Saturday, June 17, 2006

Beyond the Valley of the Dolls



Summer is here. Let’s go to Camp. Hollywood style, baby.

This classic film begins with a cacophony of clips, blips and snips of classic Sixties lingo, a visual tornado in the Mod, hippie style. Go-Go Boots and short skits abound. Then there’s the ultimate tease, a naked woman in bed with a gun stuck in her mouth. This one’s not for the kiddies. For freaks, only.

Did I mention the breasts? We’ll get back to that later.

You see, man, like four girls in a ultra girl band, all young and hot and ready for decadence travel to California to grab a little cash from Kelly McNamara’s Aunt Susan. Dragging behind them is the blue-eyed beau Harris who gets drop kicked almost as soon as they roll into town getting their first contact high. Not that they need any kind of illegal substance for that, the sexual energy of the place is enough to infect any small town virgin. It’s in the air, on the streets and behind every day-glo corner.

Right after getting the commitment from Auntie that she’ll split the Million Dollars with Kelly, they are traipsed off by said Aunt to the seedy underground of Trippiness. Ronnie 'Z-Man' Barzell is a direct ancestor of Dr. Frankenweenie, sufficiently sexed up, ambiguously gay and spouting intellectual Shakespearean dialogue and opening the gates of Holly-Hell for the young girls. Auntie Susan seems innocent compared to this wild scene but don’t worry she finds love again. Stuck in the middle of it all for juxtaposition is Mr. Porter Hall just so we don’t forget there are still squares in their world. He provides a nice contrast, like a proper Englishman scouting the African Bush for wild animals, he’s there for the sights but he wears his straight suit like a mosquito net and has the same effect.

Before the first party is over the girls have rocked out with the Strawberry Alarm Clock and a video montage later, they’re the next big thing, baby! The beau gets the boot and lands in the bed of man-eater, Ashley St. Ives, Porno Queen. After various romps and trips, the girls all find themselves too deep into it. However, sanity, of a sort, prevails.

Sex and nakedness is draped around the scenes, accessorizing the hippie dream with creamy goodness. Don’t worry we have all the flavors. If you like sex, drugs and rock and roll, sixties style then this is the movie for you.

Now to the breasts.

I have never seen a movie with such tremendous and beautiful breasts as this one. Every gorgeous figure in Hollywood must have tried out for these roles and only the curviest and most voluptuous made it. If a movie must be judged by the amount of cleavage and flesh, then this is a five-star flick. Of course, the sex isn’t all that free. The movie doesn’t forget the consequences. And that’s good because that is what keeps this movie from becoming full-blown (pun intended) porno. Apparently, this is what Russ Meyers is best known for, an acute radar sense of where to find the biggest and most beautiful breasts in Hollywood. A superpower worthy of the Halls of Justice

I have to admit that going into this trip, I was a little down on the scene but after taking in the sights, man, I have changed my mind. This is no serious dissertation on the counter culture movement like The Electric Kool-Aide Acid test, but why should it be? Do we always have to be down on it? This is a lurid tale, where all the candy flavored characters glide through this rock fantasy on paisley magic carpets, singing and dancing and getting high, all while their world falls apart around them. Is there a message? Yes. Does it take itself too seriously? No way. (Except at the end.)

If I didn’t at least like this movie then I’d be neglecting the past for the present. Some of my most favorite films are steeped in influence by this campy film and its predecessor. Pulp Fiction, Rocky Horror Picture Show, and Austin Powers all drew on the look, feel and decadence. The images, dialogue and plot, are all brilliantly campy. Enough that you almost get a sense that the filmmakers were winking at us through the whole thing, that this film with all it’s snappy dialogue and flickering images, were purposely kept from become too high art. The films whole purpose was not to overreach its goal. This movie knows its limitations and sticks to them in the finest fashion.

This is not so much a sequel as a parody of the original. So that not only makes it campy-sweet and cult classic, it also makes it a sort of Dadaist art, one that is self referential and knowingly ironic. Roger Ebert wrote a film that only a movie-lover can make or appreciate.

The DVD disk is packed with an extras disk and two separate commentary tracks. The visual is clear, crisp and perfect while the sounds knocks you out. Much care was obviously devoted to this release and I’m glad I picked it up. I was converted. I was saved. I went on this trip and came out the other side a freakier freak for it.

I now must pick up “Faster Pussycat! Kill! Kill!” Meyer’s other cult classic.

L.S.C.

2 comments:

The Phoenix said...

I need to see this movie, as I love breasts.

ObilonKenobi said...

Then this is the movie for you. I happen to be a breast connoisseur and this movie may be better than any modern day movie with breasts in them.