Dwain Esper was a notorious exploitation filmmaker who shot sensationalist films throughout the 1930s that avoided the restrictions of the production code by circumventing conventional distribution channels. Esper would often ‘four-wall’ a theatre – that is rent it privately to show his movies – and showed films at burlesque houses and in carnival tents, always trying to stay one step ahead of the law. His films featured nudity, violence and drug use, and were pretty hot stuff at the time. His most legendary film is the mind-bogglingly lurid Maniac, shot in 1934, while other works include Sinister Harvest (1930), Narcotic (1933), Modern Motherhood (1934), Marihuana – Weed with Roots in Hell (1936), Sex Madness (1938), Curse of the Ubangi (1946) and The Strange Loves of Adolf Hitler (1948). Someone really should write a book about him.
The 1937 short How to Undress in Front of Your Husband is pretty tame stuff compared to his best work, but it’s an undeniably cute slice of exploitation – the title teasing rather more than the comedy film delivers, of course.