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Feature Film

Trailers From Hell: Dirty Duck

Last year Joe Dante (Looney Tunes Back In Action) established a terrific website called Trailers From Hell, featuring audio commentary by several top genre directors (including John Landis, Stuart Gordon, Eli Roth, etc.) over some of their favorite vintage guilty-pleasure horror, fantasy and science fiction film trailers. They’ve tackled animation only once before – Yellow Submarine (with comments by George Hickenlooper) which we linked to here back in April.

Dante produced one other animation trailer for the site, with director Mick Garris (Showtime’s Masters of Horror, HBO’s Tales From The Crypt) commenting on Chuck Swenson’s 1977 X-rated animated feature Dirty Duck (aka “Cheap”). This trailer proved a little to hot for Joe’s domain so he’s graciously allowed Cartoon Brew to exclusively post it. It’s perfect for our readership – Dirty Duck is one of the most overlooked animated features of the 1970s, a glorious experimental mess of a film, which, from today’s vantage point, looks incredibly creative and daring, and something current Hollywood studios would never attempt.

For more Trailers From Hell click here.

  • Well, at least Dirty Duck has the decency to wear pants. (Unlike that perverted Donald.)

  • slowtiger

    What a strange piece of a film. I’ve never heard of it before. Some movements reminded me of Paul Driessen, and the policeman from minute 2 could be right from Tomi Ungerer’s Underground Sketchbook.

    Wiki says the budget was 110,000 – I’d take that any time and do my own feature!

  • I can’t think of anyone more deserving of a lifetime achievement Oscar than Roger Corman. We owe him and his brand of ‘accidental innovation through plagerism’ so damn much.

  • Very odd. Lacking much other info about this picture, I too had assumed it was a version of Bobby London’s “Dirty Duck” strip.

    Interesting that Swenson went on to do “Strawberry Shortcake,” as Flo and Eddie did some music for that, too; which they freely admitted when I saw them touring as The Turtles in 1989

  • Wow, I’ve never heard of this. An X-rated animated feature, with involvement from Frank Zappa and Flo & Eddy. The look is fascinating, almost like storybook illustration meets Terry Gilliam. It would be nice to see this trailer without the commentary, not that its not informative. Still, a real good find.

  • It oughtta be mentioned that this DIRTY DUCK is in no way related to cartoonist Bobby London’s “Dirty Duck”, the funny animal star of many underground comix, THE NATIONAL LAMPOON and PLAYBOY (where the strip still appears in every issue). In fact, Bobby’s “Dirty Duck” was in print long before this movie.

  • Thad

    This film is one of the worst things civilized society has to offer.

  • Norm

    Bakshi’s “Fritz the Cat”, which this clip openly states “Dirty Duck” strained to emulate, was done for around 800 grand and, next to this, looks like “Fantasia.” The music is the only shred of quality in “Dirty Duck” and if Flo and Eddie were out to prove that anyone on earth could actually make a film worse than “200 Motels”, they did it. Where is that Guy with the Glasses when you need him?

  • FP

    Bobby London did the POPEYE comic strip for a while, until his removal was forced by anti-abortion wackos.

  • This looks brilliant.

  • I’m glad that X-rated Animated movies are out of fashion. Let’s start making movies with morals we really want to spread, instead.

    Cool site though, thanks Jerry!

  • Christopher Cook

    London’s Popeye strips are in a 1988 paperback release, “Mondo Popeye.”

  • Bob Harper

    Finally some real inspiration – Thanks Jerry I just orderd this on Amazon. Can’t wait to get it ! Roger Corman is definately an American hero!

  • Aleksandar – I disagree wholeheartedly. We need MORE of this kind of thing.
    I would love to see an animated smut revival if it looks as good as this.

  • Gobo

    Man, I want to know who worked on this. Some of the characters look like Jules Feiffer drawings but a lot of the animation looks like it’s in the 70s style of Fred Wolf.

  • Wayne

    I sat through this film at the Nuart in one of its late 1970’s screenings. Not everything animated looks better on the big screen. It was an experience to see just what could be done for so little money in the pre-digital era. Ink and paint used to cost, at the very least, several hundred thousand bucks for a ninety minute feature. “Dirty Duck” got around some of it by resorting to ink markers on cels at several points. It also relied on plenty of re-use. The sole funny line went to a character doing a John Wayne vocal impression: “I been shot! Send my balls to (pause) Arizona.” “Dirty Duck” should serve as a primer to today’s execs, who think animation can be done for no money at all. If nothing else, it proves that there ARE limits to how low one can go, as far as production value and watchability.

  • At one of the World Animation Celebrations in L.A. they had a retrospective of “X-Rated” animation. Painfully awful and tedious.

    The one that got most of the audience out of their seats and out the exits was a stop-motion short titled something like “The Age of Enlightenment”(?) which consisted entirely of clay characters masturbating.

    In general, I felt the filmmakers overestimated the attraction of seeing animated characters having sex.

  • Steve Gattuso

    Well, at least the attraction of really badly animated characters having sex…

  • Wow, so Duckman was not the first animated controversial duck in history… who knew? ;-)

  • Nic Kramer

    Pesonally, I prefer Rodger’s “The Point” better. Great special with the music of Harry Neison. Too bad I havent heard the Dustin Hauffman narrated version though.

  • Anne_D_Bernstein

    My favorite X-rated (sorta) toon is ROOF SEX by PES. I also like Brian Bress’ KARATE DICK BOYS. Heh.



  • Winston

    I worked in a video store in college in the late 80’s. This sat on a shelf in the “mature” section for as long as I could remember being there. A group of us finally took it home and watched it during a party (we were able to take out movies for free). It was not what we expected…but we laughed a lot. And watched it several times afterward.

    Not one of the greatest movies ever made to be sure. But here we are, 20 years later, and during arguments we still will stop and say, “I’m telling you Johnny…”

  • The information provided is quite insightful, but I was hoping to actually SEE the trailer intact and without voice-over commentary.

  • Eric Graf

    As noted by an earlier poster, this sucker is out on DVD. I enjoyed it, in part because I dig Flo and Eddie, in part because I enjoy random bizarreness, and in part because I had been subjected to Once Upon a Girl a few days earlier. (Compared to that, Duck is brilliant in every respect.)

    Charles Swenson also co-directed Sanrio’s The Mouse and His Child, in which Dirty Duck has a blink-and-you’ll-miss-it cameo.

  • Jeffrey Gray

    If you want good esoterica from Charles Swenson, watch Twice Upon a Time, which he co-directed with John Korty. (And find the R-rated cut…it’s funnier.)

  • Chris Sobieniak

    Swenson also went on to co-create “Mike, Lu & Og” for Cartoon Network. Not sure what he’s up to nowadays.

    Back in Junior High, I had seen this classic edu-toon he did informing us on the tricks of the trade when it comes to advertising cereal to kids.

    Thanks for the heads-up on “The Mouse & His Child”, one of those movies I wish would be out on DVD right now (having bought a Japanese R2 release a while back, since Sanrio bothers to sell it for real cheap).