Bijou Brings Back Set of Toby Ross Classics

CHICAGO — Bijou Video has rereleased two popular gay adult titles by director Toby Ross, on DVD: “Classmates” and “Mr. Wonderful.” Both were remastered using digital capturing technology and reissued with new artwork and packaging.

“Classmates” (1986) stars David Ashfield as a randy college student attracted to his art professor, played by Jack Luft. Costars include Jerry Carter, Phil Gerard, Rick Goulet, John Miller and Bill Saxton.

1987’s “Mr. Wonderful” headlines Tom Law as a “computer operator” [a job title reflecting the mid-‘80s milieu] who moonlights as a photographer of male nudes.

Costars include Dennis Anderson, Matt Houston, Tom James, Monroe Perry, James O’Brian, Steve Phillips, Dennis Reilly, Brad Richardson, Red Ryder and Everett Storm.

“Both of these Toby Ross films are some of his best work,” Bijou’s David Boyer told XBIZ. “They both feature a good-looking and well-hung cast. But it’s the storytelling of early porn, I believe, that stands out so well in some of these films.”

He said by the time these films were produced, the videotape revolution in adult was well underway. Consumers no longer had to buy tickets to an adult theater like Chicago’s Bijou. Therefore Ross invested more time and effort into the physical production of his films to produce a better home-viewing experience.

Ross’s attention to detail allowed his films to stand the test of time. However, Boyer said they also have an strong emotional pull.

“At the time these were made, they were almost the only positive images of gay men. We didn’t have gay characters and situations on television or in movies,” Boyer said. He added that Ross was a master at layering emotion into the erotic scenes he staged.

“Toby was a master at this. Although he is best known for his films that featured young men exploring their bodies, he could also put together a great film that showed older men as sensitive beings.”

Boyer cited the first scene in “Classmates” as an example.

“OK, some of it touches on being hokey. But the sexual fantasies involve caressing, touching, not just ‘bend-him-over-and-fuck.’ Toby would put more thought into the relationship between the characters than I think many directors do today,” Boyer said.

The Bijou Theater is part of the Bijou World family of adult businesses located in Chicago, which include the theater, an adult retail store and sex club. Owner-founder Steve Touschin also owns Bijou Video.

All Bijou World titles are available via their official website and through select retailers. For wholesale information, call (800) 932-7111 or email