A graduate of Stanford with a Masters Degree in Fine Arts, Alexander Gregory Brown, his real name, has made thirty mainstream flicks, and about the same number of pornos and music videos. Gregory uses the last name Hippolytie (pronounced 'Hip-paul-itee') for most of his straight work. He saves his real name for the work he's most proud of, such as the original Dead Man Walking. Brown's Street Asylum, starring Wings Hauser and Gordon Liddy, ran several weeks in theaters, serving as a precursor to the work of Tarentino. For $110,000, Greg made The Sublime's video The Wrong Way which received heavy MTV rotation during the summer of 1997.
"I get the least money for my porno stuff," he says. "I do everything I can not to make a porno. I'll do anything else. Porn is not challenging. It appeals to the lowest common denominator. Porn is a joke. That's why the industry doesn't like me. I laugh at how seriously they take themselves. I can't have a conversation about filmmaking with Rob Black or Randy West. That's ridiculous. Pornographers don't even try to do anything creative.
"I may work at porn twenty days a year. Aside from that I avoid the industry. When I do porn a lot, I get unpleasant and frustrated. The people in this business are lame."
Greg's porn is not the "candy-colored dreams of the mainstream smutmeisters," writes Hustler. "Dark's movies are more like nightmares. Twisted and fevered.... Sex in the concentration camps. Every treat has a gooey center, but beware the few that slip past containing the occasional jagged piece of glass. Are you ready for your shower, mein herr? Step right this way. Enjoy the music we have provided for your listening pleasure - it's Wagner. Would you prefer soap or Zyklon-B?"
Gregory patterns his porn after the writings of the Marquis De Sade. If he could get away with, he'd have his performers eat s---.
Until Dark came along, pornos resembled soap operas where relationship problems are solved by sex. In Greg's films, f---ing replaces lovemaking. "I make pictures that show the type of f---ing that men wish they could to women."
In other words, Dark
keeps porn in the gutter where he believes it belongs. Gregory despises
the medium as artistically bankrupt and his few friends in the industry
are journalists such as David Aaron Clark, Tim Connelly, Jared Rutter.
Greg's particularly close with the folks at Larry Flynt Publications
such as Evan Wright, Michael Louis Albo, and Alan MacDonell. Dark admires
Larry Flynt's dirty style.
Gregory grew up as an only child of a Las Vegas stripper. She split from her anthropologist husband when Gregory was four and went on to eight more marriages. Brown heals the humiliations of childhood through his work. From Black Throat to Shocking Truth, porn functions for Dark, in part, as revenge on his mother.
Born in Hollywood Presbyterian Hospital in 1952, Gregory grew up in Beverly Hills, the son of an anthropologist obsessed with the occult. "He used to sing me voodoo songs in French… I lost touch with him when I was four. Around ten, I heard he disappeared in Haiti."
With dad gone and mom rarely home, Brown learned to occupy himself. At age eight he began his lifetime of martial arts training. Pornography made his reading list by age nine, particularly The Autobiography of a Flea and the works of the Marquis De Sade. Gregory enjoyed other books put out by Grove Press and the writings of Henry Miller which he stole from the newsstand. He also stole into theaters to watch films for free, enjoying That Obscure Object of Desire and Belle de Joure. Surrealism particularly affects Dark, that 20th century movement which seeks to express what's in the subconscious mind by depicting objects and events as seen in dreams. Other childhood interests included ritual magic, Voodoo, and the work of various underground filmmakers.
Gregory's first sexual experience came at age eleven with his mom's 18-year old housekeeper who came from the wrong side of Las Vegas. "White trash. She used to tease me by taking off her skirt and showing me her panties. Finally, she gave me a blow job and let me eat her pussy. She was a little whore, just the greatest fun."
Brown first had intercourse at age 17. "I'd been smoking opium all day and took her back to my grandfather's. I didn't know what the f--- I was doing, but my dick was like a rock, so I stuck it in her and just hammered away. I couldn't come 'cause I was so high. She screamed so much somebody called the cops, and my grandfather told me I had to get out of his house within a week. He said to me, 'Some people have trouble with alcohol. Others have trouble with gambling. But you will always have trouble with being obsessed over women and sex. And I promise it will be your downfall.'"
Brown decided in his teens that he wanted to become a filmmaker and he began making 8mm (non-pornographic) films as well as devoting himself to drawing, painting and seducing women. "I've always been interested in art. I won an art show when I was in second grade. I've always done painting and photography, which I manipulated by cutting out pieces to create montages… It was a natural progression to get into film, going from series art to making films about serial imagery."
Gregory entered college at Mount St. Mary's but was thrown out his first semester. "I was drug dealing, getting too loaded and trying to f--- too many girls," he told Psychotronic Video magazine in early 1997.
He moved to Northern California and eventually graduated from Stanford with a Masters of Fine Arts. He then attended NYU's Film School. After graduating, he made documentaries for NBC News, Cambodian TV and the United Nations. "I'm a filmmaker. If you'll hire me, I'll do anything."
Brown made his first feature film in 1980, Hollywood Underground, a documentary about L.A.'s strip scene. "I was a good customer of this one dancer. She eventually told me she was a call girl… I interviewed her father, mother, sister… Her father used to pimp her out. He had incestual relations with her. They were very open about it. Didn't insist on having their faces blacked out…"
In 1983 he began making a documentary about the porn industry titled Fallen Angels. "They hired me to make a negative documentary about porn. I have no moral problems one way or another with these things.
"My interview with Kristarra Barrington was funny. Sitting with her boyfriend in her Pasadena apartment, she said 'I only do girl-girl… And I'm going back to college, and blah-blah-blah… Then when I went out on the patio with her and we were alone she said, 'The high point of my life was that I f---ed 350 guys in high school.'
Through making Fallen Angels, Gregory became interested in the porn industry. He met distributor Walter Gernert and the two became the Dark Brothers. Gregory made the films and Walter sold them. They appeared in numerous sex magazines during the mid '80s dressed as white pimps, sitting in wicker chairs surrounded by stuffed iguanas, rubber snakes and sexy black women restrained by collar and chain.
Brown thought porn was America's locus of creative filmmaking but he found to his disappointment that X is a conservative medium usually done to strict formula. "Most persons in the porn industry find me peculiar because my interests are intellectual. I have a background in conceptual art which is what I do in my porn.
"Porn is a business of people who aren't trained film artists or artists generally, or even educated people. The performers are not trained actors. I do mainstream films and I can tell you that there's a vast difference in the acting ability.
"Pornography is sexual material presented in an arousing way. Sometimes I will counter the arousal in a porno piece. Often I will make it arousing only in the last part of a scene or only in the first part. Then I'll destroy the arousal. I'll use sound, music or even no sound, or a certain editing style to do this.
"The images hit your mind over and over again to produce a latent emotion, perhaps of arousal or perhaps of disgust."
Dark views only a handful of pornos as art, such as The Opening of Misty Beethoven "albeit it is only a shallow exploration of Pygmalion and could've been much less shallow, The Devil in Miss Jones, perhaps Andrew Blake's Hidden Obsessions because of its beauty, the original The Adventures of Buttman by John Stagliano, and some of my own films." Gregory says no porno could rank in the top ten thousand films ever made.
Dark is an artistic idealist who refuses to treat pornography as primarily a means for masturbation which is what it is for most of its users. His images are usually too weird and esoteric to influence his peers.
While nasty, Gregory's films are not sadistic or violent. He rarely uses bondage and never portrays rape. The dialogue he creates is no more vulgar than that found in many R-rated films.
"If pornography had ever hoped to position itself as a glamour industry, that dream died with the ascendancy of XXX director Gregory Dark," writes HEVG Editor Michael Louis Albo. "In 1984, as half of the infamous Dark Brothers porn-production team, Greg unleashed Let Me Tell Ya About White Chicks. A grueling, grungy, goop-saturated f--- film that illustrates the dick exploits of a porchful of signifying Negroes, White Chicks flaunted its raunch instead of apologizing for it. The Dark Brothers' string of superb erotic atrocities ...elevated filth to gutter level..."
White Chicks starred Lois Ayers (billed as Sondra Stillman), Deidre Hopkins and the late Jack Baker. "I came across Jack by putting an ad in DramaLog. I try not to use adult film people a lot; you're so used to seeing Jon Dough 'acting' the same way… It is not interesting.
"I did reality-based shows long before the ProAm series existed. Documentaries were my background and that's basically what I did with my porn features. White Chicks and Deep Inside Vanessa Del Rio are porn documentaries."
Let Me Tell Ya Bout Black Chicks was 1984's sequel to White Chicks. "I had these Klu Klux Klan guys riding on top of black girls as if they're horses. That scene made me happy."
Gregory hit the big time with 1985's New Wave Hookers - surreal porn done MTV style. Dark spends hours thinking about what made Hookers unique and comes up with reasons such as its hip music, hairstyles, make-up, clothing and sets, his unique film style, the hot looking girls and the raunchy performances he coaxed out of them.
"I don't think any one thing made New Wave Hookers. It was a combination. The marketplace was tired of middle-age pornography that was not hip. My film presented the type of girls that you see when you drive down Melrose Avenue - Rocker girls that you want to f--- but you can't get a hold of.
"Before New Wave Hookers you had a tried-and-true formula of housewives in garter belts. We'd seen these boring images of eroticism not just in film pornography but in pictorial pornography and drawing pornography for a hundred years.
"My girls looked young with red and green hair. They knew what was going on. They were the type of girls that a middle-aged viewer would want to have sex with.
"Before Hookers you had the secretary-as-sexy look that we'd seen over and over. My girls looked like a new wave of girls, the girls that come out of clubs.
"Usually, the porn industry is ten years behind popular culture.
"The sex was nastier. The girls were more open and salacious. They were more slutty. They were the way you'd want girls to act, instead of having to work a game on them to get them into bed.
"Porn girls have changed in the last decade. They used to get into the business to have a good time and to make easy money. They'd have more fun, like Caressa Savage today. She's great on a set. Now most girls want to become feature dancers. Time is money and therefore they want to be on the set for as little time as possible. They are generally uninterested in sex though I won't let them get away with that. I pay for a great performance."
Gregory consistently pays performers more than any other director.
"Ginger and Amber Lynn, Vanessa Del Rio, Jamie Summers, Krystarra Barrington, and Traci Lords were great performers. Today's girls are more fake - fake breasts, fake ass, fake lips. I find a natural girl without plastic tits and ass more erotic."
Hookers starred Traci Lords, Ginger Lynn, Desiree Lane, Kimberly Carson, Kristarra Barrington, Jamie Gillis and Jack Baker. "Heavy applause is due the Dark Brothers on their stance of flipping the bird to the world and calling themselves the new answer to great porn," says Jim Holliday. "But when it comes to eroticism in adult cinema, and with the reaction shown by several critics, the simple story of 'the emperor and his new clothes' deserves retelling. The Darks have more than a few reviewers hoodwinked. While Hookers is interesting and in parts raunchy, I take exception to critics who speak of originality and major innovation. Since I rate on eroticism, it is fair to point out that the film is often anti-erotic, which is Gregory Dark's purpose - to slap America across the face and to explore new depths of depravity."
"I make conceptual art pieces and then I become that character," says Dark. "I made a documentary on porn and then became a pornographer. I made films about pimps and then I became a pimp."
Gregory spent eight months in county jail in 1990 after pleading guilty to a conspiracy charge to run an escort service. He owned a dance (stripper) service with Jim South to which, unknown to Jim, Gregory added an escort agency. Most strippers and porno stars, according to Gregory, turn tricks on the side, and he was happy to help them.
"I placed ads for private shows saying, "The hottest porn girls in the world come to your door." A girl drug dealer rolled over on me. Cops caught her and she spilled.
"It hurt my relationship with Jim South. We've only talked four times since then."
The pornographer who grew up largely without a father, finally got punished for rebellion. "Obscenity is exciting: will we get away with it?" notes Dr. Stoller. "As with mother and naughty baby, who will win the battle of the excrements? Taking risks with obscenity starts early, and if parents make enough of an issue, the battle becomes a lifelong theme in the search for autonomy. Obscenity tries to turn the tables, a risky business in which the meek hope to humble the mighty.... Victim is to become victor by dumping the dark, moist, smelly, hidden, mysterious, swollen interior's contents onto society's sin-sniffers. That struggle has no point unless we can entice others into opposing us - audiences that judge our naughtiness. Here we find a link with humor, art, and the erotic, where what is gentle, audacious, cruel or obscene is a matter of aesthetic judgments and skills. One person's obscenity is another's pornography is another's joke is another's research study." (Observing the Erotic Imagination, p. 89-90)
As punishment for his sins, naughty Gregory got grounded.
"My jailers were my biggest fans. I'd have groups of people sitting on the floor around me asking me to tell them about parties I'd been to, or how I shot this or that sex scene, or how I f---ed this porn star or where I took that girl to dinner and how I put my hand up her dress [at the restaurant.]
"They always wanted to hear about the party I threw on Highland in 1984. I'd gone to my partner Walter and suggested to him we throw a party that we'd like to attend. A party where you could have anything you wanted - food, drink, women, drugs, etc..
"It cost $80,000 and people talked about it for years. I didn't handle the drugs, but food, drink and women I knew. This fancy French restaurant Maison did the catering. I knew a madam. I told her I wanted 25 girls and that money was no object. If someone at the party even looked at these girls, I wanted them to pull off their clothes and f--- their brains out. And if I hear one complaint, I'm going to be pissed because I'm paying out a lot of money.
"The porn girls came to the party and started competing with the call girls. It was wild and lasted 27 hours."
Gregory is first an artist and then a human being, with all the brilliance, extremes, absurdities and careless cruelties that entails. Just as some persons worship God, Dark worships art.
"His stuff is deeply twisted," says Hustler Erotic Video Guide (HEVG) editor Mike Albo. "If pornography had ever hoped to position itself as a glamour industry, that dream died with the ascendancy of XXX director Gregory Dark."
Dark triggered the anal sex revolution which still dominates porn. In 1985 he made the original Between the Cheeks. Ginger Lynn, Treanna, Gina Valentino, Lori Smith, Sheri St. Clair and Summer Rose get f---ed up the ass in detailed closeups by the cocks and fingers of Jack Baker, Steve Powers, Mark Wallice and Tom Byron. The ladies don't object to where the men's cocks have been, lapping them enthusiastically between insertions. The story features a group of morons learning about the joys of anal sex from a black man.
Ginger Lynn does a double penetration - double pussy penetration sequence. Afterwards she claimed the DPP was "trick photography." Brown: "Let the footage do the talking. Maybe she didn't feel it, but it was in there." Adult magazines reported that Lynn sent the Dark Bros a bouquet of dead flowers with a card reading: "I hope your wienies fall off!" The Darks reply? "That brazen slut has always had the hots for us. No matter how we degrade her she keeps crawling back for more."
"No one else did anything as nasty at that time," says Gregory. "It was a whole movie about wild f---ing anal sex. Before Between the Cheeks, double-penetration was rare. But I did lots and it started a trend.
"My style of shooting is unique. For the first time, in '85, the girls looked into the camera.
"My girls lost themselves in the act and became the character.
"I go with my gut. I sense something and go in like a warrior to get it. It may take a while to break down their sense of ego. For instance, a performer Jane Doe may come to the set expecting to just be Jane Doe. But Greg Dark doesn't want Jane Doe. He may have hired Jane Doe but he wants her internal animal to appear.
"If I push all the right buttons at the right moment, and sometimes I don't succeed...I direct specifically. The cameraman doesn't do a shot that I don't tell him every move he's to make. The performers don't do anything that I don't tell them to do. Nobody does what they want to do.
"I want my performers to lose their identity in a scene and become method actors at that moment and experience the experience they should be experiencing instead of pretending to experience those experiences. It's the difference between Meisner technique and some method technique.
"I have such a low view of porn performers that I want to reduce them to their basest instincts. I think about how to degrade them as much as possible. Have them lick bunghole and cum..."
Gregory selects the nastiest women for his movies. "The ones that want to constantly f---. The ones that like to sit in your office and play with their pussies, trying to get off while they're talking to you."
Dark describes his interview process. "They take their clothes off. I start asking them questions. I say, 'Don't stop playing with your pussy while you're talking to me.' Soon they get wet, and they can barely talk.
"It's as if I'm screwing the girls with the camera. I talk to them... trying to get them off."
Dark says he doesn't fool around with his actresses on the set or in auditions. And no one has accused him of that or of demanding sexual favors in exchange for work. He usually masturbates or has sex before going on set so that his desires don't get the better of him.
Holliday calls Dark's DMJ3 the ultimate music sex video. "If the Dark Brothers persist, they may reshape adult cinema. Gregory Dark seems to be saying, "Love this or hate it but I won't let you forget it." Those who enjoy films like L'Amour are advised to pass, but those who appreciate a deliberate attempt to break the traditional porn mold will be rewarded. Lois Ayres is as good as she's ever been and her 'ho'-hoe by-play with jive ass Jack Baker will keep you in stitches."
Watching The Devil in Miss Jones series provides a crash course in porn history. Gerard Damiano's 1972 original is deadly serious and depressing while Henri Pachard's 1982 sequel is hilarious. The last three, made by Dark, are depraved. As for DMJ 4, "The reviewers said: Highest Rating (Hustler), Highest Rating (Adult Video News), Film of the Year (Adam Film World)," writes The Wise Woman's Guide to Erotic Videos. "We say: ugly, stupid, mean, racist and sexist."
Between the Cheeks 3 received rave reviews. Tony Tedeschi plays a swami who lectures on the anally repressed. "He begins to go over the edge when female buttholes start talking to him. In therapy, he finds out he suffers from anal dementia. The combination of excellent camera work, editing, and hilarious script under the direction of Greg Dark make this one of his best videos... filled with hot, well-shot f--- scenes, with a great pulse-pounding score setting the mood and pace. Video seems better suited to Dark than film." (AFW)
Gregory directed 1991's New Wave Hookers 2, one of the five greatest porn flicks of all time according to David Clarke. "A cult deprogramming (Hymen) is hired to kidnap Madison. He manages to wrangle out of her a strange tale of a secret cult led by a pimp who is the earthly representative of a cult of Amazon women who are secretly ruling the world from Atlantis. If you're not hip to director Greg Dark, get with the program. The '90s Dark is more sexually and technically oriented, which makes for great photography and heat, coupled with the spirit and soul of this twisted porn pervert. This sequel breezes along with plenty of hot f---s: Madison's back-alley bang; the group sex that turns into a double pussy penetration, and the usual five men with one woman, and double penetration with a third man's cumshot in the face for good measure." (AFW 96 D. p. 261)
Beginning with Hookers 2, Dark's films became more slick and psychological, writes Anthony Petkovich in Psychotronic Video. Yet the ads and boxcovers became more conservative. Until the late '80s, Gregory did his own boxcovers and marketing. "By the time I did NWH2, I stopped having control of my campaigns because I wasn't working for myself anymore [rather, VCA]. From that point, the boxcovers never mirrored the movie inside.
"To get f---ed in the ass is the ultimate submission of a woman," says Gregory, "and to see her enjoy getting banged in the ass is fascinating. Just like a nine-year old kid is always looking at worms and mud, I'm always trying to find somebody putting their toe or tongue in somebody's ass or pulling their dick from some girl's asshole and coming on her feet. I always try to find inventive sexual events for people to participate in, like a carnival. Such as a bunch of duck men quacking and f---ing. I had dreams of such men who ran after beautiful women who were teasing them. I like men slapping their wieners on women's feet after they've been in the girl's pussy because it's wet...and her wet pussy on her wet feet turns me on."
Juli Ashton plays Justine Jones, a woman destined to burn in hell for her sexual desires, in Gregory Dark's 1995 The Devil in Miss Jones 5: The Inferno. "There's not much plot here, just pure, depraved and Dark-style sex. From the opening group scene with Julie Ashton in her coffin and Rip Hymen as the Devil, we go through a series of demonic scenarios in stylized sets with outstanding visuals and editing trickery that will wow you when you aren't being innundated with raunchy sex." (AFW p. 113)
"You f--- a woman using a camera as a surrogate, borrowing the man who's actually f---ing the women as a prop," says Dark. "He's a live dildo. The viewer can imagine f---ing the girl. If you're watching porn films, you don't want to think, 'Well, gee, I'm not Randy West.' Given a Greg Dark film: 'I get to f--- them now.'
"I hope to achieve that kind of interaction with the viewer. As a porn director, I try to shoot the ultimate sex scene so that I'm literally drenched from watching and shooting. It's like a quest for the Holy Grail.
"I experiment a lot with subjectivity and objectivity and other film concepts," says Gregory. "Stuff used either in mainstream or experimental films that hasn't yet been brought to porn. I investigate how we look at a sexual image and how it affects us as a subliminal image or an objectified image... I use flash-cutting. I was the first person in New Wave Hookers to have a woman look directly into the camera. The viewer becomes part of the scene almost interactively as the woman seems to be f---ing you.
"I stopped showing men's faces. The viewer wants to f--- the girl so why would I want to show some jerk's face?
"Instead of making a Hitchcock-like seamless movie, I decided to make movies of hundreds of thousands of scenes that were mosaics of sensuality. I even used shots three frames long, which is just a tenth of a second.
"I edit uniquely because of my command of film techniques, underground ones mainly, that differ from porn techniques.
"Performers frequently resent me because I won't let them get away with average work. I tell girls, "That's boring, we're going to start again." I'm not an easy person to work for.
"Usually I'll do every shot three times.
"The first time I shot a sex scene I knew what to do even though I had never seen a porno. I was shocked at myself. People looked at me because no one had ever talked to them that way. Talk to the cameraman, to the performer Lois Ayres, walked around with a monitor in his hand, pan left, pan right, slide in here, move over there...
"When we're tight on her face as she's getting f---ed, you can see it in her eyes.
"I take pornography seriously. For most in the industry, creativity is a joke."
"It seemed that they reveled in the more base reasons people watch porn," says Nina Hartley about the Dark Brothers. "To go "f--- you. f--- you momma, f--- you preacher, f--- you little old lady down the street, f--- you teacher for slapping my hand when I play with myself, f--- you pretty thing." It was 'Up yours material.'"
Gregory made Carnal Crimes in 1991, his first erotic thriller. "No, it wasn't Fatal Attraction that started the genre. I started it in this country. I was developing Carnal Crimes in 1989 when there were no erotic thrillers in this country. It was my first bored housewife feature where the heroine gets involved with the wrong guy."
Using the name Gregory Hippolyte, he made such R-rated '90s films as Secret Games, Mirror Images, Animal Instincts, Night Rhythms and Sins of the Night.
Gregory Dark directed New Wave Hookers 4 in 1995. "A midget named Half-Pint suffers from delusions that make him believe he's a god in another world where he speaks through a mirror into this world. Jon Dough plays the doctor who is really a patient who studies the midget and his decadent fantasies.
"The sharp and immediate appearance of the sex will stand out in memory as one of Gregory Dark's most perfect porn pieces. The original story of programming women with punk rock music is long gone. This edition offers the philosophy that all women are whores, some marrying men to make them their tricks. Dark's point is that men always pay and pay plenty. But the sexual touch is what sells this feature and the scenes are each, in their own right, extremely arousing and unique. Juli Ashton becomes a sexual superstar here while Chasey Lain looks the best we've ever seen her in an adult movie." (AFW p. 147)
"When I hire people I haven't used before, I tell them that I work 25-hour days, and I expect them to work 18," Dark says. "So they know going in that I'm going to push them as hard as I can, because I want the best performance I can get."
In 1996 Dark released Sex Freaks, Flesh, and Snake Pit.
Adam Film World Editor Jeremy Stone calls Flesh "wall-to-wall sexual excess that will make you scream till you cream! Dynamite double-penetration dicking with glorious images of sexual depravity make this one of the best of the year. Sinfuly good fun."
Hustler's Mark Assarian: "Flesh is a spy thriller in which the assassins aim their meat guns at the cuntholes, sphincters and slobbering mouths of some of the most deadly beautiful porn kttens humping for XXX stardom in the business today. Dark pushes his flesh models beyond the limits of self-conscious acting performance and drives them into the realm of erotic melt-down. It's on their faces - half agonized, half ecstatized - as they writhe and wriggle through each scene, their sexual orifices furiously assaulted by mouths, hands, toes, cocks and whatever sexual appliance is within stuffing distance. Viewers will find their senses assaulted not just by the filmed sexual imagery but also by the surreal backdrops with voodoo overtones - the quick cuts to a laughing, food-smeared fat bitch, clowns with rapacious grins and menacing bulges in their happily stripped tights, blind-folded females forced to their knees and tossed around like f--- dolls. Kitty Monroe lies back on a coffin, her eyes moist and supplicating, as her sphincter is brutally plunged by a painfully thick prong, while two domineering vixens lord their meat blossoms over her face and force her to service them with her tongue…"
Snake Pit saw the advent of Gregory Dark the interrogater. With the help of a psychologist, he developed questions to go deep inside porn girls. "When the cops interrogate you, they're trying to elicit a confession, trying to find out information which you're not easily going to give up. They try to break you down.
"If a girl started to cry, that was good. I wanted to find out what made her tick."
Gregory asked such questions as: "What is evil?" "What kind of man terrifies you?" "Do you believe in sin?" "Where will you go when you die?"
"The most important thing is to break them down to allow them to express their true selves. You give them license to admit to themselves that they're evil whores. And once they agree tha they're useful only as dick fodder, then they're able to fully unveil their sexuality."
Snake Pit's three phantom gang bang of Roxanne Hall caused the British actress to quit porn for almost two years. "She had nineteen orgasms during her scene…all three guys f---ed her up the ass, DP'd her, and double-pussy penetrated. During the course of both her sex scene and the preceding interrogation, I brought up too many f---ed up things out of her f---ed head. She did anything. We were just moving her through her psychological landscape and she overloaded." (Psychotronic Video)
Dark used Hall two months later in a music video for the Melvin's song Bar-X-the Rocking M. She appears naked in a bathtub, with one hundred live worms crawling over her while she drinks her own dirty bathwater from a long straw.
"I'd wanted to get that shot for two f---ing years. I just liked the idea of a live girl who's being eaten by worms as if she's dead."
Gregory's Shocking Truth returns to the ground Dark originally tilled in his documentary Fallen Angels. "Gregory Dark assumes the role of the Grand Inquisitor," writes Albo, "and asks his female performers a series of questions that reveal them to be the twisted money-grabbing whores you always expected them to be."
Shocking Truth contains numerous buttf---s. A favorite of Albo's "was when Italian bitch Sofia Ferrari is sodomized by surly negro Mr. Marcus, who pulls out, comes in her face, and then has her lick him clean."
"Chloe getting f---ed by five guys… My favorite scene. Combined with her interview, it lasts 35 minutes. And her interview was so strange because she's so self-abusive…and she further portrays that in the sex. She got f---ed insanely. It was unpleasant."
As for his interrogations, Dark says that "out of seven persons, you usually have one or two that are good participants. Most aren't. They try to evade or to give stock answers. You get to see the discomfort of these people in their skins, which fascinates me. I asked Spice, the first girl in the film, about her parents. At one point she started crying.
"This sort of pornography is too intellectual for the porno market. When people rent porno they want to jerk off. Now I'm dealing with issues that will make many viewers uncomfortable. Questions like 'What is sin?' or 'Where will you go when you die?'"
Greg returns to using "animals" in Shocking Truth 2. "Missy lies by a pool. Men in dog masks watch her. They start sniffing her and licking her while she sleeps. It's this fantasy of the sleeping woman you play with… I got Missy so bizarrely f---ed for so long that she goes crazy, starts screaming and growling. Look into her eyes and you'll see that she's f---ing gone.
"One of the girls, Mila, passed out. Six guys f---ed her up the ass, one after another. She conked out.
"After their scenes, I ask the girls questions with spunk all over their faces. You can see the differences in their own personalities. They were completely transformed.
"My biggest problem in porn today are the girls. They're boring. That's the problem with prostitution. They turn ten, fifteen tricks a day and they no longer get into sex. How many strippers do you know that like men? Because they see guys at their worst." (Psychotronic Video)
Gregory feels few if any moral struggles. "I hire the best accountant I can and let him handle my taxes. I don't believe in cheating people. I'm a lousy businessman." He desn't worry that his nihilistic films may chip away at society's moral foundations.
Dark's work is a planned assault on civilization. The perverse exhibitionist uses obscenity to thrill, and like Lenny Bruce, he may prone to seeking punishment.
"For, even in being caught, one has won," notes Dr. Robert Stoller about personalities similar to Gregory's. "One has goaded the authorities, forcing them to admit that one really exists. The imaginative reader again can make connections back to the traumas and frustrations of earliest childhood and the development of permanent patterns that unendingly repeat these themes.
"Obscenity is a game. It works only when both sides know the rules, some of which are expressed by the most subtle cues. It is part of the oldest game of all - the children against the parents. Each player understands the motives; the moves are familiar and the outcomes predictable.
"Societies need obscenity (1) to improve moral tone; (2) to keep evil hidden but alive inside ourself; (3) to maintain within us the tension between the allowed and the forbidden, that is, to relieve boredom; (4) to provide scapegoats; (5) to keep rebellion alive; (6) to exteriorize about our interior; (7) to shame others as a way to avoid feeling shame ourself. Those who need hate to justify themselves need obscenity. Depending on your disposition, you can either attack those you experience as obscene - and thereby obscure your own obscenities - or be obscene and provoke the punishment you seek."
Born in 1952, Dark hangs out with people in their 20s, keeping him hip to his primary audience. Many women find Gregory attractive but he rarely goes out with any older than 30. Like a teenager, Gregory drives around in a sports car blasting rock music. The pornographer enjoys reading comics. Full of anger, he loves shocking people. He wears three earrings in one ear. His recreation is the practice of physical violence - martial arts. Paranoid, Dark's always checking to see if someone is following him. He has close bonds with trained killers who'd revenge any harm done to him.
Greg's screwed about 700 women, most of them in their twenties. Many are strippers and porn actresses, such as his wife - dominatrix Star Chandler who appears with him in Shocking Truth.
Dark says that getting married "was the most difficult thing I've done." From the beginning of their relationship in early 1996, Gregory and Star have lived in their separate homes and are together only half the week. They married at the Consumer Electronic Show in Las Vegas in January, 1997.
Brown says his sexual tastes are conventional. He doesn't usually practice the nasty sex such as anal that dominates his films. "I'd go out with [performer] Heather Hart and she'd pick up some other woman to bring home. After enough of these experiences, I stayed downstairs and read while they had sex."
Dark always wears condoms when having sex, tracing this behavior to a nightmare he experienced at 16 years of age when a woman with purple skin told him to always wear condoms. "The dream scared me so much that I have followed its advice to this day, and I'm happy that I have."
Despite his bedding of dozens of women that remind him of his mother, Gregory hasn't found the nurturing he missed out on as a child. Over the last few years, however, his relationship with his mother has improved.
Gregory thinks bourgeois life boring. Although the civilization of commerce affords him a good living, it does not give him or his peers what they most want - high status. Most users of his films view Dark's work as jack-off material. That's why Dark loves secular France which primarily regards him as a filmmaker rather than as a pornographer.
Like most intellectuals and artists, Gregory scorns the common person and instead cares about the opinions of the artistic elite. Michael Medved argues in his book Hollywood Vs. America that this is the prime motivation of mainstream movie makers, which is why they consistently turn out product that the public finds gross.
Asked what he loves about America, it takes Dark a long time to finally answer "It's not so hard to make a decent living here." In other words, he stays in a society that he frequently despises so that he can make money. Gregory is a whore.
"It's not that I hate America," says Dark. "It's that I don't agree with America's view that I, as an artist, should limit myself. I don't like the possibility of being prosecuted for shooting some girl having sex. I hate the laws that the Christian faction of government has put in that could put filmmakers of anything with emotional content, in jail. America sits in the balance [between repression and freedom]."
Artists, writers and thinkers "have always taken themselves to be Very Important Persons, and they are outraged by a society that merely tolerates them, no matter how generously," writes neo-conservative Irving Kristol.
Berthold Brecht was once asked to justify his communist loyalties when his plays could neither be published nor performed in the USSR, while his royalites in the West made wealthy. His rejoinder was: "Well, there at least they take me seriously."
Kristol says that "Artists and intellectuals are always more respectful of a regime that takes their work and ideas "seriously." To be placed at a far distance from social and political power is, for such people, a deprivation."
A commercial society shaped by the market will usually reflect the preferences of the common person. Each may not have much money, but collectively their tastes are decisive. Persons like Dark despise this because it gives "vulgarity" the power to dominate.
"The majority of the porno public may not understand my work," says Gregory, "because I'm not as interested in shooting sex as eroticism. I'm interested in imagery that are psychological and arresting. They are conceptual scapes. And the porno public isn't interested in that. They want to get off. I provide them with that [jack-off material] but I'm more interested in other things. Shooting sex is easy.
"I make films for underground conceptualists - people who like comic books, Goth rock, new styles of music such as The Melvyns and Jesus Lizard.
"A lot of people who watch my stuff don't generally watch pornography because they think it's boring and stupid, which it usually is.
"I try to stimulate minds as well as dicks. I put together different imagery. The sex act that interests me is seeing performers disintegrate into pure animals. I have no interest in shooting name porno stars who come to a set and act like they're having sex. I don't want to make a Janine video.
"It's the realism of the sex act that interests me as a documentarian... ripping away the veils of pretension."
Gregory understands the nihilistic implications of a world without God and he stands apart from those intellectuals who offer secular salvations.
Brown seeks not so much to persuade as to provoke, to reveal rather than to change. He stands at the opposite end of the artistic spectrum from a Johan Sebastian Bach whose work stormed the heavens. Dark's work storms the anus.
But of all his myriad past experiences and encounters, Greg credited one man with teaching him the most important lesson of his life. He met his teacher in the early ’70s on the tennis courts at Stanford. During certain hours of the week, the courts were open to the public. According to Greg, a man showed up one morning driving a garishly painted Cadillac. He wore a peacock-feather hat and an ankle-length fur coat, which he slipped off to reveal standard tennis whites. The man was a street pimp from Oakland. Greg and the pimp became friends on and off the court. In Greg’s personal lore, the pimp taught him the essentials of the “whore con”:
A) Men are powerless before the lure of female sexuality.
B) The whore lures men by promising unlimited sexual fulfillment.
C) As soon as she has lured a man and has begun to extract payment, the whore withholds as much sex as she can get away with.
D) The whore understands that the more she withholds, the greater her value.
E) All women are whores.
After dropping out of therapy, I increasingly turned to Greg for personal guidance. According to him, the object of being a man was to outsmart the whore con. Outwardly, he seemed to be a master of the game. There were weeks when he bragged of bedding a new beautiful woman every night — dancers, porn girls, and young, college-educated women working entry-level Hollywood jobs.
But the more time I spent with Greg, the more he seemed to be a woefully inept player. Inevitably, he developed infatuations with women who moved into his apartment and began treating him with the cold, disinterested contempt they thought he deserved.
Porn Again Video Director
From the New York Daily News: Porn-Again Video Director Here's why music videos of today's young female pop singers seem sexier: A lot of them are being directed by a former pornographer.
Gregory Dark, whose porn hits include "New Wave Hookers," starring a then-16 Traci Lords, "Sex Freaks" and a couple of titles from the infamous "Devil in Miss Jones" series, now makes a substantial living directing music videos for Britney Spears, Mandy Moore and Leslie Carter, the younger sister of Backstreet Boy Nick Carter.
Claiming to be a new man, Dark says in February's Esquire, "I've changed. People who get to know me, they like me, because I'm fair and I'm honest. I'm not like a lot of other people in the business. People might call me the Devil, but at least I'm not an a------."
Mike Paul writes on RAME: http://us.imdb.com/PeopleNews/ for 12th January 2001 says Britney Spears did *not* know Gregory Dark directed porn, and will not use him as a director anymore. How amazingly stupid did she, and the record label, have to be for this to be true, that she didn't know?...
Jason writes: I think it should be duly noted that in the article, Greg mentions it was the "company" that stopped him from doing the videos, not Britney herself. I seriously doubt she and the record label were ignorant to the information, but once it was exposed to the masses by Juli Ashton in "Porn to Rock" on VH-1, the "company" would naturally have to protect her image. What label wants to sort through thousands of letters from irate parents?
Thom Burr writes on the newsgroup rec.arts.movies.erotica (RAME): We (all those who read RAME) are a porn-obsessed subculture, with the dubious distinctions of being more literate and technically savvy than the the average porn hounds. USENET is even more problematic-- except on a few platforms (like, bizarrely enough, WebTv), it tends to be more difficult to use than stand-alone forums and boards.
I suspect this tends to both narrow the pool of readers while at the same time *slightly* elevating to level of conversation. Obviously, moderation further encourages those trends. End result: we are hardly representative of the nation, or even of internet users, as a whole.
So I very much doubt that even 1 out of a thousand random citizens would know who Greg Dark was, much less his connection with Britney. In the real world, information like this is amazingly obscure... As others have pointed out, obviously SOME people in the recording industry would have known...My guess is that those who knew simply didn't care, and didn't bother to inform those whom might be more concerned.
Dark must have done a decent job of interpreting the obviously twisted virgin/whore message Britney had been designed to project, and who better to hire for such a mission, anyway, than a skilled porn veteran. For all practical purposes, Dark was working out well: effectively no one in states found out about his past, and those who did didn't care.
The question remains: why did they so publically fire/dump him at this late date? It doesn't quite make sense, unless someone really didn't know about Dark, say someone near enough the to the star to have veto power, but slightly out of the loop...like one of her parents, say. Actually coming out and annoucing that a porn director has been directing her videos but that he's been axed wasn't all that bright either...
Victor writes on RAME: Quite by accident I picked up Chemical People's 1991 Cruz Records CD "Soundtracks" today. Here's an excerpt from the liner notes:
These recordings are jams we did over three separate nights for two Dark Bros. works in progress (at the time) "Between the Cheeks II" and "New Wave Hookers II". For BTC II, we just blindly jammed, for NWH II, we jammed along with the rough cut, like they do for regular films. Sadly, the music was often not utilized for maximum effect not due to the film makers, but due to censorship from within the industry itself. Another last bastion of taboo breaking and freedom of speech (as well as choice) had turned on itself.
Librarian writes: Not sure why everyone's freaking on this Britney-dumps-Dark business...total non-story. He directed one (1) Britney video - "From The Bottom of My Broken Heart" - from her first album. That was over a year ago! I have no doubt that, at one time, someone at her record company freaked on the connection (or more likely, that someone else would discover it), but any panic has had plenty of time to recede. Ironically, the hullabaloo stems from this month's Esquire article on Greg and he tells the story on himself. However, it seems that the press can't resist the porn + Britney catnip because it has been picked up everywhere as if it had just happened.