What if there was a restaurant where you could get a hand-job for an appetizer, intercourse for dinner and a little blowjob to finish off things to cap off the evening? This is the reality of Henry Paris Barbra Broadcast? The elegant and always lovely Annette Haven (Maraschino Cherry) plays Barbara, a very well respected Madame who's on hand in this pleasure-based establishment to do an interview with a reporter named Roberta(C.J Laing) who happens to very interested in her life. From this point forward Metzger establishes an at times off-the-wall fantasy - with the viewer quickly being whisked away in a series of vignettes that weave a decadent piece of Golden Age entertainment.
I really have found myself to appreciate all five of the Henry Paris' XXX features but what truly makes Barbara Broadcast and The Opening of Misty Beethoven stand-out from his other three films are the fantastic sex scenes. All the performers are at the top of their game and with Metzger's direction even the more risqué of scenes come off looking beautiful.
The opening of Barbara Broadcast sets up the heat perfectly. The playful, fast-paced tone gets things going with the hilarious Bobby Astyr accepting blow-jobs from customers. In another part of the restaurant a patron played by of the Golden Age's favorite father figures, Zebedy Colt (Farmer's Daughters, The Story of Joanna) dives between the legs of a very cute waitress who's very to please her customers (or vice versa). He's a hungry man!
Some other fine scenes of note have Annette Haven making love with Michael Gaunt on a desk in an office. That couldn't have been comfortable but they certainly didn't show it. Easily the most eye-opening scenes have to be two super kinky segments - one with Jamie Gills and Constance Money and another with Wade Nichols and C.J Lang. Gillis plays the dom in a dominant and submissive exchange with a tied up Constance Money. Money is one of the more attractive women of the era and Gillis is up to his old tricks that fans have come to know and love.
Following one of her interaction in the restaurant with Barbara, Roberta meets up with a dashing Tom Selleck look-alike cook played by Nichols. According the commentary by Metzger and the extra features the Nichols/ Laing scene has never been shown in all its glory as it's been cut by censors. Here it ain't! All I can say is bring out your umbrella because it's going to get wet. In a rare action in the more mainstream of adult features, Laing urinates for a very turned on Nichols who seems to not give a fuck at all about the health department breaking in. I don't' blame him. The two get together once Laing is done with her business and put forth possibly the hottest scene in the whole film.
Distribpix has gone above and beyond here as they have for their previous Metzger/ Paris releases in the extra feature department laying out an assortment of bonus goodies throughout the three-disc set. We get an excellent commentary with Golden Age historian Benson Hurst and Metzger that delves into some interesting production specifics and even some fun anecdotes are shared. There is also a “making of” segment entitled The Making of Barbara, another called Tribute to the Players where all our stars get attention and a very enjoyable interview with actor Michael Datorre. Datorre talks about the origins of his porn name “Michael Gaunt”, his acting years and speaks pretty highly of his co-stars. Seems a like a classy dude.
Another option aside from the commentary is the ability to watch the film with pop up info about the movie. I was amazed to read that Haven was offered Melanie Griffith’s part in Body Double and even more so that she turned down a part in Joe Dante’s classic The Howling because it was “too violent”. If only I were her agent. One unexpectedly appealing extra is the soft-core version of Barbara Broadcast as we get some humorous scenes (not in the hardcore version) in a theater with the legendary Robert Kerman playing a theater patron. To top the already ample bonus features we also get some trailers and a beautiful booklet on the film.
With this stunning new high-definition transfer and such a treasure trove of extras, passing up Distribpix’s Barbara Broadcast would be insane. I found this incarnation of Barbara Broadcast to be easily one of the best releases of 2013 and by far the best erotic release of this past year. Highly Recommended.
Screencaps for Barbara Broadcast courtesy of Rock! Shock! Pop!