Archive for July 22nd, 2011

by Allan Fish

(USA 1965 92m) DVD2

A tale of sex in the de-pression

p  George Costello, Russ Meyer  d  Russ Meyer  w  Raymond Friday Locke, W.A.Sprague  ph  Walter Schenk  ed  Russ Meyer, Charles G.Schelling  m  Henri Price

Hal Hopper (Sidney Brenshaw), Antoinette Christiani (Hannah Brenshaw), Lorna Maitland (Clara Belle), Rena Horton (Eula), John Furlong (Calif McKinney), Princess Livingston (Maggie Marie), Sam Hanna (Injoys), Stuart Lancaster (Lute Wade),

Russ Meyer?  In the list of the best films of all time?  Call for the strait-jacket, people, the author’s gone crazy.  Well, actually not quite so crazy.  Admittedly I can see readers scurrying to the Final Apologies section and wondering how I could include Mudhoney yet leave out such a film.  So let’s look at this objectively.  If I had included Faster, Pussycat, Kill! Kill! there would not have been quite such outrage, as this is a film with a solid cult following, a masterpiece of sleaze in the eyes of many critics.  Then there’s the other underground directors of the time, from Andy Warhol to John Waters, who some would honour but who I have no time for.  Now it is true to say that, for much of his career, Russ Meyer was cinema’s self-confessed premier tit man.  Such was his obsession throughout the late sixties and through the seventies, in which time what talent he had went to the dogs and his satire was drowned in purest smut with little purpose for existence.  But the Meyer of 1965 was one of some skill, for it was in this year that he made his two best films; the aforementioned cult classic about a trio of homicidal go-go dancers, and this Midwest saga, a film which to these eyes stands up as his unsung masterwork, and one of the best underground flicks of the American cinema. (more…)

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