Wadd: The Life and Times of John C. Holmes is an award winning documentary/biography of one of the most “biggest” porn stars ever.Wadd takes an in-depth look at pretty much every aspect of John’s life, from his abusive childhood in rural Ohio to his bizarre marriage/love affairs, his porn films, his drug addictions and the Wonderland murders.
At the age of 16, John Holmes fled his violent home life and enlisted in the United States Army. After a 3 year stint in the army Holmes moved to Los Angeles and met then married his first wife Sharon Holmes. Sharon Holmes is interviewed extensively in this documentary and is a very strange woman. He worked various jobs and was discovered one night by a still photographer who saw his 13 inch (there are claims ranging from 10 -16 inches) penis in a restroom at a urinal, the man encouraged him to consider pornography and the beast was unleashed.
From here it’s all a she said/he said version of how the disintegration of John Holmes came about. From interviews with his manager, wives, girlfriends, porn stars such as Ron Jeremy, Bunny Bleu, Sharon Mitchell and other random spectators such as journalists, Larry Flynt, Kitten Natividad and Boogie Nights Director Paul Thomas Anderson.
One thing that remains consistent with all the aforementioned peoples accounts of John Holmes is that he was an enigma, or maybe that is being too generous – a pathological liar. Holmes’ first wife Sharon maintains that she truly knew him as she was the only person he could be himself around. Everyone else is only too eager to contradict fact or inflate and over canonize Holmes (such as the dramatic scenes including his Godchildren; but who am I to belittle their grief?) One thing I believe is that he was not a man of morals, and was out for number one, which isn’t a bad thing necessarily but when you become a snitch and rat out an entire section of an industry that made you famous in the first place (a la Traci Lords), you really have to ask yourself, is this a man who wouldn’t consider killing another human or robbing them for his own personal gain? Not only this, but his persona of the celebrity ‘John Holmes’ is extremely narcissistic and sociopathic and doesn’t really earn himself much credibility.
I won’t talk too much about every bad thing he is accused of, but from gang connections, beating up and pimping out his underage girlfriend to his tumultuous relationship with fellow porn star Misty Dawn there is some enthralling entertainment here. It just gets sicker as the documentary goes on. There is some graphic footage of the horrifically violent Wonderland murders, contention about how he contracted AIDS and even worse, how he made a porno with Hungarian born porn star (turned Politician) Cicciolina when he knew he was HIV positive.
This is a very fascinating documentary and is worth a viewing even if you aren’t a fan of porn. John Holmes was one hell of a train wreck, and this documentation of his life simply needs to be seen to believe the chaos and cacophony that one man created.
Umbrella Entertainment have released Wadd in a 2 disc set called John Homes Exposed.Accompanying the set are an additional 2 films Fantasm and Fantasm Comes Again.
- Audio commentary with Antony I. Ginnane
- “Fantasm Penetrated” – interview featurette
- Original Theatrical Trailers
- Stills and poster gallery
- Deleted Scenes
Available on R4 DVD from Umbrella Entertainment.