Thursday, October 21, 2010

Penthouse Founder Bob Guccione
Dies in Plano

image via the Guardian

Add this to the list of things that suck about Plano: it will now be known as the place that second rate pornographers go to die. Seriously though, Bob Guccione, founder of Penthouse and ever in the shadow of the more classy (Hugh Hefner) or more edgy/trashy (Larry Flynt), died yesterday in Plano, Texas at the age of 79.

After filing for bankruptcy in 2003, Penthouse was acquired by FriendFinder.

My favorite memory of Guccione's handiwork is the classic 1970s horror-sex movie Caligula, for which Gore Vidal was the screenwriter. Guccione insisted on adding soft-core scenes featuring Penthouse Pets to the movie after the fact (if you watch the 'director's cut' of the film it will be obvious which scenes have been added) and Vidal sued unsuccessfully to have his name removed from the film entirely. The movie was a colossal joke but a cult classic in my book and well worth watching for those with a strong constitution.
But Guccione first brought pubic hair and full frontal nudity into mainstream magazine porn, and for that, I suppose, we should thank him. And for Penthouse Forum.

1 comment:

  1. Yeah, Caligula is... not that great. Considering the dream team of Gore Vidal and Tinto Brass (whose superior later erotic films rely a lot less on cheesy orgy scenes), Caligula really should have been something special. But it wasn't, and so video came along and killed the adult film star and now we're left with films like Ass Gaping Anal Skanks #49 instead of The Opening of Misty Beethoven.
    But you're right, Penthouse Forum and pubic hair are both excellent contributions to the public sphere.