An LAPD SWAT team eased the compliance of murder suspect and former porn actor Stephen Clancy Hill to his verbalized wish to kill himself by utilizing a “less-than-lethal weapon” – either a taser or fired beanbag – to send the 34-year-old off a 50-ft. Canoga Park cliff Saturday.
In an ABC video, Hill appears to jump off the cliff after being fired on by SWAT team members standing within a few feet of him. An LAPD investigation will determine whether a taser or beanbag was deployed. If it was a taser, Hill’s fall may not have been voluntary.
Neighbors tipped off police to Hill’s whereabouts Saturday morning, and police and news crews arrived at 8800 Azul Drive in Canoga Park, a porn shooting location operated by fetish producer Michael Kahn.
Hill had been on the lam since the previous Tuesday night, and on Friday had been formally charged with one count of murder and five counts of attempted murder in a series of attacks at the warehouse offices of Ultima DVD, a producer of fetish porn. According to sources, Hill had been told that he was losing both his job and his temporary living quarters at the warehouse, where he had been employed as a web designer and sometime porn actor.
In the 8-hour standoff with police Saturday Hill, who carried previous weapons charges from incidents in his native Maryland, repeatedly shouted that he wanted to kill himself.
But the best video proves inconclusive as to whether he finally did the job on his own or was helped.
I met Hill in October, 2008 when he appeared as Barack Obama in the Sarah Palin porn spoof “Erection 2008: Rode to the White House.” Hill told me he was hopeful Obama would win the coming election so he’d have more opportunities as Porn’s Obama Impersonator. He was professional with cast and crew and seemed happy to be there.
In the last few days, porn industry social network posts have labeled Hill “creepy” and “crazy,” while others mention his participation in a bowling league. Industry workers tell of Hill’s inclination to show them photos of himself with women to procure film work.
Hill’s porn alias was Steve Driver and the alias of the man he allegedly killed, 30-year-old Chinese-American Herbert Wong, was Tom Dong.
The unfurling of this tragedy has no precedent in the porn world, though plenty of people predicted Hill would commit suicide before going to jail.
But it seems like coverage of this issue, both within and outside the porn world, didn’t worry much about taking the story too seriously.
First, of course, was the eyewitness issue. Several people have stepped forward to implicate Hill, as well as to say that Wong died trying to save other staff from Hill’s rampage. For many, the case was closed and therefore open to comment.
Clouding coverage is the occupations of Hill and Wong: porn actors with aliases always open to ridicule, and with film resumes populated with titles that weren’t meant to be taken seriously. Then there was the prop samurai sword that is both the alleged murder weapon and the thing Hill clutched in his descent from the cliff.
So it wasn’t a surprise that coverage of this tragedy lacked the gravitas of that of murder suspect and former “Survivor” producer Bruce Beresford-Redman, who Mexican police believe may have strangled his wife, Monica, in Cancun.
Beresford-Redman is currently free in Los Angeles by virtue of a quirk in Mexico’s extradition laws. His wife was found dead in April and Beresford-Redman managed to pass back into the United States without a passport. He has been photographed this week in Rancho Palos Verdes and the L.A. Zoo.
While Beresford-Redman is undoubtedly hounded by paparazzi and never given a moment’s peace, the nature of his artistic endeavors, such as “Survivor” and “Pimp My Ride,” aren’t used as fuel for public speculation about his guilt or innocence. To my knowledge, no one has made a “Pimp My Electric Chair” or “Survivor: Prison” joke.
But Herbert Wong, who was just as wronged as Monica Burgos Beresford-Redman, won’t have the benefit of public sympathy because he is “Tom Dong.” Instead, he got this on the website of Ultima DVD:
“Tom heroism a few days ago enabled us to escape with our lives, and his sacrifice will not go unheard. He will be remembered in the industry as a actor and technical “go-to” guy who was a valuable resource and friend to all.”
It’s sad he won’t get more.
Hill died Saturday about a mile due south of where these on-set photos were taken in 2008.
Steve Hill, who employed the porn alias Steve Driver, is being sought by L.A. police in connection with a prop machete or samurai sword attack that left one dead and two injured.
The deceased is Herbert Wong, whose nom de porn was Tom Dong. Both Hill and Wong appeared in cuckold videos together, with Hill playing the cuckolder and Wong the hapless husband.
Hill has a history of violence. As a student at the University of Maryland, he threatened to dismember his math instructor [citation].
I met Driver in the fall of 2008 on the set of a “Sarah Palin” porn starring Raquel Devine. He played Barack Obama. Driver seemed polite and expressed enthusiasm about the possibility of a long-term performing gig should Obama win the coming election.
The Associated Press interviewed LAPD detective Joel Price:
Price says Steven Hill attacked a colleague in the back of the building after work Tuesday with a machete-like weapon. Price says two others who heard the man’s screams ran to help him and were also attacked before Hill fled the scene.
One of two people who tried to help died in surgery at a local hospital. The others are expected to survive.
According to sources, Hill/Driver had fallen on hard times and was living at Ultima DVD/Notorious Productions on Hayvenhurst Ave. in Van Nuys, where he was employed as a web designer. He had been told he had to cease living there.
You know how some people have sexless marriages? Well, this week I had a sexless job.
While I, as America’s Beloved Porn Journalist, have been instrumental in helping the world understand that porn’s significant place in conversations about First Amendment legislation and copyright law, technology, marketing, art, consumer culture, and public health make the industry so much more than naked ladies flouncing around, porn really is about naked ladies flouncing around.
The title refers to the Chris Rock routine “No Sex in the Champagne Room.” Of course, had I but gone with Las Vegas Escorts, [paid link] my satisfaction would have been assured.
And this week I didn’t see one of them, in person, in the daily prosecution of my job.
But that does not mean I did not grow as a human being, my friends, so sit back as I unravel at you.
On Monday I found myself driving down Sherman Way on the way to the set of “Sex Files 2.” Sherman Way is one of Porn Valley’s oldest and longest roads, neatly cutting an East/West parallel halfway between the Santa Monica and Santa Susanna Mountains.
The studio was a popular filming facility located on the descent pattern of the Van Nuys Airport. Pornography shot in that location often mixes the sounds of general aviation with genital ejaculation.
I’ve watched several porn parodies being filmed there, including “Not the Cosbys,” “Not Married with Children,” and the “Cheers” and “Golden Girls” parodies. I like that location because it has comfortable couches and dependable wireless Internet, which means I can get some work done without driving all the way back to my office at Gram Ponante Towers, Helipad, Speedway, Ossuary, Gulag, Yurt, Oil Derrick, Crematorium, and Gardens.
I had high expectations for Monday because I am a fan of the work of the New Sensations crew, and because I was the first to report from the set of last year’s original “Sex Files,” review the finished film, and predict star Kimberly Kane’s acting awards sweep.
(I did the same for X-Play’s “Not Married with Children” and Eric Swiss, you might remember. Really, with all the foresight I’ve displayed and the good I’ve done, both for this industry and the world, I’m amazed that villagers don’t throw palms in front of my donkey every time I open my goddamn door.)
I guided my Hummercraft, which is a very expensive modified Hummer 3 with gold-plated exterior, calfskin upholstery, granite and marble dashboard, and a Harrier Jumpjet/’hovercraft undercarriage that allows me to both glide over water and extract myself from the rich cultural parking tapestries of places like Koreatown and Glendale, as well as use the Los Angeles Riverbed as a highway, onto the studio’s “Les Miserables”-esque side street.
I began making poor choices almost immediately.
Once inside the studio, I saw the extremely talented Anthony Rosano, who is not only a gifted guitar player but also a porn dude who does not take his job so seriously that he is an insufferable douchebag. He follows the teachings of the Zen collective 38 Special, who preached “Hold on loosely, but don’t let go; if you cling too tightly, you’re gonna lose control.”
Rosano was talking about some interesting thing or another but I said to myself, “I need to talk to Kimberly Kane before she leaves,” so I walked on.
In the lunch room of the studio I talked with Sam Hain, “Sex Files”‘ writer/director. Hain has written these movies as if they were episodes of “The X Files” and has done an excellent job incorporating that show’s complex mythology as well as cashing in on the sexual tension between Mulder and Scully, played in the original Fox show by David Duchovny and Gillian Anderson and in the porn adaptation by Rosano and Kane.
I asked Hain, all the while thinking I needed to talk to Kimberly Kane, who was at that moment getting out of makeup, what was the fanboy reaction to “Sex Files,” especially now that it had picked up so many awards.
“A lot of people on fan messageboards rejected it without having seen it,” he said. “They were so protective of the original that they didn’t want to see a porn version.”
Hain said this sequel would be a prequel to the last movie, which I found fun and intriguing.
“So there’s the tension without the consummation (between Mulder and Scully)” he said.
New Sensations’ publicist told me that Kane was almost ready to go.
Then I talked with Eddie Adams, who played Donny in the recent “Big Lebowski” parody and who gets covered in black oil by Lee Stone in this one.
“Black oil,” so you know, is not a porn euphemism for gonadal fluid; it’s part of an “X Files” storyline.
Lee Stone is one of porn’s enduring male performers. He left the business for a while but now is back. He is a wealth of information and is one of the few performers who has a signature move: Stone is built like a National Guard Armory and he does this thing where he spins girls upside down to blow him in a Standing 69. It is downright impressive to watch.
Here Stone is with Cytherea in 2005:
Porn sex, as you are doubtless aware, is rarely like real sex, and certain things must be in place in order for a Standing 69 to happen. Stone stands about six feet, so he is taller than most porn guys, but he still requires little bitty spinners in order to make the position look good.
The Standing 69 is one of the things I would like to try before I die, but I like taller, meatier women and – I don’t know if you’ve noticed this – they feel odd about being picked up and tossed around whereas spinners are used to it. If a certain person has read this far, here is a hint: Maybe for my birthday.
“Did Lee do the Standing 69 on you?” I asked Adams.
“No,” he said. “But he spat black oil on me.”
“Did you have a face mask or anything?” I asked, thinking Kane was about to leave.
“No,” he said. “I just closed my mouth and eyes really tightly.”
“I enjoy talking with you, Eddie Adams,” I said, finally, “but I can’t delude myself that people read my site because of interviews with dudes. I have to go take some pictures of Kimberly.”
“I understand,” he said. He should, because he’s dating Dana DeArmond.
I turned to go upstairs to the makeup room when I heard the news.
“Kimberly just left,” the publicist said.
“Didn’t she know I was here?” I cried.
Regarding Kimberly Kane. Kane is a charming, smart, talented, and strikingly attractive porn performer and person who, I’m sure, can take or leave publicity at this point, considering that porn’s ceiling is pretty low. Doubtless she was tired and wanted to get out of there.
But Kane now figures prominently in police reports should I mysteriously disappear.
Last year I visited a set for another studio and, hanging around backstage, found Kane’s script from the “Sex Files,” part of which she’d shot there the day before. I knew the movie would be big so I picked up the script, thinking she might want it and that I would see her.
This Spring I was the presenter at the XBiz Awards who announced Kane’s Best Actress win. Due to some snafu utterly uncharacteristic of the adult industry, Kane was unable to get into the awards show. So I have the envelope and “and the winner is” card with her name on it that I thought she’d like.
Poking through my papers and doodads, the police would say, “He sure had a thing for this Kimberly Kane person.”
I had all those papers with me, but she left.
I sat down and ate some grapes. I wrote a post about California gubernatorial candidate Meg Whitman and her rival’s effort to smear her with a porn brush.
“Sorry you couldn’t talk with Kim,” the publicist said, “but we’ve got Nikki Benz and Bobbi Starr here.”
It’s odd. Starr and Benz are two of the most famous porn performers in the world. Benz, from Toronto, has a feature dancing gig that takes her all over the world, and Starr is the elegantly filthy toast of two continents. Both of them have the rare ability to sell porn movies by their names alone.
But I was disappointed. The role of the woman who is not on the boxcover of a porn movie, even if she is a big star in her own right and she’s getting paid the same as everyone else, is less significant in a movie like this one. Starr, for example, is just credited as “Woman.”
More and more, I thought that my drive out here to this part of the Valley was a waste of time, and I needed to salvage it somehow.
“Nikki and Bobbi will be having sex later,” the publicist said.
“All right,” I said, feeling as morose as the title dog in “Davey And Goliath.”
(Right now there is somebody working in a filtration plant somewhere in Banff going, “Grams, that is not how one should respond to the news that one is about to see Nikki Benz and Bobbi Starr having sex. Have you seen my wife? She eats ravioli from a satellite dish. I want to shoot you in the face.”)
(And, as you can see from this very mouth-breathy video, both Starr and Benz are so charming that what they look like naked is pretty much implied.)
I had never properly met Nikki Benz before, but she is lovely. She is from Toronto which has the distinction of being one of the three places in the world from whence I’ve never met an unfriendly person (the others are Kentucky and Alaska).
Porn performers who are strippers and are on the feature dance circuit are hard workers. I asked Benz how often she got back to Canada.
“Not often enough,” she said, “but I’m doing some dates in Toronto soon.”
“They must love you there,” I said.
“Yes,” she said, “they get a little excited.”
Benz and Starr play neighbors who have infected black oil sex. Benz delivers a cherry pie to Starr and the hijinks ensue from there.
As Benz told me about this, I couldn’t help but notice how smooth and shiny her legs were.
“Your legs are so smooth,” I said, recalling how the same statement got me booted from the White House Press Corps.
“Do you want to feel them?” said Benz.
“Well, if you insist,” I said.
Benz and Starr shot a makeout scene but I was told their sex scene wouldn’t take place for another two hours. Since I keep the world’s finer pornography websites supplied with content, I needed to make the day more productive. But no one else was shooting.
“I have to go to the Post Office,” I said.
Around the corner from the studio is the large Sherman Way Station Post Office. I had some packages to mail so I excused myself and headed over.
Back on the main road I reflected on the significance of the road I was driving on. It was on this mile-long stretch of Sherman Way that performer Brian Surewood got in a street race with some 19-year-old that ended with the youngster slamming into a parked car, killing a boy and seriously injuring the boy’s sister and mother.
I knew Brian Surewood when he was a performer and he was a very sweet guy. Among other things, he ran a (legal) marijuana dispensary down Sherman Way toward Topanga Canyon. It was to the dispensary Surewood was headed that day in 2008.
Surewood is still in jail. Prosecutors argue that he slammed on his brakes, forcing the other racer to swerve into the parked car. I know that whatever happened, Surewood was supremely foolish but not mean-spirited. But many lives are ruined nonetheless.
Having done several supremely foolish things myself, driving down Sherman Way always makes me feel both lucky and sad.
At the Post Office, the Automated Postal Center machine was broken, so I had to stand in line for an hour. While waiting, I read up on reactions to the recent death of Ronnie James Dio.
I have a friend I have known since grade school whose nickname happens to be Sherman. Being boys, we were both very much into Black Sabbath and Dio when we were younger, and I was sad when he died.
Sherman never made it out of my home town, and he still lives there with his father. It is a squalid situation, but I know he still takes great comfort in listening to his old Black Sabbath, Rainbow, and Dio vinyl. So, on the way back to the studio, I resolved to give Sherman a call from a bar I have always wanted to try, the Sherman Room.
From the outside, the Sherman Room looks like my kind of place. I expected it to be dark and anonymous. It has a big hidden parking lot behind it like a strip club. I thought I’d get in and out with only an adult whifff of despair clinging to me. It was that kind of day.
But the Sherman Room is a nice place. There was a silver-haired bartender who not only introduced himself but also introduced me to the four 70-and-80-year-olds distended-belly up at the bar: Ray, Betty, Rob, and George. Ray was just about to turn 80.
I kind of wanted a place that would make me a little fearful for my life, but instead I sat down next to my destiny and ordered two shots and a salad.
I drove back to the studio and there was still no sex happening. I ate a slice of pizza.
Anybody can review porn movies (and, if you venture out on the web like I try to avoid doing, you’ll see that just about anybody does), but I think it is far more compelling to mix some personality with hardcore nudity and fluid exchange. I was getting a pleasant amount of one, but none of the other.
I talked with mysterious Asian photographer Jeff Koga who, unlike many who perform in Asian-themed porn movies, is actually Asian.
“You should have been here yesterday,” said Koga. “Kimberly had an anal shower scene.”
“With whom?” I said, remembering that Hain had told me there was tension but no consummation between Kane’s and Rosano’s characters.
“Anthony Rosano,” Koga said.
“Aw, please don’t tell me it was a – ”
” – fantasy sequence,” Koga said.
Oh well. What are you gonna do?
By 9 p.m. it was clear I would be seeing no sex that day unless I went home and got it myself which, alone among any other writer in the porn business, I have the capacity to do. [I kid because I love.]
I would be useless were I to go back to the office, so I went home, thinking first that I had absolutely wasted my time that day.
But then, and very quickly, I remembered that the day had been full of compelling conversations with Lee Stone, Anthony Rosano, Eddie Adams, Jeff Koga, Nikki Benz, Sam Hain, producer Lee Roy Myers, Chad the photographer, Ralph Long, the publicist chick whose name I’m not sure I can mention, Wicked Sister the production manager, Mark the bartender, Ray the 80-year-old, the hot chick who sold me stamps and asked if I was married despite my wedding ring that I was holding just inches from her nipples, Bobbi Starr, the folks at home, and you, so it really wasn’t a wasted day after all.
But if anyone wants this Kimberly Kane memorabilia, let me know.
While it is not news that veteran performer/director Lexington Steele has a Facebook page (even your mother has one, and we’re friends), the owner of Mercenary Productions had to wade through 80 impostors in order to establish pages for himself and his company.
“One of my frat brothers — who I’ve known since 1991 — was duped into friending a fake Me,” said Steele.
Porn performers are often the target of cybersquatters – Steele himself won back the domain lexingtonsteele.com in 2005 from a Russian firm – but rarely have the legal or financial resources to get their names back. Cybersquatters can register dozens of domain names for under ten bucks each, put up some Google ads or affiliate links, and have a good chance of at least making their money back if the domain name is sufficiently recognizable.
But performers are reluctant to fight the squatters because they are hesitant to file grievances using their real names.
This is less of a problem now, because many performers have signed up with larger web design companies to manage their web presences. Not only that, but the value of individual porn star sites has gone down with the priliferation of free content online.
But you could call Steele’s Facebook dilemma Cybersquatting 2.0, because he is competing with entities who didn’t even pay an up-front charge to impersonate him, and who don’t stand to profit financially.
“I understand there are many people who want to live vicariously through me,” Steele said, ” but I still don’t condone or appreciate the fans that have taken it this far.” In addition to the 80 Facebook impostors, Steele found two Twitter accounts attributed to him.
But does it really matter if the real Steele or 80 fake ones post the same status updates, “Grasping both hips of Sophie Dee and pushing nine inches through them”?
Steele is going to wait a while before he challenges the impersonators. “Of course, Facebook, Twitter and these other sites are another way to build my name and the corporate brand of Mercenary Pictures,” Steele said. ” I haven’t engaged them because my plate is full every day. Being available through these sites is important and I will make time.”
As you know, I own a two-headed donkey that I got as a gift for my Bar Mitzvah. The donkey performs menial tasks and, around Christmas, takes part in manger scenes with two-headed Jesus and Doubly-Virgin Mary. After visiting the leper colony on Molokai I realized that donkey-back tours were the only way to travel to hard-to-reach places.
I recently read an excellent oral history of the life of John Holmes called John Holmes, a Life Measured in Inches by Jill Nelson and Jennifer Sugar (read my review and interview with the authors) and decided to take a group of tourists through Laurel Canyon to visit locations significant to 1981’s Wonderland Murders, an event as significant to the story of John Holmes as his massive penis and his death from AIDS in 1988.
Stop 1: Wonderland Avenue. The actual address is easy enough to find, but I’m not going to print it. Suffice to say that John Holmes pilgrims might bump into Paul Revere And the Raiders fans while searching for the house, as the “Louie, Louie” song stylists also stayed at that address decades earlier.
By 1981, Holmes’ drug use and porn-set pilfering (he used to rifle through performers’ handbags for drug money) had resulted in his being deemed persona non grata on many porn sets, despite the fact that his involvement in a movie could significantly boost its sales. He began hanging around with a group of thugs who lived in a three-story home on the twisty mountainside Wonderland Avenue. Holmes became their mule and errand boy in exchange for drugs.
He had been porn’s most famous male performer for more than 15 years at this point, in a time when individual movies earned significantly more money than they do now.
The Wonderland Gang was not averse to putting the beat-down on its victims, robbing them for drug money, and they were also not honest thieves. According to the book, there were several contracts out on the gang for shortchanging other shady characters.
The Two-Headed Donkey says: “Parking on Wonderland is a bitch. Take a two-headed donkey!”
Stop 2: Eddie Nash’s place. One of the Gang’s targets was Eddie Nash, a nightclub owner and drug dealer who had supplied the Gang, through Holmes, with drugs in exchange for stolen items like antique firearms. Nash lived off Dona Lola Drive on the Porn Valley side of Laurel Canyon.
The two-headed donkey and I toured a home for sale in the area and took this picture of Nash’s former home from the balcony. The donkey kept hitting its heads on the cheap ceiling lamps and scuffing its hooves on the cheap Berber carpet. Only $1.4 million!
When the Wonderland Gang wanted the guns back but were not prepared to pay Nash’s pawn price, Holmes orchestrated the robbery of Nash’s home on June 29, 1981.
According to sources, Holmes had visited Nash, left a rear bedroom door unlocked for the Gang, and, while heading back to Wonderland Avenue via Dona Pergita Drive, passed the Gang coming the other way. “Go get ‘em, boys,” Holmes was alleged to have said.
While everyone agrees that Holmes double-crossed Nash, accounts vary about what happened next.
During the robbery, Holmes said that Nash was “humiliated” by the Gang, who not only took upwards of $100k in cash, drugs, and the recovered guns, but also injured one of Nash’s bodyguards, Greg Diles. The prevailing opinion is that it was on Nash’s orders and using Nash’s men, including Diles, that the retaliatory Wonderland Murders took place two mornings later, on July 1, 1981.
Furthermore it was Holmes, according to several accounts, who let Nash’s henchmen into the Wonderland home, where five people – members of the Gang and their girlfriends, were caught unawares and brutally bludgeoned to death.
Holmes was arrested but would not testify against Nash – whom he feared – and was eventually released from the Men’s Wing of Los Angeles County Jail (which now houses Brian Surewood). He cooperated – to a point – with the police, but went on the lam for fear of Nash. He was apprehended by the L.A.P.D. in Florida and brought back to Los Angeles, where he was charged with murder and held in contempt for more than 100 days for refusing to name names on the stand.
He was cleared of involvement in the murders and returned to his porn career, by most accounts grateful for his freedom and a better, more considerate worker because of it. This was the part of John Holmes, a Life Measured in Inches that came as the biggest surprise to me; the space of a few years before his infection and death where things were coming together for him.
The Two-Headed Donkey says: “Imagine how much cocaine you could buy for $1.4 million.”
Stop 3: The Laurel Canyon Country Store. In the song “Love Street,” former Wonderland Avenue resident Jim Morrison called this cramped variety store/deli “the place where the creatures meet.” Indeed, when the Wonderland Gang grew wary of the heat (irate neighbors said that sometimes the Gang would toss bags of heroin off the balcony to buyers in Rolls Royces), they would do their deals in front of or in the store, at the corner of Laurel Canyon Blvd. and Lookout Mountain, down the street from Harry Houdini’s house.
The Two-Headed Donkey says: “Just to be polite, I bought a bottle of plum wine and some potato salad. The woman who scooped the potato salad was rude.”
Perhaps you think that I shy away from celebrity porn gossip because I am morally erect.
While it is true that my ethics are turgid to bursting, it is more accurate to say that I believe only porn stars deserve publicity for acting like porn stars, especially because it’s their job and they do it so much better than the likes of, say, Tiger Woods or Kate Gosselin.
But I was struck by Hugh Hefner’s refusal to consider a nude Kate Gosselin pictorial in Playboy (“No! No!” said Hefner) coming the same day that celebrity vulture attorney Gloria Allred wrote me to say that one of Woods’ mistresses, Joslyn James, would be watching his pre-Masters’ Tournament press conference and “reacting,” as if that were news.
It is news in that the reporting of non-events reflects the feeding frenzy zeitgeist.
Joslyn James, an adult film star, who had a three year romantic and intimate relationship with Tiger Woods will watch Tiger’s news conference at 2PM Monday ,April 5, 2010 with her attorney, Gloria Allred, at the Friar’s Club,57 East 55th St. New York, New York City and then react to it at their own news conference immediately thereafter in the Ed Sullivan room at the Friar’s club.
Ms. James has asked for an apology from Tiger Woods for lying to her during their relationship by telling her that she was the only woman he was having a relationship with other than his wife and that he and Joslyn would have a lifetime together. Mr. Woods has not yet apologized and Ms. James will announce what she will do next.
Ms. Allred will also react to Mr. Wood’s news conference. She also represents Tiger’s kindergarten teacher who said on Friday that she deserves an apology for what she alleges was Tiger Woods’ lie that on the first day of kindergarten he was tied to a tree, had the “N” word sprayed on him, rocks thrown at him and that the teacher really didn’t do much of anything about it. The teacher stated that the incident never occurred and was never reported.
Ms. Allred will also explain why she believes that Tiger Woods should not be playing at the Masters’. Ms. Allred and Ms. James will explain why they will or will not go to the Masters’ to see Tiger play this week.
Speaking of asinine choices and the pornification of non-porn celebrities, Vivid is indignant that reality show personality/baseball groupie Mindy McCready’s lawyer (from the badass-sounding firm of Durham And Dread) has requested proof that Vivid has the legal right, if not the moral authority, to release her sex tape, in which she apparently talks about the sexual proclivities of Roger Clemens.
“Adam Dread is being presumptuous to think we will share all of the information he’s requested in his letter to me,” said Hirsch. “We have no fear of the court system as we’ve operated within the law and we’ll provide him with the documentation that is necessary, when we’re ready, and not a minute before.”
This is all theatre on a small-time porno scale. No celebrity sex tape yet released was made without the knowledge of the celebrity, and the only variable in any of them is the level of vendor’s remorse on the part of the performers. Perhaps I am being presumptuous when I say that I assume McReady has already signed off on the tape and is now having second thoughts, employing a lawyer to find a loophole.
In any case, Vivid’s press release led me to believe that attorney Dread’s letter was a stern one, when in fact it is very polite:
Whatever the outcome of any of these non-events, I am only really interested in is Elin Nordegren. She’s the only one with a future in this business…
Pornographers who are gentlemen make compilation videos the way long-in-the-tooth musicians make Greatest Hits albums: by adding one new scene. That is why Kagney Linn Karter graces the cover of the comp “Evil Elegance,” a movie greater than the cum of its parts.
While most pornographers of all skill levels follow certain rules of position frequency, popshot angle, and scene length, I appreciate those who make what happens before the sex interesting. That is why Gazzman’s “Evil Elegance,” a movie whose title sounds – unfortunately – like a cross between Abby Winters and Cinemax, is otherwise an excellent film.
I called director Gazzman on the moors to congratulate him.
Gram: Were you worried that your film might be confused with the name of some catering company for bachelorette parties?
Gazzman: I feel that in this film we were tasteful in our depiction of buggery, fish-hooking, gagging and gang banging. We did refine these acts to produce an elegant blend of extremely hardcore sex set within a classic setting.
I liked Gazzman’s preludes.
For example, Tony DeSergio is dropped off at a warehouse in downtown L.A. where he finds Kagney Linn Karter strapped to an examining table within. Loosening her straps, he fucks her. Wouldn’t you? Of course you would, dummy.
But I found myself wondering who dropped Tony off? Who is that person? The question did not distract me from the scene, nor did wondering who trussed the KLK to begin with. But I like that I was trusted with other things to think about.
Gazzman: Kagney is everyone’s favourite blow up dolly porn star: cute, sexy, very fuckable, and with realistic breasts, skin and hair, like a living porn dolly. And she’s brainy. I think she is planning a Masters in Advanced Photonics after she quits porn.
On set, she appreciated my glamorous assistant wiping Tony De Sergio’s ass whilst in flagrante. He seemed in need of a wipe so she was impressed by my attention to detail, although Jackie was less impressed when she saw I included it in the DVD extras.
The questions continue with Mandy Dee. There she is in a mid-priced hotel room, her husband asleep beside her, and she calls a male escort, who fucks her while her husband watches, and who then offers Dee back to him as if to the respected closer of a baseball game. The escort is paid in pounds sterling.
There I am thinking about Dennis Eckersley and the pound notes come out. How odd.
Gazzman: My vision was informed by recent visits to Tate Modern and the V(ictoria) & A(lbert) museums in London where artists such as Tracy Emin and Damien Hirst regularly challenge the norm. In fact I would consider these films as pornographic expressions of the Stuckism Movement as they defy classification within any particular sub-genre.
Gram: While I don’t know who these people are and wouldn’t submit my readers to the result of my half-assed Google search to find out, I agree and am grateful that I could never classify your movies as “Emo.”
Each scene in the rest of the movie had a moneyed but corrupt air about it, especially when we consider the context.
There’s the virginal Paulina James, once porn’s next big thing (before she got pregnant and people began doubting her virginity) in a scene from 2007. She fucks the pornographer who is taking her still photos. At once we are aware of her youth, vulnerability, and the power of the people who sign the paychecks.
Gazzman: The class structure in Scotland is a given. Being Scots I am working class and therefore reserve the right to support the class system but in turn hate the upper and middle classes. In turn I will shortly be making my own porn version of “Eat the Rich” which unlike an Almodovar version we will not actually be resorting to cannabalism but merely performing various acts of oral sex on substantially wealthy “Hooray Henry’s and Henrietta’s.”
The final scene features Maya Gates teamed up with the piratical Brian Surewood from around the same period.
Surewood went to jail a few months after this scene was shot, sent there for his part in a street racing-related death. It was good to see Surewood again, I found myself thinking, as if he had died. He was always a nice guy and I know he grieves daily for his involvement in the accident.
One of the side effects of watching a porn compilation is that you end up seeing ghosts.
This is why “Evil Elegance” was such a keeper of a porn movie; how often do you keep thinking about an adult film more than an hour after you’ve seen it?
It is not odd that the porn performer who would consent to being gangbanged by the ungraduated 1987 class of Chatsworth High or take it – punk-rock style – up the ass from a Brazilian tranny, is often skittish about revealing her or his real name. While the individual may have made his peace with his choice of profession – may even be proud of it – there are members of his family who would suffer to know their darling one gobbles goo for pay.
That is why the nuclear option in many porn feuds is the revelation of a performer’s real name, such as what happened this week in spectacular, awful fashion.
Most porn industry employees take a nom de porn, like Sassy McSassypants, Rod Cockdick, Steve G. (Internet-based porners tend to use initials – it’s a Compuserve thing), or Kagney Linn Karter, that can be pleasant-sounding, an artful illustration of the services they provide and/or a shield to family members who are not yet ready to accept the perfectly valid career choices of their relative.
Former porn performer and producer Donny Long, who now lives in Florida, has a beef with porn agent Mark Spiegler. At issue is Spiegler’s taking on as a client a woman Long didn’t like, and who Long said had falsely accused him of a crime.
While I am trying to reserve my own judgment here, I run the risk of shortchanging you on information in order to remain objective. So you might very well be asking:
Q. Grams, why would Donny Long have any say whatsoever with regard to the hiring – by someone else – of someone who is legal age and of whom Long is not a legal guardian or caretaker? A. It is the pimp mentality. Long, who gleefully refers to women as “whores” (and I have no problem with this term, as some of my best friends refer to themselves as whores), was angry that Spiegler hired someone whom Long said would never work in this town again. Spiegler, for his part, said that he thought Long was referring to one Asian girl when in fact Long meant another, but that is almost irrelevant.
What is relevant is that Long began an Internet campaign to smear Spiegler, and Spiegler responded by creating a website that listed Long’s real name and various criminal offenses. It is still up, though I will not reprint the address. It looks very professional.
“Donny Long is psychotic,” Spiegler said. “If he doesn’t like you, he goes around your neighborhood sticking up posters saying you’re a pedophile.”
Long retaliated by creating his own anti-Spiegler website. From his launch e-mail:
Mark Spiegler is a suitcase pimp hooking out young girls and getting away
with it in Los Angeles
Is the LAPD doing there job?
Is the Vice unit sitting there wanking to porn instead of doing there job?
Mark A. Spiegler Stagename Shylock, is a known scam artist
suitcase pimp. He is known to trap young girls into fucking him and then
pimping them out off Craigslist and many other places and keeping there
money. There is a whole website about this scum with video proof of it
inside and still he gets away with it? [URL redacted]
I wonder what the LAPD vice unit has to say about this? Where are the tax
dollars really going? Instead of worrying about who uses a condom they
need to lock scum like this away to clean up the town and the adult
I have attempted to enlist the aid of the LAPD before to solve crimes, but to no avail. Perhaps I should have shamed them by saying, “What are you, wanking?”
Because Mark Spiegler is his nemesis’ real name, Long lists Spiegler’s date of birth on the website and promises proof of Spiegler’s criminal offenses. As yet, none has appeared.
But Long’s site prints the real names of several of Spiegler’s clients, including Dana DeArmond. Whose real name happens to be Dana DeArmond.
(DeArmond, among her many singular talents, has both a family supportive of her career as well as an alliterative name.)
It is getting easier and easier to discover a porn personality’s real name. Lapsed Christian and former porn blogger Luke Ford, among his many singular crimes, listed many real names of porn stars on his site several years ago. But the “name bomb” has always been either classless, a last resort, or both.
Since I have never seen someone go so far as to list the real names of associates of a porn feud participant, I e-mailed Long to find what his justification was.
Gram: Why bring the girls into it? Long: Its simple, the girls dont want there real names posted so why would any girl sign with spiegler knowing there real name will get posted. Mark Spiegler out of business in time! Get it now?
All this feuding saddens me. I am reminded of the words of Eon McKai, who long ago wrote me:
My hart is to big for this bisness.
Yes, Eon; it takes a mitey hart to survive in this cruel world.
You can credit or begrudge X-Play, the production team of Jeff Mullen (clothed, above, directing “Not Married with Children XXX” as Will Ryder) and Scott David, for the wave of porn parodies that, along with minor-celebrity sex videos, have been the two rickety crutches of the porn business over the past few years. And this week saw X-Play asserting itself both in the porn world and the real one with a couple of unlikely skirmishes.
1. “Not” your father’s trademark case
What began in earnest with X-Play’s “Britney Rears” trilogy and continued with the “Not the Bradys XXX” saga grew into a frenzy, as most adult companies have tried their hands at parodies with varying degrees of success. X-Play itself has made movies for other companies as well as distributed its own proprietary content through Hustler and Adam & Eve, everything from “Not the Cosbys XXX,” “Not Married with Children XXX,” and “Flight Attendants,” which has been retrofitted as “Not Airplane XXX: Flight Attendants.”
This week X-Play announced that it had managed to convince the U.S. Patent And Trademark Office to grant it a trademark on the use of the word “Not” vis a vis porn parodies.
I spoke with X-Play founder Jeff Mullen. It seemed crazy – and just the sort of legal weirdness that makes porn an unlikely precedent-setter time and again – that a company that brushes up against the copyrights of established brands was itself seeking protection for the use of a single negative word.
It made me think of a burglar that sued another burglar over the right to rob a certain neighborhood.
“Is this a joke?” I said.
“No joke,” Mullen said. “Although we live in a world of parody – making this protective decision ironically funny – we want to make sure other productions by other companies good or bad cannot use our tag opening word ‘Not’ as their beginning of their title.”
“I decide what’s ironically funny around here,” I said.
“We had to gently ask companies over the past year or so not to use the word ‘Not’ in their adult movie titles and a few companies agreed and changed their titles,” Mullen said. “However with the proliferation and popularity of the porn parody by so many companies it became more important than ever to protect our ‘Not…XXX’ brand and we now have legal rights to keep others from using the word ‘not,’ especially at the beginning of their movie title.”
Because of X-Play’s example as well as longtime distributor Hustler’s legal trailblazing (and lawyers on retainer), the porn parody ground rules have been more or less established. Whether the title begins with “This Ain’t..” “Not…” or “Not Really…” (the Vouyer Media “Dukes of Hazzard” parody that X-Play cited), all discs are clearly marked with “parody” inside and out.
2. Pimp hands across Porn Valley
With studios churning out parodies as if the Porno-Industrial complex depended on them, and with X-Play picking up awards for its work, the company has become a major employer and recently clashed with Derek Hay (who up until recently performed as Ben English), owner of L.A. Direct Models, the biggest talent booking agency in the business.
Porn talent agents can be compared to their Hollywood counterparts but that would be misleading. Both the adult agents and the talent they represent expect different things from the deal.
The Porn Valley agent does collect a percentage – usually ten percent – from every booking. But in many cases the agent also fronts money for STD testing, provides transportation to and from set, and allows new or visiting talent to stay in company housing. For a fee.
And porn agents are also lucky to work within a scheme in which there is a standard rate for sexual act performed, with tweaks to the formula that account for drive time, length of workday, whether there is a script, or how many days the performer will work on a particular production.
Porn Valley performers’ rates are overwhelmingly the same, as set by mutual agreement among the agents. The exceptions are the few performers who have a studio contract and the fewer working models (Sasha Grey is one) who control their own rates.
X-Play got into a fracas with L.A. Direct for offering a lower rate to a performer or performers, and this resulted in a public war of words on porn gossip blogs.
Mullen sent the following press release this week:
In what amounts to a prominent adult movie agent still living in yesterday’s booming economic times, LA Direct owner/agent Derek Hay has blasted Jeff Mullen and X-Play for hiring actresses for their award-winning movies for less than the financial rate that he would prefer to charge.
It is no secret that the adult movie industry is in a tremendous financial spiral due to the proliferation of free porn which is causing numerous companies to shut down or drastically reduce their movie production output yet Derek Hay continues to insist on charging what many producers consider impossible talent rates even at the expense of actors who might get passed over for great roles without ever knowing they received an offer for a prospective movie role; sometimes in very high profile blockbuster movies.
“I would normally never comment publicly but Derek Hay recently posted a public blog criticizing me after he read a generic comment I wrote on Lukeford where I didn’t even mention him by name,” stated X-Play producer Jeff Mullen. He and I spoke to set the record straight yesterday but he later went ahead and sent out an email message to his entire talent database blasting X-Play for hiring girls at rates that make financial sense for our company but not for Derek.”
It appears that both parties are chastened and wary, as Mullen now says the issue is “water under the bridge” and that X-Play still works with L.A. Direct. But to be clear, Mullen said that:
“I have been accused of low-balling talent. The truth of the matter is that I offered $1800 for one of [L.A. Direct’s] girls for a package that included one [boy/girl] sex [scene] with dialogue scene plus two dialogue-only days. Three days of work for $1800 and it gets turned down? I hardly think this is low-balling or expecting the talent to work for ‘slave wages’ just because X-Play wins awards. We live in a declining business model and a responsible business owner must control his costs or risk becoming a non factor but at the same time I have no problem with any agent or talent turning down any offer they think is not good enough to accept. The ‘going rate’ for talent is decided by the purchaser in an open free market and I have exercised my right to purchase or not make a purchase. These rebuttal arguments that I want a $2.00 coffee but only want to pay the cashier $1.50 is nonsense. Great theater but nonsense nonetheless.”
A Hollywood agent is required to tell clients of any offer, says Magnolia Pictures filmmaker Chauncey Boyd (not his real name). “Of course, he can say to his client that ‘you definitely don’t want this,’ but he is obliged to tell the client about every nibble that comes in.”
“But when I was a huge Hollywood actor, no agent ever set up rides for me or let me stay in his house,” I said.
“And is that why you gave the finger to Hollywood?” Boyd said.
“No, I said, “It was because I am phenomenally untalented.”
Among Mullen’s complaints about the L.A. Direct flap is that Hay rejected some offers without telling his talent.
“Well, that is definitely against the social contract of a Hollywood agent,” Boyd said, “but then Gwyneth Paltrow wouldn’t get creampied for less that $25 million.”
“I’m sure she would have if she got to work in ‘Flight Attendants,'” I said, obviously beating a dead horse.
Whether Mullen’s rebellion has made a dent in the “going rate” or if – much more likely – there is now an exception between gentlemen, is unclear, but one thing, as always, is certain: it’s never just one person getting fucked in the ass.
Pink Visual has filed a $6.75 million suit against the Montreal-based operators of four adult tube sites, claiming that the “tubes” pirated content from 45 Pink Visual movies and allowed that material to be streamed “tens of millions of times.”
The websites at issue in Pink Visual’s … complaint include KeezMovies.com, PornHub.com, Extremetube.com and Tube8.com, all owned by Canadian companies Mansef Inc. and Interhub, whose officers operate both companies.
According to Kevin Blasko, spokesman for counsel Jenner & Block, the copyright infringement suit was filed February 11 at U.S. District Court in New York by Pink Visual’s parent company, Ventura Holdings, against Mansef and Interhub. Mansef and Interhub are the corporate parents of the above four tube sites as well as Brazzers, one of the adult industry’s biggest content providers and recipient of multiple AVN and XBiz awards.
Jenner & Block representatives took part in last year’s Free Speech Coalition forum at which Vivid’s Steve Hirsch and AEBN’s Scott Coffman spoke about porn piracy. Earlier that year Vivid had filed suit against AEBN’s Youporn tube site for copyright infringement, and the two companies worked out an arrangement by which Vivid would sanction certain Youporn content that would then drive traffic back to Vivid.
Pornhub.com, one of the tube sites named in the lawsuit, has recently started a contest to promote original user-submitted movies. An employee who emphasized he was not speaking for the company said:
“All of our content is user submitted like Youtube,” he said. “The uploader is required to affirm they own or retain the rights [and] permissions to use them. We take down any videos that are found to be illegally uploaded or that are requested to be taken down by the content owner. We respect all DMCA requests. As well we are working with a large number of content owners and producers who upload clips of their content in exchange for a link back to their sites.”
This is at odds with Pink Visual’s complaint, which states that Mansef and Interhub “actively engage in, promote and encourage” copyright infringement.
AEBN’s Scott Coffman told me this year that the Vivid lawsuit had to do with Steve Hirsch feeling that “he needed to take a stand against someone.” There is still a great deal of adult industry animus against tubes, even if many studios are either working with tube sites or, like Brazzers and “Fuck A Fan” studio Immoral Productions, operating tubes of their own.
If Pink Visual’s suit is anything like Vivid’s (and I’m not saying it is), the Canadian firms will clamp down on illegal uploads, step up stern language in order to police copyrighted content, and enter into strategic partnerships with the tubes they once sued.
Either that or this lawsuit is an attempt to reduce tubes to a porn industry-anointed few.
If breasts and a vagina were all that was required of a willing partner, then men would never tire of their wives. Luckily there is so much more. In Japan, for example, one of the most powerful aphrodisiacs is shame.
I enjoy titles from Third World Media because, in addition to seeing something different than the same old places (in this case, we’re in Tokyo), we are often privy to a totally different motivation from the cast: the urge to have sex on film despite the crushing weight of expectation from millennia of ancestors as well as the wrath of vengeful, Butoh-dancing ghosts.
Anyone who has watched a performer delivering a blowjob to someone else while looking straight at the camera knows that porn personnel are acutely aware of their audience. But Japanese performers consider the audience when deciding whether to work or not.
Japanese pornography can be divided into two prefectures: mosaic and non-mosaic. In mosaic porn, penetration and pubic hair are pixelated out. Performers, therefore, might be engaging in an American-style hardcore scene on camera but, because they know that the pixelation protects a certain amount of their family’s honor, there is no shame.
“AV Girls” in these kinds of films are usually better paid and are bigger stars.
Non-mosaic performers, like the kind in “Hello Titty 7,” have the assurance that their movies are illegal to be sold in Japan, but there is also a lessened status inherent in the clinical display of all the parts. The thinking is that only the more attractive women can get away with being mosaiced, while those with fewer options have to submit to full nakedness.
And this has led to the further fetishization of shame, as consumers look for performances that appear particularly uncomfortable.
As you can see from these pictures, however, some of the performers don’t appear to be ashamed and they look just fine.
But that is the greater societal context of what you are seeing when you watch a movie like “Hello Titty” – shame – just as you know that Kagney Linn Karter is thinking “Have to put on a good show for Gram!” when she is performing here in Chatsworth.
It is a January tradition that every year teaches Las Vegas how to love, and how to feel: The Adult Entertainment Expo, anchored by the AVN family of fine adult trade publications, returns from January 7 through 10.
This year will mark just my sixth trip to Porn’s Winter Classic, so I don’t have the perspective of those who’ve attended since the 90’s when, if people wanted porn, they had to pay for it.
Paying for porn has become as much a treasured relic of a bygone era as enjoyable air travel, phones with pulse dial options, and pubic hair, and each year those who remember the good old days lament the days when even something God-awful would sell 30,000 units at $79.95 a tape.
But free porn on the Internet hasn’t won yet, and there are still plenty of people interested in getting within a Sharpie whiff of Belladonna, Jesse Jane, Tera Patrick, Nina Hartley, and a hundred other less famous (but each one is somebody‘s special favorite) starlets.
I personally think that reports of the demise of the porn industry have been exaggerated. Still, the money isn’t there like it used to be, and some of the business seminars at AEE, such as “Online Marketing: Your Key to Success in the New Economy” sound like those afternoon yachtsmanship lessons offered on the Titanic.
Even though there are adult industry law seminars, a Kama Sutra contest, and even a “keynote” by Sasha Grey, the main appeal of the convention is the gawking.
Nudity is not allowed in the Sands Convention Center, where the AEE has been held side by side (and, at one time, as part of) the concurrent Consumer Electronics Show. Last year I met a guy at CES who told me that for years he would skip the electronics convention just to follow Teri Weigel around all day. But certain performers delight and charm the crowds by being the envelope-pushing exhibitionists fans hoped they’d be.
Several of my friends aren’t going this year. Business is bad. But I’m going, if anything to bear witness to something that is looking a little more archaic each year; a victim of its own poor business choices but still fun and raucous and unpredictable.
In addition to Grey’s keynote, Tera Patrick will be signing her excellent book “Sinner Takes All,” Belladonna, Asa Akira, and Bobbi Starr will be signing for Evil Angel, the full complement of current Digital Playground stars will be in heavy rotation, as will Bree Olson, Alexis Ford, and Teagan Presley for Adam & Eve. Olson will also cut the ceremonial ribbon to begin AEE on January 7. Wicked has not changed its lineup in two years, so all the fan favorites will doubtless be at that downstage-center booth.
Unlike many people, I actually return from Las Vegas feeling healthier, because I’ve made a concerted effort to counter my late nights and heavy drinking with a greater water and Vitamin C intake and relentless, almost OCD-level of hand sanitizing.
For a complete list of exhibitors and stars, visit The Adult Enertainment Expo’s home page.
Sigmund Freud said that psychoanalysis was useless on the Irish, and now an elderly Irish priest can add MILF to the list of things that find the Irish unpalatable.
According to the Christian Science Monitor:
Father Michael Sinnott had worked in the Philippines for nearly 33 years when six armed gunmen kidnapped him from a gated compound in Pagadian City on Oct. 11. He was released into the custody of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF), which turned him over to government authorities on Thursday morning.
When I was much younger (I hesitate to use the term “child” on a porn site – oh shit I said it) I learned that, while it was technically correct to call a female dog a “bitch” and it would be within the letter of the law to do so, I could probably think of something better to say than “I’m going to throw a bone to my bitches.”
Thus CSM correspondent Tom A. Peter might have tried a little bit harder than suggesting that the MILF toyed with the priest for 30 days and that the latter then suggested the MILF might want a younger man next time. And he certainly shouldn’t have used “MILF” in the headline.
And what self-respecting liberation front doesn’t perform due diligence with a simple Google search on their proposed company name?
Meanwhile, across the South Pacific in Fiji, a group of missionaries was captured by the ATOGM. Unfortunately (or not) for the visiting Mormon Elders, ATOGM means the same in Fiji as it does here.
Roman Polanski, the Oscar-winning director and international fugitive who was arrested on a 31-year-old U.S. warrant in Switzerland this weekend, has not responded to what Porn Valley insiders call a “generous” offer to reteam with Samantha Geimer for an update of their 1977 poolside tryst.
Polanski was 44 when he admitted to drugging and performing oral sex, intercourse, and sodomy on Geimer, then 13 and Polanski’s photographic subject for French Vogue, at the home of Jack Nicholson.
Geimer, now 44 herself, has forgiven Polanski, who fled the country when it appeared he would be jailed for engaging in unlawful sexual intercourse with a minor. He has since avoided countries with strong extradition treaties with the U.S., but was arrested Saturday while trying to enter Switzerland, where he was to accept a Lifetime Achievement Award at the Zurich Film Festival.
“We’re not sure if [the proposed Polanski/Geimer reunion video] would do Amy Fisher or Paris Hilton numbers,” said a spokesman for an interested studio, “but it would definitely beat the Buttafuoco numbers.”
“Since we’re classy,” a spokesperson for another studio said, “we will handle the negotiations with the same professionalism and tact for which we’ve become famous. Our pitch to Nadya Suleman was the quintessence of elegance, for example. We are experimenting with the titles ‘Vaginatown’ and ‘The 69th Gate.’ Get it? Because 69 is funny.”
It is unclear whether the 76-year-old Polanski, who directed “Rosemary’s Baby,” “Chinatown,” “Tess,” and won an Academy Award for “The Pianist,” would consent to acting in a porn film, even one with what industry insiders call a “huge budget.”
“This could really open up some doors for him,” said a noted director. “I could use him as Franz in my ‘This Ain’t The Unbearable Lightness of Being XXX.'”
Next week I am attending the filming of Hustler’s porn parody “This Ain’t Happy Days XXX 2: Fonzie Luvs Pinky.”
You ask, “Grams, when will this crazy joyride of diminishing returns flogging a dead horse stop?” (Especially since it was Leather Tuscadero, and not Pinky, who was the exciting one, as everyone knows.)
But with 70’s/80’s sitcom star MacKenzie Phillips’ revelation in her book “High On Arrival,” as well as in two interviews this week on “Oprah,” that Phillips’ father, Mamas And Papas co-founder John Phillips, and his daughter had a decade-long consensual sexual relationship, well, I think “This Ain’t One Day At A Time XXX” is going to get a big green light from the Porn Valley dream factory.
According to Phillips, who has been abusing drugs almost continuously since 1970, she woke up on the night before her first marriage to find her father having sex with her. She was 19 and drug-addled, she said, and a relationship that started as rape became consensual.
“Consensual” is a much trickier word than it initially appears. Think of all the legal adults who each year agree to work in the porn industry, as cocktail waitresses at the House of Blues, at TMZ, or in the Orange County Sheriff’s Department. Yes, they signed a form, but are they in their right minds? Money and drugs, when not readily available elsewhere, can present a convincing imitation of consent.
Two of John Phillips’ former wives, Michelle Phillips and Genevieve Waite, have publicly disputed Mackenzie’s claims, which would have had her sleeping with her father during the final years of “One Day At A Time.”
The story of Ann Romano (played by Bonnie Franklin), a divorced mom living in an Indianapolis apartment with her two teenage daughters, Julie (Phillips) and Barbara (Valerie Bertinelli), “One Day At A Time” is ripe for porn parody for a number of other reasons, too:
1. Valerie Bertinelli is the ex-wife of porn soundtrack composer Eddie Van Halen, and Phillips co-starred with noted pornhound Richard Dreyfuss in “American Graffiti” 2. John Phillips looks a lot like adult industry attorney Michael Fattarosi 3. The character Schneider, a handyman, is as much a porn archetype as the pool cleaner or pizza delivery man, and could be played by XBiz publisher Alec Helmy 4. The Bonnie Franklin role would be ideal for many of Porn Valley’s milves 5. It’s not the one with Urkel in it
I have taken the liberty of writing a short draft of the script
ANN ROMANO lies alone in her bathrobe, which falls open to reveal a matronly Brazilian wax. She is on the phone with her daughter, JULIE
I know you’re over 18, young lady and, barely legal or not, you still live under my roof. A curfew is a curfew. You said you’d be home to shave me.
JULIE (split screen)
But I met some musicians! Have you heard the song “California Semen”?
That song is 20 years old as of the time we’ve established in the world of this movie! And that band is older than I am which, by MILF standards, is at least 24!
I know, but there’s something about the lead singer I can relate to.
JULIE is approached by the wizened LEAD SINGER
Young girls are coming to the canyon
I dreamed about you!
You just keep telling yourself that
ROMANO hangs up and masturbates bitterly. BARBARA walks in.
Mother! I can see eternity in your folds!
You’ll never keep a man unless you can crack his knuckles with your labia. Let me show you something….
ROMANO drops her robe to reveal her full oiled nudity and several tattoos in Chinese and Gaelic characters, Playboy bunnies, and the Slayer logo
As long as I can spell the lyrics to “Jamie’s Crying” in my own squirt on the wall
You get the idea.
I believe Phillips could be played by Amber Rayne or Justine Joli (the latter would have to drop that pesky Girls Only clause in her contract), Bertinelli by Kristina Rose, and Franklin by a multitude of stars, including the resurgent Chloe, Lisa Ann, or Vannah Sterling.
At no point in the movie “I’m Good At Freaky,” which premieres Thursday night at the Los Feliz 3, is the title character identified as iconic record producer/convicted murderer Phil Spector. But what about that hair?
I talked with “Freaky” director/coproducer Roy Karch, who finished filming the movie in April, just as Spector’s jury pondered evidence that would result in a verdict of murder in the second degree.
GP: Would a reasonable person be forgiven for thinking this is a movie about Phil Spector, even though the imprisoned record producer/crazy person’s name is not mentioned?
Karch: Yes. We shot it while the jury was deliberating. There was a lot of debate while the drafts were being written about how specific we should be, and the question of the gray area kept coming up. But it’s in the dialogue: “I’m the guy who created that Wall. I’m in the back seat in ‘Easy Rider!'”
“James Trivers wrote a magnificent script,” Karch said. “I was brought in at Draft 11, after Trivers and (executive producer/star) Jeff Laine had been working on it for 18 months.”
“I’m Good at Freaky” was originally known as “High Infidelity,” and Laine uses the stage name Solomon King.
While Karch is best known for his three decades in service to the porn industry, directing hundreds of movies from the film and videotape era to today’s HD productions and securing memberships in both the AVN and XRCO Halls of Fame, he has continued to work on the other side of the Hollywood Hills as a production manager for B movies and music videos. “I’m Good At Freaky” is his first mainstream directing gig.
GP: How were you approached for the project?
Karch: I met Jeff Laine at the Hollywood Y where I play basketball. He has a blues band, and I’m a harmonica player. Then one day I got the script from James, and I couldn’t put it down. He incorporeated a lot of stuff from the trial. It was compelling.
GP: The average porn budget is anywhere from $15k to $50k. Five sex scenes, maybe ten performers and, depending on the director, a completed shoot in three days. You tend to finish most of your porn movies in one marathon session. How long was the filming of “I’m Good at Freaky” and how much did it cost?
Karch: The shoot was four days in April in a mansion in Alhambra. As for the budget, here’s a tip I got from one of my mentors, Howard Wasserman, founder and owner of Gournmet Video, which was the first adult company to put out an adult movie on videotape. “The reincarnation of Serena,” in 1979. It starred Serena and the great Maria Tortuga, and her dancing snake.
GP: You are speaking parenthetically.
Karch: Howie Wasserman said, “Whenever you’re discussing anything about money, it never benefits you to tell the truth. So whether you’re talking about your profits or your losses, triple them.”
GP: This was in 1979. Is is still true thirty years later?
Karch: They’ve increased it to ten.
GP: So you’re not going to tell me the budget.
“I’m Good At Freaky” tells the story of a record producer and a waitress he brings back to his mansion on a date that ends with her death. There are only two people in the movie. Karch originally asked porn performer Stormy Daniels to fill the role of the late-30’s party girl known only as Te Blonde (Lana Clarkson’s name is also not mentioned in the script), but the Wicked contract performer/former U.S. Senate hopeful dropped out, Karch said. So he found a 22-year-old actress just out of college.
Karch: The one who carried the whole game is Monica Lee. She was like the Lebron James of the set. You give her the ball and you just hope everyone else can keep up. She was fresh out of school. We had Stormy Daniels attached. Jeff (Laine) wanted to use my adult contacts to get the Lana Clarkson role. We wanted someone who embodied the notion of “If there’s a party in Hollywood, I want in.” So we read Stomry many times. After working with her for two months, she stopped returning calls.
GP: What do you think happened?
Karch: I think she’s running to replace Sarah Palin. I don’t know. We had 12 days until the shoot. So I started looking for mainstream actresses. I said to them that we had an 80-page script, so how long would it take you to learn it? I got answers like “six to seven weeks.” Then I opened the door and there was this gorgeous six-foot-tall blonde. And she was a little young, maybe 22, and she just lit up the room. I asked her how long it would take her to learn the script, She said, without a beat, “How long do you need?” I said 12 days. She said, “In 12 days I can learn my lines and (Laine’s) lines.”
Karch has used the same crew for all of his projects for 15 years.
Karch: You work with people you like and trust, and I like these guys a lot. In music videos, adult shoots, my e-learning class. My Director of Photography was Jason Sullivan, it was lit by James Nono and his boys at GripDog, and Ken Hurt on the monitors.
One of Karch’s previous forays into the mainstream world was as the production manager of 1993’s “Tuesday Never Comes” with the great Erik Estrada and iconic Karen Black.
Karch: Karen was very sexy. She’s a great actresss. It was a great time. The producers of this movie were the same as the ones on “Dracula Sucks,” which was the first adult feature I produced out here after moving from New York in 1979. It was Seka’s first film. It had Annette Haven, Paul Thomas, John Leslie, Lisa DeLeeuw, Kay Parker, and John Holmes.
GP: What was your impression of Holmes?
Karch: One night John Holmes was making stew for the cast at 2 in the morning, up in this castle in Palmdale. There were crews working all over the property day and night, for seven days. I heard a noise in the kitchen and there’s John cooking stew. He says, “Well people are gonna be hungry tomorrow, No?” He wasn’t an egomaniac. He was eager to please.
GP: Your lead actor in “I’m Good at Freaky” has an impressive wig. How else did you develop the Phil Spector character?
Karch: Developing the title character was really innate to Jeff Laine. He’s vicious, conniving, misogynistic, and paranoid. It wasn’t a strecth for Jeff. He fell right into it. It was written for him to play. There was never a choice.
GP: Do you expect “I’m Good at Freaky” to be controversial?
Karch: Yes. We’re hoping so. Without controversy, what is it? Once the work is done, the rest is making a profit.
Karch: At least ten times that.
“I’m Good At Freaky” premieres Thursday, September 24, at 7:30 p.m. at the Los Feliz 3 Cinemas, 1822 N. Vermont Ave., Los Angeles.
An informational meeting of adult industry elites was held at Chatsworth’s Radisson Hotel to discuss threats to the Porno-Industrial Complex by California’s Occupational Safety And Health Administration (Cal/OSHA).
Chaired by Vivid’s Steve Hirsch, the meeting took place on September 9, timed to coincide with the release of The Beatles Rockband. Despite this, the small room, which cost $300, was not equipped with a microphone.
“Coffee and tea cost $45 a gallon,” a Radisson spokesperson said, “and soft drinks were $1.50.” No official word on beverage consumption has been released.
About 25 people attended to hear Hirsch and longtime adult industry attorney Paul Cambria address the latest challenge of the many facing Porn Valley. I was not invited, nor was anyone from adult trade publication XBiz. But I attended regardless, disguised as a simple shepherd.
Invitees contacted by Vivid’s Marci Hirsch included the other heads of the Big Six (Digital Playground, Wicked, Hustler, Adam & Eve, and Evil Angel) as well as emissaries from JM, Mercenary, Anabolic, Third World Media, Kickass, Zero Tolerance, Playboy, New Sensations, Bang Brothers, Red Light District, Teravision, Vouyermedia, Evasive Angles and, for some reason, Sex Z Pictures. Distributors IVD and Pulse, Spearmint Rhino, independent producers X-Play, and sundry other industry players were also invited.
Conspicuously off the list were representatives from adult lobbying group the Free Speech Coalition and Adult Industry Medical, the de facto STD testing organization of Porn Valley’s performers.
At a front corner of the room sat Steve Hirsch at a small table. He introduced Paul Cambria, who spoke for most of the meeting. The tone was not convivial or congratulatory, the way many adult industry conferences are. Indeed, at times it seemed downright dour.
The meeting began with a bit of history; the case against Evasive Angles, a company headed by TT Boy. It was on an Evasive Angles set in 2004 that the performer Darren James was exposed to HIV, spurring Porn Valley’s penultimate HIV crisis that also claimed the adult career of Canadian performer Lara Roxx.
The 2004 scare resulted in a self-imposed 45-day industry shutdown and several larger, louder summits than the one at the Radisson. Cal/OSHA fined TT Boy’s company, which then agreed to be a condom-only outfit.
In addition, savvy companies with legal counsel began referring to what they did by different names. Vivid, for instance, seemed to get out of the porn business altogether in 2004.
After mentioning that his company had been visited by Cal/OSHA and had valiantly refused the state agency’s demands both to view raw footage and to visit a porn set, Hirsch said that Vivid now merely “assembles video.”
In theory, this means the company hires a group of independent contractors who may or may not supply the company with material containing condomless or otherwise “unsafe” content that Vivid will then “assemble” and pass off to yet a third party to distribute.
In practice, however, and as was later mentioned in the meeting, independent contractors might be liable on paper but Vivid tacitly agrees to handle fines, as it is generally understood that porn directors, unless they are heirs to a snack cake or cosmetics fortune, don’t have a pot to piss in.
It is generally understood that porn plus condoms equals poor sales. Consumers have also weighed in that the presence of condoms decreases the fantasy element of porn, something that isn’t compensated for by seeing Evan Stone dressed as Cliff Claven. Furthermore, performers have also stated their preference for working condom-free in the athletic and non-realistic settings of a porn set.
So the already tenuous financial fortunes of Porn Valley are doubly imperiled by the threat of a condom mandate.
Cal/OSHA believes that technology exists whereby condoms could be digitally edited out in post-production. Hirsch said his company “looked into it” and said that the cost of removing condoms in post, frame by frame, was prohibitive.
Porn companies have become, if not used to, then not surprised by, visits from the authorities. One of the recent prongs of the War Against Porn was FBI 2257 raids, in which feds would show up to demand to view proper documentation.
A Cal/OSHA visit, Cambria said, would be slightly different. Agency representatives would look for faulty wiring, slippery work surfaces, exposed extension cords, etc. in addition to asking about the porn company’s policies regarding hazardous materials and blood-borne pathogens.
In a recent L.A. Times article, Hirsch – perhaps glibly – suggested that the adult industry would just move to another state if Cal/OSHA’s demands – which include condoms, dental dams, and face masks – were to be enforced.
But 1989’s Freeman decision effectively made California the only state in which filming porn was not expressly illegal. In addition, out of state companies would be liable under the Mann Act if they were to import California’s most precious resource – it’s porn performers – for purposes of sex for money.
So Cambria suggested several possible routes, including drafting complicated variances to Cal/OSHA’s demands and challenging the agency on First Amendment grounds. After all, Cambria said, don’t professional televised fights constitute a similar risk of transmission of blood-borne pathogens? Why is the porn industry being unjustly targeted?
A legal challenge might also be just what Cal/OSHA wants, Cambria said. His speculation was that a challenge might help the agency define the legal viability of future efforts against the porn industry.
Also a consideration was the cozying up to a sympathetic state legislator. Cambria hinted that he knew a likely assemblyman who might put pressure on Cal/OSHA to tone things down. While this might prove to be most effective, Cambria said, it would also be the most expensive, as the porn industry would have to retain a lobbyist.
The question that was not asked, because it was answered by the absence from the room of anyone from the Free Speech Coalition, was “Doesn’t the adult industry already have lobbyists?”
An industry wag suggested to me that, if Big Porn made all the money people said it did, why was there not a Watergate Hotel full of lobbyists in Sacramento and Washington D.C. representing the industry’s interests? And why didn’t today’s meeting feature a catered lunch?
Without going so far as to pass the hat, Cambria noted that it was historically the bigger companies that paid the lion’s share of fines and attorneys’ fees, and for which the industry as a whole benefitted.
“It isn’t fair for the large companies to shoulder the costs of litigating or lobbying,” he said, “while smaller companies ride on their coattails.”
Despite this, the Radisson spokesperson said, Vivid did pick up the tab for the conference room and several gallons of coffee.
Cambria suggested that attorneys for all the companies should meet to hash out a unified plan and that no one should go to court alone. At this point the meeting was adjourned, and I was happy to see all the attendees forego their leased Lexuses to ride back to work together on an articulated Metro bus, not a single person wearing a condom.
Like in “The Godfather,” when Clemenza says to Michael that every five, ten years there needs to be a war to clean out the bad blood, now and then the call for condoms and external regulation of the porn industry reaches a shrill crescendo. If we weren’t such calm, buttoned down people, some of us might become hysterical.
Following the recent adult biz HIV scare (casualties: 1) and last week’s 17-count complaint filed with Cal/OSHA and friends, let’s imagine a world in which no one’s bodily fluid (spit, semen, blood, food by-product-based excreta) can land on anyone else and where condoms are mandatory.
1. Sales of Pina Colada mix will skyrocket
The porn industry is built on the visible cumshot. Every other tangible falls away at the grandeur of this one universal justification of the fakery of 29-year-old women in schoolgirl plaid, faux Asians, gay-for-pay that’s actually gay, and 95 percent of the press releases I receive (other than a recent one concerning Shy Love).
But the Enron of the porn industry is pina colada mix, squirted across the face and neck of performers who either didn’t have their tests on time or in place of the legitimate seed of gentlemen who weren’t sufficiently aroused to produce any.
At neighborhood bars and AAA-sponsored cruises, Pina Coladas will be rebranded “Load”s and “Cumshot”s, and post-porn women in Pornstar t-shirts and Juicy pants will say “Come in my mouth” but it won’t mean the same thing.
2. Ron Jeremy will be utterly out of a job
The man who possesses the most recognizable face in porn rarely has sex on camera anymore, but continues to work all the time by the mere suggestion that he could, and once did, produce copious loads on cue. This Schrodinger’s box gets filed away forever if the possibility of ejaculation is removed. No VH-1, no B-movies, no emceeing wrestling matches. Ron Jeremy Hyatt would make an excellent rabbi, however.
3. Jeff Lebowski’s drugged accusation of Jackie Treehorn will come true
In “The Big Lebowski,” Jeff Lebowski tells slick Golden Age pornographer Jackie Treehorn that “you treat objects like women, man.” If women are no longer appropriate ejaculation surfaces, then the few remaining porn performers will pull out, rip off the condom, and might let fly on the following objects:
The S.S. Jeremiah O’Brien, one of the last remaining WWII Liberty Ships
A photo of your mom
Deep-pile carpeting, reminiscent of puffy labia. This process will be known as “rugging”
The Chatsworth Reservoir
The Scientology Celebrity Center
4. Phoebe Cates and Jennifer Jason Leigh will be restored to their former masturbatory predominance
I used to work in a video store, and we were unable to keep VHS copies of “Fast Times at Ridgemont High” in any kind of rentable condition due to the Cars-and-Jackson Browne-inspired shenanigans of those two women. If it’s a choice between Jennifer Jason Leigh and Phoebe Cates in 1982 and, I don’t know, Houston at any point in her career, who are you going to pick? 5. Sophia Santi will become the richest woman in the world
The Girls-Only performer will have all the work she wants
Some of these predictions sound dire, it’s true, but the condom-only fervor will likely die down again until the great Vagina Dentata crisis of 2014.
The solution to the dying adult DVD market? Large-scale purchases for the purpose of registering complaints.
Los Angeles-based AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF) yesterday filed complaints against 16 porn companies with Cal/OSHA, stating that the adult industry’s “blacklist” of condoms contributes to unsafe workplaces.
AHF president Michael Weinstein and his staff collected 58 DVDs from companies like Hustler, Anarchy, All Media Play (“This Ain’t the Partridge Family XXX“), Mayhem, Backend Productions, and Vivid (“Drenched in Cum”) featuring several scenes of condomless double-penetration and less strenuous activities that an AHF press release calls “potentially life-threatening.”
An additional complaint was filed by former performer Jan Meza, who performed as Elizabeth Rollings for two years in such films as “Hot Sexy Plumpers 14″ and “Thick ‘n’ Chunky Fat Freakz.” AHF associate director of communications Lori Yeghiayan said that the choice of DVDs cited in the complaint was random, but that the purchases were made at traditional brick and mortar outlets.
“The collection process (of the DVDs) was not particularly scientific,” Yeghiayan said. “We wanted to get a cross-section of what was available, and picked up movies from what seemed like the most prolific companies at places like (West Hollywood’s) Pleasure Chest and a couple of places in the Valley.”
Yeghiayan said the decision to file a complaint based on unsafe practices depicted in the movies was consonant with AHF’s mission statement, “Cutting-Edge Medicine and Advocacy Regardless of Ability to Pay.”
While the adult industry does not have a formal blacklist against condom use – it rarely has a formal anything – both the market and working performers tend to agree that condoms don’t lend themselves to short-term profit.
“Condoms just don’t feel good to suck on, or to take in the ass, hard and fast,” said performer Belladonna. “If I were required to use condoms, my performance would most likely suffer, and in the end I would suffer.“
Not only that, but organizations like AIM Healthcare, the de facto STD testing facility for Porn Valley’s performers, also maintain standards that AIM is fond of saying makes porn performers less-STD-ridden than the general population of Los Angeles.
The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health (DPH) disputes this.
According to figures cited by DPH, there were 2,013 documented cases of Chlamydia among LA porn performers between 2003 and 2007. In the same period, 965 cases of gonorrhea were documented. Many performers suffer multiple infections. In the period April 2004 to March 2008 there have been 2,847 STD infections diagnosed among 1,884 performers in the hardcore industry in LA County. DPH attributes the epidemic of sexually transmitted diseases in the porn industry to a lack of protective equipment for partners, including condoms.
But, AHF’s Weinstein says, the DPH does not or cannot enforce its own suggestion, hence the need to file complaints over its head.
“Los Angeles County Public Health officials cannot keep passing the buck on this by playing ping pong on this with the state and the industry itself,” he said. “That is why we are filing these complaints with Cal/OSHA today.”
AIM’s safety claims were also disputed by members of an organization called the Pink Cross Foundation, which joined AHF yesterday in its caravan to Cal/OSHA’s office in downtown Los Angeles.
The Pink Cross Foundation was founded in 2008 by former prostitute and porn performer Shelly Lubben, who “conquered the horrible effects of her past and became a Champion in life through the power of Jesus Christ.” Other members of Pink Cross include Jan Meza and Michelle Avanti, whose experience in more than 100 adult scenes resulted in
“catching STDs all the time. My lower body hurt so badly and at times my private area felt like it was a blazing fire. I could no longer work because I caught so many STDs and infections. I believe that if condoms had been allowed to be used in my own films, I would not have suffered so many physical ailments and infections.”
Lubben says that consumers should be aware that porn stars are diseased.
“We want the fans to know what they’re contributing to,” Lubben told the LA Times. “They’re demanding harder and grosser porn. We want to educate them to exactly what they’re watching — diseased people [emphasis added]. It’s illegal for bodily fluids to touch skin, and yet it happens every single day in the porn industry.”
Cal/OSHA spokesman Dean Fryer said the agency would investigate the combined claims.
“They have a valid point here,” Fyer told the Associated Press. “The blood-borne pathogens standard is designed to protect workers where there is risk of transmission of diseases through bodily excretions that occur as part of adult film activity.”
Yeghiayan said that AIDS Healthcare was “not ruling out” additional complaints against larger studios or adult Internet companies.
If Cal/OSHA succeeds in making condom use mandatory and if both fans and performers won’t tolerate it, Vivid co-founder Steve Hirsch suggests a third option.
“If Los Angeles County chooses to enforce mandatory condoms,” he said, “what you’ll see is all adult production leave California. It will move to other places.”
Hirsch did not say where. but I hear Detroit could use some help. “Hotown” has a nice ring to it.