Saturday, January 24, 2015

Meet The Most Controversial And Hardcore Studio Ever: Extreme Associates

Hope your weekend's going good my wonderful readers. So in the mainstream acting world I am an associate company members of TheatreWest and we meet on Saturday mornings. So I figured that since Saturdays are basically associate day I would dedicate this blog to associates of a different nature: Extreme Associates.
Okay so I can hear all of you groaning as you read that but come on give a boy a break.
Founded in 1997 by Rob Zicari AKA Rob Black, Tom Byron and Van Damage when they broke away from Elegan Angel, Extreme Associates was billed as having the hardest hardcore pornography on the internet. Their films were described as extremely violent, shocking, slasher porn and patently offensive and their films, which featured rough sex, simulated rape and numerous other acts of erotic humiliation such as women drinking piss and being gagged with cocks until they vomited and sometimes drinking the vomit definitely lived up to their reputation.
The company actually evolved from Zicari's first company called, believe it or not, Extreme Video and was also associated with Evolution Erotica for a while.
In 1998, Zicari's wife Janet Romano AKA Lizzie Borden joined the company first as an actress and then as a director. When interviewed about the material of the company, Romano was quoted as saying "it's disgusting but I like to watch it because it's shocking." Romano also admitted in interviews that she dealt with some dark demons and directing the shocking material and watching the actresses be degraded was like therapy to her. Both her and Zicari also compared their films to slasher films and reality TV saying that people watched their material in order to be shocked.

Extreme Associates was featured on America's Most Wanted, Nightline, The Daily Show and in the magazines Time and Details. The company was also the subject of the documentaries The Porn King VS The President and, most famously, PBS Frontline's American Porn documentary.
American Porn, which aired in 2002 and is a very interesting documentary which I highly recommend; you can find it on YouTube, was at Extreme Associates' headquarters during the filming of Lizzie Borden's infamous movie Forced Entry. Frontline's crew were so shocked by what they saw that they actually walked off the set and that, in conjuncture with the airing of the documentary, was what brought about the obscenity charges against Extreme Associates, Zicari and Romano in 2003. And let me tell you, that whole story is so interesting and bizarre that I'm going to dedicate another blog just to it, so I'm not going to mention too much about the trial, only that Zicari and Romano were found guilty and did serve time.
Interesting trivia: From 1999-2003 Zicari and Romano owned and operated the pro wrestling federation Xtreme Pro Wrestling and, like their porn company, XPW was extremely violent and controversial. Zicari and Romano appeared using their porn names Rob Black and Lizzie Borden and several of the girls who appeared in Extreme Associates' films worked as valets and wrestlers for the company including Kristi Myst, Jasmine St. Claire, Jessica Darlin and Veronica Caine.
In March 2006 Extreme Associates became the U.S. distributor for Shots Video Netherlands the company known for the series Men's Lounge, Bi Sex, Clinic Sex and Deep Throat Anal. Shots Video Netherlands had actually been the European distributor for Extreme Associates for years before this time.
In May 2006 it was announced that their content could be downloaded to iPods and PSPs.
In February 2007 they became the exclusive distributor for the all black studio Baller Nation's Films.
In September of 2007 Extreme Associates halted all DVD sales distributing exclusively through VOD service.
Another interesting bit of trivia: Porn stud Michael Stefano actually began his directing career with Extreme Associates in the mid 90s using the name Luciano before directing for Red Light District Video.
Alana Evans, Amber Lynn and Bridget The Midget all appeared in multiple films for Extreme Associates and Nicole Bass who is famous for the sexual harassment lawsuit she brought against WWE did some non-sex bondage videos for the company.
One of the most bizarre and controversial series the company produced was their Club Satan series. The series was directed by Church Of Satan member Shane Bugbee. During the filming of The Witch's Sabbath several actors and crew members actually walked off the set when an actor was asked to ejaculate on a model of Jesus and then smash its head. Actor Rick Masters was quoted as saying that Bugbee "had gone too far."
Interestingly enough for all the controversy and all of the bad blood that existed between Extreme Associates and other companies and individuals in the industry, including Vivid Video and Larry Flynt, the company actually did win several awards, six AVN awards and two XRCO awards.
So that's about it for now readers. As I said, expect another blog post about the obscenity charges and trial as well as posts on both Zicari and Romano but until then what are your thoughts about Extreme Associates? Any fans of the company read this blog? Have any of you seen their films? Do you think they went too far or were their rights for freedom of speech violated?
Now God knows I love controversy and I love anything and anyone that gets people talking but I do think that in some instances Extreme Associates did go too far with some of their scenes and films especially when I read interviews and reports of some of the girls getting out of the business because of the horrible and degrading experiences they had on set and reportedly some have even gone into hiding out of fear. I have seen some of their films and I must say I do see real fear and real tears in the eyes of some of the girls and it makes me uncomfortable. I don't watch porn to feel uncomfortable. I watch porn to get turned on. I'd love to hear your thoughts on this. Leave some comments below.


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