Filmco Gets Weird
Yet the fabled rail-splitter could well have been referring to the business model that's kept Filmco a thriving concern for over 20 years. The company has concentrated on pleasing a select niche of some of the people all of the time with an impressive stable —some 3,200 titles and counting between Filmco and its sister companies Bacchus and Totally Tasteless Video — of totally kink-driven material.
Let your sexual imagination run free, and if the law allows it, chances are Filmco has shot it. But bear in mind, the bread-and-butter ethos behind the Sun Valley, California-based business is that one man's revulsion is another man's wet dream.
It all began back in the early '80s, when a fellow named Ed De Roo (aka Loretta Sterling, his directorial nom de porn) took his personal passions into the adult world.
"He started the company when everybody was shooting straight, normal, suck-and-fuck movies," says Filmco manager Steve B, who joined the company in 1991. "When everybody else was doing that, Eddie was shooting 400- and 500-pound women and shooting midgets and shaving women's heads. You name it. Whatever the crazy fetish niche was, he would shoot it because he liked it, and that's what he saw there was a void in the marketplace for."
After a few years, De Roo opted to leave the industry.
"He sold the company to a gentleman named John, who was working with a guy named Michael, who is the original owner of Bacchus, which is mainly gay and tranny, so they shared a warehouse," explains Steve.
"So Eddie was gone for about a year and a half and he decided to come back. When he did he started a brand new company called Totally Tasteless Video. He started doing similar stuff to Filmco — pregnant, lactating, things that are his taste. This is what he knew, this is what he liked, this is what he shot and he did it pretty well. About seven years ago he decided he'd had enough, and he came here and said that before he put the company for sale he'd offer it to us. We definitely wanted to take it, because it doubled our library of hairy, fat, midgets, lactating, pregnant and anything else you can think of."
A boast that even the Library of Congress can't make.
Speaking of boasts, Filmco, Bacchus and Totally Tasteless Video proudly claim a number of industry firsts.
"We were the first to shoot tea bagging, camel toe and twink," Steve recalls fondly.
"With Bacchus, we've turned into a specialty company where we find niches that other gay companies aren't shooting, and we're pretty much the largest supplier of black gay. We were the first to come out with DILF titles, Daddies I'd Like to Fuck, and FILTH, Fathers I'd Like to Fuck."
Pioneering accomplishments enough to make even the most creative XXX thinkers envious, but it doesn't end there.
"Eddie was the first one shooting old ladies, and we're talking real old ladies, what we call Century Sex. It wasn't 30-year-olds being old, it was 50, 60, 70, 80 — real grandmas and great-grandmas. I heard about 40-year-old divorced women chasing after 20-year-old guys, and they called the women cougars. I heard the expression on the Today show and a couple other places, so we started shooting Cougars On the Prowl. Now, everybody's shooting cougars, but they don't research the fetish. So if you stick a 42-year-old woman with a 38-year-old guy, that's really not a Cougar movie," Steve emphasizes. "And we were shooting hairy when you couldn't find pubic hair in Southern California. Shooting hairy movies wasn't easy, but Eddie managed to do it."
An obvious question at this point is, where do they find the "talent" who populate titles like "My Friend's Mom," "Battle of the Ultra Milkmaids," or "Fuckable Moms in Labor"?
"That's always been the interesting part, people still ask us where we find these people," Steve says. "I can't tell you exactly. They keep contacting us and our directors, and they keep wanting to get into the business, and whether they were with swing clubs or whatever else, it just seems to be that they come from all over the country to shoot for us. They contact us when they're coming into town, and once they're here and have shot for us, they start shooting for other people."
Though other companies have tried their hand at creating the fringe product that Filmco specializes in, according to Steve, there's really no competition.
"When we hit upon a new thing, everybody follows suit and that's fine, because when it comes to library and catalogue, nobody has what we have. I think if you take all our competition combined I don't think they add up to what we have. Other people try and get into shooting what we do and God bless 'em. It works out well for me because they have a couple titles of hairy or midgets or whatever, and I still have 300."
Doing what he does for 17 years has allowed Steve a unique insight into human sexuality. The bottom line? Kink lovers are everywhere.
"It's like if you went to see a movie and a girl lights up a cigarette, it'd scare the 500 people in the theater, but I guarantee you there's probably ten guys in there getting a chubby. We're always on the lookout for new niches. I was listening to the radio, two women talking and one mentions moose knuckle, the male version of camel toe. I walked in the door and said 'We're shooting moose knuckle movies.' It's a lot of fun to come to work in the morning.