THE OTHER SIDE OF ASPEN
Director: Colin Myer
Stars: Chad Benson, Casey Donovan, Dick Fisk, Al Parker, Jeff Turk
A popular retro classic, The Other Side of Aspen comes replete with clone-moustached joggers pounding the San Francisco streets in shiny nylon shorts, guys saying “come on buddy, bring it dooooown” to their sex partners and even the occasional moment of camera underwinding. Pubes are bushy, butt cracks are furry and the sex is hippy and equitable. Tops don’t bully their bottoms, bottoms don’t bark orders at their tops, and versatility is the order of the day as a pack of sporty sex pigs fuck and fist each other inside a hokey little Aspen chalet.
Director Colin Myer said it was his ambition to bring together three generations of gay porn stars in the one film. The oldest was Al Parker, a Seventies porn legend who worked at Hugh Hefner’s Playboy mansion as a butler before he got his break in porn, and who died of AIDS in 1992. Lean and skinny Parker personified early gay clonehood, and he shows off his impressive sexual energy fisting Casey Donovan, Parker’s blonde counterpart (AIDS, 1987).
Dick Fisk, who died in a car accident in 1983, was a younger, more muscular version of Parker. An early proponent of soon-to-be all pervasive gym culture, Fisk sported formidable back muscles, great glutes and a beautiful cock that crested the midsection of a sexy, hairy, flat stomach. He exuded an aura of health and fitness and played an energetic, dutiful lover, attributes which are shown off to maximum advantage when he reams Chad Benson in the film’s first sex scene.
Jeff Turk, the youngest performer, plays a ski instructor who stumbles across the guys and ultimately participates in an intergenerational all-star orgy. Turk’s narrative shots on the slopes were inserted later to join the shots together. Originally, the footage of Aspen itself was intended as a series of silent, separate promo “loops” but was strung together and sold as a single film with overdubbed dialogue. The film’s attractive spontaneity is not always acted: the Parker/Donovan fisting scene started out as a promo photo shoot, then the two guys started to play around with each other. Myer filmed what happened, and stuck it straight into the movie.
Asked in 2005 if he’d thought the film had aged well, Myer said “there’s a natural energy to the sex that makes it an excellent sex film and that will stand up forever”. He also notes that films of this vintage are timeless because there’s no fear of semen. Instead of staged and antiseptic cum-shots, actors in Aspen beg for cum to be sprayed all over their faces and even around and inside their butt holes. Once again, as with Inch by Inch and Spokes, pre-AIDS polymorphous piggery makes for very hot porn as it comes without the current self conscious “barebacking” carry on, which is only made possible by pharmaceuticals.
One of the most expensive porn films of its day, and one of the last to be shot on film before the arrival of video, The Other Side of Aspen was shot over three days and still stands up in its third decade.