6.9/10
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5 user 27 critic

Wadd: The Life & Times of John C. Holmes (1999)

Friends, enemies, acquaintances, and family of porn star John Holmes recall their experiences with him, from his childhood to his eventual death from AIDS in 1988.

Director:

Writer:

2 wins. See more awards »
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Cast

Credited cast:
Linda Adrain ...
Herself
Bill Amerson ...
Himself
Denise Amerson ...
Herself
Sean 'Duke' Amerson ...
Himself
Juliet Anderson ...
Herself (as Aunt Peg)
...
Himself
Tom Blake ...
Himself (as Det. Tom Blake)
Bunny Bleu ...
Herself
Paul Cambria ...
Himself
Bob Chinn ...
Himself
David Clark ...
Himself
Ron Coen ...
Himself (as Hon. Ron Coen)
Misty Dawn ...
Herself (as Laurie Holmes)
Mitchell Egers ...
Himself
Don Fernando ...
Himself
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Storyline

Friends, enemies, acquaintances, and family of porn star John Holmes recall their experiences with him, from his childhood to his eventual death from AIDS in 1988.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated NC-17 for explicit sexual content | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

12 January 2001 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

WADD: La vida y la época de John C. Holmes  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

In a 1999 interview with GettingIt webzine, when asked why there any shots of the fully erect penis of John Holmes in the theatrical documentary, director Cass Paley said, "I didn't think it was needed, and I basically cut it with a cable version in mind - like for HBO or something." See more »

Quotes

Sharon Holmes: By early 1980, John couldn't find work, or couldn't get enough money from work to support his escalating drug habit, is when he began robberies. Breaking into peoples houses and cars to steal anything of value. Soon, he began pilfering stuff out of our own house. Out went the jewelry. Out went the china. Out went all my antic furniture. In one month's time, John emptied out both our joint checking and savings accounts, and took both our credit cards and charged over $48,000. He bought jewelry, ...
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Connections

Features Head Trip (1997) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Numbers don't lie, liars do!
20 December 2009 | by (Canada) – See all my reviews

Whatever the real total of John Holmes' female sex partners was, it's got to be a bare minimum of at least 3000. Considering how many films he made and all the action before he was an impotent addict of an X- rated icon, it was an enormous number of women. His claim of 14,000 is somewhat realistic, only if he never got into drugs and did nothing but have sex round the clock!

The boy born John Curtis Estes was the youngest of four children, grew up in rural Ohio and had by most accounts an unhappy childhood. His namesake (if in surname only) stepfather was a drunk and John as an adult blamed a large portion of his family's hardships on him. Stepfather number two was a manic depressive who took most of his frustrations out on the now second youngest in the house (John's half brother David was born several years later) and his physical abuse eventually reached the point where sixteen year old John decided to enlist in the Army.

However much of the legends about the first half of his life are concerned, by his early twenties, he'd left the military, moved out to California and met and married straitlaced Sharon. It's more than fair to assume this lady, who was a nurse by profession and a virgin when they wed, brought him the only real stability he'd ever had. She describes a private, insecure man who had a very low self esteem, before that term was a pop psychology cliché.

The 8mm loop porn industry in those mid/late 60s era was a fly by night operation, with con artists expecting to pay one with a bum cheque. His first experience with this kind of hustler taught young John to demand payment in cash from then on. He gradually became better known and earned more and more in fees. His endowment is always the matter of speculation, but it's safe to declare he was at least twice the length of the average North American male.

Director Bob Chinn wrote the story for "Johnny Wadd" after meeting him and seeing his "credentials" in the flesh. The soon to be series gave Holmes his most famous role ever and the nickname that summed up his anatomy in a rather crude marketing tool. Exhibitors saw the popularity of this new hardcore emphasis on a star system and wanted more "Wadd".

The descent into cocaine and all that followed are a matter of disturbing fact now. His posthumously published autobiography "Porn King" is equal parts truth and fantasy. The recent "John Holmes: A Life Measured In Inches" by Jennifer Sugar and Jill Nelson, is a much more grounded in reality explanation of his life from all those who knew him best.

What would have happened if John hadn't gotten messed up on freebase? That's the unanswerable question. Instead, his life degenerated into full time crime and ever sleazier and dangerous characters as he struggled to maintain his out of control habit. And with the early days of AIDS rearing it's lethal head, Holmes became the second most notorious figure (after the outed Rock Hudson) to die from AIDS related illness.

"Wadd" gives both the heartfelt testimonial of friends and less than flattering accounts from other associates equal time (my comment for "Wonderland" elaborates on his later years). His life was a sad display of both a lonely, overwhelmed man and the society that could only treat him like some "refugee from a freak show" (Al Goldstein's words). A must see for those who want to look at the authentic tragedy of drugs and the end results of a career in an essentially insane business. Everyone is dispensable in porn, even the king.


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