Monday, January 30, 2012

Insatiable is my Name: Russ Meyer's Vixen! (1968)

Vixen! was the film that catapulted Russ Meyer in the international vixendome. "The King of the Nudies", as he was referred to -a title he full-heartedly chose to adorn his headstone with- is well-known for his big breast fixation, weird sense of humour and sexploitation crescendo.

His Amazonian, insatiable women often portray such vigour and  men-hunting qualities that one can see them as a token of feminism more than victims of a sexist society. They can be as empowering, as tortured. objectified and ridiculed, if we look at the big picture, though; so don't blame me on proclaiming Russ Meyer a hardcore feminist, even if his dominant women can definitely be described as sending out a feminist message. 

Vixen is a film like no other; it combines wild sex scenes -softly portrayed ones- with racist and then anti-racist discourse and a crazy communist who wants to fly to Cuba with a gun as his ticket. After incessant love making in the woods, by the riverside, in the shower, on beds with spring mattresses, there comes a poignant curve, where the film becomes suddenly satirical-intellectual. 

While the viewer wonders how the heck Vixen Palmer, portrayed by cute brunette Erica Gavin who also starred in Roger Corman's Caged Heat, is going to find enough space to have sex in the four-seat aircraft, guess what...Vixen Palmer is due. The hasty-written script that offers no real closure -the first one to get the X rating for its sex scenes- gives the chance to Vixen Palmer to get over her racist rage and make up with coloured Niles. A minute later, the insatiable pilot's wife lays her eyes on her future prey, a young couple, and a wide smile enhances her face. The End. 

*More nudity and sex-is-fun attitude to follow in the rest of the Meyer's Vixen films (to be watched soon). Let's hope they have a better-written script and extra wit, because this is what we lack out there.

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