Video Dump: An Irregular Feature -- Russ Meyer Trailer Park

For your perusal, a sampling of trailers from the brilliant oeuvre of the incomparable schlock/cult filmmaker Russ Meyer. Every trailer below is around three minutes or less, and every trailer is arguably better than most 100 minute features produced today.

Mudhoney (1965)
"For a taste of evil, see Mudhoney!"
Watching this trailer, you can't helped but be shocked by how free it is. The nudity, violence, situations, and black humor here is more common today, but imagine seeing this preview in 1965. That was the year of Doctor Zhivago and The Sound of Music, all-ages-friendly films that are seemingly a universe away from the backwoods freewheelin' perversity on display here.

Faster, Pussycat! Kill! Kill! (1965)
"Ladies and gentlemen! Go go for a wild, wild ride with the Watusi Cats!"
If any movie exemplifies the "Russ Meyer Look" -- exploitative situations, strong-to-the-point-of-violent women, boobs out to here, random-yet-not violence -- it's Faster, Pussycat!. This film would set the tempo for the rest of Meyer's career.

Vixen! (1968)
"There is no stronger bond than the friendship beyond two men."
Perhaps better than any other director of the era, Meyer had a knack for imbuing his films with issues in the zeitgeist. Take Vixen!. There's the strong woman manipulating men for carnal pleasure, a direct result of the growing sexual revolution. Then there's race, freedom, and, naturally, communism.

Unlike his Hollywood counterparts, Meyer never became a prisoner to the issues. The films served as campy entertainment that conveyed heavy-handed moralizing as a means of throwing Hollywood's message-mongering back in its face. This would come to a head in 1970, when 20th Century Fox commissioned Meyer to create a sequel to its widely popular Valley of the Dolls adaptation. Instead of making a straight follow-up, Meyer utterly mangled convention. The result? See below.

Beyond the Valley of the Dolls (1970)
"...something for everybody!"
Nothing I could say, write, express, whatever could match Meyer's irreverent, unbelievably original and legitimately unique magnum opus, Beyond the Valley of the Dolls (written by film critic Roger Ebert, by the way). The only thing that matches the magnificence of the movie is its trailer. Sit back and bask in the glow...

Beneath the Valley of the UltraVixens (1979) *some nudity*
"Filmmaker Russ Meyer, the rural Fellini..."
Meyer's last big-screen film. The filmmaker looks as though he's parodying himself here, trying to recapture his best work from the 1960s and early 1970s. While you can see direct parallels here with the work of R. Crumb, John Waters, and even David Lynch. But it feels like Meyer is forcing things. Here, the focus is boobs, boobs, and more boobs. Before, Meyer used big-breasted women in his work but it wasn't about them being buxom, at least it wasn't just about the breasts. Not the case in Beneath the Valley of the UltraVixens. I confess I haven't seen the film; it's not on DVD and it's difficult to track down on VHS. But based on this trailer, there are moments of classic Meyer heavy-handedness, like the shot of a phallic lamp between a man's legs. The rest feels unfortunate.