Cinema-X Review:
The Rise and Fall (and the complete 1980 issues)

Cinema-X Review: <br />The Rise and Fall (and the complete 1980 issues)

We look at the creation of the adult film magazine, Cinema-X Review, in an interview with one of the founders, Jason Russell – and continue our digitization project by re-publishing issues of the magazine from 1980.

These issues include interviews with people such as Gerard Damiano, Chuck Vincent, Jennifer Welles, and Gloria Leonard, articles about Lesllie Bovee, Vanessa Del Rio and Kandi Barbour, and reviews of movies such as 800 Fantasy Lane, The Ecstasy Girls, Her Name Was Lisa, and The Budding of Brie, and much more…

You can find The Rialto Report‘s growing library of digitized resources by clicking ‘Library’ in our site navigation menu.

Check back for more digitized adult film magazine collections soon.

Click on the covers below to access the full magazines. Due to the fact that the magazines are scanned in high definition, allow a little time for each page to load. If you are viewing on a phone, view in landscape orientation.

Magazines are fully searchable; use the icon displayed in each magazine to search by keyword.

Publications are being shared here purely for the purpose of research. They should not to be used or reproduced for any commercial gain.

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Cinema-X Review – The Rise and Fall: An Interview with Jason Russell

The Rialto Report met Jason Russell in the last years of his life when he was living in St. Petersburg, FL. He was a man of few words, but spoke with us about his long career in adult films – including the following conversation about the creation of the adult film magazine, Cinema-X Review.

What was your involvement in the start of Cinema-X Review?

Cinema-X Review magazine was started by four of us. There was Bobby Hollander, Bob Genova, Teddy Snyder and myself. We’d all been involved in making porn in some form or another since the back end of the 1960s. In fact Bobby G had been involved since the 1950s. So we’d known each other for a while, and by the late 1970s we’d become coke buddies. We called ourselves the Four Musketeers. And let me tell you, there were a lot of drugs involved when we got together.

What do you remember about each of them?

Bobby Hollander and Ted Snyder were Jews from Brooklyn who wanted to be wise guys. They wore big gold jewellery and fancy clothes, and liked to live large. They talked about movie deals as if they were Louis B. Mayer.

Bobby G at least was Italian, but he was just the same. Big gold rings, big cars, expensive restaurants – that was his personal brand.

Teddy was my best friend. We were both photographers, cameramen. In fact Teddy was one of the first to shoot me and Tina (Russell – Jason’s former wife) when we started in the business back in 1969. Teddy and I were the same age, which is to say about 10 -15 years younger than Bobby Hollander and Bobby G.

Anyway, like I say, we’d hang out together. And do drugs.

 Where did the idea for Cinema-X Review come from?

Bobby Hollander had got involved with Gloria Leonard. I don’t know if they got married because Bobby was always messing around with other women, but they were basically together.

Gloria had been the editor or publisher for High Society magazine for a few years, and the magazine was doing great. The problem was that Gloria was on a flat salary and received no upside on the back end for all the work she did. Bobby thought we should start our own magazine that we each owned a piece of. So the four of us decided to set it up.

Whose idea was it to focus on adult films?

That was a no-brainer. Gloria said the issues of High Society that sold the best were the ones which had features on porno stars. And the four of us had great connections to the porn industry so we knew we could find content easily.

Bobby Hollander also made sure that he promoted anything we were doing outside of the magazine in the pages of the magazine – like working on the movie “N.Y. Babes” (1979).

How did you divide up responsibilities?

Bobby was the guy with the connections to the publishing contacts through Gloria, so he took the lead. But at first, we managed it together.

There were a few other similar magazines at the time. How much were you aware of them?

Very aware. We stole the best ideas from them, and came up with a few new concepts ourselves.

What’s an example of something you stole?

We graded each film we reviewed on a scale of 1 -100… which was like Screw magazine.

And like High Society we got stars, like Annette Haven and Lesllie Bovee, to write regular columns. Bobby Hollander also wrote an introduction each month, just like Gloria did in High Society.

And how about new ideas?

We decided that all of the film reviewers would be adult film celebrities. So people like Tina and Juliet Anderson wrote for us.

Also we focused on publishing fiction too. Each issue had a lengthy story. No one else was doing that.

And our magazine was more explicit. This was important to us. We knew other magazines would talk about sex in films, but we wanted to show it. I think we were one of the first monthly magazine to really do that.

How was the magazine launched?

We were due to start publishing the previous year, but Bobby had some problems with the printers because it was hard core, so we had to hold off for a while. This meant that when we put the first issues out in 1980, a lot of the reviews were for films that had come out in 1979 or even 1978.

I remember we had an interview with Jennifer Welles, who’d left the business a few years before… No one seemed to notice though.

Did the magazine make money?

Yes. We had good circulation. We also had more pages of advertising than other magazines. That was deliberate, so we made money that way as well.

We also charged filmmakers to have their films reviewed in Cinema-X. We’d tell them to send us stills from their movie – and a check for… say $1,000 bucks, and we’d make sure we gave them good coverage.

That sounds like a racket…

Some of the guys complained, but they could see we did a good job in getting the word out about their latest flick… so most went along with it. I remember Howie Winters kicked up a fuss, but that was all.

It was an incestuous undertaking to be honest. There was Bobby and Gloria – who were an item. Then there was me and Tina – we’d split up but were still friendly. We also had this crazy couple, David Davidson and Erica Eaton – he was gay, but they lived together and she was madly in love with him… They had made a few pornos and were always on the party scene, so they had good connections in the business. And then Bobby G had family members who helped to print and publish the magazine.

Did you enjoy your involvement in the magazine?

I liked taking photographs, and making movies, so as long as I was doing that I was happy. There was a lot of other stuff with the magazine that I didn’t dig, and that got me down.

I moved out to California in the late 1970s. This helped the magazine because I was able to get west coast filmmakers to feature in the magazine.

How long did you stay involved with Cinema-X Review?

I stayed involved for the first year, but then I started to find other things I wanted to do more. By then Bobby Hollander, Bobby G, and Teddy had moved out to Los Angeles as well, and we were all more interested in producing movies than publishing a magazine, so it came to a natural end.

The last issue was in June 1981. Were you involved when it closed down?

It didn’t really close down. It was sold to some other people, like Peter Wolff who’d been the editor of magazines like Cheri and Partner. It just changed its name to Adult Cinema Review – and kept going with a different group of people.

By then I was long gone.

Did you stay in contact with the other guys?

Me and Teddy set up a partnership in L.A. We helped Bobby Hollander make many shot-on-video movies in the 1980s. Bobby ‘managed’ Shauna Grant for a while. Then he got cancer and died about 5 years ago (in 2002).

Teddy Snyder formed a series of production companies including Video Cassette Recordings (VCR). He and Bobby G eventually went into business together. I shot a lot of loops and short things for them – including some of Traci Lords first shorts. Bobby G and Teddy made a shit load of money with their company. They did very well. They were finally ‘big-time.’ But they got in bed with the wiseguys, and that was too much for me. I wanted to stay outta trouble, y’know?

You ever hear what happened to Teddy? Crazy story. He was shot dead in front of his house in 1989. Everyone thought the mob was behind the hit, but it turned out it was his wife, Sharon, that killed him. Actually it was his coke dealer who pulled the trigger. Sharon paid him to do it with a rare $10,000 bill from Teddy’s collection. This dealer took it to a regular bank to exchange it for smaller bills. The problem was that everyone knew Teddy had this bank note because it was framed in his living room – so when the cops found out, they arrested the dealer and Sharon. The dealer got a long sentence, but Sharon got off because she said he’d acted alone.

That’s pretty much the story of Cinema-X Review.

Jason Russell died in 2005, and Bobby Genova died in 2013.

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Cinema-X Review: The Complete 1980 Issues

January 1980 (Vol 1, No. 1)
(click on cover to view magazine)

Contents:

Cinema-X Review People
Gerard Damiano interview
– Third Annual Erotic Film Awards
N.Y. Babes – review by Lesllie Bovee
Vanessa Del Rio
800 Fantasy Lane – review by Erica Eaton
Misbehavin’ – review by Tina Russell
Pleasure Palace – review by Juliet Anderson

 

 

February 1980 (Vol 1, No. 2)
(click on cover to view magazine)

Contents:

Cinema-X Review Summer In Heat – review by Juliet Anderson
Chuck Vincent interview
Annette Haven‘s Haven – news and gossip
Jack & Jill – review by Erica Eaton
Sweet Savage – review by David Davidson
Lesllie Bovee
Intimate Desires
Legend of Lady Blue – review by Tina Russell

 

 

March 1980 (Vol 1, No. 3)
(click on cover to view magazine)

Contents:

Cinema-X Review Easy – review by Juliet Anderson
Jennifer Welles interview
Annette Haven‘s Haven – news and gossip
Pro Ball Cheerleaders – review by Juliet Anderson
Hot Rackets – review by Tina Russell
Desiree Cousteau
Tangerine
Superwoman – review by Tina Russell
The Ecstasy Girls – review by David Davidson

 

 

April 1980 (Vol 1, No. 4)
(click on cover to view magazine)

Contents:

Cinema-X Review Telefantasy – review by Juliet Anderson
Inside Desiree Cousteau – review by David Davidson
Serena
Annette Haven‘s Haven – news and gossip
Sensational Janine – review by Erica Eaton
Sensual Encounters of Every Kind
Screwples – review by Tina Russell

 

 

May 1980 (Vol 1, No. 5)
(click on cover to view magazine)

Contents:

Cinema-X Review Fantasy Island – review by David Davidson
Bon Appetit
Kandi Barbour
Olympic Fever – review by Erica Eaton
Lesllie Bovee answers readers’ mail
Summer School
Three Ripening Cherries

 

 

June 1980 (Vol 1, No. 6)
(click on cover to view magazine)

Contents:

Cinema-X Review Female Athletes – review by Tina Russell
Gloria Leonard interview
Chopstix – review by David Davidson
The Budding of Brie
Lesllie Bovee answers readers’ mail
Her Name Was Lisa
Annette Haven‘s Haven – news and gossip
Sex Roulette – review by Erica Eaton

 

 

September 1980 (Vol 1, No. 7)
(click on cover to view magazine)

Contents:

Cinema-X Review Insatiable – review by Erica Eaton
Hot Legs – review by Tina Russell
Carter Stevens interview
Seka
– Two Sisters
Lesllie Bovee answers readers’ mail
Talk Dirty To Me – review by David Davidson
Annette Haven‘s Haven – news and gossip

 

 

October 1980 (Vol 1, No. 8)
(click on cover to view magazine)

Contents:

Cinema-X Review Seka, A Woman – review by Erica Eaton
– Jezebel – review by Lesllie Bovee
Uschi Digard
Sandi Foxx interview
Ultra Flesh – review by Erica Eaton
Lesllie Bovee answers readers’ mail
The Girls of Mr. X – review by David Davidson
Sensual Fire

 

 

November 1980 (Vol 1, No. 9)
(click on cover to view magazine)

Contents:

Cinema-X Review ‘F’
Candida Royalle column
Plato’s: The Movie
– Erotic Awards Reader Ballot
Lesllie Bovee answers readers’ mail
Star Babe – review by Lesllie Bovee
Deep Rub – review by Erica Eaton
October Silk – review by David Davidson

 

 

December 1980 (Vol 1, No. 10)
(click on cover to view magazine)

Contents:

Cinema-X Review The Lady is a Tramp – review by David Davidson
Pink Champagne
Platinum Paradise
Candida Royalle column
Lesllie Bovee answers readers’ mail
Co-Ed Fever – review by Tina Russell
Blondes Have More Fun – review by Tina Russell
Exposed – review by Erica Eaton

*

 

  • Posted On: 8th July 2018
  • By: Ashley West
  • Under: Articles

11 Comments

  1. Dan · July 8, 2018

    Ashley, this is a dream come true. To be able to read through magazines that were on the ground reporting on the adult film in its heyday is something I never dared I would be able to do. The light you have shone on the early industry is simply astonishing, and you can count me as one of your biggest and most loyal supporters.

  2. Sandro Rossi · July 8, 2018

    Beautiful!!!!!!!! I love this. Thank you!!!!

  3. Sir Mix A Lot · July 8, 2018

    Interesting to read the back story behind the creation of this mag. I’d love to have similar oral histories for Adam Film World, Cheri, High Society, Video-X and the rest.

    Keep up the impressive work!

  4. Jim Stevens · July 8, 2018

    As the saying goes, this brings be back.

    I had never seen an actual adult film at this point, but this is the magazine I’d sneak peeks at during college to see what was out, what was winning awards and who was in them. I knew of the performers and titles before actually seeing them thanks to publications like this…they actually gave me guidance as to what to seek out once I actually starting viewing adult.

    You guys continue to mine the golden age like no other.

  5. Norman · July 8, 2018

    Brilliant ending to my weekend after the 3 Lions result yesterday which Id wager Ashley you will have celebrated too?!
    Time so far only to have a brief look at this golden vault but I went straight to the items featuring the wonderful D.Clearbranch and there was her partner in crime Serena (with very short hair) alongside. Oh and a penis enlargement advert from a “Mr Reldnas”….can’t imagine what his real surname might be. THANK YOU!!

    • Ashley West · July 8, 2018

      Three Lions? You better believe it. We almost didn’t have a post this weekend after the Saturday hangover…

  6. Dong Show · July 8, 2018

    Carol Connors was stunning! anyone else watch the Gong Show just to see Carol introduce Chuck in her bikini?

    What was up with Bobby Hollander? the guy always seemed revved up on something, how did Shauna Grant put up with that guy?

  7. J. Walter Puppybreath · July 9, 2018

    To use an ’80’s phrase, totally awesome!
    Can’t believe how raw (to me) the pics are in this mag.

  8. Jeffrey · July 9, 2018

    I confess to not being an aficionado of adult film. However this site is a delight and I wish that my areas of interest had people as committed to quality as the team behind The Rialto Report. This is an exhaustive treasure.

  9. thomas Rohan · July 11, 2018

    I used to scan this mag looking for decent reviews.
    It was very hard to know what was in a porno in those days.
    There was nothing more depressing than sitting thru a flick that was just same ol stuff.

    • J. Walter Puppybreath · July 14, 2018

      Could you elaborate, Thomas?
      Your comment about the ‘same old stuff’ is interesting because, let’s be frank, the point of these films was to show people f**king?