Athletic Model Guild announced today the release of two newly remastered collections of rare classic films straight from the AMG film vault. They are the premiere releases of a new series in the AMG Film Classics line called Theatre Film Classics. Both DVD collections, Theatre Film Classics: Why the Wooden Indian Wouldn’t and Theatre Film Classics: Billy Boy, are now available for pre-order in the AMG webstore.
These films are rare glimpses into a very short window of time in gay erotic cinema – specifically the late 1960s and early 1970s – when hardcore pornography was just beginning to take root. It was a time before VOD, DVD or even VHS, a time when the theatre was the center of sexual culture. Mizer created the films exclusively for viewing in such venues as the infamous Park Theatre in downtown LA, where the seeds of gay porn were planted. They have not been seen in the 40 years since they were projected on the screen at the Park Theatre and at private, Saturday night screenings at the original Athletic Model Guild compound.
“Gay porn at the time barely existed,” AMG President and Creative Director, Dennis Bell said. “The 1960s were marked by major battles with the federal government over images of nude men. When the feds started to back off and laws began to loosen, there was a strong demand for sex films.”
Explicit sexual films like Why The Wooden Indian Wouldn’t and Billy Boy emerged during a volatile time in gay culture. Police raids like the one that sparked riots at the Stonewall Inn in N.Y., weighed heavily on the minds of the gay community. Theatres like the Park bravely opened their doors to men who were increasingly alienated from mainstream culture and showed films that celebrated homosexuality as opposed to condemning it.
Featured with the title film Why the Wooden Indian Wouldn’t, the groundbreaking Not For Sale, My Brother The Sister, and Cowboy & The Rancher’s Son take the standard format of the time. These four films are fully nude, loosely plot driven, 15 minutes shorts that show all but the point of penetration. By current standards these pictures, called ‘loops’, might be considered mild, but at the time they were at the cutting edge of pornography, showing more than had ever been possible in the past.
“There were actually films of men fucking,” Bell said. “That was an enormous breakthrough. You may not see the dick penetrating the asshole, but men were fucking, on the big screen.”
Billy Boy was an anomaly on the gay porn circuit. A full-length gay sex feature at well over an hour long, it was a tidal wave in a sea of 15 minute ‘loops.’ It is the most substantial of Mizer’s works to be uncovered since his death. Billy Boy is the story of a young man from the Midwest who leaves home to try his hand at California living. What he finds is a world full of drugs, gay sex, and corrupt cops.
“When I projected the first film reel of Billy Boy, already knowing this was the same reel that ran in the projection booth at Los Angeles' Park Theatre, I knew I was watching a rare piece of gay erotic history,” Bell said. “I heard AMG founder Bob Mizer himself doing some of the voiceovers of the cop in the first scene, and that really brought it home for me. This was the first hardcore action in the business, before Colt, before Falcon, before anyone else made a commercial effort at gay porn. While it required extensive color and sound restoration, this film is certainly something worth showing the world a second time, even if almost 40 years later.”
About The Bob Mizer Foundation: Located in San Francisco California, the Bob Mizer Film Archive is the world’s largest repository of original moving images documenting the twentieth century underground physique movement. Spanning five decades (1942-1992), the BMF Archive documents the evolving landscape of Postwar sexual mores through the lens of pioneering artist Bob Mizer. With over 3000 film masters and one million still images, this immense body of work was directly and indirectly instrumental in overcoming legal obstacles to basic human rights regarding censorship and enjoyment of basic personal freedoms. The Bob Mizer Foundation is dedicated to the promotion and preservation of progressive and controversial photography. It is our belief that the most disputed works of art are the most important to the progress of society. The Foundation spurs thought and discussion through the protection and dissemination of photographic material that has been discriminated against, censored or otherwise marginalized. Additional information about Bob Mizer Foundation is available at www.BobMizer.org.