Beyond The Valley Of The Dolls

Russ Meyer, USA 1970, 109 minutes

Given that this film is directed by Russ Meyer, you should know more or less what to expect A sequel of sorts to Fox's surprising earlier hit, it follows much the same lines: Three busty pop singers looking for stardom come to Hollywood with a transsexual manager in tow. All the typical stereotypes are there and Meyer adds his usual flamboyant touches. Although he has been criticised for demeaning and exploiting women, there can be no doubt that it is the females that are in charge here with the male characters washed out and pathetic by comparison.

The script was written by one half of the most famous pair of film critics in America, Roger Ebert. This is perhaps akin to Barry Norman having penned the script to a Carry On film in his early career. Of course the script is more or less forgotten as Meyer assaults us with gaudy, rowdy visuals.

It's trash, but it's masterful trash. Meyer must surely be respected as one of the only filmmakers to have stuck to his own, albeit eccentric, principles throughout his career.

Review by Neil Chue Hong
Taken from EUFS Programme 1997-98