It’s been 26 years since I last reviewed a Russ Meyer movie (“Vixen”). In 1969, I wrote the screenplay for Meyer’s “Beyond the Valley of the Dolls” (“simultaneously the best and worst movie ever made” – Michael Dare, Film Threat magazine). In the years since, I have passed on reviewing other Meyer films; there was an obvious conflict of interest.
But now, with the re-release of Meyer’s “Faster, Pussycat! Kill! Kill!” (1965), perhaps the statute of limitations has expired.
Besides, why not a review from someone who has a conflict of interest? Meyer’s fans are vociferously partisan, and here is the movie that director John Waters (“Hairspray”) called “beyond a doubt, the best movie ever made. It is possibly better than any film that will be made in the future.” Completing the circle, Stephen Holden, in his recent review in the New York Times, credited Meyer with having invented John Waters, not to mention Madonna. Continue reading
Sultry ’70s B-movie bombshell Christina Hart (THE STEWARDESSES, HELTER SKELTER) stars as Bunny O’Hara, the underage man-eating daughter of a wealthy American businessman. After sleeping her way through the brass ranks of the U.S. military, Bunny is packed off to Swinging London and a remote finishing school for wayward rich girls.
Bored in the British boondocks, Bunny leads her nubile classmates in a contest to seduce a group of foreign dignitaries visiting London for disarmament talks…the winner being the first girl to get her V.I.P. into B-E-D!
Escapist, sexist and as politically incorrect as they go, GAMES GIRLS PLAY (aka THE BUNNY CAPER) is a titillating product of its heedless time, directed with an unblinking eye by Jack Arnold (THE CREATURE FROM THE BLACK LAGOON, THE INCREDIBLE SHRINKING MAN) and costarring Ed Bishop (2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY). Continue reading
How Divine, aka Harris Glenn Milstead, became John Waters’ cinematic muse and an international drag icon.
:Young, chubby Harris Glenn Milstead liked musicals, was drawn to feminine pursuits, and was bullied. He was privately playing “dress-up games” in his mother’s clothes. By 1963, Glenn was brave enough to show up at a party with his then girlfriend dressed as an astonishingly passable Elizabeth Taylor, among the many glamorous stars he openly idolized.
After meeting a crowd of gay hipsters and freaks. Glenn started camping it up, shoplifting, writing bad checks, and smoking grass. Glenn also met the man who was about to change his life – John Waters. Like Glenn, Waters was obsessed with movies and they bonded over the films of Russ Meyer and Jayne Mansfield. They began to forge a new character, one which mocked the conventional “pretty” drag queens that aspired to look as real as possible. With Waters’ encouragement, this character started to emerge. She was outrageous, outlandish and obviously overweight. Glenn’s wicked, rebellious side matched the sensibilities of Waters, and John christened his new star “Divine” and they started making films together.
A Film by Rosa von Praunheim Nurses on the night shift roll dice to see which AIDS patient will die next. The owner of a gay bathhouse gets Kaposi’s Sarcoma but tries to keep his mind on profits. An epidemic victim is harassed by a reporter on his death bed – he sticks her with a contaminated syringe. The government opens a quarantine called Hell Gay Land. Gay terrorists kidnap the Minister of Health. A black comedy filled with everybody’s worst fears, A Virus Knows No Morals is Rosa von Praunheim’s most controversial film to date: a savagely funny burlesque on the AIDS crisis. Irreverent yet deadly serious, the filmmaker covers just about every aspect of AIDS and its effects, as well as the rumors surrounding it. Since the 1960’s von Praunheim has produced a provocative body of underground films, making him one of the New German Cinema’s most original artists. “Brave and Vicious – Armed Camp!” – New York Times
Otis L. Guernsey, Jr., in the New York Herald Tribune (1952):
Joan Crawford has another of her star-sized roles….Playing a musical comedy actress in the throes of rehearsal and in love with a blind pianist, she is vivid and irritable, volcanic and feminine. She dances; she pretends to sing; she graciously permits her wide mouth and snappish eyes to be photographed in Technicolor….Here is Joan Crawford all over the screen, in command, in love and in color, a real movie star in what amounts to a carefully produced one-woman show. Miss Crawford’s acting is sheer and colorful as a painted arrow, aimed straight at the sensibilities of her particular fans. Continue reading
A lonely security guard can’t even get a decent blind date, so he begins peeping at women through their bedroom windows. Before long he’s paying call girls to come over and secretly videotaping every session.
Within two weeks he’s blown his life savings and been subjected to a lot of verbal and physical abuse. This bizarre black comedy is loaded with naked women!
Starring Andren Scott – with Monica McFarland, Karen Pombo, Becky Van Lewen and Sheila Traister. Directed by Ronnie Cramer, music by Alarming Trends.
“The Best Drive-in Movie of 1992…” Joe Bob Briggs Continue reading
After being plagued by recurring dreams where three strange creatures play havoc with his mind, a novelist pulls an overnighter during which his mind-spun creatures become a reality and horror happens. Continue reading