Donn Davison Dementia!!!
Click on these words for a You Tube clip Donn’s now-legendary introduction to the Dragon Art Theater. Welcome to the wonderful world of Donn Davison! While he’s known also for riding on the Bigfoot and UFO trends of The 70’s, with films to go with them, this post focuses on the Sexploitation and Horror side of this interesting chapter of Southern Exploitation.
After being a spokesperson for Duncan Yo Yos, Donn went into what was called the “Spook Show” trade where a show was built around the showing of a classic (or just old) Horror film. Davison’s shows were among the last, if certainly not the final, of the breed. His participation in them possibly started in 1965, and lasted until at least the Late 70’s with Asylum of the Insane.
Click on the Wild Woman With a Whip to go to what I consider one of my favorite writings for The Deuce. It’s about the life and times, Drive In Roadshows and cheap magic books of the one and only Donn Davison. He whipped up many fake film titles, sold a hell of a lot of Sex Ed “Books” (See the photo on that page for a classic shot), and even ran the Dragon Art theater which was for a while a small success running Adult Films. On top of that, he played on the Psychic Investigation and Bigfoot trends of The 70’s plus sold a lot of cheap party magic books.
Although Donn Davison’s Asylum of the Insane was perhaps his most legendary Drive In Rip Off roadshow (It was in actuality David F. Friedman’s She Freak with a cheesy poorly done 3D bit co-starring Pat Patterson thrown in), this was seriously something. Oddly enough, some articles in the trade even mentioned these as real films. Wild Woman With a Whip sounds like a killer film title though! (I think that Mondo Keazant was possubly an old film called Green Hell, dating WAY back to the 1950’s).
Click here for a You Tube clip of Donn’s Moonshine Mess-terpiece!
This is the legendary one-sheet for Mooshiner’s Woman, possibly the best-known Davison original. Through the 60’s and 70’s, he actually made several Southern Drive In favorites. Made in 1968, and featuring Davison as a Drug Dealer, this went onto play under different titles, as was the usual standard for Davison’s Drive In mania.
Click here for the classic hyperbole on You Tube that tried to sell Shantytown Honeymoon!
This 1972 flick was also known as The Hillbilly Hooker, Fancy, Honey Britches and at times The Little Whorehouse on the Prairie. The last title was used for one of his Drive In shows that used “any Country film with skin.” Using local talent and finds, Davison created a Southern Drive In flick that had at least some staying power through some parts of The US through the years. It was also re-issued by Troma with new footage Directed by Fred Olan Ray featuring John Carradine (Demented Deathfarm Massacre). While hyping it up with his own shows, he was also working for Film Ventures Incorporated, led by Ed Montoro, which had it’s small start as Jet Set Productions (This was where the famed trailer for Our Man Steel came from…I don’t think that the film went beyond that stage).
Someone had to teach them! After the success of Mom and Dad in the 40’s, countless Sex Ed films featuring the Birth of a Baby were a regular staple at the Drive Ins, including book sales – during the intermission, there would be a film or recording that instructed you to turn on your headlights to get someone over to sell you a book or two. Here’s an ad that promoted a show at the Dragon Drive In High Springs, FLA (between Gainsville and Lake City).
Once again, Donn whips up a title in order to show any Horror flick he can get.
Click here for a very tasty You Tube audio treat, the radio ad for Donn’s epic.
Click HERE – On You Tube, here’s the ad for the “infamous” film he made in the Early 70’s, Distributed through his own Lion Dog Films.