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xmag.com : November 2003: Another Lonely Night

Johnny Wadd, AKA John Holmes,
is back.

No chunk of porn wood has matched Wadd's star power, except for perhaps fat and happy Ron Jeremy, though Wadd had the advantage of disintegrating into drug oblivion along with getting accused of a murder rap. This makes his legacy more marketable in Hollywood. Holmes was part of the inspiration for the lead character in the film Boogie Nights and the subject of a 1999 documentary film: Wadd: Life and Times of John C. Holmes. (Note the middle initial to ratchet up his class status.) All stops have been pulled for the third retelling of his life in the just-released Hollywood big-budget flick WONDERLAND, with Val Kilmer playing John Holmes.

In the seventies Holmes made over 2,500 porn films, many of them in the role of Johnny Wadd, a private eye with a dick two inches longer than a standard ruler. Needless to say, Wadd was a far cry from Raymond Chandler's hard-boiled Philip Marlowe and his black automatic, forever fighting off predatory vixens. Still, the classic Wadd spools like The Flesh of the Lotus and The China Cat are better and much funnier than the dreck spewed out of Porn Valley today.

Wonderland focuses on Holmes' final years, after Wadd had pretty much completed his cinematic mission of stuffing over 14,000 porn dolls. He'd made a lot of money in porn but not enough to cover a $1,500 a day habit of Peruvian marching powder. Besides freebasing coke he liked downers. One of his friends in the earlier documentary film said he once popped fifty Valiums in one dose, enough to kill an elephant. He ended up pimping out his 15-year-old girlfriend for cash and working as a runner for his main cocaine connection, Eddie Nash, a Hollywood nightclub owner who supplemented his bar receipts by retailing large quantities of drugs.

Somewhat of a sociopath with few loyalties, Holmes also picked up a few bucks as a snitch for the LAPD. He apparently decided to cash in on Eddie's illicit profits with a scam of his own. Wonderland tells the story from the point of view of various participants, since it's still unclear exactly who did what to whom. Most likely Holmes dispatched four of his friends to rip off a pile of cash and smack at Eddie's house. They got the goods, but Eddie quickly fingered Holmes as the culprit and forced him to reveal where his accomplices lived--an apartment complex on Wonderland Avenue. Holmes was escorted to the apartment by a couple of Eddie's thugs and forced to watch while they bludgeoned all four of his friends
to death.

Given the mind set of all those involved, I'm surprised Eddie Nash didn't have his boys make a snuff film of the quadruple homicide. In any case, nobody went down for the murder. Holmes was tried, acquitted, and died of AIDS seven years later as a result of sprees with boys. He favored women but his tastes were elastic. Holmes was also in a few gay porn films, including The Private Pleasures of John Holmes where bottom Joey Yale gladly receives Wadd's famous truncheon.

Eddie Nash was tried and acquitted at a second trial after a hung jury on the first go around. He eventually ended up in the slammer in 2000 on a racketeering charge, did eight months and was released for health reasons at age 72.

Wonderland should hit the screen in Portland about the same time this rag gets dumped off at your friendly local strip club. Entertainment Weekly says it's "a bad trip of sinister sleaze." TV Guide seconds that, gasping that it's "an elusive but dazzlingly sleazy examination of addiction, selfishness, greed and self-destruction in the California sun." Those reviews will get me into the theater. The Village Voice, true to its lefty nature, says Holmes was an "exploited freak in capitalism's dankest subcellar." You really gotta be blind-sided by old Karl Marx to believe a man has been exploited by fucking 14,000 women in porn vids.





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