June 18th, 2014: Beyond the Valley of the Dolls

Cast and Crew:   Charles Napier

What It’s About: Ingenue rock and roll band The Kelly Affair travel to L.A. to try to make it in the music industry, rise to success under the wing of maniac rock producer Ronnie “Z-Man” Barzell (John Lazar), then fall prey to the many dangers of fame, fortune, and rock and roll.

Why Watch it Today?: Roger Ebert, who was born today in 1942, is known mainly as a film critic, but he also collaborated with legendary skin-flick director Russ Meyers on a series of occasionally hilariously over-the-top films.  The first, and best, of these collaborations was today’s film, which avoids being just another rise-and-fall story through its wicked sense of humor, ludicrous dialogue, and twists that seem to come from nowhere.  The film is also a time capsule of late 1960s Los Angeles, although it comes from two men who were outsiders in the community, and plays as a parody.  By the time the 20th Century Fox fanfare plays over a decapitation you will either love or hate this film.

Other Choices:  Ebert also collaborated with Meyers on Up! 

3 comments on “June 18th, 2014: Beyond the Valley of the Dolls

  1. geelw says:

    Funny! I’d just done a post a few days back about how Fox ran a trailer for it with a link to Amazon for the RIDICULOUSLY overpriced DVD version. I thought they’d reissued it at a cheaper price. Nope. I hated this at first because I saw it when I was too young (about 15 or 16) and didn’t appreciate the shocks and violence. Then again, I did laugh at that scene you mentioned the first time. But the film also freaked me out, as well. I like it a heck of a lot more now, of course. That said, I do wish there was a way to get Russ Meyer films on DVD singly or as a set without paying a damn arm and a leg (and in Region 1 at that)…

    • T.A. Gerolami says:

      I think the thing with the Meyers DVD prices is his estate owns the rights and sets the prices, but I could be wrong. I think I actually did see parts of this on late night cable at a similar age first, didn’t get it, then saw it in college or just after and loved it.

      • geelw says:

        I saw a UK set a while back that wasn’t priced TOO steeply, but it was the wrong region and I hate watching movies on my PC because they don’t look as good and I hate sitting that close to a screen. I think I’ve only seen four or five of his films so far, so I want to complete that little project at some point (legally)…

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