Russ Meyer, the “King of Nudies”, director, producer, screenwriter and photographer would have turned 90 today. He is known for writing and directing a series of successful low-budget sexploitation films that featured campy humor, sly satire and large-breasted women. A true auteur he wrote, directed, edited, photographed and distributed all his own films. Meyer started as a photographer for Hugh Hefner’s Playboy magazine in its early years. He might be regarded as a true sexist by many but also not few believe he did a lot for women’s liberation. His women are always strong, amazonian characters usually leading whereas his male roles are either retarded or horny. As film historian Jimmy McDonough puts it “despite portraying women as sex objects, Meyer nonetheless depicts them as more powerful than men and is therefore an inadvertent feminist filmmaker.”
5 of his films were shown at Documenta 5 in Kassel, 1972. In 1977 Malcolm McLaren hired Meyer to do a film on the Sex Pistols. Film critic Rogert Ebert wrote a screenplay entitled Who killed Bambi? but filming ended after a day and a half because Mclaren ran out of money.
The list of his film titles reads like the line up to any good festival: Mudhoney, Motor Psycho, Faster, Pussycat, Kill! Kill!, Up!, Vixen, Supervixens, Beyond the valley of dolls (scripted by film critic Roger Ebert), Black Snake, Beneath the valley of Ultravixes.
His cult classic Faster, Pussycat, Kill! Kill! has fans and followers all over the world.
Meyer died in September 2004, 82 years old. Enough for the words now. Knowing that not few of you might also have a big breast fixation here are some photos and clips:
photograph taken for Playboy Magazine, 1955.
with actress Uschi Digard.
the brutal killing scene in Supervixens.
“square-jaw” Charles Napier in Supervixens.
Tura Satana in Faster, Pussycat! Kill! Kill!
Lori Williams in Faster, Pussycat! Kill! Kill!
be patient, it starts at 01:03
“I was glad to do it.”