Radley Metzger – Maraschino Cherry (1978)
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.