Quite frankly, it seems like an odd career move. Stephen Geoffreys, the spiky-haired young actor who was so memorable in films like Heaven Help Us and Fright Night, is now performing in X-rated gay porno films under the name Sam Ritter. Usually it's the other way around: Past porn performances have come back to haunt actors as diverse as Sylvester Stallone, Chuck Connors and Joe Dallesandro; for years rumors have circulated about X-rated footage of a pre-Hollywood Joan Crawford and Marilyn Monroe; and sexy MTV VJ Simon Rex recently weathered the controversial discovery of several masturbation tapes. But to move from major movies to gay adult videos is a new one on me.

Not that Geoffreys is a stranger to nudity. In his first film, 1985's wonderful ecclesiastic comedy Heaven Help Us, he played the chronic masturbator Williams. There is a scene in which he and all the Catholic schoolboys (including such Hollywood newcomers as Kevin Dillon, Andrew McCarthy and Patrick Dempsey) are lined up bare-ass in front of the school swimming pool. As Evil Ed in Fright Night, he's transformed into a werewolf, only to be impaled by Roddy McDowall (with a stake, not a dick). As he lay dying on the floor, he morphs back into a mortal, complete with a side view of his naked corpse. And in the excruciatingly stupid, direct-to-video Hunk Hotel, Geoffreys plays the demented head of personnel at a summer camp and has a nude scene with his rubber ducky in a swimming pool, overacting with such manic intensity that one is almost compelled to kick in the television set.

True, Geoffreys may have worn out his cinematic welcome. With his punkish hair, demented grin and high-pitched, constantly cracking voice, it's a little like watching a young Michael J. Pollard on Special K. There was something sweet but annoying about him. In films like Fraternity Vacation (costarring a young Tim Robbins) and 976-EVIL, he pretty much plays the same goofy character. But other actors have managed to parlay an oddball screen persona into a lifelong career. Why, then, would one aspire to porno? Perhaps he feels it is his calling-like Mother Teresa with the lepers or Dr. Kevorkian with the terminally ill. Maybe Geoffreys was born to get his bubble butt plowed on camera.

What's even more mysterious is that the X-rated videos he has chosen to do are of such horrible quality, with lousy production values and a repulsive stable of costars. Aside from Geoffreys, who actually has a tough little body, most of the men are far from cute. Even the titles lack the wit of some recent X-rated offerings, like Das Butt, Oklahomo and I Dream of Wienie. As Sam Ritter, Geoffreys is the Hedda Hopper of porn. He's never without a bandanna, cycling cap or hard hat-or sometimes a bandanna and a baseball hat.

In Motel Sex (Numbers Video), Ritter greets the bellboy in nothing but a towel and a bandanna. Discovering that he has no change in his wallet, he tips the lad the only way he knows how: with his mouth and his willing derriere. Ritter moans and groans in out-of-sync mock-ecstasy beneath his well-endowed, plug-ugly partner.

In Plumber's Liquid (Butch Video), Ritter-sporting a white baseball cap this time-interviews a randy gentleman who's looking for a job as a plumber. "I think I see a pipe I can work on," the young hopeful says, indicating Ritter's swelling crotch. Before long, human drains are unclogged and the position has been filled.

In Butt Blazer (Butch Video), Ritter is impatiently waiting for his car to be serviced. When another customer shows up, they pass the time giving each other lube jobs. Geoffreys gives a rather spirited performance here, delivering such dialogue as "Your big, hairy balls feel so hot against my smooth ass" with great aplomb.

The Big Screw Up (Butch Video) is a "don't ask, don't tell" saga set in an army barracks. Ritter's backside is given a real military pounding by tattooed fellow thespian Rick Rogue (who looks like he just got out of the service-he even conscientiously hangs up his shirt in the locker while getting a blow job).

In Sports Erection (Numbers Video), a big, out-of-shape lug watching a baseball game on TV fantasizes that Ritter is suddenly standing before him, nude except for a jockstrap and that familiar bandanna. Soon he has forsaken sports for the pleasures of Geoffreys' ready and able ass.

Virtual Stud (Butch Video) is a pornographic version of Strange Days, with Ritter (in a tour-de-force performance) appearing in two sequences. After he stars as somebody's virtual-reality dream-naked save for a hard hat at a construction site-he then dons a silly looking pair of white sunglasses and has an imaginary sexual encounter with a leather-clad beefbag.

In Cockpit (BigBone Productions), Ritter checks into a sex club and lies enticingly on a very squeaky cot, servicing anyone who comes into his cubicle. Oddly enough, he looks straight into the camera-breaking that illusionary fourth wall. But his "Come back and see me sometime" comment to his sex partner has a touching and wistful air to it.