Monday, March 31, 2008


Auteur par excellence, Russ Meyer was not only a first-rate cameraman (he filmed for the army in WWII) and a remarkably deft editor but, whilst aiming always to entertain, he spent a lifetime exploring an obsessive personal vision in films about strong women. And it so happens that these women all have improbably large breasts, usually bare; in ridiculous paper-thin backwoods plots they are subjected to violence and rape by macho men, though they always fight back, and watch out the weakling! His penultimate feature is a cornucopia of Meyerist lunacy, with more blood and nudity than ever before, fantastically elongated prosthetic penises (in teasing glimpses), the magnificent Raven de la Croix doing her best Mae West impersonation, and a piranha-in-the-bathtub murder (the victim: a distinctively mustachioed Adolf "Schwarz"). Will the villain be Eva Braun Jr? Or perhaps hulking, axe-wielding backwards backwoodsman Rafe? What about sleazy Leonard Box? The action is frequently interrupted by joyous scenes of idyllic rural love-making, and regular recaps from the irrepressible Kitten Natividad as a leather-booted Greek chorus, the perfect hostess for such mythologically fetishistic excess. With a frolicsome pace, a consistently witty script from none other than Roger Ebert, a sense that Meyer has perfected his form, and just plain good film-making, it’s a masterpiece, of sorts.

d/p/ph/ed Russ Meyer sc Russ Meyer, Roger Ebert ad Michael Levesque m William Loose, Paul Ruhland cast Raven de la Croix, Janet Wood, Robert McLane, Larry Dean, Monty Bane, Bob Schott, Kitten Natividad, Linda Sue Ragsdale, Edward Schaaf, Mary Gavin, Marianne Marks
, 80m)

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