by Rich Moreland, January 2013
Fortune came my way in Las Vegas a couple of weeks ago. I was there to network, pick up a story or two, and visit with industry people I have come to know. Through my connection with Evil Angel’s general manager Christian Mann, I was invited to visit the company’s suite at the Hard Rock Hotel.
It was late afternoon and twilight was fading on this unusually chilly Nevada day.
When I arrived with my photographer Bill and assistant Brandy, I found a familiar image in the suite. A gigantic poster of Bobbi Starr, who got her directorial opportunity with Evil Angel, dominated the space where the company did business during the week. Though she works out of San Francisco now, Bobbi’s presence is a reminder of Evil Angel’s influence in the world of pornography, especially owner John Stagliano’s respect for the women whose hard work helps to garner the profits.
I wanted to talk adult film history with Christian who is a walking encyclopedia on everything adult and an active member of the business’s political entity, the Free Speech Coalition. Never could I have imagined that John Stagliano would join in for over an hour of conversation that covered subjects as varied as BDSM in adult film to the political ramifications of being a pornographer in the 1980s and ‘90s.
At the conclusion of our conversation I received a treasured surprise. Christian gave me a copy of Voracious, John’s award winning epic film. A mega-project shot on location in Los Angeles, Budapest, and Berlin, Voracious is divided into ten episodes. The movie is a boiling cauldron of vampirism and sex, ancient lore that first broke into film with the Dracula movies of the 1920s and ‘30s.
Of course, the sex was implied in those days. The German silent offering, Nosferatu, released in 1927 and Universal’s 1931 Dracula starring Bela Lugosi, alerted moviegoers to neck biting, but showed next to nothing other than Dracula’s hypnotic powers. In Bram Stoker’s original novel published in 1898, Dracula is a dark figure of bisexuality, preying on men and women for their blood and their souls. Every bite is a metaphor for sexual penetration that resided only in the imagination. Victorian women would have fainted in greater numbers than reported had Stoker been explicit.
Incidentally, since he had two fangs perhaps Dracula was the originator of the DP!
Nonetheless, the 1934 Hays Code, the industry’s attempt at moral self-regulation, prevented anything sexual going forward. Christopher Lee’s Dracula in the late 1960s brings the cinematic world a little closer and messier to the real thing. Lee shows up with fangs and blood, significant because it skirted a dying Hays. Subsequent attempts to popularize the vampire film drama were never legendary; the closest modern version to achieving that level of fame is Francis Ford Coppala’s 1992 Dracula.
Now there is Voracious. Watching the first installment, I decided a good review would have to be done in segments. My deconstruction of this intriguing film will follow in the days to come.
By the way, the tale is a love story involving a human and a vampire in waiting. The hard driving sex is a Stagliano masterpiece and for those who doubt pornography’s worth in our society, the film has more than its share of artistic merit.
Whose world will triumph in this drama that crosses reality with the undead?
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When we left the Evil Angel suite, Bill and Brandy were curious to see the film. Vampire sex does have an attraction, perhaps a trance-like one that overcomes even the bravest of us as the night and its chilliness settles in.