Written by: Cliff Wood on February 7th, 2010
Theatrical Release Date: USA, 1978
Director: Henry Paris (Radley Metzger)
Writer: Jake Barnes
Cast: Gloria Leonard, Leslie Bovee, Annette Haven, Constance Money, C.J. Laing, Jenny Baxter, Penny Cherry, Wade Nichols, Susan McBain, Eric Edwards
DVD released: January 23rd, 2009
Approximate running time: 85 minutes
Aspect Ratio: 1.66:1 Anamorphic widescreen
Sound: Dolby Digital Mono English
DVD Release: DistribPix
Region Coding: Region 0 NTSC
Retail Price: $34.99
Synopsis: Maraschino Cherry (Gloria Leonard) is a high priced Madame who is visited one day by her little sister who wants to learn the business and set up her own escort service.
By the time Radley Metzger made his final XXX feature film Maraschino Cherry. He had all but run out of ideas and inspiration. It is almost like he saw the writing on the wall, like he had four years earlier when he made the transition from soft-core into hard-core cinema. The way adult film’s would be made was on the verge of changing as shooting on video made things cheaper and more accessible for anyone who wanted to make a film, to do so.
There is a disjointed feel to Maraschino Cherry that is not as prominent in his previous hard-core films. This is most likely due to the fact that he used footage that he had previously shot for other projects and not used and incorporated it into Maraschino Cherry. For instance, the scenes with actress Constance Money are most definitely left over scenes from her previous film with Radley Metzger, The Opening of Misty Beethoven.
Even though the film does at times lack the heat present in his best films. Everything is held together and works as well as it does because of the film’s fluid editing that does a remarkable job mixing previously shot footage with newly shot footage. Most of Metzger’s films are known for their offbeat humor and witty dialog. Maraschino Cherry is filled many amusing comedy set pieces like a man who comes every time he sneezes and a woman who is whipped and used as a human clock.
Many of the top XXX actress/actors of the era including Gloria Leonard, Leslie Bovee, Annette Haven, Constance Money, C.J. Laing, Jenny Baxter, Penny Cherry, Wade Nichols, Susan McBain and Eric Edwards appear in the film making the performances and the story more enjoyable then it could have been in the hands of lesser performers. The best sex scene is without a doubt the night club scene with Annette Haven and the most memorable scene is the S&M torture scene near the end of the film with C.J. Laing.
When I first encountered Radley Metzger ‘s Maraschino Cherry three years ago. I viewed it via Video X Pix previous DVD release which was missing about eleven minutes of footage. Thankfully for this new edition also from Video X Pix, all of the missing footage has been reinstated. This time around it was like seeing Maraschino Cherry for the first time. Ultimately despite its shortcomings Maraschino Cherry is a satisfying swan song for adult cinema’s greatest auteur.
Video X Pix presents Maraschino Cherry in an anamorphic widescreen that preserves the film’s original aspect ratio. Video X Pix had previously released Maraschino Cherry on DVD in 2005. This new DVD release, which is also part of their Platinum Elite Collection greatly improves upon the previous release in every way. Sure there is still some notice print damage. Besides this the transfer looks pretty damn good with flesh tones looking accurate, colors fare well, black levels look strong throughout and details look sharp throughout. Also the image remains stable throughout even though it is interlaced. The 2005 DVD release clocks in at 73 minutes 13 seconds, while the new DVD release clocks in at 84 minutes 51 seconds. It should also be noted that the Video X Pix appears on screen before each sex scene.
This release comes with one audio option a Dolby Digital mono mix in English. The audio sound clear and balanced throughout.
Extras for this release have been spread over two DVD’s. Extras on disc one include a six minute interview with actress Gloria Leonard, a gallery of stills for other film’s also available from Video X Pix and trailers for All About Gloria Leonard and Inside Seka. The interview with Gloria Leonard is comprised of comments which also appear in the lengthier interview with her that is included on disc two.
Extras on disc two include a the film’s original theatrical trailer, stills slide-show, two bonus scenes both with Gloria Leonard (from All About Gloria Leonard and Misbehaving) and a thirty minute interview with Gloria Leonard. Some topics she discusses include, her thoughts on the Adult film industry and various projects and performers that she worked with. Also included with this release is a strip of 35mm film from a Maraschino Cherry and a eight page booklet that contains stills as well as insightful liner notes that were written by Benson Hurst. Overall Maraschino Cherry gets a strong DVD release from Video X Pix.