Studebaker facing off against the KKK at Pirates World!! Those were the days my friend! … No wonder why Barry Mayhem filmed there!

          Thanks for the great history, Sergio!

          piratesworld_press_aug69_0.jpgMUSICAL-MUTINY-17.jpg

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          • Sergio

            June 23, 2017 at 2:19 pm

            SoFlo-Tim – A small addition to the story although there are many. A few years later I married, and my brother in-law come to find out was engaged to the owners of Pirates World daughter, but marriage for them never materialized. I believe her last name was Robinson? Not 100% sure on that, although I could find out for sure; I am still married to that same wonderful woman and my brother in-law and I are very good friends.
            Oh and before they nocked it all down to build the condos which now stand there, I walked around the area were once stood the stage of many great acts and found a guitar pick lying on top of overgrown weeds. I often wondered which great guitar hero of our time that held that pick? Page – Beck – Clapton – Blackmore, etc.? Not sure, but I am sure I was there the night they lost it years before….

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  3. Tony

    June 25, 2017 at 3:30 am

    That Naked Zoo trailer was stomach turning to watch. But it reminded me of something Flynn said in MWWW; he said he didn’t want to end up as an old actor at the end of his career, begging for parts/work.

    When I was a kid I thought everybody you see on TV was rich, and after they were in a show or did a movie they never had to work again. Not true.

    Being an entertainer is a terrible profession, and even those who become a great success often come to an unenviable end.

    The measure of a person is not reflected in their net worth, but it helps to be able to eat. So sometimes a once great star has to do some small jobs just to make ends meet.

    Oddly enough, just recently Johnny Depp did a TV commercial for some cheap cologne. Watching it makes you want to send him a dime in an envelope. But he seems to be imploding under his own hat, and as likable as he may be I don’t think he ever gained great respect as person, or as an actor playing gay pirates, etc. So he’ll make another movie next week and be rich again, no worries.

    However, just the name Rita Hayworth commands respect, even today. Her involvement in that mess of a picture is no reflection on her, and it doesn’t detract from her reputation as a legendary actress in the least.

    As for Errol Flynn, when he did the Steve Allen show, the house exploded in applause the second they saw his face on stage! The same happened with virtually every other audience type show he was on. And I’m sure every TV show he did got fantastic ratings because of him. So, while his funds may have been drained by that sadistic bitch, and his health was failing for various reasons, he was still The Great Mr. Errol Flynn.

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    • rswilltell

      June 26, 2017 at 1:44 pm

      Well said Tony. Actors ,even former big-time movie stars, have to eat too! As far as her reputation goes, Rita Hayworth was very lucky in that almost no one saw ‘The Naked Zoo’ at the theatres except for a few dirty old men at porno movie houses. Probably more people have seen clips on youtube than originally saw it at the theatres. Because of its content that film would never be telecast on television! Thanks Ralph Schiller

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