Jocks and locker rooms have been such mainstays in gay pornography that one can hardly relegate them to the status of sub-genre within that industry. Their unabated recurrence to this day endlessly emphasizes the popularity of this particular fantasy, with many a groin epic never bothering to move beyond this basic premise. Arguably the best or, at any rate, best known of these specialized titles remains THESE BASES ARE LOADED by the venerable William Higgins. Its set-up is simple as to border on moronic but Bill's artistic and erotic ingenuity completely carries the load (yep, pun intended !), along with his unfailing talent to match the right men for maximum heat, a gift which deserted him on just one occasion as I recall with his dreary FRENCH LIEUTENANT'S BOYS. Think two thirds of consecutive "loops" while principal cast members engage in a circle jerk, followed by a scalding orgy among the gym equipment that eats up the remainder of the running time, with typically probing camera work by the great man himself and an appealingly period-affirming synthesizer track by the ubiquitous Costello Presley who pretty much introduced the way in which all homo hardcore of the '80s was to be scored.
As credits roll, the game is in its last seconds and the players retreat to the locker room where they sit around swapping sexy stories, beating off to them in the process. Best of these mini movies include the opener with an uncharacteristically coy Chris Burns putting the moves on his guitar teacher Buddy Preston (who was in Jack Deveau's classic BOYS FROM RIVERSIDE DRIVE), delightfully dated with part of the proceedings shot through a fish tank, and hunky carpenter Giorgio Canali (the dark-haired jacuzzi Don Juan in Tom De Simone's SKIN DEEP) being distracted by mischievous Joel Thomas from Steve Scott's pre-BROKEBACK MOUNTAIN revisionist western GREENHORN. A later scene involving best buddies Steve West (from the memorable sling sequence with Troy Richards in Higgins' BOYS OF SAN FRANCISCO) and Jack Burke, who did several classic loops for Brentwood, stands out both for its incredible energy and its effective employment of available light and dramatic shadows. But the reason most fans revere this title above all other sports-themed sex epics is definitely the all star group grope that ensues next. Jim a/k/a "J.W." and Jon King continue their "sibling" scorching Higgins had enabled them to introduce in the previous year's blue box office smash BROTHERS SHOULD DO IT, with Derrick Stanton from the same director's BOYS OF VENICE and CLASS OF '84 solidifying his star status among a bevy of lesser name but equally arousing hunks. Words could never do justice to the incredible intensity of this extended yet never boring sequence that won't leave a single cork unpopped !
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