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TUESDAY 8/3: Dirty Duck screening with Chuck Swenson

Next Tuesday, the CineFamily will present a rare 35mm screening of Chuck Swenson’s Dirty Duck (aka Down And Dirty Duck, 1974). Long before Bill Plympton and Nina Paley, Swenson convinced producer Roger Corman to give him the money to make a one-man hand drawn animated feature. The money he got was so little, the film was originally titled “Cheap” (it was also test marketed under that name). However, like Ralph Bakshi’s Fritz The Cat, the finished film is surprisingly smart, funny and original. Featuring the voices and songs of Flo & Eddie (Mark Volman and Howard Kaylan of The Turtles and the Mothers of Invention), Dirty Duck is a strikingly stylized psychedelic odyssey that perfectly embodies the raunchy American underside of the 1970s. Animation director Charles Swenson will appear in person for a Q&A after the screening.

This will be preceeded by a selection of Turned-On Toons, a pre-show of titillating short cartoons from across the ages, from raunchy XXX-rated revelries of the ’60s and ’70s, up to the perversions of now. All hosted by yours truly, Jerry Beck. The show starts at 8pm, at the Silent Movie Theatre, 611 N. Fairfax Ave. in Hollywood, California. Advance tickets available now.

  • As one who saw this theatrically and exhibited it on campus as part of a rather short Zappa film festival, I wish I could make the screening.
    I recall the Flo & Eddie influence as being profound. They were characters bordering on Greek chorus in one scene in which Zappa is seen as the Sun.
    I’m quite grateful to this film, not only because I find it worthwhile in its own right (though I’m sure it’s a bit dated now), but because interest in the director led me to give Mouse and His Child a chance.

    • Gobo

      Mouse and His Child is one of the great forgotten animated features, and a beautiful, existential movie. I love it dearly.

  • Joe Dante

    I helped Chuck recut this after a disappointing preview.
    Some say the title got changed after Roger saw the initial ads, which read “Roger Corman’s CHEAP”.
    I’ve always liked the movie and the Flo & Eddy soundtrack, which needs to be available pronto!
    I’m out of town or else I’d be there.
    Tell Chuck hi for me.

    • Hal

      Please actually be THE Joe Dante because there is nothing I love more than hearing war stories from the Corman trenches. This sounds like a great night of animation, I hope I’m not stuck in the office for this one.

  • What?!! NO mention of Bobby London? Tsk tsk

    • (not the same Bobby London character)

      • Tom

        It still seems odd that someone would just use the name “Dirty Duck” when there is an established character by that name that can be found with the most cursory of Google searches. No matter what the quality of this film, that is kind of lame.

  • Jerry – you’re the only person who could ever make me wish I lived in LA !

  • D’oh! Apologies.

  • Lurcheep

    Another reason why I sometimes wish I still lived
    near LA… a shame I’m going to miss this!

  • Larry Hama

    Bobby London’s Dirty Duck predates this by a number of years.

  • Steve Ringgenberg

    How can this short be called Dirty Duck. Bobby London created his Dirty Duck several years before this. Isn’t this title infringing on Bobby’s copyright?

  • David Beckham

    The distributors tried to make people think this was Bobby London’s film, complete with a cigar-smoking duck by ZAP! artist Rick Griffin. I like Flo & Eddie, but there is only one Dirty Duck and that’s London’s.