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The Sinister Urge is another Ed Wood exploitation piece from 1961. This time, the particular vice covered is pornography, and the attendant evils that come from it.

The Cold Open starts with a girl being chased in the park, and reaching a phone booth to call for the police before being murdered. The clues end up leading a couple of righteous police detectives to a pornography syndicate. Can the syndicate be busted before more girls are killed?

For the Mystery Science Theater 3000 version, please go to the episode recap page.

Not to be confused with a Rob Zombie album of the same name.


The Sinister Urge contains the following tropes:

  • All Crimes Are Equal: Making porn, murder, kidnapping, same thing!
  • Author Avatar: Johnny Ride is Ed Wood, with the Reality Subtext that right after The Sinister Urge, Wood's projects were all softcore porn.
  • Break the Cutie: The sequence where Johnny Ride pretends to discover a would-be actress new to the city and tricks her into going so far into debt that he and Gloria can blackmail her into doing porn for them. Inevitably (by the film's logic), Dirk kills her after seeing her pictures, and she ends up as just the latest "Jane Doe" the police have to deal with.
  • Cold Open: The movie dumps us right into a chase scene.
  • Conviction by Contradiction: At the end of the film, Gloria shoots Johnny for asking to meet her backers -- except that she actually shot Dirk, who'd threatened Johnny earlier and shanked him while Gloria was getting her gun. Gloria then calls the police to report that she'd had to shoot Johnny, and talks herself into a corner by the time they finally show her Dirk's body (and Johnny's body stuffed in the bushes).
  • Creator Cameo: Ed Wood is one of the, ahem, "teenagers" fighting at the pizza shop.
  • Dawson Casting: The, ahem, "teenagers" at the pizza shop.
  • Knife Nut: Dirk.
  • No Indoor Voice: Gloria, about 85% of the time.
  • Offscreen Teleportation: Dirk (on foot) beating Johnny (driving) back to Gloria's place.
  • Psycho for Hire: Dirk.
  • Stock Footage: The pizza shop was footage from Rock and Roll Hell, an unfinished Wood project. Wood spliced in Dirk litening in to an ADR, off-camera conversation between two characters.
  • Tempting Fate: Letting someone you know goes Ax Crazy when they see porn work around a porn racket.
  • What Do You Mean It's Not Heinous?: Apparently, taking pictures of girls in bathing suits is an arrestable offense.
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