Beyond the Valley of the Dolls Blu-ray Review

bvd3The entertainment industry is a killer profession. The Kelly affair are about to find out, as a three piece band of beautiful girls they know Hollywood is the place for them. Parties and connections are essential and they have the ability to capture both. The only real problem in all of this is the surface of what it takes to get anywhere. They need to use their bodies and minds otherwise they will get eaten alive in all that sex and drugs.

bvd2Russ Meyer made films that were about girls. Girls with great vitals and even greater assets.  It was also written by a critic of note, Roger Ebert. He knew film and understood its power and procedure. This film is a cunny exploration of that fetish with a rather black satirical comedy. It is not a great film but has the gait of a boxer about to give a knowing slug at his target. Take the party scenes that feature all manner of the Hollywood cling ons. This is still as much then and now. People vapid and on the make, with people devient and on the take. Take its themes on the unnatural selection of bands and musical trends. The way it is about sexual encounters over the simple talent. Take the clever use of scouting. It illustrates the dimensions at play in the world then and now. Exploitation is the word and the film gets that, as well as is the arch type of its kind.The seven minutes is also in this set and that has some way to go but is a delightful piece of sleaze cinema.

bvdheadThe disc looks good and sound is superb. The Ebert commentary shows us the great man and his voice. Above and Beyond doc is the stand out piece however and you should start with this.The additional features are worth its price and the addition of another movie (on DVD) is worthy but that is a silly, sleaze fest.

    • Limited Edition collection of both of Russ Meyer’s Hollywood films (3000 copies)
    • High Definition Blu-ray (1080p) presentation of Beyond the Valley of the Dolls
    • Standard Definition DVD presentation of The Seven Minutes
    • Optional English subtitles for the deaf and hard of hearing for both films
    • Original mono audio (uncompressed PCM on the Blu-ray)
    • Two commentaries on Beyond the Valley of the Dolls by co-screenwriter Roger Ebert and various cast members
    • Sinister Image: Russ Meyer, David De Valle’s 1987 interview with the director and his former model Yvette Vickers
    • Introduction to Beyond the Valley of the Dolls by John LaZar
    • Above, Beneath and Beyond the Valley: The Making of a Musical-Horror-Sex-Comedy
    • Look On Up at the Bottom, with composer Stu Phillips discussing the film’s music
    • The Best of Beyond, favourite moments selected by cast and crew members
    • Sex, Drugs, Music & Murder: Signs of the Time, Baby!, a look at the late 1960s culture that spawned Beyond the Valley of the Dolls
    • Casey & Roxanne: The Love Scene, discussed by participants Erica Gavin and Cynthia Myers
    • Screen tests for Michael Blodgett, Cynthia Myers, Harrison Page, Marcia McBroom
    • High Definition photo galleries
    • Multiple trailers
    • Reversible sleeve featuring two original artworks
    • Booklet featuring new writing on the film by critic Kat Ellinger, anne Billson’s 1991 interview with Russ Meyer, and a personal reminiscence by David De Valle

 

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