movie film review | chris tookey
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Russ Meyer
Writer, Director Supervixens (1975)
That abject no-talent Russ Meyer is a filmmaker arrested technically somewhere between home movies and television commercials; emotionally, in the hollow between two hypertrophic female breasts (with very little interest shown in other parts of the body); and, intellectually, somewhere between the ages of seven and eight. Well, not quite; he seems to have learned from one of our callowest movie viewers, Roger Ebert (with whom he collaborated on Beyond the Valley of the Dolls), what sophomoric humor is, and he tries to use it here to defuse his extraordinary nastiness. So we get cheap jokes as an overlay for the most nauseating brutality — like the slow, sadistic murder of a woman shown in the goriest, most gleeful detail — but the putative defense, “Have you no sense of humor?” ostensibly ready to hand. It was instructive to hear a male voice pipe up in the screening room after that murder: "That's what they all deserve!" Maybe that, too, was a joke. But the real joke is on us, on a world in which allegedly serious critics such as Richard Schickel and Raymond Durgnat write lengthy articles on or analyses of Russ Meyer in respectable journals, and where the Yale Law School Forum honors this Neanderthal hack with a retrospective of his soft-core pornography.
(John Simon, National Review)
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