Color, 1976, 79 mins. 13 secs.
Directed by Bernard Morris
Starring Constance Money, John Leslie, Sharon Thorpe, Jon Martin, Sandi Reagan, Angela Haze, Ken Scudder, Rene Bond
Vinegar Syndrome (Blu-ray & DVD) (US R0 HD/NTSC) / WS (1.85:1) (16:9), TVX (DVD) (US R1 NTSC)

One Mary! Mary!of the more mysterious icons of adult films was Mary! Mary!Constance Money, who took the porno chic world by storm in 1976 with the title role in Radley Metzger's pioneering The Opening of Misty Beethoven. Her catchy screen name was even given to her by Metzger due to her frequent inquiries about payment, something that eventually became a major sticking point when she filed legal claims over use of that film's outtakes in two of his later films, Barbara Broadcast and Maraschino Cherry. That means that there are very few other genuine Constance Money vehicles out there, but the best remembered outside of that trilogy is easily Mary! Mary! A supernatural Faustian comedy, it's a bizarre concoction that swerves in numerous directions before going down a very wild, hedonistic path in the final stretch.

After frolicking naked in her swimming pool, Mary (Money) is disappointed once again by lovemaking with her significant other, Ned (Leslie), thanks to his recurring problem with premature ejaculation. He cries to the heavens for help, but when he receives no answer, he throws an offer to the devil for good measure. To their surprise, he gets an answer in the form of a shadowy figure ("the Arranger") doing interpretive dancing on a hill -- and they even get an offer to fix Ned's sexual Mary! Mary!problem in exchange for his immortal soul. After some cajoling from Mary, Ned accepts and receives a golden container filled with a magical, self-replenishing supply of what Mary! Mary!looks like pink Jell-O mold. Not only will it give him to ability to last for hours, but it's good for sharing with others and even spreading on crackers. They decide to throw a big party that Saturday night and invite their friends and co-workers (of course!), but in the meantime the growing sexual maelstrom starts to drag in Ned's work buddy Eric (Martin), their insatiable friend Jane (Thorpe), and just about everyone else in the Northern California town, with a surprisingly large-scale car chase with a sexy twist thrown in for good measure. By the time the big sex party arrives, little does Ned realize that he might have to pay a heavy price for his few days of nonstop pleasure.

An agreeable little hardcore outing that could have a decent cult following if it were more widely seen, Mary! Mary! isn't quite as much of a showcase for Money as her most famous role (apart from the graphic, extremely intimate swimming main titles) but makes up for it with an astonishing number of sex scenes and even a few peculiar plot twists during its very short running time. The sunny, idyllic atmosphere actually enhances the fantasy aspect of the film, which gradually darkensMary! Mary! into some pretty unsettling territory that skirts right up to the edge of the horror genre (and arguably tips over into it for the last two minutes). It's full of odd quirks, too, Mary! Mary!like a barely recognizable Rene Bond in shades turning up as a cop for that chase scene, or that old '70s smut standby, a gay guy getting raped by two aggressive women. At least in this case he doesn't suddenly switch teams afterwards.

Initially released on DVD from TVX in an old VHS-era transfer, Mary! Mary! looks terrific on Vinegar Syndrome's 2018 dual-format Blu-ray and DVD release. For a film that once looked very hazy and pale, it's amazing how vibrant and glossy it appears now with much more visual snap in its original aspect ratio; the eccentric music choices also sound excellent thanks to the pristine mono soundtrack. Considering the mystery behind the film's one-shot director, there isn't much potential for extras here (though it was shot by a pseudonymous Henning Schellerup in between Kiss of the Tarantula and Silent Night, Deadly Night); that means all you get is the theatrical trailer, a typical late '70s "critics are raving" piece that just sells the sex. However, given the quality of the main feature itself, that's more than enough.

Mary! Mary! Mary! Mary! Mary! Mary! Mary! Mary!

Reviewed on February 19, 2018.