• Throat 12 Years After



    Released by: Vinegar Syndrome
    Released on: August 29th, 2017.
    Director: Gerard Damiano
    Cast: Michelle Maren, George Payne, Sharon Mitchell, Eric Edwards, Joey Silvera, Sharone Kane, Joanna Storm, Jerry Butler, Laurie Smith
    Year: 1984
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    The Movie:

    Written and directed by Gerard Damiano, Throat opens with some establishing shots that place the action in the New York City of the mid-eighties. Here we meet Walter (George Payne), a married man who has hired the services of a sassy prostitute (Sharon Mitchell). As they go about their business she tries to get to know him a bit better and it comes out that he’s not getting what he wants at home. As they do the deed, she tells him a story about how she serviced a boy she went to high school with through a hole in the fence. When they finish up, we meet Marsha (Michelle Maren), Walter’s pretty but poodle haired wife. She’s entertaining the man who has come to read the meter (Eric Edwards) and as they get to talking, the subject changes to sex. He notes how attractive she is and soon enough, she gives him a lingerie fashion show and then hops into bed with him – at which point she has a carnal awakening of sorts.

    Elsewhere, a wealthy woman named Louise (Sharon Kane) has hired a male prostitute (Jerry Butler) to take care of her. As they go at it, she tells him about her first experience with another woman (Laurie Smith), which we see play out as a flashback. Meanwhile her husband Andy (Joey Silvera) takes his new plaything (Joanna Storm) to a swingers club called The Sewer in the lower part of the city (look for a cameo from Damiano himself as the cab driver who takes them there). After making small talk with the club owner (Annie Sprinkle) and drinking cocktails out of breast shaped mugs served by Marc Stevens, they join in the fetish heavy group grope session that takes place in the bowels of the club (some interesting people pop up here including Annette Heinz, Alan Adrian and ‘Bobby Spector’ who – if the imdb credits for this are to be trusted - was in fact Sleazoid Express writer Bill Landis acting under a pseudonym).

    As to the film’s title, this isn’t, as it might imply, a sequel to Deep Throat at all – but by the time it’s all over and done with, Damiano has managed to tie the two films together in a genuinely funny and unexpected way. We won’t spoil that here – just make sure you stick with this one until the end credits hit the screen.

    Shot by Larry Revene, this is a very handsomely lensed picture that makes the most of some great locations and an interesting cast. The lighting and camerawork is slick and polished, which allows the picture to show off some solid production values, and the disco-tinged original score composed for the film adds some further interest (particularly the raunchy song that plays out in The Sewer). The film also makes some interesting comparisons between our two couples. If there isn’t much of a story per se, this vignette based film does at least do a nice job of establishing the characters. Walter and Michelle might be playing around behind one another’s back, but they’re doing it because they’re both shy, unwilling to express what they truly want from one another. Once they get a taste of unbridled passion from the other plays, they’re able to more properly communicate with one another in the boudoir. On the flip side of that coin, it’s clear that Louise and Andy enjoy their open marriage. When they meet up before the film’s finish, they take the time to ask one another about their exploits, there’s no jealousy or anger here, just the enjoyment of sex.

    Humorous and at times surprisingly warm… even tender… at times Throat is by anyone’s standards an excellent adult picture. The couplings are frequent but so too are the well shot and typically quite passionate. There’s real heat here, the film captures it well. Recommended to anyone with an interest in XXX cinema.

    Video/Audio/Extras:

    Throat debuts on Blu-ray from Vinegar Syndrome in an AVC encoded 1080p high definition transfer framed at 1.85.1 widescreen on a 50GB disc. Taken from a 2k restoration of the original 35mm negative, the picture quality here is really strong. Detail is great throughout and the image is very clean showing almost no noticeable print damage at all. Grain appears naturally, as it should, while color reproduction seems nice and natural without ever appearing boosted or oversaturated. Like most of this director’s work. Throat is a colorful film and that really comes through in this presentation. Black levels are nice and deep but thankfully avoid crush. Skin tones look lifelike and accurate throughout, no one looks too pink or too orange. There are no noticeable issues with compression artifacts or edge enhancement to note either. Top marks all around in the transfer department for this one!

    The only audio option on the disc is an English language DTS-HD Mono track. No problems here aside from a tiny bit of sibilance in a few spots. The single channel track is clean, clear and nicely balanced and the score sounds pretty good too. Optional subtitles are provided in English, which is a nice touch, though there are quite a few typos in them.

    Extras start off with a thirty-two minute long featurette entitled Making Michelle which is an interesting video interview with Michelle Maren. She talks about moving to New York City in 1979 at seventeen to escape her abusive mother after which she wanted to make it as an actress. From there she talks about some early gigs she had doing nude modelling through the Village Voice classified ads, what was entailed in that, later being hired to appear in an adult film but completely clothed as a dancer, and then making the transition to doing hardcore. From there she talks about landing the role in Throat, working with Damiano and the rest of the cast, drug use in the industry, being treated with respect during her time in the business, her thoughts on Larry Revene’s work, valuable advice from George Payne, Eric Edwards’ professionalism and kindness, shooting her first girl/girl scene with Annette Heinz, appearing in ‘legitimate’ films as an extra, where her career has gone since then, telling her family about some of the work she did (and introducing her mom to certain players!) and how she feels about things looking back on them now. Michelle is very enthusiastic here, a great story teller and a woman who clearly has a very sharp memory. As such, she’s a very interesting interview subject – and she still looks great!

    Up next is Filming Throat, a new twenty minute long video interview with cinematographer Larry Revene. He speaks quite candidly about getting to know Damiano – they worked in certain circles but had never met until this shoot – after he had set up Adventure Studio in Queens. They got along well and worked well together, which was an asset on a film like this that didn’t have a lot of pre-production time. He then talks about the studio setup that they had, how Damiano lived in an apartment above it, how connections Damiano made in hairdressing school led to his going into business together, the evolution into filmmaking and how those connections came to matter even then. He talks about a few tricks of the trade that were used in the studio shoot, the logistics of some of the setups, using all the space they had including the backlot and parking area, working with Paul Letterman who financed some of Damiano’s pictures, some of the other director’s that worked in the studio setup and how it became a hub for talent and quite a bit more. Revene’s talk is much more laid back and concerned with not only the history of this time in his career but some of the theory behind what he did and the connections that made it possible. Interesting stuff, lots of good stories in here.

    Extensive audio interview with supporting actress Sharon Kane, moderated by Casey Scott, which runs basically as an audio commentary that lasts about sixty-four minutes over the feature’s eighty-three minute long running time. This lengthy and very friendly chat is focused on her work with Damiano but it also covers how she got her start on the west coast before moving east and transplanting to the adult film industry in New York City. She talks about some of the early roles that she landed, a few agents she worked with during this period, and working her way up the ladder to work with some of the better directors in the business. She landed in NYC at a good time when the business was really moving along, but found that it was quite different than the California porn scene she was accustomed to in a lot of ways. That took some getting used to. From there, she tells some stories about the pressures of the job, what Damiano was like to work with as a director, how he was on set and how she got into character. Scott asks her good questions here, picking her brain about the confidence she showed on screen and how ‘real’ that confidence was, the difficulty of some of the long takes that are used in the movie, what the scene was like between performers at the time and more. She also talks about working with Ron Sullivan, how long the Throat shoot was, various other people who she worked with over the years, her background in music and how that came to matter in the porn industry, and lots more. This is a very detailed talk with a lot of great information on the picture and on Kane’s particular role in it and experiences making it.

    The film’s original theatrical trailer, menus and chapter selection round out the supplements – and as this is a combo pack release, a DVD version of the movie containing the same extras found on the Blu-ray is also included.

    The Final Word:

    Throat isn’t the film that Damiano is remembered for but it is very much a worthy follow up to the one that is (even if thematically the two pictures don’t have much in common at all). Vinegar Syndrome has brought the picture to Blu-ray in a beautiful presentation and with some genuinely interesting extra features as well. Fans of vintage smut should consider this one essential.

    Click on the images below for full sized Blu-ray screen caps!