Monday, 21 March 2011

Return Of The Ultravixens? Russ Meyer biopic is on the way

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How the hell did I let three days pass before picking up on this? According to Deadline, David O Russell, director of The Fighter and I Heart Huckabees, is being lined up to direct a biopic of the late, great Russ Meyer, which is currently in development.

Even discounting the extravagant camp excess that it would surely possess from the off, the fact that Jimmy McDonough's excellent biography Big Bosoms And Square Jaws is being suggested for adaptation means that this could work. Meyer's life actually could make for a fine film, very much along the lines of Boogie Nights, as Meyer's influential role in the the rise of softcore pornography gave way to a sad demise, with the years of celebrating dominant women drifting into him sadly and ironically suffering at their hands, first the violent and abusive girlfriend Melissa Mounds, then with the controlling manager Janice Cowart, who, if McDonough is correct, cut him off from the life and friends that defined him as his Alzheimer's worsened.

Given that Cowart still manages Meyer's estate and doesn't come out of the book too well, it'll be safe to say any official endorsement and cooperation probably won't be forthcoming, but that shouldn't hamper what could still be a cracking film. 

To get you in the mood, here's one of my favourite Meyer moments, one that showed there was more to him than connossieur of unfeasible cleavages - check out the sexy editing, comely visual language and top-heavy dynamism narrative drive in this sequence from Beyond The Valley Of The Dolls. Phwoar!


  1. I'm pretty sure that O Russell could do a decent enough job. Biopics are normally toilet, but there have been exceptions, Ed Wood being one of the better ones that springs to mind. If it can have that sort of reverence and tone for Meyer, then we're laughing.

  2. I Imagine his name has just been thrown in there to get a buzz on the project. By the time it comes out it'll probably be straight to DVD, with a no-mark director. The thing that occured to me is who the hell could you get to play the actresses? Who combines thespy and busty to that degree? They need to be good enough to act bad, if you get me, and good enough to stop it being campy. Ed Wood is actually a good reference pont. I'm up for John Waters doing it - reading the book they're basing it on you can't help but hear his voice.

  3. If Waters was to do it, it would be fun and he'd find the right girls for the film, but ultimately it'd be a John Waters movie. This needs someone who won't try and put their own stamp on it too much, a director who is able to allow the subject to breathe. So not Wes Anderson for instance.

    I think you'd be able to find enough 'bad' big titted women either in the porn industry (although they'll be too skinny, wrong body shape), or just by having open casting sessions. I think untrained actresses would bring that amateur edge to the film.