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Released: Mar 01st, 1992
Running Time: 60, 65, 65
Director: Russ Meyer
Company: R.M. International, Inc.
Cast: Stephen Oliver, Sharon Lee, Barbara Murphy, Thomas Scott, Julie William, Francesca Leslie, Werner Kirsch, Arshalouis Aivazian, Jack Moran, EATH: Anthony-James Ryan, Eve Meyer, Mildred Knezevich, Alex Rocco, Franklin Bolger, Frank Bolger, Joseph Cellini, Anthony-James Ryan, MP: Haji, Teri Taylor
Critical Rating: Not Yet Rated
His status as a world-renowned filmmaker notwithstanding, one of the tributes to legendary adult film pioneer Russ Meyer is that he never sold himself or his product short.
That's why, even though some of his pictures are well over 30 years old, Russ Meyer films are comparably valued to any major full-length feature being released in today's video market. Keep that in mind if you're considering a purchase from the Meyer video library.
After all these years, I'm thrilled to report that Russ Meyer has finally decided to release his classic, Eve And The Handyman, on video along with Motor Psycho and Wild Gals Of The Naked West.
I'll remember Handyman as one of those early Russ Meyer "adults only" films which I wasn't quite old enough to get into an "art house" (these types of films always played in "art houses") to see, and because of that, naturally, I wanted to see it in the worst possible way. Unlike The Immoral Mr. Teas which has been on video for quite some time, Eve And The Handyman probably would never have seen the light of day till Russ decided, recently, to release the picture as a tribute to his late wife, Eve Meyer, the "Eve" in the title.
Buxom (with Russ, what else?) blonde Eve Meyer was one of the premier glamour models of her day, and the picture is tastefully reflective of her enormous sex appeal. Though it was released during the "nudie" era of adult films, Even And The Handyman, compared to Mr. Teas, is very light on the epidermis. There are three very brief skin scenes all told, and only one full nude scene - in a laundromat. Be sure to set your freeze frame!
This is quite unlike Mr. Teas which is chock full to the brim with nudity. Eve, incidentally, maintains proper decorum throughout, and is dressed always in an intriguing French beret and a raincoat. The whole point, really, is to surmise why Eve's wearing this outfit and why she's playing a cat and mouse game with handyman Anthony-James Ryan.
The film is a series of pantomime skits with Eve's sultry voiceovers providing the narrative. Like many of Meyer's films, it's a fascinating collage of imagery, philosophical observations, oblique frame shots, cheesecake, interesting faces and bizarre point-counterpoint visuals. If you watch Mr. Teas and Handyman side by side, you'll note many interesting parallels including one particular voyeur-style "waitress" scene which occurs exactly the same way in both films. In Mr. Teas, model Ann Peters plays the naked waitress whereas Eve is fully clothed.
The opening strains of music in Wild Gals Of The Naked West is no indication of what you are about to get. The film starts off like some major western epic and gradually evolves into a titillating peep show featuring ragtime music, bouncing tits (with pasties), bouncing asses in cut-out dresses, guns firing, outhouses, corn whiskey, the rubbery faced Princess Livingston (one of Meyer's favorite character actresses), strip poker and bathing beauties. Wild Gals Of The Naked West is an unheralded masterpiece of brilliant editing and juxtaposition. Even with the outrageous nudity, it remains a classic of filmmaking.
Russ Meyer was always before his time. He did slasher films before they were in vogue. His black & white shanty epics like Lorna and Mudhoney predated an industry trend towards "roughies" several years later. On top of that, Meyer's films like Faster Pussycat...Kill! Kill! and Motor Psycho, if not out of the same time zone, certainly beat a good many of the Wild Angels motorcycle clone epics to the box office.
Motor Psycho stars Alex Rocco (and you thought he just came on the scene as Moe Green in The Godfather) as a veterinarian whose luscious wife has been brutally assaulted by three macho geeks on girly-man motorbikes. Loaded with guys and dolls and rocks and tits, Motor Psycho like Pussycat has no nudity, but enough of a sleazy peekaboo factor to keep the viewer perked.
The film is loaded with classic understatements like "those guys are probably a hundred miles from here by now." Fat chance. Interestingly, the way Rocco goes after lead bad guy Stephen Oliver with dynamite is slightly reminiscent of a later Meyer film, Supervixens.
Though he hasn't made a film in years, it's fascinating how Meyer's pictures keep attracting new genereations of viewers. If you haven't as yet ridden the tide of Bosomania, these three new video offerings present a perfect opportunity to do so.
(Source: RM Film International, Inc. (213) 466-7791 or (619) 773-9134)