Beyond the Valley of the Dolls (1970)

For the life of me, I can not explain why Russ Meyer never got an Oscar for photography. Sure, he chose his actresses more for their cup size than their acting capabilities, and sure, he he has difficulty (as anyone would, i imagine) taking all the scenes he wants to film and then making them fit into a cohesive story line, but when it comes to his photography, editing, and directing skills he punches well above his weight.

Beyond the Valley of the Dolls is not a sequel to Valley of the Dolls, but rather an unrelated, separate film. (you can read all the drama about that here). Despite that, it has very similar themes. In fact, if I didn’t know better, I’d call it a spoof. It follows the story of three girls in a rock and roll band who travel to Hollywood to collect a family inheritance. There the meet a record producer called Z-man (who, based on the haircut and the eccentricities I can only presume is based on Phil Spector) who speaks like Shakespeare and is fabulously wealthy. He signs them after 2 minutes and all of a sudden they’re famous. There’s a whole lot of drugs and sex and double crossing that goes on, and then there’s an ending that will just blow you away.

The epilogue is great too.

A lot of people probably wouldn’t like this film. It’s undoubtedly a better experience if you know a little bit of the history of L.A. at the time, or if you lived in the period, or if you have studied cinema. It’s a cult smash, just like the Vixen trilogy. Which is a completely different post for an altogether different day.

I’d say watch it at least once in your life.

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