Monday, February 12, 2007


Over the weekend I watched Russ Meyers' 'Beyond the Valley of the Dolls', a 1970 sexploitation farce written by, of all people, Roger Ebert.

Behind the psychedelic colours, afro hairdos and lines like "This is my happening and it freaks me out!", it didn't take me long to realise that 'Beyond the Valley of the Dolls' was almost exactly the same film as 'Josie and the Pussycats'. An all girl band (consisting of two white girls and one black), dispirited by their lack of success in their small home town, run off to the big city where they are catapulted into fame and fortune, based more on serendipity than their music. Then they succumb to the Perils of Fame, and the band is nearly torn apart until they realise that friendship is more important than money and accolades.

Of course 'Josie and the Pussycats' didn't have quite so many naked or semi-naked women... or lesbian love trysts, drug abuse, decapitated men in leopard-skin bikini briefs or fat Nazis being impaled on antique swords*. But basically it was the same movie.

If you're unfamiliar with Russ Meyers, all you really need to know is that he was all about teh boobies. One could argue that all men are all about teh boobies, but Russ was positively monomaniacal... or perhaps more accurately bimaniacal. Sometimes the boobies were being jiggled around front and centre, but more often they were captured more subtly, cast in silhouette against a bright window, or shadowed in an artful display of chiaroscuro beneath an actress' lit face. His love of boobies was almost transcendent. It was certainly profitable.

It's also very telling that in the end, when the villain of the piece is unmasked, or rather unbloused, we are treated to boobies that look like a couple of flaccid pyramids with pink dice glued to their tips. Far from being the buoyant globes sported by the heroines, they look like roadkill. In the Russ Meyers world, bad boobies are the mark of a bad person.

* Although let's be honest, if you liquor up Tara Reid anything can happen.


Blogger an9ie said...

Some people may say it's impossible, but you CAN get all boobied out from overexposure, and start thinking fondly about bikinis and burkhas. Did you see my post about Leonard Nimoy's boobie photos? Art indeed. You're fooling no one, Mr Nimoy!

Thanks for the fig salad recipe! Will try it soon!

3:25 PM  
Blogger Laziest Girl said...

I was going to say something silly about being mammari-manical but I can't compete with the fig salad recipe.

7:06 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

written by, of all people, Roger Ebert.

I am reminded of a Pink Panther comic strip where Panther's sons (at least, I think they were his sons) are talking:

Kid 1: I want to get into art, but don't know anything about it. What do I do?
Kid 2: That's easy, be a critic.

7:18 PM  
Blogger Cookster said...

Love Russ, but saw that film under the influence of heinous chemicals... not a good move. I'm now completely okay with boobies again.

1:05 PM  

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