Gonzo inspired offshoot genres such as All Sex , pro am, reality porn, and POV . It takes its name from journalist Hunter S. Thompson, who coined the term to describe his participatory style of journalism. Evil Angel’s John Stagliano is generally recognized as the father of the genre, thanks to his influential series of Buttman movies. Other pioneers of gonzo include Ed Powers and Jamie Gillis, both of whom created seminal entries in the genre in the late ‘80s and early 1990s (On the Prowl and Bus Stop Stories). "It was a complete departure from anything anybody has ever done," industry legend Howard Levine said of gonzo’s early days.

John Stagliano described the revolutionary nature of gonzo to AVN in 2014: “It combined two new things. It was the first-person POV thing that nobody else was doing or had done, and it was done in the true sense of what the word ‘gonzo’ meant in terms of the writings of Hunter Thompson; it was me videographing instead of writing about my experiences and my reactions in relation to a subject which was a girl who could look straight into the camera.” The Buttman series was the result, helping to create the entire look and feel of pornography as we know it today. Evil Angel and later Jules Jordan Video both became known for their extensive line of aggressive gonzo-style movies, many of which became monster bestsellers (series such as Flesh Hunter, Ass Worship, and many more).

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