Crime Factory 10

G’day all. The tenth issue of popular web magazine, Crime Factory is now live.

This issue includes a short piece by me (writing as James Hopwood), called For Your Sighs Only: The Spy-Fi Smut of Clyde Allison, which looks back at the 0008 book series, in all their filthy glory.

But, there’s plenty more in store. For those who want a touch of the hard stuff, best selling author Megan Abbott is interviewed by Andrew Nette; Non-fiction ‘Deposition’ by Josh Stallings; Aussie author David Owen is interviewed by David Honeybone; Fiction by Patricia Abbott, Thomas Pluck, Mark Joseph Kiewlak, Benoit Lelievre, Seamus Scanlon, Rob Loughlin and Deborah Sheldon; Charles Willeford dissected by William Boyle; Nerd of Noir on William Friedkin; Cameron Ashley discusses My Friend Dahmer by Derf Backderf, and more.

Go on, you know you want to! You can get your copy by clicking here.

Crime Factory 10

Gamefinger

GamefingerAuthor: Clyde Allison
Real name: William Knoles
Publisher: Ember Library EL 321
Cover illustration: Robert Bonfils
Published: March 1966

WARNING: This review contains moderately sexual and adult content.

Gamefinger is the sixth title published in the highly collectible Trevor Anderson – Agent 0008 series, and the book opens with our oversexed, secret agent on leave. He is holidaying, on his lonesome, at a secluded cabin, beside a lake in Maine. His peace and quiet (and his celibacy) is interrupted by the arrival by a six-foot tall blonde Amazon named Karni. When 0008 meets her, she is skinnydipping in the lake. As this book is a soft-core sex comedy, after a brief introduction, he makes love to her in the great outdoors. This, of course, is one of the many sex scenes described in the book, and while reading the story, I almost get the impression that these sex sequence were more of a contractual obligation, rather than Clyde Allison’s desire to titillate his reading audience. The second sex sequence is almost shoehorned into the story – almost as if the publisher has said that he requires a sex sequence every twenty-five pages. And Allison has obliged.

Later, in the cabin as 0008 believes he is about to embark on another lengthy sexcapade, he closes his eyes as Karni approaches him. But rather than slaking his carnal desires, she renders his unconscious with a well placed judo-chop.

Alas, Karni is not an enemy agent, she is in fact SADISTO’s (the Security and Administration Division of the Institute for Special Tactical Operations) latest recruit, 00085, and when Trevor Anderson wakes up, he is back at SADISTO headquarters and about to be briefed by the General (the head of SADISTO).

The General explains (Page 27):

“…Ahem well, 0008, we are faced, we think, with one of the worst potential menaces to the Free World in recent years. We have reason to believe a madman is scheming to end war and the fear of war.”

I thought it over. “Ending war isn’t so bad,” I said. “But ending the fear of war! Why great heavens, man, think of the terrible slump the war – I mean defense – industries would take! Think of the effect on aerospace and electronics industries! Without the fear of war, dozens of billion-dollar industries wouldn’t get any tax money.”

“Right,” said the General. “You can see what a menace this madman could be – if his scheme, whatever it is, should prove workable…”

The brains behind the diabolical scheme is a man named Cantwell Undershaft – known as ‘Gamefinger’ – who has set himself up as a Caesar type figure, dressed in togas and wearing laurel wreaths in his hair. His plan is to beam, via satellite, vicious battles into peoples living rooms and onto their television screens. Undershaft believes that this repugnant display will sate peoples natural desire for blood, and will put them off war and warmongering forever.

Undershaft has began his plan with a few test productions, which SADISTO has obtained footage of. This footage consists of native women being stabbed, girls with swords and shields hacking at each other, others jousting on horse back, and girls being fed to barracudas. But Undershaft’s productions are crude. They need refining – they need an expert in weapons. And that’s where 0008’s mission begins. He is to pose as world renown weapons expert Rex Kingston. SADISTO’s computer has anticipated that soon Undershaft will attempt to kidnap Kingston and have him work as a technical advisor on his productions. The plan is to have 0008 kidnapped instead.

0008 is airlifted back to his lakeside lodge in Maine, and not before too long, an agent, working for Undershaft arrives on the scene. The agent’s name is Drusilla, and as this book has a quota of pornography to fit within its pages, of course, she seduces 0008. Then of course, knocks him out and drugs him. When 0008 wakes up, he is on Eros Island, and at the whims of eccentric, mad billionaire Cantwell Undershaft.

Sure this book is trash – it is smut. But underneath that trashy veneer, there is something pretty interesting going on here. Particularly if you place it in the context of the times. The book was published in 1966. A year after the ground war started in Vietnam (March 1965). In this book, Vietnam is never mentioned. It talks about a generic ‘war’ – but in 1966, as far as America was concerned, their only war was the one in Vietnam. This story concerns itself with the televisation of acts of extreme violence, and I guess that could be equated with the nightly news reports about the Vietnam conflict. The villain, Undershaft, believes that televising violence will cause people to want to stop it, and therefore put an end to all war.

As Undershaft explains (page 77):

“To begin with,” began Cantwell, “I don’t pit nude girls against each other in fights to the death just for kicks – my kicks. Not at all.”

Remembering the casual way in which he’d had the brunette skewered through her left breast just to make a point, I doubted him – but kept silent.

“No,” continued Cantwell, “although I have had perhaps a couple hundred American, European, Chinese, Japanese, African, Arabian, Polynesian and other young men and girls kidnapped, brainwashed and made into slaves – the bulk of whom have hacked, stabbed or shot each other to death, or been torn to shreds by wild animals – and although I intend to kidnap, brainwash and, uh, amusingly destroy several hundred more – still, I do what I do for the sake of humanity.”

Also from page 78:

“… horrible, grisly, sadistic spectacles such as the Roman games provided a safety valve for the whole population. And that’s what the world lacks today – a safety valve. A safety valve I intend to supply – for the sake of mankind.”

As hinted at in the brief passages above, there are some brutal sections in the book – possibly verging on crossing over into ‘bad taste’. These sequence are even more off putting in the fact that they are juxtaposed against the comedy (and even sexual) elements of the story. So for one section there may be a playful, naughty romp by a poolside, then there will be a girl in a fight with a leopard. And while Allison doesn’t dwell on the unpleasantness, it still is kind of creepy to read. Allison does attempt to take the ‘heat’ out of the scenes with some witty asides from 0008 – so he definitely knows he was pushing the enevelope of what was (and is) acceptable. Which to me, indicates, that his passages were written quite purposefully. And that brings us back to Vietnam.

Over time, Vietnam became an unpopular war – was this because of the regular news updates presenting the violence to the general populace? Is this story – yes, a piece of soft-core smut – in reality, a thinly veiled commentary on the Vietnam war and how it was portrayed on television at the time?

So far I have only read a few other Clyde Allison novels – you can read reviews of For Your Sighs Only and Mondo Sadisto – which I enjoyed as Bondian, and pop culture piss-takes. And while those other stories shared many of the same elements as Gamefinger, the hidden understories didn’t gel as well as this one. As I said earlier, this book is trash, but as a piece of trash, I think it is a minor gem – or if not a gem, at least an interesting time capsule.

From the blurb:

Mad-dog billionaire, Cantwell Undershaft, was devising the the most diabolic scheme in 2,000 years – revival of the bloody and orgiastic Games of Ancient Rome in all their lewd and gory splendor…telecasting from outer space color broadcasts of the grisly spectacles – naked men and girls hacking each other to death, mauled by enraged wild beasts, torn to shreds by half-starved barracudas… His goal, ending forever mankind’s lust for war by fulfilling its craving for bloody, sexually sadistic kicks. Was his scheme an insane justification for his own depravity, or were the hundreds of men and girls slaughtered a realistic safety-valve for the world’s repressed desires? That was the problem dread SADISTO agent, Trevor Anderson – 0008, had to resolve in a nonstop orgy of sex and mayhem on remote Eros Island.

Gamefinger has been recently reprinted by Olympia Press, and is available from  Amazon.com

Or for those who prefer eBooks, you can download it for the princely sum of $1.00 from the Olympia Press website.

Gamefinger

Mondo Sadisto

Author: Clyde Allison
Real name: William Henley Knowles
Published: 1966 Leisure Books
Cover illustration: Robert Bonfils

WARNING: This review contains sexual and adult themes.

‘Once again, Hollywood, that Glamour Capital of the Free World, had come up with a smashing idea – A Secret Agent Semi-Documentary! And when they chose SADISTO as the subject for their MONDO-type flick, they were confident that they wouldn’t have to worry about any intense erotic atmosphere. From the little they could learn about SADISTO’s ultrasecret activities, they concluded that they organization merely killed, maimed, tortured and, whenever possible massacred the sinister enemies of the Free World.

Little did the California Dreamers realize what they were in for! How could they have known that the dread triple-zero agents were trained not only to kill, but to love – whenever possible!’

Mondo Sadisto is the twelfth title in Clyde Allison’s series of soft-core spy novels featuring Trevor Anderson, agent 0008 for a secret organisation called SADISTO. The name of the company alone should tell you about how they work – they use brutal and garish methods to liquidate the enemies of the Free World. It should also tell you that these novels are very black comedies. The series, because of its sexual content is often looked upon as porn, and there’s no denying that sexual themes are prevalent throughout the book. But by today’s standards it is all very tame. There are no swear words and the passages devoted to sex could more accurately be described as ‘smut’ rather than ‘erotica’.

‘She’s a big girl, with jutting, high, proud, ripely rounded breasts – twin cupolas of carnal temptation, paired peaks of passionate pleasure flesh…’ or ‘Her proud, pert young breast jutted upward and outward in quivering conical / spherical perfection – dual globes of glossy glee flesh.’

As I said, it is smut, but placed in the context of the wild spyjinx presented, it’s obvious that none of this is meant to be taken seriously.

In this 0008 adventure our hero, Trevor Anderson is to be the star in a Mondo-style documentary movie. It appears that SADISTO is cash strapped, and for ‘two million on the barrel-head plus twenty percent of the gross take’ they are prepared to allow an insider witness the ultra-secret world of SADISTO. The producer / director / cinematographer of this film is Cinamatia (Cin) Scopes, and she is to accompany 0008 on his next mission filming every second.

What is his mission? Glad you asked. Ultra evil organisation KRUNCH are holding the ‘Free World’ to ransom once again. This time they are threatening to destroy the waterways of North America. The mission briefing goes like this – page 73:

“What,” the General had asked dramatically (during our initial briefing), “is the most dreaded thing of the water – fresh water, that is?”

I considered this. “A voluptuous teen-age thrill-seeking girl at the wheel of a high-powered outboard?” I suggested, remembering numerous occasions when such joyous jills had almost cut me in two with their propellers.

“You’re right,” the General had conceded. “Well, what’s the second most dreaded thing in fresh water?”

“Why, the Piranha!” gasped Cin and I in unison.

“Keep out of this,” I snarled. “This is my briefing.”

“Sorry. I spoke up without thinking,” apologized Cin.

“Silence!” thundered the General. “As I was saying and you were agreeing, the South American fresh-water fish – loosely named the Piranha – is a fish to be dreaded.”

And later from page 76 and 77:

“It’s more serious, I take it,” I rasped.

“Exactly. With Piranhas as with any fish, it’s only a question of acclimation. Piranhas flourish only in very warm fresh waters. But…”

“But?” I interjected.

“But fish can adjust. Automatically or after careful selective breeding. Take the common guppy for an example. A fresh-water fish. But how many guppy fanciers know that if they should toss their guppies into an aquarium full of salt water – the guppies would continue to flourish and multiply.”

“I take it,” I frowned, “that not all fish are as adaptable as guppies?”

“You take it correctly,” said the General. “However, before this, nobody has made any attempt to acclimate Piranhas to cooler water. By slowly lowering the water temperature, selecting the fish that withstood the change best, cross-breeding them, repeating the process for generations – it might be done. And shudder, the indications are – it has been done! Yes, a cool, even cold-water Piranha is now a biological reality. You can imagine what this could mean.”

So KRUNCH’s evil plan is to release their cold water acclimated Piranhas into North American waterways during ‘Safe Swimming Week’. Diabolical. The woman behind this horrible scene is Serra S. Brandt, and 0008, with a little help from Cin Scopes has to track her down and eliminate her – which is not going to be an easy task.

An intriguing aspect of the 0008 novels is the violence. There is a fair amount of gratuitous cartoon violence, and as stated, because these books are black comedies, this violence is ‘sadistic’ and gory. After all 0008 works for SADISTO – of course he’s ‘sadistic’. But Allison seems to take delight in whipping his reading audience into a lather about the more extreme elements of his stories. As this note explains (from 0008’s point of view):

‘As most of my millions of readers know, SADISTO agents keep in fighting trim, maintain their professional skills and relax themselves by shooting at live human targets – usually captured enemy agents, condemned voluptuous teen-age girl criminals we ‘borrow’ from death-row on the pretense of studying their psychological reactions, and other alleged enemies of the Free World.

But although the advantages as well as the fun of this system should be obvious, some readers don’t seem to approve of it. Many send me angry letters about it, in fact (as if I were to blame! I’m only a cog in the system – albeit a pretty important cog) – letters frequently accompanied by time bombs, rattlesnakes and deadly cave scorpions. Gifts I always rewrap and mark Return to Sender.

To stop this irksome flow of missives and missiles, let me restate my oft stated position: What’s wrong with using live human beings as targets?’

Having said all that, Allison does have a tendency to have an each way bet. One of the recurring plot devices is to have 0008 kill an enemy in a particularly nasty and bloody fashion, only to later have it revealed that the target wasn’t actually killed. So you get the nasty ‘sadistic’ prose, and then at the end, he takes it all away. No one was really hurt after all.

As the 0008 adventures are plainly parodies of sixties spymania, the stories are littered with Bond, Flint and UNCLE references. Even KAOS from Get Smart is given a name check. In this book one of the highlights is when 0008 explains his choice to drive a fire-engine red Mercedes rather than an Aston Martin.

“I thought all secret agents drove Aston Martins,” Cin had objected when we’d started our trip.

“Most do,” I agreed. “The Aston Martin people have a special group rate for intelligence organizations. The car has certain drawbacks, however. Like so many secret agents, enemy, friendly and the neutral drive them. You see an Aston Martin on the road, you know right off the driver is most likely a secret agent.”

“I see,” said Cin.

“So for this particular case,” I concluded, “I’m not taking my Aston Martin. Also it needs a valve job. Better we travel inconspicuously.” “You call a fire-engine red Mercedes 540-K inconspicuous?” increduled Cin.

And Derek Flint cops a serve – from page 53:

“Are you going to your quarters to do yoga exercises to prepare yourself for your coming hazardous duties?” she asked as she trotted behind me.

“Bah!” I said. “Perhaps esthetes like Flint engage in such questionably masculine pre-caper activities, but we triple-zero SADISTO agents are made of lustier stuff.”

* * * * * * * * * * * * *

Most readers would be familiar with the famous Page 69 Test. The theory is that page 69 should be a good reflection on the contents of the book. Well, with a piece of Clyde Allison erotica, I guess the 69 Test takes on a new meaning. But with a fair amount of trepidation submit Mondo Sadisto to the test to see how it stacks up.

Sweat poured from my brow as I writhed and twisted beneath the diabolical provocation of her lips, and tongue, and breasts, and straying fingers.
It was wild.

It was wanton.

It was wonderful.

It was too much.

She stopped.

“Don’t stop” I implored.

I guess, due to the novels erotic nature their are going to be pages with a measure of carnality. Page 69, to put it simply, is a page filled with foreplay — and by page 70, well it’s right into the action — you get the idea. This passage doesn’t really sum up the parody inherent in the novel, but the book is what it is — a piece of erotica — and I guess Page 69 reflects that.

* * * * * * * * * * * * *

Mondo Sadisto, like a few of the other Clyde Allison novels I have now sampled, is a little uneven, but there are passages which are brilliant parodies of a Bondian universe. I had a brief email conversation with Tanner from the Double O Section, and he made a very astute observation that the stories are in many ways similar to Mark Gatiss’ Lucifer Box trilogy. And he’s right. Obviously Allison’s stories are primarily soft core smut with passages of outrageous spy-type action and adventure, whereas Gatiss’ stories are outrageous spy-type action and adventure with passages of smut. But they are similar.

Thanks to Flapjack 111, I am happy to present Mondo Sadisto. As the Clyde Allison 0008 Sadisto novels are out of print, rare, and extremely expensive, we thought it only right that we should share the adventures of one of the more perverse Bondian imitators.

To download Mondo Sadisto in JPG format,
click here.

Mondo Sadisto

For Your Sighs Only

Author: Clyde Allison
Real name: William Henley Knoles
Publisher: Ember Library EL 329
Cover illustration: Robert Bonfils
Published: May 1966

For Your Sighs Only is the ninth title published in the highly collectible Trevor Anderson – Agent 0008 Series.

WARNING: This review contains sexual and adult themes.

I guess because Ian Fleming’s James Bond stories were serialised in Playboy magazine, Bond, as well as being a spy was labelled as being a confident ladies man, and in parodies this was stretched and he was often depicted as a randy skirt chaser. It is not so very surprising then, that adult books would latch on the Bond bandwagon. Many series of adult books featuring studly spies appeared in the mid to late sixties. Due to their adult content, they were pretty much over-looked by the main stream media and now have almost disappeared into the ether. However, one series that is still highly sought after are the Clyde Allison 0008 adventures.

The books are now collectors items, and when you can obtain them, they sell for exorbitant prices. One the things that makes them collectible is the incredible cover artwork by Robert Bonfils. The other aspect that makes them collectible is the writing by Clyde Allison — which is a pseudonym for William Henley Knoles. The stories vary in quality. Some are witty and clever, others are simply repetitive; but generally they are fast paced and fun (in their weird perverted way!) Of the few stories I have read, For Your Sighs Only seems to have a slightly higher sexual content than some of the others in the series. But generally the sex scenes are quite tame by today’s literary standards. There are loads of deliberately puerile descriptions of body parts — breasts are routinely described as ‘frontal fun flesh’.

For Your Sighs Only opens with a vigorous, nude ski chase on the Swiss Alps. Our hero is chasing down three enemies of the Free World – who are also skiing naked. During the chase 0008 tries to pick of his targets with a ski pole gun. One thing that struck me is about the ski pole gun is that James Bond uses the same thing at the start of the film The Spy Who Loved Me. The writer (of screenplay & novelisation) of the TSWLM was Christopher Wood – who prior to his gig as Bond wrote those British ‘Confessions of…’ books. If you’re not familiar with them they were a series of soft core sex comedies from the sixties and seventies. So if he was a writer in the same genre as Clyde Allison it is quite possible that he had read the 0008 books and ‘borrowed’ the idea for Bond.

The ski chase continues, and 0008 picks off two of his targets, but manages to get tangled up with the third – so much so that they roll off the edge, down into a crevice. Their predicament doesn’t end there and an avalanche of snow begins to fall on them…and, and, and 0008 freezes to death. Yep. He’s dead! Well that’s one way to start a book!

The story then, of course flashes back to the start of the mission. SADISTO — who are the good guys — like most intelligence agencies are short on funds to fiance their missions. But they now have an opportunity to acquire one billion dollars in gold. The gold is the long lost treasure of ‘Darius the Great’, ruler of ancient Persia. This treasure was recently found by a cave explorer called Lithica Stone. Lithica has now varnished, but prior to going missing, she passed the location to the treasure cave to two friends. Each of these friends was given one part of the location — one was given the exact longitude — the other was given the exact latitude. Unfortunately these two girls were kidnapped by the evil organisation KRUNCH (Kriminality, Revenge, Under-handed tricks, Nastiness, Cruelty and Hijacking). KRUNCH torture the girls and mange to extract the longitude from one of the girls. But before they can find out the latitude, SADISTO Agent 0002 comes to the rescue and kills all the KRUNCH operatives. 0002 learns the latitude from the surviving girl before she expires.

So SADISTO have the latitude co-ordinate to find the gold, but KRUNCH have the longitude. 0008’s mission is simple — he has to infiltrate KRUNCH and find out the Longitude co-ordinate. 0008 begins his mission at a KRUNCH summit meeting which is being held at a nudist colony in Switzerland. What could happen to a randy secret agent at a nudist colony?

As this is a story about ‘Gold’ it will come as no surprise that this book makes several references to ‘Goldfinger’ (the film — rather than the book). The first occurs on page 45:

A Portly, fair haired man, who looked a bit like the actor Gert Frobe, rose to his portly feet.
“Heil Hit…I mean, Greetings, fellow conspirators,” he wheezed.

Of course this is referring to the controversy that surrounded the film Goldfinger when it was discovered that actor, Frobe had been a member of the Nazi Party. From Wikipedia:

Born in Zwickau, Fröbe was a member of the Nazi Party before and during World War II. However, he aided German Jews by hiding them from the Gestapo. Because of his former membership in the Nazi Party, the film Goldfinger was initially banned in Israel until he was publicly thanked for his help by a Jewish family.

The next Goldfinger reference is a bit more blatant and it comes from a speech delivered by the head villainess, Miss Fu Chik Chu — page 51:

“Thank you, fellow co-conspirators. It is true that I have devoted most of my life to the pursuit of gold. Next to my late, great, still remembered friend, Auric Goldfinger, no person in history has pursued gold so avidly, has loved gold so deeply. Thus, humbly, I feel I am the right person to recover the greatest gold hoard of all time. With your assent, I now assume complete charge of Operation Gold Trove.”

Now, as I described the opening chapter ending with 0008 freezing to death, you’re probably wondering how he gets out of that predicament. Obviously I do not want to spoil the story, and this is one of the better twists in the novel — but 0008 wakes up in the future 2066.

* * * * * * * * * * * * *

Most readers would be familiar with the famous Page 69 Test. The theory is that page 69 should be a good reflection on the contents of the book. Well, with a piece of Clyde Allison erotica, I guess the 69 Test takes on a new meaning. But still I thought it was worth submitting For Your Sighs Only to the test to see how it stacks up. The page begins with our hero, 0008 in hospital after being revived from being buried frozen in the ice for the past century – so the following part of the story takes place in the future.

The nurse punched a button and the giant TV screen went silent and became a mirror again. “Well,” she said brightly, “you’re almost famous. Now, what can I do for you? Orange juice? Coffee? Tea? A cigarette?”

“A cigarette,” I mused. “So they finally worked the bugs out of cigarettes, eh?”

“I’m afraid not,” frowned the nurse. “They’re still the chief cause of lung cancer and heart disease. But with the population what it is, who cares? Maybe you’d prefer an alcoholic drink, or a hallucinogenic mushroom pill, or sex, or…”

“Sex?” I leered.

She looked at me worriedly. “Why do you have that curious expression on your face? Almost as if – why, you’re leering! How adorably old-fashioned! But then I keep forgetting how old you are. Sex was pretty secret and snide back in your century, wasn’t it old timer. Now, of course, we take sex for granted.” She sauntered nakedly over to me. “Want me to relieve your sexual tensions?”

I nodded eagerly. And a tingling, rising sensation low in my body told me that my normal reactions hadn’t been impaired by a century on ice…

For Your Sighs Only passes the Page 69 Test with flying colours. The above passage perfectly sums up what you can expect to find within it’s pages.

* * * * * * * * * * * * *

The more I read and find out about Clyde Allison the more fascinated I become. Because they were mildly pornographic, these books appear to have been somewhat dismissed as ‘throwaways’ at the time — but some of the ideas contained within have stood the test of time and may have been ‘borrowed/recycled/stolen’ for more legitimate spy fiction and films over the intervening years.

Thanks to Flapjack 111, I am happy to present For Your Sighs Only in it’s entirety. As the Clyde Allison 0008 Sadisto novels are out of print, rare, and extremely expensive, we thought it only right that we should share the adventures of one of the more perverse Bondian imitators.
You can find links to download JPGs for For Your Sighs Only below.
Enjoy.

To download part one, click here.
To download part two,
click here.

For Your Sighs Only

Clyde Allison

Here’s a few images from my wish list. I know this may make me seem like an old pervert, but I’d love to get my hands on some of the Clyde Allison 0008 books. Yes they are a soft core porn Bond parody, but just look at the painted cover artwork!







Naturally I have tried to find them for sale on the internet, but on the rare occasions when I find them, they are at extremely exorbitant prices.

Clyde Allison