opinion

The world is your Royster

Gram Ponante

If Blue Velvet's Frank Booth used Roxy Music's Bryan Ferry as a surrogate to conceive a child with Mountain's Leslie West, Ron Roysterwould be the result.

Royster is directing Atomic Vixens: Beyond the Valley of the Slutsfor VCA. Royster is like a lot of guys I knew in sixth grade, except his love of Foghat didn't result in a forfeiture of his will to live. Instead of a life of industrial dishwashing in Maine which is where smart metal kids of my acquaintance ended up, Royster found work as a roadie, events planner, and musician with a very sunny outlook that probably has a lot to do with not living in Porn Valley.

A resident of Chapel Hill, NC, Royster was hired to compile a soundtrack of porn scores from the libraries of Adam & Eve. When he was unable to find anything he liked, he offered the money back. Someone said, "and what kind of porn movie would youmake?"

The result was Alternative Worldz: Atlanta, which is being given retroactive credit for the beginning of the altporn movement and which was supposed to be the first of a series of documentaries on the underground sex scenes of American cities. That might not happen, but Royster used Jade Starr in his first film and will also be using her in Atomic Vixens.

"I think there's room for a whole lot of us in the industry who are more into the erotica side of things," Royster said. He employed the services of millennial pinup photographer Octavio Arizala for Atomic Vixens. Arizala created several Esquivelian sets, including a spaceship for Lacie Heart and Ashley Steel.

What with fripperies like a functional set and buying lunch for the crew, Atomic Vixens, Royster's fourth film and first for VCA, might have gone over budget.

"I've got a bathtub of PBR, though," Royster said.

Royster will be staying in Hollywood through the editing of the film, which wrapped last night with a James Bond-style silhouette dance by Mika Tan. Tan also did a double dong scene with Starr a few days earlier. "No one cannot be in love with Mika Tan," Royster said.

Tan was the first porn star I ever met. She was the person who dropped hard science on the set of Sin City's Whoriental Sex Academy 4when director Bud Lee suggested she get some lunch between scenes and she said, "I can't eat Baja Fresh; I'm doing anal later." This was common sense that I hadn't considered before.

Tan and I talked about short people.

"Steve Tyler is short," I said.

"Glenn Danzig is short," she said.

"The Scorpions' Klaus Miner is short, as is Ronnie James Dio," I said.

"There are more midget rock bands than you'd think," she said. During the foreign language segments of Atomic Vixens, Tan improvised "I taste like dog." She should be given millions of dollars.

Lacie Heart recited some Latin during her climactic scene with Ashley Steel. Latin will never die now.

Royster echoed the words of Tom Zupko. "I try to get along with everybody. I'm not into feuds or haters or douchebags. I was at a party the other night and there was this guy there who was like, 'I fucked your mother in the eye." That's great, but I love women. If there's room for people like that, there's room for me."

Royster attended UNC-Chapel Hill for a while but dropped out. "My film teacher had directed a few episodes of Bonanza," he said. "He made us watch them like they were Citizen Kane."

I asked if various adult industry luminaries rubbed him the same way, as if their bukkake series, let's say, should be viewed like Citizen Kane.

"It was all I could do not to lick the double dong Jade and Mika used," he said. This was humility.

Royster's sets are informal and light. At the wrap party there was a tub of Mexican macaroni and cheese that should not be used before or after an anal scene. It still courses through me like it's the train they call The City of New Orleans. Tan demonstrated how a pile driver had resulted in a cracked vertebra and said she'd been to physical therapy for it.

"I told the doctor I'd fallen down the stairs," she said. "He said, 'this injury isn't usually consistent with falling down stairs, but if you say so.'"

People came and went. They drank beer around a formica table. No one boasted, unbidden, of getting blow jobs in the bathroom. Arizala and I talked about the perils of tiki scholarship.

"You don't want to call a Samoan tiki a Hawaiian tiki," he said. His pinup book is coming out in February.

In the other room of the party, the stereo played the following: Foghat (twice), BTO, Mountain, ELO (twice), Focus (Hocus Pocus), Zeppelin, and Nazareth (but not Love Hurts).

It should be pointed out that, for the most part, the term altporn was used five or six times by the likes of people like Eon McKai and then took on a life of its own. The result has labeled McKai, as well as producer/incipient director Malachi Ecks, Psychocandy creator Benny Profane, Joanna Angel, and the group that associates with them, as disrespectful egomaniacs, when in fact they have a very realistic view of the quality of their work and are often embarrassed that it sells well.

I mention this because I wondered, prior to meeting Royster, if the hype had created a false rivalry between him and the Steveporn crowd. The answer was No. All of the above, save for Angel, who has to at least make appearances in Williamsburg now and then, has provided assistance to Atomic Vixens. Profane even loaded the truck.

"Plus, I call what I do Glamorcore," Royster said.

Arizala's gallery from Atomic Vixens here.

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