If you like bad bad bad bad boys. You would have LOVED Old Reliable.
David Randolph Hurles (September 12, 1944 – April 12, 2023) was an American gay pornographer, whose one-man company, run from a private mailbox, was called Old Reliable Tape and Picture Company. His work, produced primarily in the 1970s and 1980s, falls into three categories: photographs, audio tapes, and videotapes. Hurles’ models were typically ex-convicts, hustlers, drifters, and ne’er do wells and we loved it.
Hurles ahead of his time Hurles was dedicated to creating a safe and ethical working environment for his performers, and he insisted on full consent and clear communication between all parties involved in his films.
Hurles first published pictures appeared in Drummer, 21 (January 1978); because no other commercial gay magazine would print them. But they would print his mail order ads for a price.
In 1990, Hurles issued a catalogue of his Old Reliable material, a guide to nearly five hundred men and the hundreds of original Old Reliable Video Tapes, as well as the audio cassettes and photos in which the men appear.
As put by admirer John Waters, “David likes psychos. Nude ones. Money-hungry drug addicts with big dicks. Rage-filled robbers without rubbers. And of course, convicts.” Many of them were dangerous—he wanted them to be, that was a key part of their attractiveness for him[—but part of David’s skill, which no one since has duplicated, was being able to manage them so that they would perform as instructed and not attack him. However, Hurles also said: “There have been several thousand models. When they are not in prison, or very married, it has been my practice to stay in touch with many of them, often over decades. They are my friends.” On another occasion he said that one of the hardest parts of his job was not getting caught up in the miserable live.
Hurles printed his pictures in his own darkroom, and filled all orders single-handedly. He was also an advocate for the freedom of artistic expression and fought against censorship in the film industry. Hurles was often at odds with mainstream media and the authorities, and he faced numerous legal battles over the years.
An accident in 1990 led to the gradual loss of eyesight in one eye. Shortly thereafter, the arrival of pornography on the Internet destroyed most of the market for Hurles’ material, at the same time that AIDS (and drugs) killed many models and potential models. “I know where a great many of them [my models] are. Six feet under”. His company folded, and he lived on welfare and food stamps. In 2008 he had a massive stroke, and until recently “is the most popular resident of a state-funded nursing home in East Hollywood”.
The Bob Mizer Foundation, a not-for-profit organization “dedicated to the promotion and preservation of progressive and controversial photography”, paid tribute to Hurles and described his work as “pioneering: “The Bob Mizer Foundation extends its condolences to Dian Hanson [friend and manager of Hurles’ estate], to David Hurles’ friends and family, and to his fans,” the foundation said in a statement.
Dalvid Hurles impact on the adult ay film industry and the alternative film movement cannot be overstated, and his work remains a testament to the power of artistic expression and the importance of pushing boundaries.
Check out the offerings and David Hurles work at BijouWorld – NSWF