Register  |   Log In  |  
Sign up to our weekly newsletter    
Search   
Empire Magazine and iPad
Follow Me on Pinterest YouTube Tumblr
Empire
Trending On Empire
The Big 2015 Movie Preview
The 50 Best Films Of 2014
Review Of The Year 2014
Subscribe: The January Sale!
Try 3 issues of Empire magazine for just £1
Must-Have Movie Collectibles
Bid on some classic memorabilia
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
Les Miserables
5 Star Empire Rating
Zulu
3 Star Empire Rating
Ida
4 Star Empire Rating
God's Pocket
2 Star Empire Rating
Deliver Us From Evil
2 Star Empire Rating



5 STAR REVIEWS
Les Miserables
5 Star Empire Rating
Boyhood
5 Star Empire Rating
Metropolis
5 Star Empire Rating
Babadook, The
5 Star Empire Rating
Gremlins
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



CURRENT HIGHLIGHTS
Jessica Chastain Takes The IMDbunker
The Most Violent Year star takes our most random quiz

Five Impressive Oscar Isaac Roles You Didn't Realise Were Oscar Isaac
Welcome to Oscar season...

Johnny Depp And Paul Bettany Talk Mortdecai
How good is your 'Mortdecai face'?

Fables: A Primer
An introduction to Bill Willingham’s wonderfully dark fairy-tale world

12 Hitchcock Remakes Ranked From Best To Worst
Lifeboat in space, anyone?

From Mission: Impossible To Mortdecai: Writer/Director David Koepp Talks Screenwriting
What would you do if you were in charge of the Spider-Man franchise?

Ghost In The Shell: A Crash Course
Everything you need to know about Scarlett Johansson’s anime remake

Subscribe to Empire magazine
Get 12 Issues Of Empire For Only £25!

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 12 issues of Empire for just £25!
Get exclusive subscriber-only covers each month 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  |  Editorial Complaints  |  Privacy Policy  |  Bauer Entertainment Network
Bauer Consumer Media Ltd (company number 01176085 and registered address 1 Lincoln Court, Lincoln Road, Peterborough, England PE1 2RF)