The Making of CatalinaVille (PART 2)

By Josh Eliot


Steve Rambo posing with gun and CatalinaVille DVD cover


When I left off last week in my blog "The Making of CatalinaVille," Steve Rambo's lover was killed by underworld hoods trying to get a floppy disc Steve possessed. Steve was on the run with the disc, via a ferry taking him off Catalina Island. He makes his way to Breckenridge, Colorado to meet up with his professor (Ray Harley) from when he was in IT Tech school. When he arrives, Ray is tutoring four young studs played by Logan Reed, Sean Dickson, Dillon James, and Brian Daniels. The four models were local Coloradoans who were driven to our house rental by our Denver agent. This time, the crew going to the models instead of vice versa helped keep our travel expenses to a minimum. It was the first time working with most of them, and Brian Daniels was dressed in this hideous disco shirt, so I literally took the checkered flannel shirt off my back for him to wear in the scene. He was super cute, which definitely added some spice to the scene when the veteran models chowed down on him! Breckenridge is at an elevation of 10,000 feet, which makes the air very thin. It was hard on our lungs, and just walking upstairs made it hard to breathe. We hated that, but all really loved the location and fabulous restaurants we would go to each night!

Ray sends the boys home, then works with Rambo to see who is behind the murder of his lover. When going through the virus on the disc, he sees the "fingerprint" of underworld kingpin Robert Carpathian. They devise a plan to get Rambo onto the kingpin's property by going undercover as a catering assistant for Ray's friend Lyle. Tired and exhausted, the two hit the sack, but evidently they weren't too tired to revisit their past sexual connection. Even though this movie came out way after his debut in Meet Ray Harley, this was truly the first scene Ray Harley shot for Catalina. I was surprised how natural he was when shooting dialogue, and how "un-nervous" he was shooting his first sex scene!

Rambo heads to Sedona Arizona, filmed in Scottsdale (because we really couldn’t afford to shoot in Sedona). I had some great footage of Sedona from a previous vacation, so I incorporated it and used it as the location. Rambo meets up with Lyle, played by my right hand man and head of the crew, Brad Austin. They are catering the Kingpin's poolside sex-party where hard cock and bubble butts are on the menu. Robert Carpathian is played perfectly by Tony Bullitt. Can I just say that Tony Bullitt was one hot fucking stud on the set that day. Not a typical look for a Catalina movie, but what a look! His two henchmen, Cole Tucker (winner of the GayVN for Best Supporting Actor 1998 for this role) and Tom (DJ Tommy Rocker) Walker (winner of the Grabby 1998 for Best Non-Sexual Performer), really elevate the movie with their performances.

The pool scene was shot at the beautiful home of a doctor and his lover... who thankfully gave me a prescription, because I had a terrible case of bronchitis that came over me the day before. I was wheezing and feeling like shit, but the movie needed to be made. To make matters worse, I was barely able to breathe (again!) and had to shoot a good portion of it with an underwater camera. A hot blond model who I had never worked with before named Matthew Anders had the best bubble butt I'd seen in ages! The shots of him getting rimmed and sucked underwater while hanging onto a raft was some of the hottest footage of the day. Even if it nearly killed me. Just the day before, we were at a gay resort in Phoenix where we were supposed to film scenes for another movie and reside there for the time we were in Arizona. The owners were nice, but the resort was pretty sketchy, with some shady characters coming in and out of the place. The whole vibe sucked and it was right across the street from what seemed to be "no" income housing. I felt like we were going to get our equipment stolen if we ever let it out of our sight. The crew was freaked out as well, so Brad Austin and I called around and found a great "hetero" place in Scottsdale, which was so accommodating after hearing about our predicament that they gave us great room rates. I was convinced that the shitty showerhead from the gay resort that basically had you shower in a "mist" gave me the bronchitis. The poolside orgy scene with the large cast worked out great and Rambo got the information he needed by sneaking into Tony Bullitt's office!


CatalinaVille sex scenes


Rambo now had what he needed to get in the hands of his buddy (Doug Jeffries, who started the whole mess), so he flew to Chicago. Unfortunately for him, Carpathian knows he's going there and sends his two henchmen after him. Being a two hour porno movie where the name of the game is sex, the two henchmen simply stumble upon Steve Rambo in Chicago while he’s in a phone booth talking to Jeffries. A foot chase ensues, which was great fun to film on the streets of Chicago, mostly around the Ramada Congress Hotel. Rambo on the run is cornered in an alley and slips through the side door of some unknown building. Once he enters that door, we see that he has found himself backstage at the Congress Theatre where the 1997 International Mr. Leather Contest is in full swing. We were set up to shoot the show and only had about one hour to get some shots of Rambo and the henchmen running through the halls of the theatre filled with leather men. I swear, they barely even noticed us shooting the scenes because this place was a cruise fest! It seemed such a waste to be having to work while all this was going on! Rambo runs and hides in a bathroom stall in a scene that we shot the day before when the theatre was empty. He overhears two guys going at it, then the henchmen come in and he overhears their conversation. Once the two leather dudes blow their loads and the henchmen leave, he comes out of the stall only to run into old friend Tony Zerega, who he hadn't seen in years. Zerega is at the contest with Rambo’s old buddies Max Grand, Cliff Parker, Mark Hamilton, and Antonio. The group of guys help Rambo trap henchman Cole Tucker by seducing him before overpowering and handcuffing him. That group scene was also shot the previous day in the theatre. I'm exhausted just remembering all we had to pack into that shoot day!

To wrap things up, Cole Tucker is detained, but henchman Tom Walker shows up, pulls out a gun and chases Rambo through the theatre and down into the bowels of the complex. Rambo's only way out is through a sewer drain. He jumps down into the sewers, followed by the gun-wielding Tom Walker. The sewers, actually, were filmed in this really cool pool off Mulholland Drive in Los Angeles. The house was a few houses down from the gates to Jack Nicolson’s home, which added to the fun! After shooting the box cover for CatalinaVille with Rambo in a tank top, waist deep in the sewer, we shot the scene between him and Walker. Kudos to both of them, as it was fucking freezing (for L.A., that means 60 degrees) and the water was even colder. We ran garden hoses down the stone walls of the pool, which made for a great effect, and got very creative with the camera so as not to ruin the illusion. Rambo conquers all, of course, with a kick ass fight finished by shooting the henchman. Weeks later, we shot him coming out of a real sewer in Tarzan, California, near the 101 freeway and the Catalina Offices. He gets the floppy disc to the authorities. "The End." Credits roll.


CatalinaVille PG version ad


Making CatalinaVille, for me, was one of the very high points of my career. Even though it’s not a perfect movie, it has a lot of teeth and some really fabulous sex scenes. I just finished restoring and re-polishing the "PG" version of the movie on my YouTube Channel for a Thanksgiving release. The "PG" version is only 38 minutes, perfectly “do-able”… take a peek if you’d like. Steve Rambo won Best Actor at the Grabby Awards 1998 for his role in this movie and he just messaged me to say he would be watching Thanksgiving Day. Even if he was the only one I enhanced and cut this new version for, it would be worth it to me. Steve Rambo really gave everything he had to this role, got himself in the best shape of his life and, in turn, our bond as co-workers was sealed.


Bio of Josh Eliot:

At the age of 25 in 1987, Josh Eliot was hired by Catalina Video by John Travis (Brentwood Video) and Scott Masters (Nova Video). Travis trained Eliot on his style of videography and mentored him on the art of directing. Josh directed his first movie, Runaways, in 1987. By 2009 when Josh parted ways with Catalina Video, he'd produced and directed hundreds of features and won numerous awards for Best Screenplay, Videography, Editing, and Directing. He was entered into the GayVN Hall of fame in 2002. 


You can read Josh Eliot's previous blogs for Bijou here:

Coming out of my WET SHORTS
That BUTTHOLE Just Winked at Me!
DREAMLAND: The Other Place
A Salty Fuck in Saugatuck
Somebody, Call a FLUFFER!
(Un)Easy Riders
7 Years with Colt Model MARK RUTTER
Super NOVA
Whatever Happened to NEELY O’HARA?
Is That AL PARKER In Your Photo?
DOWN BY LAW: My $1,000,000 Mistake
We Waited 8hrs for a Cum Shot... Is That a World Record?
Don't Wear "Short Shorts" on the #38 Geary to LANDS END
How Straight Are You Really?
CATCHING UP with Tom DeSimone
Everybody’s FREE to FEEL GOOD
SCANDAL at the Coral Sands Motel
RSVP: 2 Weeks Working on a Gay Cruise Ship
VOYAGER of the Damned
Diving into SoMa/Folsom: A TALE OF TWO STUDS
My 1992 “Porn Set” Diary
Out of Print
There’s a Gloryhole WHERE??!
LUNCH HOUR: When the Big Boys Eat
IN and OUT and All ABOUT
UNDER the COVERs with Tom Steele
8 Is Enough on Sunsex Blvd
Steve Rambo & Will Seagers For Breakfast
The Many Facesof Adult Film Star SHARON KANE
The ALL-MAN Magazine Interview: The Man Behind Catalina Video
Captain Psychopath
The Making of CatalinaVille (PART 1)

Rate this blog entry:
My Life at the Gym: An Unexpected Surrender to a L...
Sex in the Woods!

Related Posts



No comments made yet. Be the first to submit a comment

Contact Us | 800-932-7111 | Join our email list

Go to top