The death of maverick film director Walter Less in December 2008 went largely unreported in the media. Less, who spent his final years in the retirement home for cricket folk Brinkley House, was a forgotten figure, shunned by an industry that had once revered him. It brought a final close to an era that had long since fallen from view: the era of Sixploitation.
|Grace and Favours (1967): An early Sixploitation classic - the story of a tramp whose resemblance to WG Grace and knowledge of algebra makes him irresistible to convent girls.|
In its 60s and 70s heyday Sixploitation combined the essential ingredients of raw sex, thrilling action and poor quality cricket in a series of low-budget motion picture romps. And it was not only film-makers who recognised the power of this winning formula: across the country magazine editors, club owners, theatre directors and pop stars jumped on the Sixploitation bandwagon, each adding their own personal touch to a very British phenomena.
The Swinging Sixties saw Carnaby Street awash with whites, Soho struck down with Sixploitation fever and Kings Road boutiques full of batting gloves. Umpires and gangsters rubbed shoulders at West End night spots with the most glamorous girls in London. Call into the Playfair Club on any given night and you would find the likes of Terence Stamp, Twiggy, Mad Frankie Fraser and Ken Higgs sipping cocktails and playing Owzat.
It couldn't last but it was fun whilst it did.
|Sid Crumpet (right) stars in Perfect Strip (1965) as troubled Groundsman Billy Asquith who spends his days dreaming of a inventing the world's best water soluble fertiliser and chasing birds.|
Now for the first time the whole story can at last be told. In this special edition of PDCC we look at Sixploitation from its earliest incarnation in the days of Queen Victoria to its painful demise in the dark days of Thatcher's Britain.
For starters we take a look back at the life and works of the Little Master himself - Walter Less.
Next up Professor Vic Flange is our guide on a tragical history tour of the birth, and death, of Sixploitation, calling at all stops in-between.
Fans of the legendary sex siren Mandy Moore are in for a treat as she gets the Red Book treatment and we even unearth a long lost classic interview in which she lifts the lid on the crazy times, and even crazier people, that she knew so intimately.
Finally, the Confessions of Ashes winning England captain Mike Brearley as he tells us all about his favourite films, in a saucy Lowdown special.