In a past career I was for a long time a bartender at a nightclub thus I led a nocturnal life. Now coming home at 3am means you learn to be less picky about what films you watch. Sometimes you stumble across hidden gems that you treasure and make everyone who you know watch (Paprika, Mary and Max, Office Space, Brick). Mostly you end up watching mediocre straight to DVD rejects but once in awhile you will find a film so bad you’re not sure whether you fell asleep and dreamed it.
Beyond the Valley of the Dolls is that film.
Originally meant to be a straight up sequel to Valley of the Dolls, it instead ended up a surreal parody. Written and directed by Russ Meyer’s, a 70’s grindhouse film director known for his love of enormous tits. It follows a girl band as they sink into the depravity of sex, drugs and homicidal transvestites. It is badly written, poorly shot and with terrible special effects but it will make you laugh till your sides hurt because that’s where its genius lays. It is one of those glorious pieces of 70’s cinema that just reveals in the delight of being a disposable piece of fiction. Much like Barbarella, Tommy or Flash Gordon there is no deeper meaning; it is not an onion to be peeled. It’s just a generic American schlock melodrama that is as deep as Paris Hilton’s poetry (if she could grasp the concept of metre).
But that is why I love it.
Take this geek’s advice and track down a copy, crack open a nice bottle of red with some friends then proceed to howl with laugher at the fashion, the music and pretty much everything else that appears on screen. Watch out for the Z-Man’s party that’s a particular highlight.
(Inspired by Curnblog’s I believe in Cinema)