Beyond the Valley of the Dolls. 1970. USA. Directed by Russ Meyer. DCP. 109 min.
“Going at least as far back as the Joan Crawford silent Our Dancing Daughters, the situation of three girls on the town has been popular in movies—think Three on a Match and How to Marry a Millionaire. Skin-meister Russ Meyer ups the ante in his mod fantasia on the Jacqueline Susann novel (and hit film) Valley of the Dolls with this wild cinematic treat, Beyond the Valley of the Dolls. In Meyer’s version (written by movie critic Roger Ebert) a trio of chicks in a rock group make the scene in Hollywood and find boys, predatory lesbians, fame, men, stardom, passion, lust, violence, and pills. Beyond is not a sequel; coming soon after the Manson murders it’s more like a doomsday remake of Valley of the Dolls. If any movie sums up the Club 57 aesthetic, it would be this one, with its hellish and hilarious mix of sex, glaring color, mockery, action, music, mockery, drugs, wacky fashions, nonstop editing, and more mockery. Screened more than once at the club, it was the lure for many patrons making their first visit to the lowbrow/highbrow nightspot. ‘This is my happening and it freaks me out!’” (film notes by John Epperson).