That BUTTHOLE Just Winked at Me!

By Josh Eliot

 

I arrived at the Caravan Lodge in the heart of San Francisco’s Tenderloin District thinking to myself, “What the fuck are you doing? Are you crazy?! Meeting a complete stranger in a trashy motel room for an interview?” Days earlier, I called the phone number from a help wanted ad in the Bay Area Reporter looking for a still photographer and a make-up artist for work on adult gay videos. I noticed the door was ajar when I walked up to the motel room, and once I knocked a loud voice told me to come in. The room was super dark, except for the bedside lamp, with a large man sitting on the bed. Smart move, dude!

I didn’t know at the time, but the man was Scott Masters, the founder and producer of Nova Video, now working for William Higgins' company, Catalina Video. Once we started a conversation, I was relieved to find that this was in fact a legitimate job interview and he was actually quite pleasant. I was a bit nervous that I was applying for the still photographer position, because I had ZERO experience shooting photographs. I went to the interview with still photos shot by my childhood friend David, claiming they were mine. It’s called rolling the dice!

 

Vintage brochure material for the Nova film Oh Brother

Vintage brochure material for the Nova film Oh Brother

 

I didn’t go in as a total fraud; I also had a decent resume with film and video production experience from the San Francisco Art Institute and The Bailie School of Broadcast. A year prior, a movie I made and acted in premiered as an Official Selection at the 1986 San Francisco International Video Festival. It was shot on a VHS camcorder and had a budget of $200, which was mostly used to rent the editing equipment. If you like B-Movies, check it out on my YouTube channel, it’s called Fright Night of the Living Dead.

 

1986 San Francisco International Video Festival listing for Fright Night of the Living Dead
Images from Josh Eliot's Fright Night of the Living Dead

1986 San Francisco International Video Festival listing for & images from Josh Eliot's Fright Night of the Living Dead

 

I think Scott Masters was impressed, so he sent me to the adjoining room so I could meet “Jim.” Jim and I discussed specifics about the content of the product they produce and what would be expected of me. He could not have been nicer or more welcoming, something you wouldn’t exactly expect when you later discover that he made the most well-known gay adult movie of its time, Powertool, starring his discovery, Jeff Stryker. I was in the presence of porn royalty, John Travis, the man behind Brentwood Video and numerous Falcon Studio productions. I wouldn’t find out the extent of his notoriety until months after working with him, because he never bragged. Following our meeting, I had a third interview with Dan Allman, who was in charge of art direction for Catalina. On September 21st, 1987, my 25th birthday, Dan gave his blessings and I was officially Catalina Video’s still photographer.

 

Cover for the collection The Best of Brentwood

Cover for the collection The Best of Brentwood

 

My first day on the set, we were shooting a scene for the John Summers/John Travis production Bulge: Mass Appeal. Kurt Bauer and Kevin Glover were in the scene. John was directing from behind the camera while Dan, Kenny (the make-up man) and I were watching it on a monitor to make sure lighting was good. In between shots, we would all run in and move the lights and microphone and set up for another angle. Dan put two apple boxes on the floor and John Travis asked Kurt Bauer stand on top of them while Kevin sat on a stool to blow him. “Hop in there, stills,” Travis ordered. I walked into the set then stopped and looked back at him. “Under there?” Travis had a good laugh, “Of course! … I’m not the only one who gets to have my face up their ass! You don’t bite, do you, Kurt?” Kurt said something cute and flagged me in to get down on the floor under him.

After I got the photo, John told Kevin to step out of the frame then said to me, “Stills, shoot some shots of that hot fucking ass Kurt has, and Kurt… be sure to wink your butthole at him!” I was mortified, but in a good way. Kurt “winked away” and that was my initiation into the club.

 

Kurt Bauer and the Bulge: Mass Appeal cover

Kurt Bauer and the Bulge: Mass Appeal cover

 

It doesn’t give me any pleasure to say that my position as a still photographer lasted a whole two weeks. They were not happy with my photos because I shot everything on automatic. F-stop? What’s an f-stop? I should have asked my friend David. Luckily they liked me and focused on my video production experience, which is what I was hoping for all the time. John Travis and Dan Allman started training me on the back up video camera, normally only used to shoot the second cumshot angle. They went on to hire another still photographer, making me the second videographer, and from that point forward all Catalina productions were shot with two cameras simultaneously.


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

 

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Retrostuds of the Past: Focus on Cory Monroe

posted by Madame Bubby

Cory Monroe Playguy photo
Source: Playguy, December, 1986

This prolific “blond jock American bottom” appeared in more than 100 moves from about 1982-2001, also performing as Sandy Shaw, Rob Monroe, and Kurt Reikert.

According to Gay Hot Movies, “Cory is part of that pre-condom vintage era of porn that churned out countless stars and even more hot videos of bareback sex. His athletic physique, handsome face and piercing blue eyes made him a favorite among fans of gay porn, and garnered him endless job offers in the industry. Cory performed in more than 100 films over the course of his career, more often than not as a bottom.”

If he were active today, I get the vibe he would be an Instagram sensation. The photospreads he did for Playguy early in his career in December 1986 (he was 21) does reveal at one level the blond jock all-American type, but the confidence he exudes for the camera I think transcends convention. He's no perfect Ken Doll; he knows he can show off his rocket cock and firm, cute yet plowable ass, but the eyes and the facial expressions reveal a cocky arrogance. He commands the viewer to want to fuck him.
 

Cory Monroe Playguy nude
Source: Playguy, December, 1986

Three notable Bijou Classics he appears in, enticing descriptions courtesy of our website:

In Nova Studio's Oh Brother (1983), one of his earliest appearances, he appears as “supposed brother” of Eric Reikert, Kurt Reikert, in this loosely plotted tale of “brotherly lust.” According to Kevin Gender, "The climax of the film finds the two brothers alone, turning their natural love into lust as they powerfully fuck each other. If the old saying, 'Like father, like son' is true, these boys' mother must have been artificially inseminated," while Torso magazine proclaims, "Familiar face Kurt Reikert comes together with brother Eric, and their on-screen encounter is nothing but explosive... Nova has done better in the past, but it's still good hot viewing."
 

Images from Oh Brother
Images from Oh Brother

He also appears in the recently remastered Tall Tales (1986), directed by Joe Tiffenbach. Kenneth, played by Kenneth Weyerhaeuser, rings up his friend and tells about how, on a recent walk in the park, he met a young jogger who came home with him. In a flashback, Kenneth leads sexy blond Cory Monroe into his living room and offers him juice. While Kenneth is fetching it in the other room, Cory stretches and fondles his erection through his shorts. Kenneth returns and remarks about how well he fills out his shorts. Aroused, Kenneth magically transforms into nude, mustachioed Morgan Hunter and kneels before Cory, feeling and nibbling on his boner through his shorts and pulling it out to give him a blowjob. Morgan stands and Cory sucks his cock, then they move to the floor for some passionate kissing, fondling, nipple play, and sixty-nining. Morgan licks Cory's asshole, then fucks him on the floor.
 

Images from Tall Tales
Images from Tall Tales

In a dream sequence from the Bijou Video production Hey Tony, What's the Story (1993), Sam Houston, a tremendously sexy black man with a huge pole, seductively urges Tony Lattanzi, currently struggling to discover his sexual orientation, to join him a leather fantasy; another door opens on lean Cory Monroe slurping on redhead Kevin Taylor's long cock in a jail cell. Tony enters this one, biker shorts down, to be fondled by the duo before he scampers away from their grasping, lascivious hands. Another door shows buxom Hilde Hagen, Tony's former girlfriend, clad only in a leather bikini bottom, as she rubs her ample bosoms while looking in a mirror. They kiss, but Tony's heart really isn't in it, and when Sam and the caged duo reappear to taunt him, he wanders about confusedly. Kevin bangs Cory's exposed ass on a sawhorse before Cory and Kevin both vie for Sam's schlong. Director David Babbit is at his best here as these three perform unfettered by an inhibitions or misgivings; they romp like they want it! Tony finds himself on the horse with Cory and Kevin holding his legs to give him a righteous screwing.

All these and more Bijou Classics with Cory Monroe are available streaming now here!

Also, here's a link to a blog on another famous retrostud, Leo Ford, that gives some reflection on the erotic appeal of blonds.

To readers: I have not been able to locate much personal information about him; he seems to exist only in the movies and magazines he appeared in. Anyone know anything?

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