- Animal Farm (video)
"Animal Farm" is the street name given to an infamous underground pornographic film containing scenes of explicit bestiality that was smuggled into
Great Britainin the late 1970s or early 1980s. Most of the films starred the Danish Bodil Joensen. Other than the title, it has nothing to do with the eponymous novel by George Orwell.
In the early 1980s, during the British
home videoboom, a videocassette of indeterminate origin began to circulate in underground circles that became known simply as "Animal Farm". It contained a plotless series of extremely graphic scenes of bestiality, including acts of intercourse and fellatio performed with pigs, horses and even chickens (" avisodomy"), as well as a scene in which a woman inserts live eels into her vagina. To this day, "Animal Farm" remains one of the most notorious and controversial videotapes ever to find its way to British shores.
The material that constitutes the "Animal Farm" bootleg was apparently smuggled through British Customs in the Spring of 1981 by an enterprising
tourist. It eventually found its way under the counters of the more daring Soho stockists and was eventually prosecuted following a series of police raids—but not before countless bootlegs had gone into circulation. It was discovered that the video actually comprised several short XXX-rated films from the Danish company Color Climax, which had been producing a steady stream of extreme pornography since the Danish government made all pornographylegal in 1969. To keep up with the growing demand for video titles, Color Climax had taken to transferring their stocks of 8 mm and 16 mm animal films onto cassette, and it was these films—mostly starring Bodil Joensen—that composed the notorious "Animal Farm" video, hence its generic title (which at no point appears on the screen) and shadowy origins. It is possible that some of the material was taken from the notorious Alex De Renzy's 1971 cash-in feature "Animal Lover", which actually managed a brief cinema run in the liberal atmosphere of San Francisco, and whose entire second half consists of the distinctively amateurish, shaky, clumsily-shot lurid colour footage familiar to anyone who has seen the "Animal Farm" bootleg.
In April 2006, the
UKstation Channel Four Televisionscreened a fifty-minute documentary, "The Real Animal Farm", as part of their " Dark Side of Porn" season. Several interviewees, including David Kerekes(co-author of "Killing For Culture" and "See No Evil"), author Phil Tonge, feminist writer Germaine Greerand British pornographer Ben Dover, all confessed to having seen bootlegs of "Animal Farm" in the 1980s, but were apparently unaware that there was no such film - the entity referred to as such was merely a number of existing bestiality shorts tacked together. Tonge described the owner of the copy he saw as an "evil, evil scumbag" and recalled how several "hard lads" either "left the room" or "vomited", Dover remarked that owning the bootleg was a useful aid to games of one-upmanship, since nothing could top the onscreen depravity of Joensen and her co-stars, and the normally easy-going Kerekes was moved to remark that "you can only wallow in filth for so long, and "Animal Farm" represents the very bottom of the barrel". Its impact on viewers was compared to that of hearing for the first time about the Kennedy assassination.
The documentary also told the sad story of
Bodil Joensen, a psychologically traumatized young woman whose brief notoriety as the 'Queen of Bestiality' was followed by a downward spiral of alcohol abuseand prostitutionbefore her death of cirrhosisof the liverat the age of forty, and featured an interview with the Danish pornographer Ole Ege. The 1970 documentary, "A Summer's Day", apparently formed at least some of the content of the "Animal Farm" bootleg, having been shown at the "Wet Dreams" pornography film festival beforehand.
Much of the information in this article is based on the 2006
Channel Fourdocumentary from the TV "The Real Animal Farm" from the TV series (started in 2005 and still ongoing as of 2008) "The Dark Side of Porn":
*imdb title|1009432|The Real Animal Farm
*imdb title|0884766|The Dark Side Of Porn
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