Dad Made Dirty Movies

The Erotic World of Stephen C. Apostolof


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About the Book

Strippers, zombies, fugitives and jewel thieves. These were just some of the characters who inhabited the weird, wild films of director Stephen C. Apostolof in the 1960s and 1970s. But Apostolof’s own life was every bit as improbable as the plots of his lurid movies. Escaping the clutches of the communists in his native Bulgaria, he came to America in 1952 and decided on a whim to reinvent himself as a Hollywood filmmaker, right down to the cigars, sunglasses and Cadillacs.
He produced a string of memorable sexploitation classics, including the infamous Orgy of the Dead. Along the way, he married three times, fathered five children and forged a personal and professional relationship with the notorious Ed Wood, Jr. Drawing on rare archival material and interviews with those who knew him best, this first biography of Apostolof chronicles the life and career of a cult film legend.

About the Author(s)

Jordan Todorov is a journalist and a filmmaker based in Berlin, Germany who directed Dad Made Dirty Movies (2011), a documentary about Stephen C. Apostolof. He writes for Atlas Obscura—an online compendium of “The World’s Wonders, Curiosities, and Esoterica.”

Joe Blevins is a freelance writer in Arlington Heights, Illinois. His work has appeared in The A.V. Club, Splitsider, Weekly Humorist, and Crooked Marquee, as well as his blog, Dead 2 Rights.

Bibliographic Details

Jordan Todorov and Joe Blevins
Format: softcover (7 x 10)
Pages: 336
Bibliographic Info: 130 photos, filmography, appendix, notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2020
pISBN: 978-1-4766-6868-0
eISBN: 978-1-4766-3877-5
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments ix
Prologue: On the Trail of Stephen C. Apostolof 1
Part One. Journey to Freedom (1928–1962)
1. The Burgas Years (1928–1948) 8
2. Passage to Istanbul (1948) 17
3. A Stranger in Paris (1948–1950) 21
4. Onward to Canada! (1950–1952) 30
Part Two. Adventures in La La Land (1952–1978)
5. The Man About Town (1952–1957) 38
6. The Propagandist (1957) 46
7. The Family Man (1958–1965) 65
8. The Director of the Dead (1965–1966) 72
Orgy of the Dead (1965)  75
9. The Prince of Confidential (1966–1968) 102
Suburbia Confidential (1966)  103
Motel Confidential (1967)  118
Bachelor’s Dream (1967)  123
College Girls (1968)  126
Office Love-In, White Collar Style (1968)  135
10. The Executive Filmmaker (1969–1972) 144
Lady Godiva Rides (1969)  144
The Divorcee (1969)  153
11. The Master of Mayhem (1972–1978) 169
The Snow Bunnies (1972)  172
Drop-Out Wife (1972)  181
The Class Reunion (1972)  187
The Cocktail Hostesses (1973)  192
Fugitive Girls (1974)  202
The Beach Bunnies (1976)  215
Hot Ice (1978)  225
Part Three. The Last Mile to El Diablo (1979–2005)
12. In Exile (1979–1986) 242
13. The Resurrection (1987–1997) 250
14. State of Fear (1998–2005) 264
The Dying of the Light  268
The End of the End  271
Appendix: The Immoral Artist (unused story outline) 279
Timeline 285
Filmography 289
Chapter Notes 293
Bibliography 303
Index 307

Book Reviews & Awards

• “A great (cult) filmmaker’s biography” —Plan 9 Crunch

• “Great book. Full of stories and memories from Apostolof’s family and friends and those who knew Ed Wood too.”—Little Shop of Horrors

• “I enjoyed the hell out of this book. It’s just great! Delightfully informative, ripely hilarious—and sleazy! I gobbled up everything on Orgy of the Dead, one of cinema’s truly strange masterpieces!”—Filmmaker Guy Maddin

• “If you’ve never heard of Stephen Apostolof (aka A.C. Stephen) buckle in for one hell of a ride that takes readers from Bulgaria to Hollywood where Apostolof made some of the wildest films you’ve (probably) never seen. Blevins and Todorov have given proper scholarly attention to a pillar of the sexploitation genre!”—Mike White, The Projection Booth

• “An unashamed peek behind the faded, and often stained, velvet curtain that separates the shiny gloss of mainstream Hollywood and the smoky backrooms of exploitation cinema.”—Filmmaker Fred Olen Ray

• “The definitive source of information on this unheralded sexploitation pioneer.”—Bookgasm