This Week’s Gay Porn Classic: Falcon Studios’ Powertool (1986)

By Mark Adnum

powertoollargeJeff Stryker cops thirty days inside the County Jail for an unspecified offence. Behind bars, he uses his power tool to rule over hapless inmates and power-bottom warders but the joy of his release turns to heartbreak when he finds that in his absence, his boyfriend has shacked up with another guy (he knows this because he sneaks into the house and watches them manram the living fuck out of each other through a slightly ajar bedroom door).

A disjointed film that doesn’t realise its potential, Powertool throws a few bars and bunks around the wall-wobbling set but doesn’t tap the pressurised sexiness of the prison millieu. Stryker amuses with his iconic charisma and deliberately-ridiculous line delivery, but his sex scenes are disappointingly contrived and relatively brief. Indeed, the film’s sex highlights occur only when he isn’t around.

The film’s one true great scene is its second one, where 6’2″ John Davenport — easily my favourite gay porn star of all time, with his gravelly Texan voice and attitude to match, sweaty blond armpits and a truly magnificent cock (that would be too big for me but I like to look at it) — makes full use of his short, twinky bottom-bunk bitch, Michael Gere. Clad in tube socks and white jockeys, Davenport lies back on his top bunk, puts one hand behind his head and uses his free hand to rub his cock, pensively. He reads a letter from his girlfriend that tells him she’s leaving him for someone else. When nosy Gere asks what’s happened, Davenport, already agitated by the contents of the letter, completely loses his temper, jumps down and orders Gere to suck his cock, which is far larger and more beautiful than Stryker’s, who is observing the action from the cell across the way.

The imperious Davenport calls Gere a “jailhouse fairy”, a “cocksucking fag” and orders him around continually while fucking his mouth –- it’s fantastic stuff. After many great minutes of this, Gere rims Davenport before getting fucked mercilessly. This scene comes replete with a great moment where a passing guard on night patrol sends Davenport and Gere scurrying temporarily to their separate bunks and looking innocent like a pair of boarding-school boys.

A couple of perfunctory scenes follow, the highlights being Stryker’s bargaining of his cock in return for cartons of cigarettes, and a three-way shower scene featuring the cheeky Tony Marino.

After his release, Stryker heads for his once-happy home but finds his boyfriend, the tanned and stacked Danny Russo, has hooked up with Brian Estevez, the little short-stealing trouble maker from Inch By Inch, obviously still up to his old ways. Stryker observes them secretly before chucking some stuff into a bag and leaving, cruising Mike Henson on the street for a split-second before Powertool ends.

Stryker’s never been my favorite porn star, I enjoy his act, but it’s cartoonish and facially, he reminds me of Elvis and of course that’s quite distracting. and the whole powertool cock thing has always been more about Stryker’s small stature, making his dick look far bigger in contrast to the rest of him than it actually is, in and of itself. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not disputing that Stryker has a big dick, but if you look around your porn collection you’ll find plenty that are just as big, and when they’re stretching their co-stars’ mouths or asses you can see they’re about the same size – Stryker’s triangular torso and relative lack of height simply draw eyes to what looks slightly bigger than what it is.

But the problem with Powertool here is the camerawork, and the editing. In the opening scene, when Stryker bends over and spreads his ass cheeks apart while holding onto the cell rails, director John Travis captures the shot from above, so that we don’t really get too see the Styker-hole at all. The focus is, instead, on Tony Bravo’s prison guard, who’s doing nothing but staring at what the viewer instead should be seeing. There are several closeups of Bravo’s leering eyes and Stryker confirms that Bravo “really likes lookin’ at that asshole” but the viewer may feel left out, as he isn’t able to look at it at all. Stryker strips down in seconds, and there isn’t a single close up, despite Stryker’s skills as a stripper and perfectly muscled body. All we see is the famous Stryker body and cock -– which we already know off by heart anyway -– suddenly clotheless and in uninspiring mid shot. Mismatched sight lines and flashes of Stryker standing against a differently lit background make it clear that this scene has been patched together and the resultant lack of any organic feeling is awful.

Powertool seems like a rather lazy star turn from Stryker who seems to do nothing more than the robotic basics. He was always an amusing performer — and remains so, touring with his dinner theatre act where for extra payment you can touch his cock — but by this stage in his career seems to have become self-aware: he knows all he had to do was turn up. And that’s pretty much, from what I can see, all he really did. Travis was clearly of the same opinion, as he doesn’t really bother to show us much beyond guys bent over on the receiving end of Stryker’s (usually semi-tumescent) power tool.

Luckily, the Inner Circle, Nightcharm’s members area, holds a massive back catalogue of hundreds of Falcon classics that cover everything from Manrammer to Spokes to A Matter of Size and just about every other nut-busting classic you can think of, as well as some of Falcon’s more recent good ones. Whenever you feel like a break from the sensational — and sensationally diverse — porn of the current era, it’s surprising (trust me) just how well these fabulous old classics work. Find hundreds of them right here.

 



 
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