"....keeps them in prison, until they are capable of loving someone other than themselves..."
directed by: Michael Zen (1983)
Starring: Paul Barresi, Rick Taylor, and introducing Blake Palmer; with Brad Mason, Paul Monroe, Steve Collins, Danny Combs, Vito Bonetti, and David Jones; The Transvestites: Sabato, Monica, The Garage Girls; Voices: Christian Black, David Samuels, Lawrence Deo
There are many of us who fault the VCR and cheap commercial videotape technology for the downfall of the quality of the gay porno industry. But before videotape became the format for movie-making, there was a brief period in the early/mid 80's when the new markets for selling videotapes (remember, they were going for 70-120 bucks 20+ years ago!) meant at least in some cases, the additional revenue meant more money spent for the actual production of the films. Here is an excellent example of the bigger budget films, directed by Michael Zen, who's hypnotic music and fantastic cinematography created an erotic, sensual feel seldom realized in the sleazy movie houses these films were often seen in.
Paul Barresi does a typical (for him) solo jerk-off performance, but the quality of the lighting, sound, and editing give it a more highly charged feel. (And unlike most of his appearances in gay films, he actually intereacts with one of the other characters, Rick Taylor - in this case to set up the premise of the film). Another solo, by newcomer Blake Palmer (who has a similar performance in Steve Scott's Screen Play through a motel window, and who later went on to str8 videos) - is beautifully photographed as he slowly undresses, jerks off, all the while being photographed (as it turns out, by himself) with an erotic voice-over. Brad Mason (who you've also seen in Jobsite and One In A Billion), mustached and tattooed, looking like one of the better Old Reliable models, has two performances in this film - first with Paul Monroe, a highly charged suck and fuck scene by a fireplace; then in a butler fantasy with Steve Collins (who you'll remember form such other films as I Do, Gayracula, and Non-Stop), first as the servant, then the roles are flipped, and Collins is the servant, and fucked while almost completely wrapped in Saran Wrap (it may sound funny, but Mason's cock going into Collin's ass will have a very different effect on you, I guarantee it).
Michael Zen first came on the gay porn scene in 1972 with the first Falconhead film, an incredibly trippy, sexy film. Until this 1983 film, I can't find what he's done film-wise. Since then, he's done a couple gay pornos in the 80's, many many str8 pornos, and seems to be doing both gay and str8 videos today. I remember enjoying He-Devils back in 1990, surprised at the look and feel of the video at a time when "cinematography" was a foreign word in gay porno making (highly recommended for any Michael Brawn, Alex Stone, or Lon Flexx fan). Also of note is his 1988 video - G. I. Mac - another Paul Barresi solo (the sequence shows him with his gun, then jerking off thinking about other men in his platoon) plus a great Brian Adams solo - the music, the blue-tinged lighting, the cigarette smoke, and the camera lingering over his body add up to a great opening sequence; and also a great Brian Adams - Butch Taylor lovemaking scene.
Back to this film, Falconhead Two - another HIS chopped up video - currently only the 65 minute version is commercially available. I don't recall who did the music, but it's definately a highlight, one of the rare films that understands the proper use of sound to elicit a sexual response. Obviously I'm on the lookout for the full 86 minute version, which was available on videotape in the 80's.