Thoughts Over The Evening’s Frangelico: Elegant Angel is a Doomed Enterprise

Rob Black on his Internet show, months ago noted that Patrick Collins [pictured] either had an exorcism performed or considered having one performed at Elegant Angel.

I don’t thing it would have helped. When you consider the fact that Collins used to be John Stagliano’s right hand man at Evil Angel and left under the most contentious of circumstances, you’ve got a recipe for disaster. Everyone who comes in contact with Elegant Angels is doomed like the fabled Flying Dutchman.

Rob Black and Tom Byron were top dogs over there and look at them now. Marc Wallice was employed in the editing bay and was involved in porn’s greatest HIV scandal. Tricia Devereaux was, as Rob calls it Elegant Angel’s de facto contract girl, and got HIV. By the way has anyone heard from Graham Travis and Mason lately? And didn’t Santino Lee also suffer a quick demise over there?

But the information Toby Dammit supplied me today really puts the icing on the cake. Says Dammit: “The warehouse we ship in was the same one that Israel Gonzales had the stand off with police at a few months later. Which was kind of eerie as the scene with [Sharon Mitchel] Mitchie and Wallace culminated in Deva Station, Randi Rage, and Coral Sands busting in to rescue me from Chloe and Mitchie. And a big ass gun fight ensues. With ended with Marc Wallace dead and John West with a bullet in his head!”

According to Dammit, a couple of months later Israel Gonzalez was killed in a shootout in that warehouse with LAPD and ended up with a bullet in his head just like in the porn movie.

Here’s what I wrote five years ago about Israel “Gargoyle” Gonzalez, a 28 year-old set designer, editor and cameraman, who apparently shot himself during a gun battle with the Glendale police at the Elegant Angel warehouse.

“An officer named Det. Charles Lazzaretto, a 10 year-veteran of the Glendale force, was, likewise, killed in an exchange of SWAT team gunfire with Gonzalez.

The incident occurred late on the night of May 27, 1997 at Elegant Angel’s warehouse in Canoga Park. What Gonzalez was doing there as well as the Glendale police is the story.

Gonzalez, who had been working for Elegant Angel, maintained a private loft office space built in the warehouse. Gonzalez, who began his industry career working for director John T. Bone and who was the P.A. on the Annabel Chong gangbang, had been sought by the Glendale police over a domestic dispute.

Gonzalez’s girlfriend, Michelle Bowen, called police reporting that Gonzalez had attacked her. Gonzalez and Bowen shared a volatile relationship over the course of eight years- one that was interpolated by a series of epic screaming matches.

On this particular occasion, Michelle Bowen claimed that Gonzalez not only shot her with a taser gun, but stuffed a rag in her mouth to muffle her cries. According to Bowen, Gonzalez then tied her up and slammed her head against a bathtub. The incident apparently stemmed over Gonzalez being accused of seeing another woman.

Acting on information that Gonzalez sometimes stayed at the warehouse, two plainclothes detectives showed up at 11:30 PM attempting to speak to him.

According to news sources at the scene, when the detectives finally gained entrance, Gonzalez ambushed one of them, shooting him in the head.

Failed attempts with tear gas precipitated an all-night standoff with SWAT teams. Gunfire was exchanged. Two LAPD officers were also shot when they entered the building to rescue Det. Lazzaretto. One of the wounded officers was hit in the arm; the second underwent surgery for leg, buttocks and arm wounds. Det. Lazzaretto was taken to the hospital where he was pronounced dead on arrival.

Gonzalez, who once vowed he would go out in a blaze of glory, joined Elegant Angel in late 1996 after seven years as Bone’s art director.

Gonzalez, himself, had shot amateur and gonzo vids for Bone and sometimes appeared as a performer in them named Max DeNiro or Max Ren. Gonzalez also appeared in the early releases of the Harry Horndog amateur series owned at the time by the now-defunct Zane Entertainment Group. In an interview Gonzalez stated how he chose the DeNiro name because a woman remarked he bore a resemblance to the actor.

As you might expect with these types of psychotic flare ups, Gonzalez was described as a quiet man and a controlled individual. This was according to Bone, who said in the seven years Gonzalez had worked for him, Bone never saw him lose his temper.

“He took my shit and never lost it,” Bone had said at the time of the tragedy. But Gonzalez did take Bone’s shit and, quite literally, in another sense. Because Bone went on to describe how Gonzalez made a practice of systematically robbing his sets of props.

“I caught Gonzalez doing it,” Bone added. “That stopped him but Elegant Angel made him an offer that was far and above what I was paying him. What Elegant Angel didn’t know was that Israel started working for me again behind their backs.”

Although a somewhat uneasy detante prevailed between Bone and Gonzalez, Bone said he loved him like a son.

“A kleptomaniac son but a son nonetheless.”

To support his comment, Bone detailed quirks in Gonzalez’s personality that included midnight raids on Hollywood dumpsters which Gonzalez staged in search of props to load in his van. With these midnight acquisitions, the enterprising Gonzalez started up a Glendale-based movie prop company of his own called Columns, Smokes and Chains.

“Israel once showed me a store set which he ‘liberated’ from Walt Disney,” Bone mused. “Israel was ‘the great liberator.’ He liberated half my garage after he stopped working for me.”

Bone first struck up a relationship with Gonzalez while Gonzalez was working out of a small editing bay on Lankershim Blvd in North Hollywood. Gonzalez subsequently went to work for Bone and became Bone’s self-described “right-hand.”

In a bizarre epitaph to the Gonzalez shoot out, Elegant Angel had been planning a Pulp Fiction-style shoot-em-up as one of their next major features.

Add in Patrick Collins’ divorve and I’m waiting for the next shoe to drop.

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