20 March 2008 | The_Void
An uncharacteristic disappointment from Russ Meyer
Russ Meyer's career got raunchier as it went on and his 'more serious' early films as well as his comical later efforts both have their plus points. Cherry, Harry & Raquel comes almost in-between the two sides of Meyer's career and almost feels like a dress rehearsal for the likes of Up and Supervixens, as we get all the raunchiness of Meyer's latter day films but it's incredibly poorly strung together and unfortunately, unlike the later efforts, the result is a film that has a handful of interesting scenes, as well as a bucket load of rubbish and boring ones. At times it feels like Meyer shot a load of footage and just stuck it together. As the title suggests, the plot focuses on three main characters - unsurprisingly called Cherry, Harry and Raquel. Harry is a police sheriff with a sideline in drug smuggling, and a local apache has got wind of this, leading Harry to track him down. Harry also has an eventful love life, with no less than two luscious and buxom beauties to choose from - there's Raquel, a prostitute, and Cherry; a nurse.
Despite not being among his best work, Cherry, Harry and Raquel does feature Meyer's trademark style. We've got plenty of sex and nudity, as well as some fairly vicious violence, some good dialogue and Meyer's trademark fast editing. Most of the film takes place in the desert and this provides a good setting for the movie, and also helps to give the film it's most memorable moments - namely, Uschi Digard posing naked against desert backdrops. This is the first Russ Meyer film to star Charles Napier - the memorable actor who would go on to steal the show in Meyer's 1975 masterpiece Supervixens. He's not as good here as he was in Supervixens; but the performance is something of a landmark as Napier was one of the first men to do a full frontal nude scene. Naturally, Meyer doesn't let his audience down with his choice of actresses; Larissa Ely and Linda Ashton are both great (especially unclothed) and their screen time together is one of the best moments of the film. Meyer often tried to give his films a point and it usually serves only in making his films sillier and more bizarre - and that is the case here too; although the ending monologue will provide some laughs. Overall, this is probably the worst Russ Meyer flick I've seen so far and despite some positive elements - there really isn't much to recommend it for.