Monday, May 29, 2006

Beyond the Valley of the Rolling Roadshow

Although not necessarily his most (ahem) titillating film, Beyond the Valley of the Dolls was the late Russ Meyer’s biggest thumb of the nose toward Hollywood. Directed by Meyer with a screenplay by Roger Ebert, everything about Dolls exudes the raspberry air of a grand prank. The comic coup de grace was playing the 20th Century Fox theme during a beheading scene. At the same time, Meyer and Ebert covered the exploitation bases with contained enough sex, drugs and violence to warrant an X rating in 1969.

This summer will be a momentous one for BTVOTD fans. On June 13, the movie makes its U.S. DVD debut in a two-disc set loaded with commentary, trailers, screen tests and the like. Even more exciting is the Alamo Drafthouse’s Rolling Roadshow screening on Saturday, June 10 at Independence Brewery. Beth Garner and the Queen of Spades will play Carrie Nations songs from the movie, and cast members Cynthia Myers (Playboy's Miss December 1968), Erica Gavin (who also memorably starred in Meyer’s Vixen) and Ronnie “Z-Man” Barzell himself (or herself), John LaZar will be in attendance, too.

Now that’s my kind of freaked-out happening!

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