On the Set | Channel 1’s 'Hazzard Zone'

In West Hollywood, Target workers wave banners reading “LABOR DISPUTE,” but around a corner in The Zone sex club, workers on Channel 1 Releasing’s Hazzard Zone are content.

One soon sees why.

Producer-director Chi Chi LaRue handles every problem the crew presents, sometimes before they finish presenting. “Which part of the stairway..?” asks a gentleman, and LaRue forestalls him with, “All of it, from top to bottom.” LaRue also shows professional respect for everyone, introducing the gentleman as “Hugh Wilde, the videographer, no, the award-winning videographer, who’s lighting this movie.”

LaRue’s happy himself today because Hazzard Zone is “my favorite kind of movie, the all-sex kind where I can get in there and get dirty right away, without having dialogue get in the way. I think I’m more of a cheerleader than a director.”

At first insisting that he works so hard on movies only because he participates in their profits, he then admits that he has “a vision,” but it’s a fresh vision for each production. “I like things to be different in the variety,” he says. “I don’t want my Link movie to look like Starting Young. I consulted with Adam Killian, who’s shooting this movie, for a few minutes about lighting, that’s all. This today is an all-sex movie, being shot in a dirty, dark sex club, so we want the lighting to be moody and atmospheric. I don’t want my movies to look like each other any more than I’d want them to look like other people’s. I make good beat-off movies.” Pause. “But I’ve always hoped people would take my movies home and get off and then rewind it and maybe watch the story. That’s what makes me make them good.”

Some passing personnel tease him, shrilly shouting, “Yeah, how about Courting Libido?” which makes LaRue laugh and shout humorous defenses of that movie as he leaves for the shoot.

Besides enthusiasm, he has discipline. As he goes in and out, his fingers trail over a table piled with snack foods, but never take anything. Today’s schedule includes not only shooting a two-man scene, but taking publicity stills of all the cast, so makeup man Domini has his graceful hands full. “Chi Chi’s make-up standards,” he says, “are higher than any I’ve ever encountered in the mainstream industry.”

Star Johnny Hazzard, professionally presenting his perfect face as an object to be attended to by Domini, has made porn only with LaRue. “Chi doesn’t have to direct me much by this time,” he says. “Mostly just yells, ‘Spit on it,’ ‘Talk about it,’ ‘Slap it.’”

Good-humored about his sex appeal and stardom, Hazzard says seriously that he’s starting a clothing line, but laughs when he adds that it will be called, “Hazzard Wear.”

Doug Jeffries expresses joy that all his old movies as model and director are available again now that Channel 1 has bought All Worlds, but then must dash away to help LaRue select jockstraps.

Big-eyed Jason Longh drops his pants to ask Domini if he should have make-up on a baseball wound on his knee, but still-photographer Mick Hicks says, “Oh, I can Photoshop that out.”

Young-bear burly, but pussycat-polite Vinnie D’Angelo, who’s worked with several directors, jokes, “As soon as I got out of an exclusive contract, I came to Chi Chi. I knew he was the best because he said so!”

Like others on the set, his LaRue imitation is startlingly loud and shrill compared to the modestly professional LaRue with whom one has just talked. One soon learns the source of their shrillness. In a dark hallway, squinting at a monitor showing Hazzard and D’Angelo cruising one another on a flight of stairs, LaRue trembles with excitement and screeches loudly enough for everyone in West Hollywood to hear, “In there tighter! Lift your left eyebrow! Turn slowly away! Adam, back up and catch that light flare beside him! Johnny, wet your lips! Vinnie, look down at your crotch! Chad, get that cable out of the shot!”

And right before one’s eyes, ordinary images of the two men slowly snap into place and become shockingly hot stuff. “Bounce that butthole on that tongue! Turn your head while you lick it!”

Superstar Chad Hunt, staffing today, says LaRue creates “comfortability” for all. Even producer Steven Walker, cameraman Killian and production photographer Mocha find free moments to praise LaRue.

Comfortable himself, LaRue emerges from the depths of the club, touching but not taking snacks, and shouts over his shoulder, calm and collected, “No, that’s fine. Just call me when it’s hard!”

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