As a fan of cult cinema, I’m always looking to catch up on obscure films – because there are so many to discover…I appreciate the Facebook fan pages that celebrate these movies, and the stars who appeared in them!
By the way, Grindhouse Pete has this Rene Bond film as part of a great DVD collection…check out his “Grindhouse Purgatory” Facebook page here:
Now, let’s dig into the life and tragic death of a cult movie queen…
Time To Celebrate Rene Bond!
There is always someone I don’t know who has incredible screen presence. For example, I came across Rene Bond, who starred in this goofy exploitation film:
I didn’t realize that Rene had been in a number of cult films in the 70’s – let’s take a look at her wild career – and tragic end.
Here how I found “Fugitive Girls” described:
Perhaps the most accomplished film from Ed Wood collaborator A.C. Stephen (aka Stephen C. Apostolof), FUGITIVE GIRLS is a quick hybrid of action and sexploitation, co-starring Rene Bond and Tallie Cochran, and featuring a typically singular screenplay from Ed Wood himself (who also appears in the film.)
Yes, THE Ed Wood!
Here is the trailer:
This film actually had several titles, like “Five Loose Women” and “Hot on Their Trail” – but “Fugitive Girls” is the most explicit version.
This creative team would come back the next year with “The Cocktail Hostesses”:
Toni is a secretary who is tired of not making much money, even though she is sleeping with her boss. Her girlfriend convinces her to take a job as a cocktail hostess, where she can make a lot of money in tips, and meet a lot of men.
Adult Film Star Rene Bond was unique in many ways, as she acted in films that were “R” rated as well as her “X” rated work…
As IMDB notes in her biography:
Rene Bond entered porn in the late 1960s for the usual reason–money. In her own words:
“I had some friends who were working in porno, and I needed the money. So they said they’d introduce me to some people, and they did. I got used to the money”.
Rene began her career in the low-budget softcore schlock of producer Harry H. Novak, often appearing with her longtime boyfriend Ric Lutze. They would be a regular cinematic pair in both softcore and hardcore films for most of the 1970s.
Here are some examples:
Bond’s crossover success into “R” rated movies was based, in part, on her terrific screen presence!
An industry observer described her as:
“a sinfully sexy and youthful-looking little strumpet whose well-rounded acting skills and vivacious approach to on-screen sexing made her an instant favorite.”
Check Out Rene’s “Runaway Hormones”!
This 1972 exploitation comedy was something she excelled at.
She also had a deft touch with comedy. Her landmark linking segments in “Teen-age Fantasies: An Adult Documentary” (1973) epitomize her knack for coming across as sweet and winsome in even the raunchiest material.
Rene was also incredibly candid – she was one of the first “Adult” stars to have breast implants to cater to what she called the “North American Breast Fetish”.
In 1977 she stated honestly:
“That’s obviously not all from growing. I did have surgery, but that was because I was told there’s a North American Breast Fetish, and that men only like women with big boobs, which is not the case anymore, but then it was. And so I had it done and it changed a lot of things. I did get more work after that.”
Rene Was A Burlesque Star Too!
Rene sang, danced and stripped at Hollywood’s Ivar Burlesque Theater – and legend has it she often brought her father on stage and sang “My Heart Belongs to Daddy” to him!
Rene Bond’s Mysterious Disappearance!
As I said, Rene acted mostly with her longtime boyfriend Ric Lutze. They were a regular pair in both softcore and hardcore films for most of the 1970s. Then, Rene and Ric vanished from the film scene in 1978.
Rene bizarrely showed up a few years later – in 1984 on a TV Game Show! Rene was introduced as a bankruptcy specialist and had a new husband next to her – oh, and she won over $9,000 in cash and prizes!
Rene was seen around Las Vegas throughout the late 1980s and 1990s.
Then, tragedy struck: Rene She died of cirrhosis of the liver on June 2, 1996. She was just 45 years old…
What a sad end to a wildly successful 70’s acting career…for many, working in pornography closes the door to any “regular” film work, but she managed to cross over, thanks to Producers like Harry Novak and Ed Wood.
As Bond herself said about the adult films she made:
“There’s something about the way I work, I guess. I’ve studied myself on screen, watched what I do. I don’t think my body is exquisite and I don’t think I’m beautiful. I think I’m very attractive. I think I’m appreciated, but I don’t think I’m exquisite.”
Some of her “R” rated films are a blast to watch, like this one:
Yes, Rene was in “Invasion Of The Bee Girls!” You can see the trailer here:
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Rene really died far too soon, a sad end to a great collection of films!
RIP Rene Bond…