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DVD Reviews: Wadd - The Life and Times of John C. Holmes

The Final Say!

Review Score
Reviewed by Jayne Levchenko
Review Date: June 2004
Distributed by:
The AV Channel
Running Time: 100 Minutes





WADD is the documentary of the life and death of John Holmes – adult cinemas biggest (pardon the pun) actor. This is not a film made for an excuse to view porn but to show people what a bizarre, twisted individual John Holmes was. Although this film is ultra disturbing (and occasionally a tiny bit boring in certain parts), you cannot walk away and say the movie wasn’t interesting.  

John Holmes was a man with a skinny body and a massive penis – that pretty much sums up why he became such an icon. It wasn’t because he had rugged good looks and a body every girl could drool over, it was because he was so odd looking and looked like any guy often picked on in high school. Every female porn star either desperately wanted to sleep with him or was terrified of him (maybe not “him” but his size).  

In this film John’s past directors, managers, work colleagues, ex-wife and mistress are interviewed giving you an insight into one very twisted mind and an extremely bleak existence.  John appeared in hundreds of adult films, often as the character “Johnny Wadd”, a dodgy private investigator, but during the late 70’s John’s life started to spiral down. Due to his excessive drug use he was unable to “perform” his duties on or off screen, this made him even more of a mess and he became involved in the underworld inevitably getting himself caught up in the murder of 4 people in Wonderland Avenue in Los Angeles. He was put on trial and acquitted, police saying he was in the wrong place at the wrong time. John’s life ended in 1988 after suffering from AIDS.


Quite dodgy (like John Holmes). A very low budget film and it shows, very dark in most scenes and very grainy throughout the entire doco. *Editor's Note: It must also be noted that a lot of the material referenced is from the porn industry of the time who would not have been actively archiving the film, hence scratches and other problems*


Audio is not unbearable but not fantastic either. Not much you can expect from something so low budget and dodgy as the subject matter is.


The extras aren’t too exciting, just heaps and heaps of deleted interview bits.

 Extras include:

  • Deleted scenes
  • Trailers for other explicit “umbrella propaganda” material

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