Register  |   Log In  |  
Sign up to our weekly newsletter    
Search   
Empire Magazine and iPad
Follow Me on Pinterest YouTube Tumblr
Empire
Trending On Empire
100 Greatest Videos Games Of All Time
Robin Williams: The Big Interview
Empire Visits The Hobbit's VFX Team
Nick Frost:
My Movie Life

The World's End star's pick of the flicks
4Music's Size Does Matter
Introducing your new favourite app
Reviews
STAR RATINGS EXPLAINED
Unmissable 5 Stars
Excellent 4 Stars
Good 3 Stars
Poor 2 Stars
Tragic 1 Star

FILM DETAILS
Certificate
18
Cast
Dolly Read
Cynthia Myers
Marcia McBroom
John LaZar
Michael Blodgett.
Directors
Russ Meyer.
Screenwriters
Roger Ebert.
Running Time
109 minutes

LATEST DVD REVIEWS
Toxic Avenger, The
1 Star Empire Rating
Monster Club, The
3 Star Empire Rating
A New York Winter's Tale
2 Star Empire Rating
Captain America: The Winter Soldier
4 Star Empire Rating
Bound
4 Star Empire Rating



5 STAR REVIEWS
Calvary
5 Star Empire Rating
Ipcress File, The
5 Star Empire Rating
Jules Et Jim
5 Star Empire Rating
Nashville
5 Star Empire Rating
Hustler, The
5 Star Empire Rating

Beyond the Valley of the Dolls


submit to reddit


Plot
The Carrie Nations, a three-girl band, come to Hollywood and get mixed up in heartbreak, showbiz success, drugs, sex and a psychopathic hermaphrodite rock star who throws a party which turns into a massacre.


Review

Not a sequel to the bland film of Jacqueline Susann’s trashy best-seller, this is more like a demented remake, alternating modish psychedelia with deliberately square moralising.  20th Century-Fox, seeing how things were going in 1970, hired sexploitationer Russ Meyer, fresh from cheap masterpieces like Faster, Pussycat, Kill! KILL! and Vixen, and gave him a healthy budget, soliciting the sleaziest mainstream film made in Hollywood til that point. 

Beyond is light on the nudity and enormous breasts for which Meyer’s films are known, but zips astonishingly through bizarre insanities (co-scripted by critic Roger Ebert) with movie in-jokes (a lawyer villain named after shifty character actor Porter Hall), recurrent Meyer obsessions (a cameo from Martin Borman), caricatures of celebrities (‘Randy Black, the heavyweight champion of the world), exploitable hot topics presented with all the sensitivity and understanding of a supermarket tabloid (rock n roll, lesbianism, LSD, ‘wild parties’), a soundtrack that alternates girlie pop and oompah band music, overheated dialogue (‘you shall drink the black sperm of my vengeance!’) and lovingly-deployed cliché film techniques (the animated line on a map as the girls drive West). 

Everyone gets a quotable signature line: Edy Williams, as hot-to-trot starlet Ashley St Ives, rounds on a guy who takes her fancy with ‘you’re a groovy boy – I’d like to strap you on some time’; John Lazar, as Jagger lookalike superstar and incipient gender-confused mass murderer Ronnie ‘Z-Man’ Barzell, screams ‘this is my happening, and it freaks me out!’; and David Gurian, as temporary paraplegic Harris Allsworth, declares ‘I want it, I need it, I love it when a beautiful woman licks between my toes.’


Extras

Beyond The Valley Of The Dolls Beyond The Valley Of The Dolls
Released: 12 February 2007
Five featurettes on Disc Two, along with screen tests and trailers, and commentaries from Ebert and the cast give a detailed look behind the scenes.


Verdict
Russ Meyer does mainstream, kind of.


Reviewed by Kim Newman

Write Your Review
To write your review please login or register.

Your Reviews

Average user rating for Beyond the Valley of the Dolls
Empire Star Rating

masterpiece ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by Darcy45 at 21:13, 23 April 2010 | Report This Post


SPECIAL FEATURE
The 301 Greatest Movies Of All Time EMPIRE READERS' POLL: THE 301 GREATEST MOVIES OF ALL TIME
You turned out in your hundreds and thousands, and here are the results... Browse the full list


CURRENT HIGHLIGHTS
Rogues Gallery: Powers Boothe
Sin City's Roark talks us through his most memorable baddies

Richard Attenborough: In Celebration
Saluting a man who made a lasting impact on cinema and beyond…

Exclusive: Luc Besson Talks Lucy
'There is no bullshit with Scarlett Johansson'

Video: Daniel Radcliffe Talks What If...
On Gordon Ramsay, swearing and date movies

The 24 Best Film-Related Ice Bucket Challenges
The viral craze that won’t quit takes in some of Hollywood’s finest

Who Shot First? The Complete List Of Star Wars Changes
An exhaustive chronology of George Lucas' post-release tinkering

Film Studies 101: A Film Buff's Guide To Movie Movements
Everything you need to know about cinema's key groups

Subscribe to Empire magazine
Get 6 Issues Of Empire For Only £15!

Get exclusive subscriber-only covers each month!

Subscribe today

Subscribe to Empire iPad edition
Get The Empire iPad Edition Today

Subscribe and save maney on annual digital subscription

Subscribe today
Buy single issues

Get 6 issues of Empire for just £15!
Get the world's greatest movie magazine delivered straight to your door! Subscribe today!
Empire's Film Studies 101 Series
Everything you ever wanted to know about filmmaking but were afraid to ask...
The Empire iPad Edition
With exclusive extras, interactive features, trailers and much more! Download now
Home  |  News  |  Blogs  |  Reviews  |  Future Films  |  Features  |  Interviews  |  Images  |  Competitions  |  Forum  |  iPad  |  Podcast  |  Magazine Contact Us  |  Empire FAQ  |  Subscribe To Empire  |  Register
© Bauer Consumer Media Ltd  |  Legal Info  |  Privacy Policy  |  Bauer Entertainment Network
Bauer Consumer Media Ltd (company number 01176085 and registered address 1 Lincoln Court, Lincoln Road, Peterborough, England PE1 2RF)