In recent weeks, the industry has witnessed several deaths. In addition to Joe Bolstad, founder of the erotic company Kama Sutra, director Robbie Fischer and gonzo pioneer Brandon Iron also died.
Joe Bolstad, the founder of the erotic company Kama Sutra, died on August 20 at the age of 84 in his home in California.
Founded by him and Hal Hauser in 1969, the company quickly established itself in times of counterculture and sexual revolution. Kama Sutra’s first product was a massage oil, which enjoyed immense popularity and laid the foundation for the success of the company, which is celebrating its 50th birthday this year.
Joe Bolstad was born in Minnesota and studied at Minnesota University before serving in the army for two years. Shortly after his release, the future entrepreneur moved to California and studied at the Art Center College of Design. Before founding his company, Bolstad worked for several years at an advertising agency in Los Angeles.
In 1969, he teamed up with Hal Hauser to found Kama Sutra. Bolstad saw his company as part of the counterculture. From his point of view, the company’s sensual products were supposed to bring people together and support the motto »Make Love Not War«, which was so important to the hippies. However, the popularity of the products has remained the same to this day, so that the Kama Sutra range now comprises more than 100 articles.
In an interview with industry magazine AVN, Bolstad said, »Somehow our products seem to work for each new generation, and we get the same reaction today from 20-year-olds that we get from 60-year-olds who have been using our products since they were in their 20s.«
Bolstad was active in the company until the end of his life, but ten years ago his wife Marla Lee and sons Nicholas and Patrick took over management.
Director Robbie Fischer is dead. The exact circumstances of his death, as well as his age, are not yet known to the industry media. His death was confirmed by friends of the director.
Fischer made a name for himself with gonzo films, which he shot for the porn studio Red Light District since 2002. From 2004 he worked for Anabolic Video, which released the famous Bring Em Young series. There he made several films until 2007. A former colleague points out that Fischer left a personal note in his films. The actresses should always wear cotton panties in his films.
In 2007 Fischer left the industry and became a fitness trainer. Former colleagues say that they hadn’t heard from him for years.
After weeks of alarming rumors, it became a sad certainty: Brandon Iron is dead. The exact time of death is not clear, but in mid-April, numerous colleagues and business partners of the porn actor and director seem to have lost contact with him. In July, the gonzo pioneer and inventor of the influential series »Slap Happy« would have turned 51.
At the time of his death, Iron had been living in Dublin, Ireland, with his girlfriend and daughter for several years. His girlfriend was also the person who confirmed the death of the popular performer to the trade media.
Brandon Iron was born in Alberta, Canada and studied English. From 1991 he began to work occasionally in the adult industry, but it was not until 1997 that he turned full-time. From 2000, Iron also worked as a director, shooting for Extreme Associates, Devil’s Film, Premiere Pictures, and Red Light District. From 2003 he produced as a freelancer for Platinum X Pictures.
In 2007 Iron founded his own studio Brandon Iron Productions and entered into a distribution partnership with Studio JM Productions.
As a pioneer in today’s ubiquitous gonzo style, he became particularly famous for Slap Happy, a series that seemed quite brutal and set standards due to its scenarios playing with face slapping and misogynous stereotypes. Nowadays, slaps, spitting and light choking are standards even in mainstream titles. Unlike later productions or really misogynous series like FacialAbuse, the action always seemed humorous and the fetishes just one of many dominant sexual varieties.
In recent years, Iron has mainly produced for his own website and sold clips through clip site operator ManyVids. His last studio project for Smash Pictures was Shade X in 2015.
Numerous industry representatives have commented on Iron’s death and are shocked by his sudden death.