14th Annual Hard Choice Awards Winners Announced
Honoring the films of 2007, the Hard Choice Awards are chosen by reviewers Onan the Vulgarian and Harley Shadow.
“It's that time of year when everyone with something to say puts it in a list,” Onan said. “This is my list. No party, no fanfare, no shindig, no porn stars, no statuettes. Just the year's best in all-male porn.”
Categories ranged from the stalwarts (Best Actor, Best Supporting Actor, Performer of the Year) to the unique (Best Credits, Best Daddy-Boy Sex , Cleverest Title and Best Butt Parade).
“I was inspired to create the Daddy-Boy category while watching the Roman Heart/Chase Hunter scene in Falcon's ‘Basic Plumbing 3,’” Onan told XBIZ.
(Lucas Entertainment’s “Michael Lucas’ Gigolo” took the Daddy-Boy honors with the inspired pairing of Arpad Miklos and Zack Randall.)
“In ‘Junkman’s Obbligato,’ beat poet Lawrence Ferlinghetti wrote that he yearned to go to a place ‘where turtles win,’” Onan said. “I like to think of 2007 as the year that turtles won. Not to disparage the hares of the industry, it was gratifying — and I hope readers agree, whether or not their names or their favorites are on this list — to see so much variety in 2007.”
“Little guys” produced some mighty big results, Onan continued, and “big guys” who never won before surged into greater prominence.
“Chief among the latter was Raging Stallion Studios ,” Onan said. “In a time when pundits warn of the demise of DVDs, producer-director Chris Ward and codirector Ben Leon had the cojones to mastermind a six-disc, 20-hour sexual marathon called “Grunts,” and to sell it for over $100. It simply blew everyone out of the water; not only was it good, it was very, very good — and it sold like hotcakes.”
Onan went on to praise Kristen Bjorn for his contributions last year.
“This director has been turning out masterpiece upon masterpiece, for 20 years,” he said. “Perhaps it’s because people are accustomed to expecting nothing less than brilliance that not a lot gets said when Bjorn delivers it. In 2007, he gave us left-right knockout punch with ‘El Rancho’ and ‘Rocks & Hard Places.’”
Onan goes on to recognize performers Jesse Santana “for his sexual versatility, a couple of fine thespian turns and the reliability with which he gave one compelling performance after another” and Steve Cruz as “the perfect physical foil to Santana… who’s giving back to the industry and to the community with his own safe-sex website and educational outreach.”
This is the first time the Hard Choice Awards have recognized work initially produced for Internet consumption and Onan gave separate awards to Best Film, Best Director and Best Actor for “films shot on foreign turf.”
“I have to say that European porn was stronger and hotter than it's ever been,” Onan told XBIZ. “In addition to such stalwarts as Kristen Bjorn, Lucas Kazan and George Duroy there's a new guard doing terrific work: Robert Boggs, Tom Bradford, Danny Ray, Richie Oldmann, to name a few.
“Best Credits may never be awarded again,” he said, “but the credits for Mustang Studios’ ‘Ranger’ were so creative, fun, original and visually interesting, it was almost like watching a short film. They really merited acknowledgement.”
“I always hope the Hard Choice Awards will be fun to read — since there's no party — and I try to make them reflect the fact that my coreviewer Harley and I pay close attention to the films we watch,” Onan told XBIZ. “We want the awards to be representative of every corner of the industry, which is why you'll see films like ‘Buckback Mountain’ and ‘Why the Wooden Indian Wouldn't’ among the winners.”
Performer of the Year honors went to Santana, Best U.S. Film went to Raging Stallion’s “Grunts,” which also took Best U.S. Director for Ward and Leon and Best Solo for Ricky Sinz’s anal attack of an AK-47 rifle.
In the prestigious Hard Choice newcomer category, The Best New Kids on the Block, Best New Performer went to Cruz, Best New Director went to Jake Deckard and Best New Studio honors were bestowed upon FPG Entertainment.
For a complete list of Hard Choice Winners, click here.
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