Thursday, 19 September 2013



Enough with Russ Meyer now. Since for some unknown reason I don't suffer from the kind of unhealthy fixation with socking great hooters that Meyer did, I've always been faintly uninterested in his films. Some of them have been okay: Faster, Pussycat! Kill! Kill! is a wonderful cult movie, I loved Beyond The Valley Of The Dolls, and I kind of enjoyed Black Snake (Slaves), though probably because Anouska Hempel is a better actress (and frankly better proportioned) than the usual top-heavy starlets Meyer tended to feature. Wild Gals Of The Naked West ran out of steam long before its already brief running time was halfway done, and Supervixens and Beneath The Valley Of The Ultravixens were just dull.

Up! (which has nothing to do with the Pixar animation, though I'd love to be in Blockbusters when that mistake was made) is a tiresome mix of trash, rape, smut, Nazis, murder, tits, more rape and terrible acting, in which the erotica and raunch factor definitely depends on your tolerance for sexual violence played as yee-haw knockabout. Obviously I found it tiresome and tacky and my finger hovered over the Eject button more than once. "Adolf Schwartz", an elderly Nazi and massive pervert, is murdered with a piranha in his bath - but which of the townsfolk could it be? A naked Kitten Natividad turns up every so often to remind us of the suspects: new girl in town Margot (who gets raped twice), bar-owner's husband Paul (who was Adolf's lover), local cop Homer (who gets off with Margot), simpleton and unstoppable rapist Rafe....

I know, it's my own fault because I rented the damned thing of my own free will and out of my own pocket. And I know, it was the Seventies and you can't get all prissy about a film made 37 years ago. It was a product of its time and it (probably) wouldn't happen today. Nor would Russ Meyer. That said, much of the movie as difficult to watch without wincing as archive footage of Bernard Manning or The Black And White Minstrels: time may have moved on, to the extent that you can't quite believe something like Up! was ever considered cheery entertainment. Personally I suspect that with Faster, Pussycat! Kill! Kill!, Black Snake and Beyond The Valley Of The Dolls I've had the best of Meyer, and if the rest of his filmography is closer to Up! then I'd as soon pass on seeing them.


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