The Low Down on the Lost Jesus Gay Porn Movie, HIM

Him! Him! (What a title … it reminds me of that giant ants horror flick of the 1950s, where someone screams the title Them! Them!) But it's the title of the much sought-after, famously lost 1974 Jesus gay porn film.

 

Advertisement for Him showing at the 55th Street Playhouse

 

First of all, it's almost become a trope of Western culture: speculation about Jesus' sexuality. Think Holy Blood, Holy Grail, The DaVinci Code, and the controversial Terrence McNally play Corpus Christi. Either Jesus was married to Mary Magdalene (or at least some kind of attraction between the two occurs), or Jesus was gay, because he hung around with a bunch of guys (Uh… Peter we know was married, because his sick mother-in-law was cured by Jesus, not that being married always makes a difference, but still…). And then there's the speculation about Jesus and the Beloved Disciple, who may or may not have been John, because of certain cuddly iconography of the two.

I'm not going to get into the detail about all the speculation above, and I also think all the speculation about this 1974 movie ends up going around in circles.

Starting with Wikipedia (a well-documented article, and I checked the cites), we do know that there was a film of that title that premiered on Mary 27, 1974, at the 55th Street Playhouse in New York, at that time becoming more of a porn house than an art house. The film was directed by someone going by the name Ed D. Louie and featured a mural artist named Tava Von Will as Jesus.

Now, I initially thought it was some kind of sword and sandals knock-off, Jesus wandering around having sex with the disciples, but it actually told the story of a young guy with an erotic fixation on Jesus. Actually, not that unusual a theme, for goodness sake… just open any Catholic devotional work or story about the saints (usually female). The spiritual delights of being married to Jesus often look and sound orgasmic, even sadomasochistic.

Anyway, the film also played at Chicago's Bijou Theater in January and February of 1975. The ad shows a guy in a tuxedo, not clothing one associates with Jews in 1st century Palestine. Why? Maybe to avoid controversy, but no one remembers much of a fall-out, even in the still very much underground LGBTQ world of that time.

 

Vintage ad for Him showing at Chicago's Bijou Theater

 

The film fell into obscurity, and in fact, no one seems to be able to locate a copy; film critic and later culture warrior Michael Medved even claimed it was a hoax (huh?).

Peter Malone in his book Screen Jesus: Portrayals of Christ in Television and Film, actually quotes Medved, who claims it is tasteless (how would he know? Did he see it?) but also innovative. Medved claims one scene, a “low point in the history of cinema,” involves a handjob in the confessional as the young man confesses to the priest his erotic fantasies about Jesus. (I wouldn't actually call that scene remarkably innovative in the world of porn.)

But then Medved in his 1980 book Golden Turkey Awards implies that, among the bad movies he and his brother Harry review in his book, Him wasn't real. The beginnings of an urban legend?

A number of years ago, the late porn star/director Gino Colbert was trying to find out if the film was indeed real or was a hoax, and contacted Bijou Video as part of his research. We could not at the time verify, but more recently, another researcher on the film brought to our attention the Bijou Theater ad shown above. The film indeed played in New York, Chicago, and in many other places.

 

Another ad for Him at the 55th Street Playhouse

 

We may never know all the details on this film, unless a copy or more information is tracked down. It seems to have clearly existed and, like many a classic porn film, may sadly have no copies any longer in existence. The scarcity of information or memories about this film, its missing status, and its scandalous subject matter have made it somewhat of a legend and fueled the aforementioned rumors.

In the meantime, you can find religiously-themed porn scenes in a number of other classics, many of which are featured in our compilation, For the Love of God (on DVD and Streaming), which contains scenes from our films that explore the complex connection between sexuality and religion.

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Retrostuds of the Past: Focus on Gino Colbert

Retrostuds of the Past: Focus on Gino Colbert

I first encountered Gino Colbert in his youthful glory, in a spanking fetish film Bijou Video carries called Disciplining the Undisciplined Athlete. Gino, playing a short in stature boxer with a chip on his shoulder, and Michael Ryan spank each other.

Little did I know Gino was also a phenomenal director and producer with a multitude of porn films to his credit, including straight and bisexual ones. In fact, according to an interview in a February 25, 2004 issue of Unzipped, he even cast the legendary Jack Wrangler in several straight flicks.

 

He also worked with the famous straight porn actor and director Ron Jeremy on several pictures.

 

Gino was born in 1957 in Toledo, Ohio, and like many guys and gals from the Heartland, wanted to to to Holllywood to make it big in pictures. He ended up making it big in adult films, beginning in 1980, but eight years later made an extraordinary transition to directing. He is best known for directing Men in Blue, Blue Blake's final film appearance.

I culled some interesting tidbits from two interviews Gino did for Manshots magazine in October 1989 and December 1990. I'll let him speak for himself about sexual chemistry between actors in porn movies and also about Bijou's classic “story porn:”

“You have to hire people who like to suck and fuck and enjoy it. And if they don't, you're gonna have a dead sex scene. I'm hot because I like sex. In a sex scene, I really go crazy, the moment the clothes are off. Even if the guy is mediocre, I can get something out of him while acting.”

“I choose my actors by the chemistry techniques. I have to find guys who will work with other guys. I just can't put Guy A with Guy B and expect them to have a good time. It's a very personal thing – they have to have sex together, and one guy may not be turned on to another.... You learn all that by talking to them ahead of time and asking them straight out, 'What turns you on? What kind of guys do you like?' I focus on heat. I like my sex scenes hot, so you have to have the right chemistry.”

Manshots: “Is the younger consumer aware of the stuff that was made in the past?"

Colbert: I don't think so, because if it's a new consumer, chances are he only knows video. He doesn't know film. He doesn't know about the days when we were taking time to make movies. And a typical x-rated film, whether it be gay or straight, was shot over four days and the budgets were more … we're talking about five and even six figures. I remember one gay flick that was shot over a week, and it cost six figures – Centurians of Rome. And it's still on the market and it's doing well, because a lot of people claim the consumer doesn't care about the story, as I said earlier, but those movies that have the good stories and really went to town with the quality, those are the ones that are still on the shelf and still selling.”
 

Gino no longer acts, but he still directs and currently owns his own production company, Gino Pictures.

 

We recently remastered a mostly black-cast movie called Black Jacks; Gino produced the film, and he also is a performer, doing a couple of hot scenes with the black guys in the cast.

 

Check out more of our titles that feature Gino and also stand the test of time with their combination of hot sex and engaging stories.

 

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