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The Three-Frame Glitch is Gone

Las Vegas- – Thanks to DVD, the adult classic Deep Throat is getting a new leash on life. No misspelling intended because the story about Linda Lovelace and the German Shepherd is very much true. Arrow’s Ray Pistol, , also tells me that he had the opportunity of getting into the business as a porn stud at the time of Throat’s initial release.

Pistol, who now owns Throat, passed on the opportunity but is proud as all get out that Throat in its current reincarnation as a classic DVD just got an editors’ choice. Which is amusing, because Deep Throat is older than most editors. And, because of that, it needed something of a face lift.

“We took a pristine print of Deep Throat, ran it through a Rank Wetgate system and cleaned the sucker up,” states Pistol, who speaks Texan flawlessly. “We ran the film through an emulsion which cleans up all the little scratches. It’s an expensive process but it also makes the film about as good as you can get it.

“And there’s always been a sound glitch which has always bugged the hell out of me,” Pistol adds. “We went back and fixed that. The sound, in the original cutting of the film, was off about three frames. It’s now gone.” Pistol likens it to spotting a Rolex on a Greek in a movie about Troy.

“It hit me like a brick every time I saw it,” he states. “If you’re watching it with an editor’s eye, it clangs huge bells. They were making so much money, at the time, it didn’t matter. Their problem wasn’t fixing three frames. Their problem was getting off enough prints to supply the demand.

“But it’s a flaw in one my movies,” Pistol goes on to say. “I could tell you more about the flaws in my movies than the things we did really well. The things you do really well you forget tomorrow. But if you fucked it up you live with it forever. Every time I see the movie, I go, fuck, why did we do that? Why didn’t we do one more re-take?”

It took about a month to clean up the film, according to Pistol. “And then we got Eric Edwards and had him talk about his experiences with his first scene with Linda Lovelace. But he didn’t want to talk about the dog though he was on set for that, too.”

Pistol says that there’s still 8mm prints out there featuring Lovelace and the canine. “It even has a title, Dog-o-rama. Eric Edwards does not please her and leaves. Then she seduces the dog. I know he was around for the dog movie because he was in the dog movie.” I confess to Pistol, caustically, that it’s one of the 8mm’s that’s managed to escape my attention.

Like where were you when Kennedy was shot, I also ask Pistol where he was at the time of Deep Throat’s release.

“I saw it on Hollywood Blvd. at The Hollywood Theatre,” he remembers. “I had just finished college and moved out here. I was unemployed.” I note that it’s a status which he’s altered considerably over the years.

“Some would argue that,” Pistol quips, noting that, at the time, he had a ’66 Chevy and about a thousand bucks to his name.

“I was drinking in the flavor of Hollywood,” Pistol continues. “I was staying with a friend who was an actor. And he lived literally right off of Hollywood & Highland. And so you could walk down to get the newspapers to look in the want ads. I would have a cup of coffee or a drink in one of the bars. At that time that community was heavy with actors.” But Pistol also remembers the community being heavy with good-looking girls.

“It was not bad community to be in.” Pistol got involved in a theater and, when not acting, would sell tickets or work on sets. “It was an interesting education.” About that time he landed a job in an advertising agency and eventually moved out of the theater crowd.

His thoughts on seeing Deep Throat the first time? “I was impressed by her [Lovelace’s] prowess,” Pistol recalls.

“Basically I hadn’t seen that many X-rated movies at all. Quite frankly at that point in time you could see two people screwing on a stage as well and so the whole thing was just overwhelming to me. I was a small town boy, and my introduction to sex was more of a backseat of a ’57 Chevy.”

But if you thought Deep Throat was THE marquee show in the Hollywood Blvd. area, it wasn’t. There was Oh Calcutta and Pistol remembers actually being more overwhelmed by movies featuring full-out bestiality.

“It was just sensory overload. I remember one with this young lady and a horse, and they were all running around with white coats trying to be very scientific.” [Kind of like AIM.]

Never in his wildest imagination did Pistol ever think he’d be the owner of Deep Throat one day.

“Nor did I ever see me being involved in this business,” he adds. “Except, at that period, I did have an opportunity to be a stud, if you will. In my travails in the Hollywood actor crowd, I got to be friends with some of them, and one guy claimed to make X-rated movies. He offered me a role. I considered it, but the guy I was staying with said, if you do porn, there’s a stigma attached to it. You have far too many other possibilities and I feel you shouldn’t limit yourself at this time.” Pistol, however, also had a girlfriend at the time who cautioned him against doing it. “She was counseling real hard and adamantly.”

And, no, Pistol doesn’t remember the name of the guy who offered him the porno role.

“It wasn’t a name that I recall now or that I ran into later. So I think he was probably some obscure looper.”

And Pistol couldn’t tell you how many prints of Deep Throat still exist, though he, himself, has about 20. “You can figure every house that ever screened it probably still has one around somewhere.”

Pistol remembers the time he wanted to show Deep Throat: The Quest along with the original at a theater in Colorado. “I was getting ready to fly a print out to them and they said, don’t bother, we’ve got one.”


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