Y'know....he had me at "breasts"....
I can remember my first encounter with the works of director Russ Meyer. At some point during my high school days, some friends and myself were all hanging out at a mutual buddy's place late one night, and while lounging around after a few beers, quite possibly one of the oddest things (up to that point in my existence) I had ever seen on late night cable television made it's way across the screen of said friend's living room boob tube.
After a slight bout of disorientation caused by paranoia brought on by doubts as to whether or not I was "holding my liqour" as well as I thought I had been, my friend informs me, "Oh...you've never seen BEYOND THE VALLEY OF THE DOLLS before? They've been playing it alot lately on cable...it was directed by this Meyer guy....most of his films are really huge breast obsessed, and then there's "Faster Pussycat"..."
"What? The shitty hair-rock band?", I reply.
"No, no, no....the movie. "Faster Pussycat! Kill! Kill!" Oh man...you have to see FASTER PUSSYCAT..it's f**king great. Big breasted biker chicks who have nothing better to do thatn kick the sh** outta some truly obnoxious dudes..."
As I said...he had me at "breasts"...
This led to a few weeks later, where my friend presented me with a T-180 VHS cassette. "Here.", he said, "My uncle dubbed these for ya from his VHSs. FASTER PUSSYCAT! KILL! KILL!, DERANGED, and and I think there are a few episodes of "Kids In The Hall" on there you've been wanting for awhile..."
This was my introduction to the esteemed Mr. Meyer's work. I then sought out such titles as UP!, VIXEN, MUDHONEY (a personal favorite), and a few others, and discovered there was more than breast-obsession going on. What I found was an odd filmmaking style, filled with an almost unflinching look at a man's specific vices, with sometimes minimalist plots (or something resembling them). It was as if the exploitation sensibilities of Doris Wishman had meshed with the penchant for grue that H.G. Lewis' work exhibited, as well as Lewis' marketting savvy. Meyer's work also seems to attempt social commentary and/or satire on certain levels. There's a crazy masochistic philosophy here that borders on dadaism, folks....ya just have to look past the very obvious T&A.
The Plot: Tura Satana is Varla, a mean as nails she-wolf whose main kicks seem to be belittling men and racing cars. She's joined by two chicks that she jiggles her assets with down at the local go-go bar, Billie and Rosie. After an incredibly confusing car race with a local kid accompanied by his girlfriend, Varla snaps at the possibility of being bested by a man, and does the logical thing: Karates him to death and then snaps his neck.
What? That's not an acceptable way to settle matters of sportsmanship amongst auto racers? It should be. Make NASCAR ten times more enjoyable for me. Anyways, they kidnap Linda (said gal-pal of dead man) and plan their next move: move in on a local miser and his hulking retard son so's they can steal his horded away cash. As you can tell so far, Varla and the gals don't really think these things out too well. Things go wonky when they come to find out that the geezer is bat-sh*t insane, having been hit by a train years back and confined to a wheelchair. He's paranoid and likes guns,too. The Vegetable (no kidding...this is how Dennis Busch's character is creditted), aka aforementioned retard man-boy, seems to have a problem with women. He just keeps....breaking...potential brides. Whoopsy.
The miser has a second son, who rebels after falling for the kidnapped girl (remember her?) and they make an escape run, which ends grisly for Varla, who meets the business end of a car's grill. The End.
Borderline male power fantasy softcore....or relevant social commentary on the so-called "war of the sexes"?
Depends on your testosterone level, possibly. Still highly reccommended ......