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October 26, 2012

Movie Review: Maraschino Cherry

Growing up in the '80s and '90s and being exposed to much of the XXX films of both eras, it was rare that a film was pleasing to the eye - aside from the copious amounts of naked bodies and sexual acts on display. Porn wasn't suppose to be something that you could hold up to other genre films in the technical sense. This is precisely why I love the '70s era of porn. Radley Metzger under his pseudonym of Henry Paris produced several soft-core, artsy erotica before he started producing much of the "high-class" pornography he's known for. Films like The Opening of Misty Beethoven and of course today’s Blue Cheese review, Maraschino Cherry. Maraschino Cherry along with Blonde Ambition and Deep Inside Annie Sprinkle are apart of the Elite Platinum Series from Video-X-Pix - a newer brand of adult DVD that really dwarfs most similar releases in every department.

 Maraschino (Gloria Leonard,
All About Gloria Leonard) is a madam for an upscale brothel in a high-rise building deep in Manhattan. She loves her job and does it well. Maraschino’s family want to get in on her business, namely her sister, Cherry (Jenny Baxter, Hot Wives, Bloodsucking Freaks). Cherry wants to learn the trade and open up a brothel back home. Sounds simple enough right? Well, Metzger makes you think that early on, than it's off to fantasy land with our always creative frame-filler giving you the guided tour of Maraschino's house of pleasure. Maraschino Cherry is very heavy on the sex, it's also beautifully shot and damn colorful to boot. I found myself checking the areas around the sex act, as well as taking in the very hot "love scenes". Of course..then it was back to the sex on-screen .

Another thing I noticed about
Maraschino Cherry is that some of the women are absolutely gorgeous. Annette Haven is lovely, but it was really Constance Money and C.J Laing that kept my attention . Gloria Leonard is perfect as "Maraschino", she takes full command and is perfectly believable as a cathouse authority figure. She imposes plenty of the said authority,in ample amounts. One scene in particular involves Leonard and Susan McBain, who plays a very sore dungeon prostitute-slave. Leonard spits out a memorable line to McBain pre-whipping, that had me rolling, "You'll have to be punished this morning. You're not disgusting enough". Classic!

Maraschino Cherry
also has plenty of comic moments to go along with the rampant sex and rich scenery. A john in Maraschino's brothel has an interesting problem, every time this guy sneezes ,he blows his load. This man does have manners though, so of course he very casually wipes his wee wee with his very crusty handkerchief. Could it get any weirder? YES! This leads me to the world's first cinematic blumpkin. It's the worlds first, because it's the first time I've seen it. A toilet takes the place of a bed in this very odd scene. "Toilet Seat client"(Michael Gaunt, Babylon Blue, Corruption) really wants to engage in carnal activities on a commode, but he's terrified that he'll get an some social disease from the seat. This prompts yet another bit of dialogue that may stay buried in my brain: "Can I get V.D from a toilet seat??" Utter brilliance from Mr. Gaunt!

Video-X-Pix's, Platinum Elite Edition of
Maraschino Cherry not only sports a lovely new transfer from original elements, it also has a wealth of supplementary materials including: Interviews with star ,Gloria Leonard, a booklet covering the production of Maraschino Cherry and the "Aristocrat of Erotica", Radley Metzger from “golden age” historian Benson Hurst, trailers for All About Gloria Leonard and Inside Seka, bonus scenes from All About Gloria Leonard and Misbehavin' and possibly my favorite goodie, an original film cell from Maraschino Cherry in protective plastic. The Leonard interviews are incredibly insightful as she is as candid as can be. The actress talks about everything. Ladies actually got payed a minimal amount back in the '70s ($200 to $400 dollars) and that it wasn't by the scene, it was for a whole day! If you had to fuck all day, you did. She was a true blue collar porn-star who brought her lunch pail everyday. Leonard is also proud of the fact that during her career she never had to fuck Ron Jeremy. Some of the more eye-opening anecdotes I caught involved her dating of a few very notable wealthy celebrities - Ted Turner, Larry King and the very "romantic" Robin Leach. The production of Maraschino Cherry is also brought up, Leonard was introduced to Metzger by her friend, the late Jamie Gillis.

I really don't know how long Video-X-Pix is going to do these superb Platinum Elite releases but I sure hope it continues for many of their other current catalog titles as well as new releases they may unearth. They really are true DVD collector’s items. Maraschino Cherry is easily in the top five adult films of all time, if I were to make a list. The fact this release is also packaged so well, with the slip-case and inserts to go along with already amazing material on both DVDs, is a vintage porn fan’s wet-dream come true!

Make sure you head on over to for Maraschino Cherry and other fine golden age adult films!

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