Cecil Howard made many of the most thoughtful pornos. Writes the 2/94 AVN, "His brooding, stark, raw voyages into the human sexual psyche, penned by Anne Randall (since she joined forces with him in 1980), were consistently insightful as well as arousing. Cecil managed to corrall memorable and convincing portrayals from performers not noted for their acting talents; people like Joanna Storm (Firestorm)... He managed to contol uncontrollable actors like Jerry Butler (Snake Eyes, Sinners)..."

Howard told author Linda Alexander, "If you went on a percentage deal, you'd strive hard to have a good film because the better the film, the more money you'd make." (Wizard of X, p. 42)

When Howard premiered a movie in New York, he'd rent the theater and plan the promotion campaign to make sure he made lots of money. The usual practice was for directors to pick a play date, and play the movie for a flat fee.

"People like intelligent movies," Howard told Alexander. "I've always felt that there is a double audience. People that go to see an intelligent movie will sometimes laugh at what they think they'll see in an adult movie. I liked to surprise them..." (Ibid, p. 43)

In 1991, Howard released "The Last X-Rated Movie" and left porno for B-grade mainstream films. A cut and paste affair shot in 1987 and put together over three years, X-Rated Movie is "an exceptionally erotic picture with a cohesive story" says AFW. (1996 Directory, p. 259)

After he and his family survived a close encounter with death in a robbery attempt on their home, Howard made the R-rated flick Dead Boyz Can't Fly as a protest against violence. Howard told AVN: "In the interest of showing the horror of violence, we've created an extremely violent film. I was much inspired by Gandhi's quote, 'To understand non-violence, one must first understand violence.' I wanted to shock people, to disturb them, to jolt them into thinking. If the movie succeeds in saving just one person by showing how horrible real violence is, then I've done my job." (AVN 2/94, p. 28)