Flesh of the Lotus. The Jade Pussycat. Little Orphan Dusty. The Candy Stripers. Blonde Fire.
If you’ve given yourself a one-handed workout to any of these films, you have Bob Chinn to thank. This AVN and XCRO Hall-of-Famer (and UCLA film school graduate) directed 51 X-rated titles between 1970 and 1987, and returned for 17 more between 1999 and 2003, bringing his total up to a whopping 68 blue movies.
Bob Chinn made a major leap forward in the development of smut by creating the enormously successful Johnny Wadd series. Johnny Wadd not only made John Holmes a legend, but it changed the game by introducing recurring characters, solid production values, and solid story lines to adult filmmaking. Now Bob is applying his filthy imagination to a series of Johnny Wadd novels, where he fleshes out ideas for the Johnny Wadd films that never were. We talked with Bob about his work on Johnny Wadd past, present, and future.
Skin Central: Why did you decide to continue the Johnny Wadd story as a novel rather than a new film?
Chinn: I wanted to show how I would have developed the Johnny Wadd character if I had the time and proper budgets when I was making those films back in the 1970's. The novels will all be set during this time period.
Skin Central: What was the inspiration for the character of Johnny Wadd?
Chinn: Back in 1971, when I was churning out a feature film a week, John Holmes came into my office looking for work on the crew. When we told him that I had all the crew people that we needed, he said that he also worked as an actor. When he revealed his unique physical attribute I instantly realized that he might indeed have some potential in that department, so we scheduled him for the shoot we were doing that weekend. I had always wanted to do a sort of film noir private detective type thing and I thought that Holmes would fit this somewhat larger-than-life figure that I had in mind. The name came about when my business partner casually exclaimed, "What a wad that guy must be able to shoot with that thing!" Since the private detective needed a name I said, "That's what I'll call him - Johnny Wadd, with two d's." I wrote a quick script on the back of a legal sized envelope and that weekend the first Johnny Wadd movie was filmed in one day.
Skin Central: Is the character of Johnny Wadd inextricably linked to John Holmes? Who would you cast as Johnny if you did do a new film?
Chinn: The character of Johnny Wadd is so identified with John Holmes that I never attempted to cast anyone else in the part. Back in 1999, after having left the business for 13 years, I was persuaded to make a comeback, and over the next 4 years I directed 28 shot-on-video features before finally throwing in the towel. One of the first of these was adapted from an old Johnny Wadd screenplay that had never been filmed called "Magnum Love." I updated the script and changed the Johnny Wadd character to a private detective named Peter Magnum, who was played by Billy Glide. John's widow Laurie Holmes also appeared in this feature. I subsequently made 9 more Peter Magnum features in which Lee Stone played the title role. I was approached by the producer Marc Bruder who wanted to resurrect the Johnny Wadd character in a series of co-productions around that time. I told him I didn't really want to do that, so we compromised by making a series of 6 features featuring Johnny Wadd's son, played by Joel Lawrence.
Skin Central: How does the writing process compare to the directing process for you? Which is more difficult?
Chinn: Both are equally easy for me. The writing process gives me more satisfaction because not only do I have more creative freedom but I'm also much more in control of what I want to express.
Skin Central: Are there more Johnny Wadd novels in the works?
Chinn: There will be a whole series of Johnny Wadd novels. I've almost finished the second one, "Blonde in Black Lace," and have outlined the third and fourth - "Tropic of Passion" and "Hell's Half Acre," which are set in Hawaii.