Whether they be Southern boys, black men, Latinos, scruffy, skinny, tattooed, cigarchomping, long-haired, hustlers-you name it Hurles was out to capture them on tape. They show off, display their dicks, and usually masturbate. They might wrestle or box with another man but mostly they are on display alone. Almost certainly there is always something a bit shady about these men. This is the reality television of the porn world. We watch transfixed as these very real and raw men exhibit and talk about themselves, enabling the viewer to get to know them in a way not possible in the usual hard-core video. Most are straight, many are fag-haters and it seems to be just the way David Hurles likes them. Old Reliable is the prototype for current studios that claim to have “real” or straight men as their performers.
David Hurles didn’t begin with video. Video was just the logical progression of his organic interests. In 1968 he began collecting nude photos and slides, after a few years he began experimenting with Super 8 film. He also discovered the beauty of audiotapes. Around 1976 he started making audio recordings of men having sex or talking about it. The connection between his audiotape collection and his videotapes are palpable. The audiotapes are rough, raw, abusive and more importantly an amazing oral history of a sexuality rarely (if ever) spoken aloud. The voices are primarily of the disenfranchised, hustlers, ex-cons, outcasts of one kind or another. “In an atmosphere absent of pressure, alone and speaking their thoughts out loud, the most startling things were often revealed. Many of the audios continue beyond frightening. My ears always perked up!” -David Hurles
It was through the belief and encouragement of Jack Fritscher, who was editing Drummer at that time, that David began to sell his photos and audiotapes. “While Jack may have had to drag me kicking and screaming into the world, I never doubted that I was being dragged, at least, in the right direction.” Indeed Old Reliable is greater than the sum of its parts. It is the patient chronicling of a specific chapter in a larger erotic epic that grew out of a time when men were not only challenging a repressive society by leaping willifully out of the closet (and never looking back), but were also challenging their own sexual preconceptions and inhibitions.
The original films include David Hurles partaking of the action, and were released as gifts to friends and some of Old Reliables best customers. They show that Hurles liked his sex rough, and his partners were more than happy to oblige.