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John Stagliano Touts Fashionistas – final

Porn Valley- In his efforts to bring more adult company owners into KSEX to discuss the current state of the industry, Jew Hefner scored a coup Tuesday night by having Evil Angel’s John Stagliano on.

[Steve Javors from Xbiz and Penny Flame were originally scheduled but relinquished their time.]

Stagliano, who tends to avoid interviews like the plague, was accompanied by his wife Karen [aka Tricia Devereaux]. She’s been a guest of Hefner’s in the past.

Having obviously done his homework, Hefner devoted most of the first hour to two of Stagliano’s huge feature hits, Fashionistas: Safado the Challenge and Fashionistas: Safado Berlin, Berlin being the final installment in the trilogy.

Put it this way. If you hadn’t watched either of the two, you would have been caught in a mire of insider’s observations and film school discourse. Although it was obvious that Hefner’s stadium of enthusiasm was certainly filled to capacity for the projects.

Hefner told Stagliano how he, as a younger viewer, found Buttman vs. Buttwoman to be very inspirational.

“It was totally different for me and a better way to jack off,” said Hefner.

Stagliano, no stranger to self-adminstered hand jobs, told a story later about how he once jacked off to a scene of Deveraux’s in a video arcade booth.

Noting that Stagliano had been a classicaly trained dancer, Stagliano obliged with a ciseaux and mid-air turn, albeit geriatic, since Stagliano’s now 55. But looking great for his age. Stagliano keeps in shape playing tennis, basketball in his backyard and bike riding.

Stagliano explained that the reason he took up dancing in the first place was to be near women since most of his college classes were occupied with men.

“I got serious with dancing but never good at it,” he comments. Later he danced with the Chippendales in Los Angeles.

Stagliano, who had been a journey man director in the business for about six years prior to shooting his own product, explained the origins of Buttman noting that he had longed to do a buns fetish movie.

Stagliano also liked the idea of POV, a style which was emerging at the time, with performers looking directly into the camera. He decided to incorporate the two concepts in the original Buttman in 1989.

“It was a cheap movie,” he admits. “I thought let me do a cheap movie in between my other expensive movies. I knew it was good and effective – especially when distributors kept calling.”

Stagliano explained that Evil Angel had been his DBA since 1982 and was an amalgam of a nickname he acquired as a dancer and that of a stripper he knew.

Stagliano says, first and foremost, though, his aim is to do a quality movie and make it good within its budget restraints.

“I make movies to sell so they had better be good,” he comments. “And to this day I’m always looking at better ways of doing things.”

Commenting on The Fashionistas movie, particularly Nacho’s performance,
[“Nacho went to places I didn’t think he could go”] Karen Stagliano said she fell in love with Nacho all over again. Stagliano said it took him about 2 1/2 years to do The Challenge and Berlin which were meant to be one movie [over eight hours]. Although Stagliano confesses he may have overdone it.

“I was trying to live up to the challenge of the first one,” he says. “But I would have had to tell people to stop fucking.”

Nevertheless, Stagliano says this is his masterpiece and was finished with it. Noting that the first Fashionistas was shot on film, Stagliano explained how it had to be shot in four minute blocks.

“It was hell,” he said. “There was 305 rolls of 4-minute film just from one camera.” Karen Stagliano thinks they shot more film for that project than most mainstream pictures. Stagliano laughed and called that a testament to his incompetence.

Stagliano also explained the origin of the project, noting that his original idea was a story about a girl who gets hurt by Rocco, goes to the hospital and the towns people want to crucify him. He got a lot of flak for it.

“Then I came up with a Cyrano-type story set in the fashion industry so I wouldn’t get in trouble with the religious freaks.”

According to Karen Stagliano, her husband’s now an atheist, and she an agnostic. Although Stagliano said he went to Catholic school, was an altar boy at one time and that the original script was his revenge on the Catholic Church.

He told another story about an eighth grade nun- Sister Mary Esther- who he swore wore no bra.

“That image was burned in my brain,” he smiles.

Hefner was also curious what Sifado meant. Stagliano said it was Portuguese for “crazy, perverted motherfucker”. Karen Stagliano notes that it was Nacho’s name in the movie.

Although it wasn’t clear which movie it was from [one assumes the Berlin movie], since they’re in both films, Hefner was particularly blown away by a fight Melissa Lauren and Katsumi have, followed by Lauren shoving her fist down Katsumi’s throat.

And for the fact that there are no Americans in the movie save for a brief appearance by Belladonna at the end, Karen Stagliano said overcoming the language barrier was the biggest obstacle to shooting the movies. For that reason, Stagliano said some of the dialogue didn’t work. Still and all, Karen Stagliano feels that acting-wise the cast went above and beyond expectations.

Hefner, who was all over it like a hobo on a hot plate, said he was really impressed and that after watching the Berlin movie, busted a nut.

Stagliano also adds intriguing inside information, noting that he was suffering from a kidney stone during shooting and was in incredible pain. Karen Stagliano, likewise, had blown her knee out from skiing and the two of them were exchanging Excedrins.

Hefner also voiced a common malady with today’s porn tapes and how cameraman don’t seem to hold a vital shot long enough for a viewer to whack off.

“How long you hold a sex shot is a very difficult decision to make,” Stagliano concedes.

Nevertheless, Hefner’s convinced that the adult industry will revitalize both physically and mentally.

It was also Hefner’s opinion that Evil Angel was “the mecca of porn”.

According to Stagliano, all he wanted in the beginning was to just survive. Stagliano then credited me for giving him an excellent review on a movie called Dance Fire which got him over the hump. The late Bruce Seven, as well, was very instrumental in Evil Angels’ early success, he states.

Now that he’s a bankable commodity, Stagliano, almost amused by the fact, explains how VCA is re-releasing early movies he did for them. This time with his name on the boxcover. Early on, he apparently didn’t rate the credit, he says.

With about 15 directors in the Evil Angel stable, Stagliano said he was over-extended where adding new ones were concerned.

“I cannot be any bigger,” he says quietly.

Asked how much their movies cost, Karen Stagliano said anywhere from $20,000 to $35,000, with features ranging from $50,000 to $500,000.

“Sales are down on DVD’s,” Stagliano also admitted. “And the Internet is draining me, but I still have my hair.”

It was also mentioned that the company’s main site, updates every day, is free and offers trailers averaging one to six minutes for every movie in the catalogue.

Stagliano also said that Evil Angel’s new movies are offered to their VOD affiliates as soon as they’re released. Hefner wondered if that might not conflict with the DVD market, but Staliano said it’s a different market and different customers.

Hefner wanted to know more about Stagliano’s marketing strategies.

“it’s not very complicated,” Stagliano laughs. “I buy ads in AVN and Xbiz.”

Hefner also brought up the subject of point-of-purchase merchandiing in video stores, and Stagliano replied that if he thought that would work, he’d do it.

“I’m a firm believer of in-your-face advertising,” said Hefner suggesting that Stagliano might want to look into advertising in bathroom stalls. [Senator Larry Craig already tried that.]

“You go take a piss, you see an Evil Angel poster,” Hefner suggested.

“I like that idea about urinals,” Stagliano replied.

Meanwhile Karen Stagliano was of the opinion that Evil Angel doesn’t have the brand recognition of a Wicked Pictures or a Vivid.

Hefner begged to differ.

“Because our sex is harder, it’s harder to advertise,” she explained, noting that Wicked and Vivid tailor their features more to mainstream tastes. She said her early exposure to porn was a Vivid movie. To which Stagliano was willing to concede that Safado Berlin was hardly the movie you’d start an 18 year-old out with.

“You want to know about marketing?” Stagliano asks. “I spent more money in September hyping Fashionistas [the Las Vegas show] and it was the worst month.”

Stagliano then announced that the show was moving to the Harmon theater and if it doesn’t do well there, that’s it for him.

Hefner then brought up Jules Jordan and Jordan’s leaving the company.

“Jules found me,” said Stagliano. “I had been talking to him a year or two
before I signed him.”

“He [Jordan] sent screeners,” Karen Stagliano adds.

Stagliano said what cemented the deal was the fact that Jordan introduced him to Christy Parks and her redoubtable ass.

“And he knew how to pose the girls,” Stagliano adds.

“He really knows the business- he knows porn,” Karen Staglaino also comments.

“But you built him up and he leaves,” Hefner interjects.

“But it was a peaceful leaving,” notes Stagliano. And Karen Stagliano also comments to say that there’s no animosity in the two camps. Stagliano said there was a point when he considered starting a company with Jordan but on the face of it, “things worked out better this way.”

Asked if he had any favorites among his directors, Stagliano dodged that bullet by describing some of the director’s strengths.

“Joey [Silvera] is quirky and great at casting and great at the personality-stuff,” he says. “He gets into a girl’s head in a different way.”

“John Leslie has done incredible stuff- his style is smooth and artistic whereas Jake Malone gets down to it right away.”

He also explained how he and Karen Stagliano met.

“She walked into my office in a dumpy pair of shorts,” he recalls. Karen Stagliano explained that she was picking up some movies and one of the employees told her Stagliano was there that she should meet him.

“Then I tried to hire her for Buttman in the Crack but that didn’t happen,” he said.

Stagliano then brought up the fact that, subsequently, he needed to have someone to talk to; and because they both had HIV, sought her out. By that time she had moved back to Chicago and began arranging visits to see her.

“We’d see Cubs games together.”

Stagliano explained that he had seen Karen on a number of occasions but because he was seeing someone else as well didn’t think it was proper to seduce her.

“But she swept me off my feet,” he says. “We’ve been common law married since 1999.”

Now that they have a six year old daughter, Stagliano said he’s more serious about life.

“I haven’t much time left.”


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