Beyond the Valley of the Dolls – Blu-ray Edition

Though it shares its name with the classic camp film “Valley of the Dolls”, “Beyond the Valley of the Dolls” is in no way a sequel to the original. It is not meant to be sequel but rather a parody of the original. The camp in this film is intentional. It came out in 1970 and was written by now famous film critic, Roger Ebert (of Siskel and Ebert fame). It is essentially a time capsule of the wild and crazy decade that was the 1960s.

The film has anything that might have been considered racy or objectionable in it. There are lesbian scenes, drug scenes, nudity, and cross dressing scenes within this film. Though it does at first glance look like a trashy campy movie it is actually clever, witty and well directed. Russ Meyers (Faster Pussycat, Kill!, Kill!) must have loved women because he films them well. Though the scenes are jumpy and filmed at weird angles it must have been done on purpose. It just increased the feeling that it was trying to recreate the chaos that was the 60s. Another cool directorial aspect is Meyers use of bright colours, which definitely made the film visually stimulating to look at.

It is definitely not a film for everyone and you really have to ‘dig’ what they were trying to do and get at to appreciate the film. Not much can be said about the acting. Of the three leading women, two were playmates and the other was a model. Enough said?! You should not go in expecting Oscar-worthy performances.One of the more disappointing aspects of the film is the ending. It is gross and poorly done. The film is a mix of sex, drugs and rock ‘n’ roll and if you are open-minded you might actually enjoy the film.

beyond-the-valley-of-the-dollsThree girls, Kelly McNamara (Dolly Read – appeared in episodes of Charlie’s Angels and Fantasy Island), Casey Anderson (Cynthia Meyers – They Shoot Horses, Don’t They?) and Petronella Danforth (Marcia McBroome – Jesus Christ Superstar), are in a rock band and they decide to move to Los Angeles/Hollywood to try out their luck there. The girls are managed by Kelly’s boyfriend, Harris (David Gurian – only film).

Kelly meets up with her long lost Aunt Susan (Exit to Eden, Under Siege 2: Dark Territory), who gives her one-third of her $1 million inheritance. Susan is a fashion designer and introduces the girls to her eccentric group of friends. One of whom is Ronnie Barzell (John Lazar – Attack of the 60 Foot Centerfolds), who is a music producer. Barzell takes the girls under his wing and renames the band, The Carrie Nations. The band becomes quite successful, but the success has its toll on the girls and they become embroiled in drugs, loose sex, embezzlement, and murder.

Special Features:

-Above, Beneath and Beyond the Valley

-Archival Programs

-Interviews

-Audio Commentary One

-Audio Commentary Two

-Teaser

-Trailer

-Behind the Scenes

-Trailers for Faster, Pussycat! Kill! Kill!

-Screen Tests

-34 Page Illustrated Booklet

 

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