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Beneath The Valley Of The Ultra Vixens [1979] [DVD]

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In the latest in our series revisiting locations of golden age adult films, Ashley West describes a recent road trip to visit the home of Russ Meyer in Los Angeles – where the Sultan of Sleaze filmed his last feature, Beneath the Valley of the Ultra-Vixens (1979). And yet, despite his movies’ box office success, compounded by cheap-as-chips budgets, Russ’ career was like his house: situated beneath the Hollywood mainstream, in a barely noticed sub-genre under the shadow of glamorous moviedom. Russ Meyer's films may be silly and irreverent, but they're also great fun, and while Beneath the Valley of the Ultravixens is not his best work, it's still great fun to watch and certainly comes recommended to Meyer's fans! She initially claimed Meyer told her to do that, but he wasn’t of sound mind then and almost certainly had no idea what was going on. They're having problems in (you guessed it) the bedroom, as Levonna wants to have sex normally, but Lamar only likes to go in through the backdoor.

The sex and nudity in these movies nearly always is played for laughs, and of course it is soft-core porn, but even today this is racy stuff--the hardest that Meyer's work ever got. His van, emblazoned with the name of his film company, once essential for location shoots, stood idle waiting for the sultan of sexploitation to make one last move. At the side of the building sat Russ’ weights bench, just a few yards from a still pristinely-maintained pool.

I bought a house that had a 28-foot ceiling, and we built the sets in the house, because it was scaled in such a way. It’s flawed but I highly recommend it as it’s about the most definitive account of Meyer and his films.

I’d heard the stories of manipulation and neglect from some who’d been close to Russ, and Janice was frequently painted as the villain. So I guess the estate is making some money, but certainly not as much as it could if it were run by someone who cared even a bit. Lamar lies inside a water-filled bathtub as a robe wearing Eufaula Roop stands above him and baptizes (and almost drowns) him. Among them are the huge-breasted evangelical radio preacher Eufaula Roop (Ann Marie) who mounts Martin Bormann inside a coffin; a salesman and a large-breasted housewife (Candy Samples); and Junkyard Sal (June Mack) who has sex with her working-class employees.I don't think Russ Meyer was really trying to say anything with this film - there's a slight hint of a point stemming from the idea of "Smalltown, USA is a normal small town, but look what goes on behind closed doors! Grade A stay-over visitors were shown the guest house around the back by the pool; lesser acquaintances made do with a fold-out cot among the storage. That film left me discombobulated to say the least, but I had to seek out everything that madman made and I did! She’ll sue – or at least threaten to – anyone who screens even clips of Meyer’s films or uses Russ’ name without her permission. I mean, we shot inside, and we'd forgo lunch and have sex–wonderful, riotous, noisy sex… laughing and scratching.

Lamar goes to a bar, where Lavonia masks herself as Mexican stripper Lola Langusta and drugs his drink. That is where the films I grew up with took shape, where the kinetic and frenetic cutting was assembled. The walls were covered with memorabilia from his own films, carefully preserved by Russ for decades, such as the cap worn by the handyman in his early film Eve and the Handyman.

Now, it all looks rather tame; when compared with some of the 'nasty' material around today, There was a degree of 'innocence' with Russ Meyer's style.

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