Meet RAY HARLEY

By Josh Eliot

 

I’m not sure what is going on, but it seems that “breakfast with the porn icons” is an ongoing occurrence! Maybe this should be a new show for HEREtv. I’ve talked about Catalina Exclusive Ray Harley numerous times in my past blogs - the fact that he was discovered at the host hotel of the International Mr. Leather Contest, the fact that he is a proud Toronto Canadian, and the fact that he was one of the sweetest most genuine guys to ever grace the set. One thing I didn’t mention was that he was also involved in a successful long-term three way relationship. A “throuple” that passed all the trials and tribulations you would associate with such a relationship. I haven’t seen Ray since around 2003, so there is so much about his present situation and life that I do not know about. However, I might just get informed really quick. I received a DM from Ray saying that he was in Palm Springs for Christmas and New Years and would like to meet up for breakfast or lunch. He also reached out to Peter Romero and Brad Austin, two other Catalina directors who also live here in the Coachella Valley. We decided to meet at Rick’s Restaurant near the tram in Palm Springs the next day at 10am. Rick’s is probably the best “gay adored” breakfast spot in the desert, yet very unpretentious. I personally love to order the “Paul Bunyan Breakfast Platter” that is so big it comes on two plates, a large, thick ham steak occupying the second plate. Since there will be a large group at our table, I don’t want to take up too much space or come across like a glutton. But secretly I will feel “deprived” not having my Paul Bunyan for breakfast!

I will talk about my get-together with Ray in the second half of this blog, but in the meantime here is a bit from his bio. Ray is a Capricorn and was born in 1967, making him 56 years old. His debut movie for Catalina Video was Meet Ray Harley, released in 1997. His final movie was 69: Discover the Secret, released in 2004. Ray featured an image that was very different from the majority of those cast in Catalina productions, and his striking good looks allowed him starring roles in some of the biggest features we released - titles like 1998's CatalinaVille and Big Guns 2 (where Ray was awakened in the middle of the battlefield one night and overpowered by three hung and horny guys in gas masks); Thrill Me! (1999), co-starring alongside Steve Rambo in a sexually charged murder mystery; Score (1999), featuring Steve Rambo, Blake Harper and Jason Branch who played two Hollywood power couples at odds with the law and each other; Voyager (2000), where Ray was with us every step of the way on that cursed cruise ship from hell, otherwise known as Tampa.

 

Big Guns 2 cover and Ray Harley

Big Guns 2 cover and Ray Harley

 

Vermont Reunion (2002), Party in Provincetown (2002) and His Terrible Twin (2003) all featured Ray in leading roles as he joined us on our road trip to the East Coast. Honestly, he was the best model to travel with. I think Brandon Webber (The Rascal Series) was on that trip, as well, to shoot scenes for The Rascal Stows Away, and he wasn’t that great to travel with, if you get my drift. It was like night and day comparing him and Ray on and off the set. The best feeling I had the whole trip was when I put “The Rascal” on the plane in Burlington, VT to fly home. Boy, I guess he still gets under my skin, considering the fact that just mentioning his name sidetracked my whole train of thought.

Ray was definitely a power bottom who could hold his own with the biggest of boys, like another Catalina Exclusive at the time, Maxime Cannon. Their scene in 69: Discover the Secret was pure magic! It’s quite a bio he has, for sure, with supporting roles in movies like Stag Show, Ride ‘Em Cowboy, Junior’s Nude Cleaning Service, Harley’s Crew and Boy Band. I can’t say that I wasn’t a bit anxious and nervous on my way to the restaurant, having not crossed paths in the last twenty years, but when we pulled into the parking lot and saw Ray getting out of his car all that anxiety went away.

 

Some of Ray Harley's big hits

Some of Ray Harley's big hits

 

We met up in front of the restaurant, exchanged hugs and got ourselves a nice large booth. Brad Austin arrived shortly after, but unfortunately Peter Romero was a “no-show” - still not sure why. It turns out Ray has been living in London, England for the past eighteen years. He showed me a picture of his long-term partner and they make a sweet-ass looking couple. I’d love to share their photo, but they are both very private people when it comes right down to it. Ray clarified to me that it wasn’t really a “throuple” he was in - he was actually the boyfriend of half of a couple, with the permission and blessing from the “other half.” Makes perfect sense now. As fans of Ray Harley already know, he is a classically trained pianist who worked for the ballet in Toronto and now again in London. He wrote and performed the theme song for my movie Score. It was a beautiful number with a haunting melody that really elevated my movie. It turns out his ex-boyfriend and his partner have a home in Palm Springs, so he tries to get out here at least once a year around the holidays.

Of course, Brad Austin showed up with tons of energy, as per usual, and was the first to start throwing out quotes and belly-laugh memories from past days on the set. Ray confessed to me that when we were shooting his first scene for CatalinaVille in Breckenridge, Colorado, he was watching me shoot the four-way scene on a day he wasn’t working. He said he was standing next to me when I shot one of the cum shots and then the facial of the model pretending to cum. He said he was just interested in seeing how I shoot my angles, as it was all new to him. He remembered that the model really over-acted the climax facial reaction, and after I said “cut” I turned and whispered to him, “Geez… That was so dramatic I thought an alien was going to pop out of his stomach.” Sounds like something I’d say, and now that he mentioned it I kind of remember saying it. It’s funny what people remember. Around mid-breakfast, Brad Austin was telling a gross “off-set” story very loudly, so we had to shush him because the guy in the next booth could hear him and was eating re-fried beans. That might tell you something about his disgusting story. At this point when our banter took a turn for the worse, he kept saying that we need to do a podcast. Ray agreed to take part if we were able to one day pull it together. One thing's for sure, when the Catalina Crew and models reunite, there is no lack of storyline to talk about. We snapped a picture outside the restaurant and said our goodbyes. The connection we all have from working together for nearly seven years will always be there, like those amazing screen performances Ray Harley gave to the Catalina audiences in the 1990’s and early 2000’s.

 

Big Guns 2 reissue promo and recent photo of Ray Harley with Josh, Tony and Brad
Ray Harley with Josh, Tony and Brad
 
Recent photos of Ray Harley
Recent photos of Ray Harley

Bio 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
FRANK ROSS, The Boss
Our CALIGULA Moment
That BUTTHOLE Just Winked at Me!
DREAMLAND: The Other Place
A Salty Fuck in Saugatuck
Somebody, Call a FLUFFER!
The Late Great JOHN TRAVIS, My POWERTOOL Mentor
(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?
BEHIND THE (not so) GREEN DOOR
The BOOM BOOM Room
CATCHING UP with Tom DeSimone
Everybody’s FREE to FEEL GOOD
SCANDAL at the Coral Sands Motel
DEEP INSIDE THE CASTRO: The Castro Theatre
DEEP INSIDE THE CASTRO: The Midnight Sun
RSVP: 2 Weeks Working on a Gay Cruise Ship
VOYAGER of the Damned
I'M NOT A LESBIAN DIRECTOR
Diving Into SoMa/Folsom: THE FOLSOM STREET FAIR
Diving into SoMa/Folsom: A TALE OF TWO STUDS
BALL BROTH
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
BAD BOYS SCHOOL
VAMPIRE'S GRAVE
The Making of CatalinaVille (PART 1)
The Making of CatalinaVille (PART 2)
Private Dick & The Young Cadets

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Private Dick & The Young Cadets

By Josh Eliot

 

Catalina releases The Young Cadets (1987) and Private Dick (1990) both stand out to me as milestone movies for many reasons. Dan Allman worked on many of William Higgins movies and all of John Travis and Scott Masters' Catalina movies until 1989 as art director and videographer. He also directed under the name Cameron Leight. I previously thought that Cameron Leight’s movie Bad Boys Club, starring Johnny Davenport, was the only movie he directed. I was wrong. Once I tracked down DVD copies of Private Dick and The Young Cadets, I started getting back a flood of memories. The Young Cadets starred Chris Williams, included a supporting cast featuring Derek Jensen, Mike Gregory and Tony Marino and marked the screen debut of Sparky O’Toole. Sadly, Chris Williams passed away in 1991 and Sparky in 1999, and just now discovering this is absolutely shocking to me. This was one of the very first features (after Bulge) that I worked on as a new employee. Once I re-watched the “paddling scene,” I was taken back to 1987. I was pretty much the “fill light guy,” basically being attached to the hip of Dan as he compiled shots of the assorted sex scenes. I would follow him with the additional 400W light to kill any shadows if he was underneath, overhead or panning across the bodies. It gave me my first insights into how to get good angles. This was also the feature where Dan let me shoot the second cum shot angle on camera 2 for the first time. I think I fucked one up by not rolling on it quick enough. I could tell Dan was pissed that I missed it, but of course acted like it was “okay.” I never did that again!

 

Bad Boys Club DVD cover and sex scene images

Cameron Leight's debut, Bad Boys Club

 
The Young Cadets DVD cover and cast

The Young Cadets box cover & cast

 

Regarding Private Dick, when I re-watched this little masterpiece for the first time in 33 years, I started remembering shooting it like it was yesterday. First, let me say that I am so happy that Cameron Leight got to make this movie. Bad Boys Club, though extremely popular upon its release, was a bit of a mish-mash. The Young Cadets was polished and had great sex, but was a pretty simplistic story. Private Dick, on the other hand, was well thought out, written and executed. Dan and I built some really fun, fabulous sets for it, like the private investigator’s office and a photographer’s multilevel studio. All the lighting and costumes and story were very Film Noir. It was a passion project for him, and watching it back, I really got a glimpse of how awesome a director he would have become. Unfortunately ,shortly after making this movie Dan, out of the blue, left the company. This was a huge loss for Catalina, as he was one of the pioneers along with Higgins. We discovered he was ill and it wasn’t long before we got word that he had passed away.

Dan was always very positive, despite the pressure of running the San Francisco studio and being at Scott Masters beck and call. I learned later just how draining that could be! Scott Masters, being great at the job of producing, found a hot new face to star in Private Dick. His name was Bill Marlowe. He had several movies under his belt prior to being cast as the lead. Bill Marlowe appeared in Lust Boys and Sex, Lies and Videotape both for Sierra Pacific, as well as Heat in the Night for Huge Video. He was handsome, with leading man good looks, had the perfect persona for the undercover investigator and lived locally in San Francisco. In the story, Victoria Hunt enters the investigator’s office asking him to track her husband, as she is convinced that he is having an affair. When Dan asked me if I had any friends who could play the role of Victoria, I knew right away that I wanted my friend Sandy. Sandy was from Minnesota and to me was a dead ringer for a young Meryl Streep. She starred in my video school class project as the 1920’s Coca-Cola girl, running around San Francisco with a bottle in her hand being pursued by her male lover. I ended up using that footage years later in the opening credits of my movie Score. Sandy was gorgeous, but not in the porn industry; luckily, it was San Francisco in the 80’s and everyone and everything was free and easy. She said yes to working on the XXX movie, we gave her the stage name Rita Davis (Rita Hayworth / Bette Davis gene mixture) and before we knew it she was on the set opposite Bill Marlowe shooting their scenes together. She shows up to the office dressed very “Alexis Carrington Colby,” fabulous hat and all, and then again at the end of the movie with her golden locks styled in the latest 80’s hairstyle. Dan was thrilled that her performance elevated his movie.

The cast was a virtual who’s who of the time including Lou Cass, Keith Panther, Tony Lanza, Brad Carlton and Vic “We Waited 8hrs for a Cum Shot” Summers. One other addition to the cast was Chris Dano. In 1989, Chris Dano’s debut into the porn world occurred in Hard Men 2: No Strings Attached, a Chippendales-type video where the models stripped and danced with hard-ons. He then performed his first hardcore scene in the Scott Masters movie Head of the Class 2. The next year, Chris also appeared in John Travis’ Foxhole and Cameron Leight’s Private Dick. Chris Dano was literally the only model I continued to work with on and off throughout my entire 20+ years of making movies with Catalina Video. I literally watched him grow up throughout the years. When I researched him for this blog, I found that Chris, also known as Ekzavir Falcon Wray, continued making a ton of movies all the way up until 2010. He is currently 57 years old and still looks amazing! He is one powerhouse performer who always got that giant uncut dick hard and came on cue always with a smile on his face and a great attitude.

 

Private Dick DVD cover and Chris Dano

Private Dick box cover & Chris Dano

 

Bill Marlowe, the lead for Private Dick, continued making movies - not as long as Dano, but for a significant amount of time, including a movie called Gorgeous in 1993 for Bijou Video. Unique to most performers of the time, Marlowe as a leading man both topped and bottomed in his roles. Born in 1967, he is currently 56. After running into him in the Castro while on a trip to San Francisco in 1992, I ended up casting him as a co-lead in the movie Easy Riders when we returned to San Francisco to shoot it. Always a great guy on and off the set, Bill Marlowe had a long and successful career with an array of studios.

I can remember it like it was yesterday when I met Dan Allman and his boyfriend John in their Twin Peaks neighborhood apartment a few days after interviewing with John Travis and Scott Masters in that Tenderloin fleabag motel. Dan and John made me feel comfortable and welcomed, giving me their blessing on becoming a new member of the crew, literally on my 25th birthday. Dan took me under his wing and showed me all the nuts and bolts of building sets and managing the studio. Living in San Francisco, I didn’t own a car, so Dan would pick me up each day in the company's Chevy van when we went to the studio, eventually letting me use the Nissan when it wasn’t needed for the directors and models. We searched for and found an apartment to house the directors and models and furnished and decorated it together. He taught me how to build flats for sets, introduced me to Duvateen Fabric (jet black cloth for a nighttime look) and trained me on the initial protocols with the video cameras. Having only taken “wood shop” in high school, my building skills were at a minimum, but he really got me to a good place with carpentry. I wish I had more time working with Dan and had inherited his job under very different circumstances. I would draw upon my interactions with him regularly throughout my career with Catalina Video, asking myself, “How would Dan handle this?” I wish the gay porn world could have experienced more movies directed by Cameron Leight, because this small trio of movies really tells us just how good he was at the craft. He was poised to become Catalina’s newest top ranking director had his opportunity not been cut short. Drawing upon his vast experience working with Higgins, Travis and Masters, I am convinced that his contribution to the industry would have been significant.

Here is a trailer for Cameron Leight’s Private Dick.

 

Bio 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
FRANK ROSS, The Boss
Our CALIGULA Moment
That BUTTHOLE Just Winked at Me!
DREAMLAND: The Other Place
A Salty Fuck in Saugatuck
Somebody, Call a FLUFFER!
The Late Great JOHN TRAVIS, My POWERTOOL Mentor
(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?
BEHIND THE (not so) GREEN DOOR
The BOOM BOOM Room
CATCHING UP with Tom DeSimone
Everybody’s FREE to FEEL GOOD
SCANDAL at the Coral Sands Motel
DEEP INSIDE THE CASTRO: The Castro Theatre
DEEP INSIDE THE CASTRO: The Midnight Sun
RSVP: 2 Weeks Working on a Gay Cruise Ship
VOYAGER of the Damned
I'M NOT A LESBIAN DIRECTOR
Diving Into SoMa/Folsom: THE FOLSOM STREET FAIR
Diving into SoMa/Folsom: A TALE OF TWO STUDS
BALL BROTH
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
BAD BOYS SCHOOL
VAMPIRE'S GRAVE
The Making of CatalinaVille (PART 1)
The Making of CatalinaVille (PART 2)

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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
FRANK ROSS, The Boss
Our CALIGULA Moment
That BUTTHOLE Just Winked at Me!
DREAMLAND: The Other Place
A Salty Fuck in Saugatuck
Somebody, Call a FLUFFER!
The Late Great JOHN TRAVIS, My POWERTOOL Mentor
(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?
BEHIND THE (not so) GREEN DOOR
The BOOM BOOM Room
CATCHING UP with Tom DeSimone
Everybody’s FREE to FEEL GOOD
SCANDAL at the Coral Sands Motel
DEEP INSIDE THE CASTRO: The Castro Theatre
DEEP INSIDE THE CASTRO: The Midnight Sun
RSVP: 2 Weeks Working on a Gay Cruise Ship
VOYAGER of the Damned
I'M NOT A LESBIAN DIRECTOR
Diving Into SoMa/Folsom: THE FOLSOM STREET FAIR
Diving into SoMa/Folsom: A TALE OF TWO STUDS
BALL BROTH
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
BAD BOYS SCHOOL
VAMPIRE'S GRAVE
The Making of CatalinaVille (PART 1)

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The Making of CatalinaVille (PART 1)

By Josh Eliot

 

The biggest movie in context of size, scope and budget I ever made was called CatalinaVille. I was tasked by our general manager to come up with a title that incorporated the company name. It took a couple of days going crazy before I finally came up with one that I somewhat liked. One of my very favorite movies is Peter Bogdanovich’s The Last Picture Show. Its not-so-epic sequel Texasville somehow, some way popped into my head. I went into the office thinking, “This is shit, he’s going to hate this title, it’s so random.” To my surprise, he not only loved the title CatalinaVille, but L-O-V-E-D it! Okay, check that one off. He immediately became excited and shared specifics of what he was looking for in this movie. He wanted it to be a showcase for Steve Rambo that featured him as an “action hero.” He said he was willing to double or even triple the normal budget (normally $13k). I was told to come back to him with an idea and we would work it into our production schedule to shoot in conjunction with the other two movies per month we were normally producing.

 

CatalinaVille DVD cover art

CatalinaVille DVD cover art

 

Well, I can’t say it wasn’t music to my ears when he basically told me it would cost what it would cost. It released me from the chains that held me down from coming up with big ideas. I immediately knew that I wanted a huge cast of at least 20; we ended up casting 23. Double cum shots are always a plus, so whenever possible we would shoot the oral and cum shots one day and then the anal and second cum shots the next day. Travel was definitely a must in my book. We couldn’t possibly shoot this movie in the same used and reused locations around Los Angeles, no way. We had been shooting the International Mr. Leather Contest in Chicago for a couple of years by this point and I knew we had carte blanche access to the Congress Theater where the event was held. We always got to get into the theater a day or two before to inspect it for setting up to shoot the show. I was hopeful that they would let us in a day or two before the show to shoot some sex scenes. Luckily for me the producers agreed! I wasn’t sure about anything regarding the storyline at this point, but I knew that the climax of the movie had to take place at the Congress Theater during the International Mr. Leather Contest. I remembered seeing an Alfred Hitchcock movie with a dramatic climax (or was it the opening scene?) that took place during a live show in a theater. This movie needed something like that.

The previous year while shooting the International Mr. Leather Contest, we discovered a guy who we were determined to be our new exclusive. The hotel had two towers that looked into each other’s rooms. This hot man in leather had stuck a giant dildo to his window sill and was “showing off” for everyone to see. Like any great head of production would have, Brad Austin counted the windows and went to that tower, tracked down that room and got this stud to meet us in the lobby bar. We created a verbal exclusive contract, verified with a hand-shake. This guy had to be in CatalinaVille! His name was Ray Harley, and we would shoot his premiere movie, Meet Ray Harley, and his scene for CatalinaVille in the same weekend at our second location, Breckenridge, Colorado. It was a gorgeous location, very picturesque, although the altitude was atrocious and made it hard to breathe! We chose Colorado because we regularly booked models from Colorado, where one of our top agents lived. We figured the money we saved on their airfare could be used to fly myself and the crew to Colorado.

 

Ray Harley magazine photo with Josh Eliot quote

Ray Harley magazine spread with Josh Eliot quote

 

Catalina Island was a no-brainer as yet another location - it had our company name! Just off the coast from Los Angeles, it was the perfect place to start the movie. Lovely, picturesque and the perfect rural setting for our star Steve Rambo’s locale. The movie opens with Steve Rambo and his lover, played by Brad King, enjoying each other orally on the open seas in a motor boat. That setting wasn’t planned, though. We rented the motor boat, took off with the crew and equipment along the coast and found a secluded cove. The plan was to shoot the oral and anal in this beautiful setting. We anchored the boat and swam to shore with the equipment on a blow up raft - at high tide, nonetheless. I don’t have to tell you how grueling it was; we were in freezing cold water, struggling and out of breath, but we made it to shore. I started to shoot a bit of dialogue when suddenly a pontoon showed up with about two dozen tourists and laid their anchor right the fuck in the middle of our cove! I couldn’t believe our luck, or lack of it. We thought we would wait them out, but they all started snorkeling and we knew they weren’t going anywhere. I made the decision to take Rambo and King along with Brad Austin and myself out to the open sea in that tiny fucking motor boat to shoot some sucking. I could not under any circumstances let this day be a bust, so that was my plan B!

We went out into the ocean and shot that oral scene, which was a nightmare to shoot. I almost fell out of the boat while trying to get different angles so many times. Brad Austin had to take us further out to sea to get away from other boats so they could not see what we were doing! Luckily Rambo and King did not have any hard-on problems or trouble cumming on cue! After shooting the oral scene, we went back to the cove to pick up the rest of the crew and equipment. The snorkelers were still there, of course. We headed back to the mainland, returned the boat and had a great expensive dinner, which we 100% deserved. The next morning, we rented a golf cart, because no cars are allowed on Catalina Island, and shot some footage of Rambo jogging with island vistas in the background for the opening credits. I felt okay but not great about the opening scene. The fact that there was no fucking bothered me, because it’s not the best way to open a movie! In the storyline, Rambo’s character plays an IT computer tech who gets a phone call from a co-worker (Doug Jeffries) based in Chicago. The co-worker is involved in some shady practices with underworld characters from Scottsdale, AZ (another one of our locations). Long story short, Rambo tries to help his friend by downloading the info onto a floppy disc (because floppy discs were all the rage in 1998?), causing the underworld characters to now target Steve Rambo. While trying to get their hands on that disc, the underworld characters shoot and kill Steve Rambo’s lover Brad. Distraught and confused, Rambo narrowly escapes and runs off with the disc and is next seen on a ferry heading away from Catalina Island and off to ______????

 

Cole Tucker & Steve Rambo, Grabby award winners

Cole Tucker & Steve Rambo, Grabby award winners

 

That is where I need to end “Part 1” of this blog. Sorry to leave you with this cliffhanger, but a movie as big as CatalinaVille definitely needs a two-part blog. See you in two weeks!

 

  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
FRANK ROSS, The Boss
Our CALIGULA Moment
That BUTTHOLE Just Winked at Me!
DREAMLAND: The Other Place
A Salty Fuck in Saugatuck
Somebody, Call a FLUFFER!
The Late Great JOHN TRAVIS, My POWERTOOL Mentor
(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?
BEHIND THE (not so) GREEN DOOR
The BOOM BOOM Room
CATCHING UP with Tom DeSimone
Everybody’s FREE to FEEL GOOD
SCANDAL at the Coral Sands Motel
DEEP INSIDE THE CASTRO: The Castro Theatre
DEEP INSIDE THE CASTRO: The Midnight Sun
RSVP: 2 Weeks Working on a Gay Cruise Ship
VOYAGER of the Damned
I'M NOT A LESBIAN DIRECTOR
Diving Into SoMa/Folsom: THE FOLSOM STREET FAIR
Diving into SoMa/Folsom: A TALE OF TWO STUDS
BALL BROTH
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
BAD BOYS SCHOOL
VAMPIRE'S GRAVE

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VAMPIRE'S GRAVE

By Josh Eliot

 

In 1993, I was videographer on the Catalina Video movie The Bite for director Chi Chi LaRue. It featured a great cast headlined by Jon Vincent, and featured Derrick Corbin, Dillon Reid, Londun, Max Holden and Rob Cryston. We shot it at the same time as a movie I directed called Sex Between The Lines in a Hollywood Hills house formerly owned by Fatty Arbuckle, but at that time occupied by squatters. Say what? Ask Scott Masters! He had some really funky connections! I do remember regretting that I had not come up with the vampire movie idea; it was right up my alley, as I was born and raised in one of the most haunted states in the union. But I was just glad to be shooting a horror-themed movie, and Chi Chi did a great job with The Bite and The Bite 2! I never went the vampire route in any of my movies, but I probably should have If I had, I would have drawn upon two of the most notorious cases below.

 

Cover art for Chi Chi LaRue's The Bite
Chi Chi LaRue's The Bite

 

The Grave of Mercy Brown

 

A farmer named George Brown lost his wife, Mary, and daughter, Mary Olive, after both became sickly and died one after the other. In 1892, another daughter, Mercy, died at the age of 19. Two months later, George Brown’s teenage son, Edwin, became sick and frail. The village doctor told George that it was “consumption” that was taking his son, but occupants in the town of Exeter had another explanation. The undead.

Between 1790 and 1899, it was not uncommon in New England, particularly Rhode Island, for family members to demand that the bodies of their deceased family members be exhumed. The reason being that they suspected the dead of being “undead” and afflicting the living. Sometimes going as far as to burn the hearts, lungs and livers and mixing the ashes into a solution to administer to the afflicted as a treatment.

 

Historical photos of Mercy Brown

 

Historical photos of Mercy Brown

 

In March of 1892, villagers, a local doctor and a newspaper reporter, along with George Brown, entered the Chestnut Hill Cemetery, under the wild idea that one of the deceased members of George’s family was leaving the grave at night to suck the life out of his son, and only by killing the undead could Edwin be saved. The bodies of George’s wife and daughter Mary gave no clues, but when Mercy Brown’s body was exhumed, it appeared oddly well preserved, appearing like her hair and nails had also continued to grow. When they prodded the body with the shovel, they found it filled with fresh blood. They continued on and removed her heart and burned it on a nearby rock. All documented. The ashes were added to Edwin’s medicine, but he died a short time later. Rhode Island’s South County between 1870 and 1900 was known as the “Vampire Capital of America.” Rumors, accusations and panic set in. Bram Stoker, who wrote Dracula in 1897, kept newspaper accounts of “vampire” Mercy Brown in his files that were discovered after his death. For the less superstitious, the well-preserved condition of Mercy’s body could be due to the fact that she was buried in the ground during the two coldest months of the year. Mercy’s grave is one of the most visited to this day and is reinforced with a metal band connected to a post to protect it from being stolen. The Mercy Brown case is one of the best documented cases of the exhumation of a corpse in order to perform rituals to banish an undead manifestation.

 

The Grave of Nellie Vaughn


Vampire's Grave is located in a rural 19th century cemetery by an old wooden church in West Greenwich Rhode Island, not all that far from the real Conjuring house at 1677 Round Top Road in Burrillville, RI.

 

The real Conjuring house

 

Starting back in the 1960s, stories related to an occupant of the graveyard spread like wildfire around the state. A teacher at Coventry High School told the students the story of Mercy Brown, a young woman whose body was exhumed and heart removed because family members were convinced she came back from the dead. Bram Stoker’s Dracula was based in part on Mercy Brown, and she is currently buried in a graveyard in Rhode Island. The students, mixing up their details, tracked down the wrong cemetery and headstone belonging to Nellie Vaughn. Nellie Vaughn died in 1889 at the age of 19 from pneumonia. When the students came upon her headstone which read in epitaph, “I am waiting and watching for you,” the legend of Nellie Vaughn being a vampire was born. Still the talk of high school in the 1970s, my friends and I along with probably every other student in the state at some point went to Vampire's Grave after smoking a ton of weed. Of course we were 100% sure that she was in fact a living dead vampire. The night we were there was scarier than hell; to reach it you drive for miles through a thick forest to a very desolate area. It is at a crossroads where you come upon the Plain Meeting House Cemetery. It took us forever to find her headstone, and yes, no grass was growing over her grave like the story said. Although it was a very creepy experience, no sightings of strange phenomena occurred that night.

Today, that headstone has been removed because there was too much vandalism of her grave site over the years. Nellie Vaughn has no marker and is in an unmarked grave. However, people have reported seeing a woman in Victorian clothing in the cemetery before vanishing into the woods, and also hearing a young woman’s voice near the grave site saying, “I am perfectly pleasant.” Almost as if she is trying to clear her name. Trying to tell the visitors that she was not an evil, frightening vampire, but only a very pleasant, proper young lady. The worst thing for us that night was driving home from the grave, still very stoned, going down that very winding wooded road in the middle of nowhere. We turned a corner that opened up to a big field on the right side of the road. There was a huge barn fire with about twenty to thirty people in white robes standing around it in a circle. Very scary, “devil worshippy” and demonic! We all screamed when we saw them and hit the gas to get out of there, constantly looking in the rear-view mirror to make sure no one was coming after us.

 

Vampire's Grave historical photos

Vampire's Grave historical photos

 

I promised that when I wrote this final “Halloween” themed blog, I would include a little bit of sizzle in keeping with the fact that this is after all for the BijouWorld website. So, after our harrowing adventure to Vampire's Grave, we dropped off the girls (our high school “girlfriends” at the time) and met up with one of their brothers named Michael and his “friend” Donald. There was a house in the neighborhood that was vacant and under construction. David and I had been “working” these two for what seemed like forever, getting a little flirt here and there, always followed by a big fat “nothing.” We met up with the boys, smoked some more weed; then, after months and months of build up, I did Donald, while my friend David did Michael.

 

PLEASE NOTE: No ghosts or vampires were spotted in the vacant house while exchanging blowjobs.

 

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
FRANK ROSS, The Boss
Our CALIGULA Moment
That BUTTHOLE Just Winked at Me!
DREAMLAND: The Other Place
A Salty Fuck in Saugatuck
Somebody, Call a FLUFFER!
The Late Great JOHN TRAVIS, My POWERTOOL Mentor
(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?
BEHIND THE (not so) GREEN DOOR
The BOOM BOOM Room
CATCHING UP with Tom DeSimone
Everybody’s FREE to FEEL GOOD
SCANDAL at the Coral Sands Motel
DEEP INSIDE THE CASTRO: The Castro Theatre
DEEP INSIDE THE CASTRO: The Midnight Sun
RSVP: 2 Weeks Working on a Gay Cruise Ship
VOYAGER of the Damned
I'M NOT A LESBIAN DIRECTOR
Diving Into SoMa/Folsom: THE FOLSOM STREET FAIR
Diving into SoMa/Folsom: A TALE OF TWO STUDS
BALL BROTH
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
BAD BOYS SCHOOL

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