Thursday, August 22, 2013

UNGLAUBLICH! - ERWIN C. DIETRICH BOOK REVIEW


Released in 2006, but unknown to most English-speaking fans, Mädchen, Machos und Moneten is the first and only book dedicated to Swiss director / producer / distributor Erwin C. Dietrich.  Unfortunately, the text is only in German, but it’s quite evident flipping through this glossy hardcover that authors Benedikt Eppenberger and Daniel Stapfer were committed to present a definitive account of Dietrich's  career.

Divided into 14 chapters with such titles as The Franco Years (Jess Franco also provides the forward), Soldiers of Fortune and The Mad, Mad World of ECD, the book is a thorough chronological account of Dietrich’s career beginning with some of his earliest stints as a producer on the various “Heimat” films from the mid-to-late ‘50s.  Then, in the ‘60s, he even produced a few Edgar Wallace styled thrillers such as Rudolf Zehetgruber’s The NYLON NOOSE (1963) and Hans Mehringer’s The STRANGLER OF THE TOWER (1964). 


Of course, Dietrich is known in this part of the world for his numerous softcore sex films such as ISLAND WOMEN (1980) and The AMOROUS SISTERS (1980), which he wrote, produced and directed under his preferred pseudonyms Michael Thomas and Manfred Gregor. Thankfully, the authors don't shy away from this facet of Dietrich's career, which lasted on-and-off from 1968 until the early '80s.  They devote a sizeable portion of the book to these films, which inundated US and Canadian video stores in the '80s thanks to Media Home Entertainment's subsidiary adult label Private Screenings.

Handsomely illustrated with many rare posters, admats and great photos, Mädchen, Machos und Moneten is an amazing look into one of the most prolific figures within the European exploitation film world.  Highly recommended!