The Video Vacuum (thevideovacuum) wrote,
The Video Vacuum
thevideovacuum

BEYOND THE VALLEY OF THE DOLLS (1970) ****

When 20th Century Fox let legendary bosom obsessed cult director Russ Meyer and film critic cum novice screenwriter Roger Ebert loose in Hollywood and gave them free reign to make an unauthorized sequel/send-up of Jacqueline Susanne’s hit The Valley of the Dolls, the results were nothing less than amazing.  The film follows the hit female band The Carrie Nations’ rise and fall in the music world. The female trio (Dolly Read, Cynthia Meyers and Marcia McBroom) get taken under the wing of an outrageous music impresario Ronnie “Z-Man” Barzell (John LaZar) and encounter sex, drugs and death.  The final act in which Z-Man’s acid tinged costume party goes all to Hell is one of the greatest scenes ever filmed.  The film is loaded with all the familiar Meyer trademarks:  wanton women, cuckolded men, rapid fire editing, and lots and lots of breasts.  Meyer’s lurid imagery and Ebert’s ludicrous dialogue (“You will drink the black sperm of my vengeance!”) will boggle your mind and tickle your funny bone.  LaZar gives one of the greatest performances as “Z-Man” and 27 years later Austin Powers would homage Dolls with his catchphrase, “It’s my happening and it freaks me out!”  As outrageous as most of this is it’s important to note that this is actually the very independent Meyer’s notion of a “studio picture”.  Co-starring Meyer regulars Edy Williams, Erica Gavin, Charles Napier and Haji.  Look fast for Pam Grier and Coleman Francis. 

Tags: b, comedy, cult, russ meyer
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