RAW! UNCUT! VIDEO! (watch the video) chronicles the rise and fall of homegrown gay porn studio Palm Drive Video, and explores how a devoted couple helped battle a devastating health crisis by promoting kinky sex. (Facebook.com/rawuncutvideo and Twitter.com/rawuncutvideo)
Director Ryan White connected with us recently with this note: "After working on the film for 5 years, we're about to (finally) release it this Spring – which is REALLY exciting!! But, we've also been having issues with Instagram repeatedly removing our account for no apparent reason. We've lost thousands of followers and supporters right before the launch of the film. In order to get the word out, we've put together a press release about the unfair removal by Instagram." Unfortunately this is a common story, so we posted an update on the films release to help move things along.
Legendary leatherman Jack Fritscher met Mark Hemry in the late '70s at Harvey Milk’s birthday party – and the two fell head over heels in love. When the AIDS epidemic swept through San Francisco, the couple left the city to begin a new venture: turning a rural ranch in Sonoma County into a safe-sex porn studio that offered viewers new sexual possibilities in an age of plague. Casting rugged non-professional models to explore their unique erotic fantasies onscreen, the studio explored a wild array of queer kinks – and helped champion sex-positivity in the porn industry.
See their brand new Wohler Films account on Instagram (@wohlerfilms) so you can stay up to date for their release date and more info about their festival release.
AIDS continues to pose a massive health threat around the globe and understanding the diversity of tactics that communities in the Global North used to battle the epidemic in the 1980s and 1990s remains critical in sustaining efforts to control the disease. Media outlets have reported extensively on the role of governments and activists in promoting safe-sex practices to help combat the transmission of AIDS. But, there has been scant mainstream coverage of efforts to mitigate infection by underground fetish and porn communities through the promotion of sex-positivity and alternative safe-sex practices.
Now, in light of the current Covid-19 pandemic, an exploration of how to safely experiment sexually during a global health crisis is more relevant than ever.
We are inspired to create RAW! UNCUT! VIDEO! to examine the historic significance of gay fetish porn during the height of the AIDS crisis in the U.S., to trace the dedicated efforts of two leathermen (Fritscher and Hemry) to produce erotica that allowed queer folks to safely explore their sexual boundaries in an age of plague, and to recognize an assortment of sexual pioneers who demonstrated alternative practices by sharing their own kinks onscreen. At the same time, we hope to cast light on the importance of embracing non-normative sexualities and overcoming moralistic frameworks that only accept human relationships in extremely limited terms – and in turn, demonstrate that true love comes in many colors.
"Thrasher" (Steve Thrasher) is a Palm Drive superstar – and a heterosexual man. As a young handyman on the Fritscher-Hemry ranch, he perfectly fit the blue-collar aesthetic that Jack and Mark were looking for and was cast in some of their most iconic films.