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click to enlarge Beyond the Valley of the Dolls (X) -  -  - Directed by Russ Meyer  - 20th Century Fox  -  - To paraphrase Z-Man Barzell, "This is my new favorite - film of all time, and it freaks me out!" Director Russ - Meyer, Lord of Bosomania, in one of his few mainstream - ventures, brings his outsider vision (along with - screenwriter Roger Ebert  yes, that Roger Ebert) to the - swingin' 60s Hollywood scene. When mixed with a - decidedly satirical, self-aware melodramatic take on the - idea of Jacqueline Susann's potboiler, the original - Valley of the Dolls, you get a hilarious, brutally - caustic slap in the face of hipsters and scenesters that is - even more pointed today. The plot is basic: Girl group - The Carrie Nations move to L.A. and are soon wrapped - up in drugs and happenings, which, of course, leads to - an androgynous murder spree. Let that be a lesson. - Beyond may not be one of the most important - films of all time, but it's definitely among the most fun. -  Louis Fowler
  • Beyond the Valley of the Dolls (X)

    Directed by Russ Meyer

    20th Century Fox

    To paraphrase Z-Man Barzell, "This is my new favorite film of all time, and it freaks me out!" Director Russ Meyer, Lord of Bosomania, in one of his few mainstream ventures, brings his outsider vision (along with screenwriter Roger Ebert yes, that Roger Ebert) to the swingin' 60s Hollywood scene. When mixed with a decidedly satirical, self-aware melodramatic take on the idea of Jacqueline Susann's potboiler, the original Valley of the Dolls, you get a hilarious, brutally caustic slap in the face of hipsters and scenesters that is even more pointed today. The plot is basic: Girl group The Carrie Nations move to L.A. and are soon wrapped up in drugs and happenings, which, of course, leads to an androgynous murder spree. Let that be a lesson. Beyond may not be one of the most important films of all time, but it's definitely among the most fun. Louis Fowler

click to enlarge Long Weekend (NR)  -  - Directed by Colin Eggleston  - Synapse Films / *Under the Radar -  -  - Regular readers of CineFiles know that I love "nature - gone amok" films. Nothing pleases me more than when - grizzlies or eagles go nuts and attack humans. But, let's - be honest, these films are often schlocky, low-budget - affairs that tend to fall into the "so bad, they're good" - category. And while Long Weekend is most - definitely a "nature gone amok" film, this Australian - obscurity forgoes the B-movie route and creates a - genuinely scary, maliciously foreboding  I'll go as far - as to say art film  that should be considered a lost - masterpiece. A completely unlikable couple that does - nothing but fight and act like general a-holes, takes a - camping trip. They kill a kangaroo, pollute nonstop and - chop trees for fun. Mother Nature, vengeful gal she is, - decides to take revenge and torture the couple for their - various environmental crimes. If only she were around - today.  Louis Fowler
  • Long Weekend (NR)

    Directed by Colin Eggleston

    Synapse Films / *Under the Radar

    Regular readers of CineFiles know that I love "nature gone amok" films. Nothing pleases me more than when grizzlies or eagles go nuts and attack humans. But, let's be honest, these films are often schlocky, low-budget affairs that tend to fall into the "so bad, they're good" category. And while Long Weekend is most definitely a "nature gone amok" film, this Australian obscurity forgoes the B-movie route and creates a genuinely scary, maliciously foreboding I'll go as far as to say art film that should be considered a lost masterpiece. A completely unlikable couple that does nothing but fight and act like general a-holes, takes a camping trip. They kill a kangaroo, pollute nonstop and chop trees for fun. Mother Nature, vengeful gal she is, decides to take revenge and torture the couple for their various environmental crimes. If only she were around today. Louis Fowler

click to enlarge Texas Lightning (R)  -  - Directed by Gary Graver  - Guilty Pleasures/Media Blasters / - *Under the Radar  -  - I don't review enough hicksploitation films  that era of - the late '70s where rednecks, truckers, moonshine and - CBs were enough to make a 90-minute movie. I plan to - rectify that, and I'll start with Texas Lightning. - Lucky you. Three wholly grotesque, toothless, beer- - guzzling good ol' boys (led by the reliable Cameron - Mitchell) take a hunting trip to the desert, bringing along - Mitchell's ultra-sensitive wussy son along, in an effort to - man-him-up a bit. If the gay and racist jokes didn't - make you hate the trio enough, throw in the gang rape - of the son's girlfriend (Maureen McCormick, aka Marcia - from The Brady Bunch) and you have a - hicksploitation entry that's so skuzzy, unlikable and - offensive, you can't help but watch it, jaw agape. And - that's good enough for me. Here's hoping the South - doesn't rise again.  Louis Fowler
  • Texas Lightning (R)

    Directed by Gary Graver

    Guilty Pleasures/Media Blasters / *Under the Radar

    I don't review enough hicksploitation films that era of the late '70s where rednecks, truckers, moonshine and CBs were enough to make a 90-minute movie. I plan to rectify that, and I'll start with Texas Lightning. Lucky you. Three wholly grotesque, toothless, beer- guzzling good ol' boys (led by the reliable Cameron Mitchell) take a hunting trip to the desert, bringing along Mitchell's ultra-sensitive wussy son along, in an effort to man-him-up a bit. If the gay and racist jokes didn't make you hate the trio enough, throw in the gang rape of the son's girlfriend (Maureen McCormick, aka Marcia from The Brady Bunch) and you have a hicksploitation entry that's so skuzzy, unlikable and offensive, you can't help but watch it, jaw agape. And that's good enough for me. Here's hoping the South doesn't rise again. Louis Fowler

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