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An Interview with Brian O'Hara, Director of The Prince of Porn

by Mike Haberfelner

July 2020

Films directed by Brian O'Hara on (re)Search my Trash

 

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Your documentary The Prince of Porn - in a few words, what is it about?

 

Phil Prince was a director of rather sleazy bondage and discipline films that played in Times Square theaters in the late 70ís / early 80ís. As the editor of some of these films, I became acquainted with Phil and gained his consent for a filmed interview. I intercut outtakes from Philís films with his ruminations on the porn world circa 1984.

 

Now you actually worked as an editor for Phil Prince at the beginning of your career - so how did that come about?

 

I flunked out of college, but in 1982 an ex-film teacher recommended me to Phil, told him I knew how to edit. I was barely old enough to legally enter a porn theater but Phil hired me to cut his epics. I worked in a facility that rented editing rooms located in the Film Center Building on 9th Avenue between 44 and 45th streets. And every Friday Iíd stroll over to the New Bryant Theater on 42nd Street between Broadway and 6th Avenue to get paid $300 in cash scooped directly from that dayís box office receipts. It was a sweet setup as far as I was concerned.

 

Having known Phil Prince personally, what kind of a man was he actually?

 

I liked Phil, thought he had a fair amount of charm, charisma, whatever. Later I learned more about his sordid past - like the fact he used to fuck his wife on stage five times a day and bragged, ďWe were the highest-paid team in New York.Ē And when this same wife was knifed to death in a robbery, Phil was a prime suspect as far as the police were concerned. But who am I to judge?

 

I also have to ask, as an editor of porn, how close to the action are you actually, or is it just an editing job like any other at the end of the day?

 

Itís kind of weird cutting porn, especially the bondage and discipline stuff. But you get used to it more or less. I would add goofy, inappropriate sound effects to amuse myself.

 

Let's get back to The Prince of Porn - what inspired you to make a documentary about Phil Prince in the first place, and how easy or hard was it to convince Phil to do it?

 

I wrote a screenplay with a main character who was a sleazy 42nd Street pornographer - modeled after guess who. So I figured The Prince of Porn documentary could be a kind of calling card for the screenplay. I got up the nerve to ask Phil after I saw an interview he did for a magazine called Porn Stars. This was a few months after Iíd stopped working for him. Phil consented and we shot the interview in his office above the New Bryant Theater.

 

What kind of an interviewee was Phil Prince actually, did he need lots of coaching or takes, and how much of the material did land on the cutting room floor?

 

Unfortunately the interview was very brief. The money guy behind Philís films and the theater operations had telephoned during the interview and was miffed about Phil getting the auteur treatment. So after the first camera load finished (about 15 minutes) Phil took off. And that was that.

 

So where can The Prince of Porn be seen?

 

At filmmaker Nicolas Winding Refnís website byNWR: An unadulterated cultural expressway of the arts - https://www.bynwr.com/articles/the-prince-of-porn

 

Anything you can tell us about audience and critical reception of The Prince of Porn?

 

Well, Nicolas Winding Refn liked it.

 

Let's get back to you for a bit - did you, at whatever level, enjoy the movies you edited for Phil Prince, and did you enjoy working on them/for him?

 

If you actually enjoyed the sex depicted in these movies something was definitely wrong with you. Rape, fisting, brutish manhandling were the standard, mixed with a bit of piss and other sadomasochistic niceties. But the productions did have their wholesome side, as storylines often involved family members copulating with one another. One of the more unusual aspects of the movies was that the casts were a mix of mainstream porn actors (e.g. Ron Jeremy, Annie Sprinkle) along with skuzzy riff-raff found who knows where. You could say Philís films oozed sleaze much the same way motivational speaker Tony Robbins oozes phony charm.

 

Professionally, you have long left the world of porn behind - so what can you tell us about your transition to more mainstream entertainment?

 

Not long after leaving porn behind I was the sound effects editor on Spookies Ė which recently was re-released on Blu-ray by Vinegar Syndrome to much fanfare and ballyhoo. I worked on Spookies in the very same editing room where I had strung together cum shots on Philís films.

 

Any future projects you'd like to share?

 

If the barbershop near me doesnít reopen soon Iíll probably shave my head for the third time since the pandemic lockdown began here in LA.

 

Your/your movie's website, social media, whatever else?

 

The sound of crickets...

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Germany (East AND West)  amazon.de

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Oh wait, the Facebook page for my claim to fame, Rock'níRoll Frankenstein, a much maligned movie I wrote and directed: https://www.facebook.com/rrfrankenstein/

 

Anything else you're dying to mention and I have merely forgotten to ask?

 

Did a crazed Hungarian projectionist at the Pussycat Theater really try to wring my neck when the doorknob to his bathroom came off in my hand? You can find the answer here:

https://www.bynwr.com/articles/loose-on-the-deuce-1

 

Thanks for the interview!

 

Youíre welcome.

 

© by Mike Haberfelner


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Thanks for watching !!!



 

 

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On the same day
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A Killer Conversation

produced by and starring
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directed by
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written by
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