Forgive me. What with all the little calamities that I’ve been plagued with over the past half year (look’em up in the archives, I won’t bore you with a recap), I once again completely forgot that I had promised one of my readers a review. This time around, it’s Beyond The Valley Of The Dolls, that tragic tale of “the super-octane girls who are old at twenty. If they get to be twenty.” I might have forgotten it forever if a recent post by Simcha Fisher at the National Catholic Register hadn’t started a small argument in the comboxes about movies one should or shouldn’t watch, which in turn jogged my memory about this one. So, since a promise is a promise, I’m going to get this review done in the next week or two, although it’s likely to be one that would have been better NEVER than LATE. Anyway, here’s a reprint of the original Coming Attraction post to remind everyone what’s coming up.
In case there’s still some of you out there who weren’t aware, I take requests for reviews, many of which come in the form of challenges. Of course, that can result in something of a mixed bag. Requests have brought us everything from Santa Claus Conquers The Martians to Satisfaction to I Spit On Your Grave. That’s a pretty wide range of (questionable?) tastes. But even so, there’s still lots of different kinds of movies out there I’ve never touched on. So it was no surprise a few weeks back when an email arrived suggesting that perhaps I was playing it safe and avoiding some of the darker corners of the cult movie universe, that maybe it was time I dealt with… Russ Meyer.
Fair enough, but which one of his movies to review? Obviously, about 80% of Meyer’s oeuvre is automatically disqualified for being nothing more than soft porn. I got some standards, after all. So after going through the list, I narrowed it down to three. Now while Mudhoney contains every theme typically associated with Meyer, there’s really not much to it, so I passed. Trashmeister John Waters called Faster, Pussycat! Kill! Kill! the best movie ever made, and it is the very definition of a cult movie, but after watching it again, I actually found it pretty tame compared to the rest of the director’s output and I don’t think that’s what the requester was going for. So that pretty much left me with Beyond The Valley of the Dolls, the first collaboration between Russ and Roger Ebert.
It goes without saying this is one review that won’t be for the kiddies. Wish me luck.