“I was a stoned out hippie. Movies? Please! I was living in Laurel Canyon and tripping my brains out going to acid tests!”
With that candid statement, time to celebrate the short and provocative career of Cult Movie Queen Erica Gavin!
Celebrating The Wild Career Of Erica Gavin!
I love cult cinema, and love highlighting some of our great Cult Movie Queens!
My “2023 Sex Kitten Countdown” has the story of a great Actress who is now back telling her story!
Erica was born and raised in Hollywood, her father the veteran character actor Fred Graff, and as she said herself, she was a “stoned out hippie” with no thought of going into movies.
When she was 19, Erica danced at a topless bar called Losers – among her fellow dancers were future co-stars Haji and Tura Satana!
Responding to a casting ad, she ended up with the title role in Russ Meyer’s controversial smash hit “Vixen!”
“Vixen” upped the ante at the time by having an “X” rating AND showing much more nudity and sexual situations than seen at the time.
The film was hugely successful, and Gavin became a sensation as well – Russ Meyer was helping sexploitation cinema go mainstream:
Provocative photos like this cemented Erica’s “sex kitten” status, and she followed “Vixen” with a role in Meyer’s “Beyond the Valley of the Dolls” in 1970:
That’s the film co-written by the late film critic Roger Ebert!
Cynthia Myers was also in the film:
She was a finalist for the title of “Playmate Of The Century” as well!
See her credits here!
Gavin had a few other film appearances, but her final big role was in Roger Corman’s “women in prison” classic “Caged Heat!”
Here is the terrific trailer for the film – listen to some of the most “over the top” writing as they describe these women’s desires while caged like animals:
Of course, every “women in prison” film had lots and lots of inmate showers…
This is why that “women in prison” genre was so wild: because while the prisons themselves were hell holes, the inmates were always clean – and naked!
This is one of the better “women in prison” pictures, with a great cast! Roberta Collins was in it as well:
She showered as well of course, just one of her great cult films!
Click here to see more!
So what was next for Erica Gavin?
Nothing! After the release of “Caged Heat”, the Actress abruptly left Hollywood and stayed away for almost 30 years!
She has only recently taken some tentative steps at re-entering the movie business, attending a retrospective of “Vixen”, setting up her own website and being scheduled to attend fan conventions.
She tells her story at her website, which you can see here:
Gavin talks about leaving the business without too much detail about WHY – especially because of the high profile films she was in:
She starred in two Russ Meyer films – Meyer was one of erotic cinema’s greatest Directors:
You can click here to see his greatest hits:
Back to Meyer’s “Beyond The Valley Of The Dolls”:
Actress Dolly Reed made her only screen appearance in that film, but what a life she has had!
Click here to see it all:
If you like these stories, and don’t want to miss any of my “2023 Sex Kitten Countdown”, then go to my website’s front page and sign on to follow me – there are NO ads at all, just lots of stories to come about the wild world of exploitation and cult films!
Click here and see the “follow” button on the upper right!
Bravo to Erica Gavin for coming back and talking about her great career!
Categories: 70's Films, Artsploitation, Camp Cult Classics, Cult Classics, Exploitation Films, Extreme Cinema, Grindhouse, JRsploitation, Nudity, Russ Meyer, sex kittens, Sexploitation Films, Talent / Celebrites
Beyond The Valley Of The dolls is a masterpiece. Long live Russ Meyers!!!!
I remember her well! I used to have every Russ Meyer film on VHS. Loved those ‘bigger’ ladies. 🙂
Best wishes, Pete.
I enjoyed Erica in “Vixen”. She was the ultimate sexual animal!