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49 of 54 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "Come into my den," said the spider, et cetera
"Beyond the Valley of the Dolls" is perhaps the best movie ever made. Unlike other campy movies, there are virtually no lulls -- each scene is packed with brilliant one-liners, ludicrious characters (portrayed by equally crazy actors), fun music, and tons of hairspray. While Roger Ebert has claimed that the movie was intended to be satirical and hillarious,...
Published on December 12, 1999 by Rich Juzwiak

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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Shockingly Good!
I taped this movie a couple of years ago because I've seen Russ Meyer's other movies (Loved Beneath the Valley of the Utravixens). This was his first legitimate movie with a major studio. Meyer set the standard for movie ratings. The movie's story was somewhat dated (Now almost 30 years old). However, Meyer's classic cinemagraphic style and his willingness to take...
Published on November 16, 1999 by BMG (fskate@hotmail.com)


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49 of 54 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "Come into my den," said the spider, et cetera, December 12, 1999
"Beyond the Valley of the Dolls" is perhaps the best movie ever made. Unlike other campy movies, there are virtually no lulls -- each scene is packed with brilliant one-liners, ludicrious characters (portrayed by equally crazy actors), fun music, and tons of hairspray. While Roger Ebert has claimed that the movie was intended to be satirical and hillarious, its dated-ness adds to the effect, inadvertently creating the funniest and most watchable movie of the entire Russ Meyer catalouge (though other gems of Meyer's include "Supervixens," "Vixen," "Up," and the delightful, "Fater Pussycat! Kill! Kill!"). Dolly Reed's often failed attempt at an American accent only adds to the fun. The reason "BVD" isn't more widley loved: it takes a person with certain sense of humor to enjoy the high level of camp this film offers. If you enjoy being tricked into thinking that a legitimately excellent film is really so bad that it's good, indulge yourself in the debauchery.
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21 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Look on up at the bottom, June 28, 2006
By 
Edward Aycock (New York, NY United States) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Beyond the Valley of the Dolls (DVD)
A recent review in a paper compared "Beyond the Valley of the Dolls" (BVD) to "Josie and the Pussycats", and I was happy to see that somebody else thought so too. BVD plays like Hanna Barbera on acid, a naughty, R-rated version of that "Josie"; despite the sex and nudity, the story of the all-girl rock band (driving around in their psychedelic Scooby van) thwarts the cartoonish villain is pure Saturday morning storytelling. The main tale, however, is just one of the many joys to be found on this DVD, which along with the simultaneous release of "Valley of the Dolls" on DVD makes for the grooviest release of the year.

This sequel-in-name-only to "Valley" remains one of the strangest and most colorful products from the psychedelic era. It's fun to laugh at the bad acting, the eyes that never blink, the hip catchphrases but I also admired the cinematography (looking as great as ever on DVD), and the wild, catchy songs that distinguishes BVD as having one of the best rock soundtracks ever. (Sorry Barbra, 1976's "A Star is Born" soundtrack will never have that honor.)

This DVD has so many extras it freaks me out. One of the best features is the cast interviews; this has to be one of the best aging casts ever. Marcia McBroom (Pet) and Cynthia Myers (Casey) look great, and Dolly Read (Kelly) looks fantastic. I'm so glad they were also willing to do one of the commentaries; the other commentary is done by the writer of the screenplay, the great Roger Ebert. Sadly, David Gurian (Harris), he of the blue eyes, did not participate in any of the features but John LaZar, Z-Man himself!, is on hand, making this a sweet deal.

Great fun, and remember, as the tagline says, "This is not a sequel, this is unlike anything you've ever seen." A+
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41 of 48 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars IT'S EXTREME! OUTRAGEOUS!! Of Course, It's Russ Meyer!!!, December 6, 2001
By 
Tsuyoshi (Kyoto, Japan) - See all my reviews
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"Beyond the Valley of the Dolls" is released in Japan as "Wild Party," and the latter title might have told you everthing you see in it; and the director is Russ Meyer, famous for his movies like "Faster Pussycat, Kill!, Kill!" and "Vixen"..... Oh, if you haven't seen them, you can guess the contents, I'm sure.
Actually, "Beyond," which major studio 20th Century Fox asked Meyer to direct, is less outrageous, considering the track record this cult director had made, and was going to make. But still, for ordinary people, it is a shocking experience to see almost every genre is mixed in it: love story (too corny one), a sucess story (of Josie and the Pussycats-like rock band, I mean it), and even a gory horror movie (with the sound of 20th Century Fox's trademark fanfare, and Richard Wagner's classic you have heard in Coppola's very famous film!). And within less than 2 hours!!
However, remember, those were the days. Don't take anything too seriously. Besides, the soundtrack is great and if you like those songs of 1960s, you will love it. My favorite is "Candy Man," an Animals-type song, and believe it or not, in Japan they released a single cut from the soundtrack with the credit of Carrie Nations, the fictional band Dolly Read and others play in "Beyond." Oh, I almost forgot to say, you have a glimpse of "Strawberry Alarm Clock," psychedelic rock band that got the No.1 of the Billboard Chart with their "Incense and Peppermint," which you heard in "Austin Powers." They play it here, but sorry, it's lip-sync. And look for Pam Grier (credited as Pamela Grier), of "Jackie Brown."
Enjoy the extremism of filmmaking, I dare you.
(Technical thing: as the original film was shot in cinemascope, and Russ Meyer uses the screen wide, some scenes lose the impact on TV's small screen. Still, there is unmistakeably Russ Meyer's touch here and there in the movie. Don't miss it.)
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Stellar DVD release by 20th Century Fox, June 14, 2006
By 
E. Dolnack (Atlanta, GA USA) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Beyond the Valley of the Dolls (DVD)
The new US region 1 DVD release of 20th Century Fox's "Beyond the Valley of the Dolls" was well worth the wait! It's a tremendously good product through and through. I have not one complaint. I only wish all movies were presented with such loving care as this.

First of all, the film itself is presented in 16x9 widescreen in a very minimal level of compression - which yields a beautiful picture quality on large TVs. The sound is also in stereo and sounds terrific on a good home theater system.

The two commentaries are terrific. Roger Ebert's commentary is insightful and instructional, while the second commentary track of the five actors all watching together is just fun. The second disk of extras has a good set of documentaries that are well done and very enjoyable to watch.

I am a happy, happy man at this great DVD release of "BTVOTD". As Z-man himself (actor John La Zar) introduces on this set, "BVD on DVD. It's your happening, you know it's your happening and it freaks you out!"
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Get away from me......or I'll cut you!!, November 25, 2007
By 
This review is from: Beyond the Valley of the Dolls (DVD)
This is my first film by this director. I'm hesitant to guess what ignited my interest in the films of renowned sleaze master and independent film guru Russ Meyer. The film opens with a title card explaining that it is not, in any way, related to the work of Jacqueline Susann, the literary trashmeistress who wrote the novel upon which the 1967 Mark Robson film "Valley of the Dolls" was based.

Meet 'The Kelly Affair' - three rock rockin' song birds led by Kelly on vocals, (Dolly Reed) with Casey on rhythm guitar, (Cynthia Myers) and Pet (Marcia McBroom) on drums. Reduced to playing Senior Proms, the three girls and their Manager/Kelly's lover, Harris, (David Gurlan) decide to leave for Hollywood in search of fame. Once in town, Kelly contacts her estranged Aunt Suzan (Phyllis Davis) who works as fashion magazine editor for a place to crash with she and her band-mates. Then, after diner with Kelly, Suzan decides to give her a portion of the inheritance that Suzan received from their family. Not bad for a first day in Tinsletown. Soon, Kelly and crew are swinging at the pad of legendary Hollywood record producer Ronnie "Z-Man" Barzel (played by John LaZar - in one of the best roles in the film). Ronnie hears Kelly's music and turns them into an overnight sensation, recording their songs and renaming them "The Carrie Nations." Their albums skyrocket to the top of the charts, but not without the viscous cost of fame. Loves are lost and hearts are broken. The pure-at-heart turns to hedonistic compulsions, while money and drugs consume their very beings. Throw in some kinky sex, nice' rock numbers, garish melodrama, rapid-fire dialog, Meyer's signature camera and editing style and you've got one of the most daring movies ever produced by Hollywood.

A film so far ahead of it's time, no wonder it bewildered the very studio that produced it. It's always great to stick this movie on people who don't know what to expect: "Do I laugh at what I think is supposed to be funny?" "Is this funny?" "Is this serious?" "No way could they have thought this was supposed to be serious." "Is it?" "I'm confused." "I'm entertained - but am I supposed to be?" "Did Roger Ebert really write this?" The answer is `yes' to most of these questions. But no, this film was never meant to be serious. It was a parody before parodies were sheik. A comedy so far removed from what people were used to, even the actors didn't know it.

As screenwriter Roger Ebert can confirm, every single frame in this film is exactly the way the director wanted it. Every joke, edit, camera angle and music cue was meticulously placed by the filmmaker - and in spite of the film's age - it still remains a fresh feast for the ears and eyes. Particularly the eyes. The films of Russ Meyer certainly isn't for everyone, but if you appreciate the kind of cinema that is so bad it's great then his entire catalogue of trash is undoubtedly for you.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Upcoming DVD release!, September 26, 2004
No use reviewing the film because everyone has already done that. Needless to say it's great and extremely well written. This is a far more polished piece of work than Meyer's other well-known films (i.e. not as "trashy").
Well, earlier today (September 27th, 2004) on "Ebert & Roper At The Movies", Roger Ebert spoke about the death of his friend Russ Meyer...
Ebert revealed that he has recorded a commentary for the film and it seems Criterion will be releasing it on DVD sometime next year (2005).
Skip the VHS and wait for the pot-o-gold with a commentary by the actual writer! This truly will be my happening and it freaks me out, man!
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Dig It, The Greatest Hunk Of Cheese Ever., September 13, 2003
As mentioned practically every genre in film is expressed in this movie. Drama, comedy, love story, mystery, slasher-horror, psychological mind bender, and soft porn (straight, gay, bi, lesbian). In other words the greatest and cheesiest soap opera ever made. The plot? Well if its important it deals with a girl band, who become The Carrie Nations, moving to L.A. to try to �make it� following them as they get stepped on and abused along the way. The usual story of the manipulation of people, especially women, in Hollywood or the World in general by those who have already �made it� or think they have materially but not spiritually. The narrator sums it up at the end. �There can be no beginning or ending that does not in some way touch another. For our actions affect the lives and destinies of the many.� This is just one example of the self-righteous cheesy, but truthful, moralizing in the film. There are outrageous parties and bizarre incidents which convey ideologies of the time, psychedelic imagery, chromatic sets, early mtv style editing, soap operatic clichés, drug-use, a sword wielding psudeo-Shakesperian spouting crazy, a bartending Nazi, a Liston/Tyson type boxer and a bloodbath. It�s not the plot but how it unfolds that makes this a true original and unique film.
I agree with others below. This is a postmodern classic. A panoptic view of the world formation of new subjectivity in reality that occurred in the �60�s, of hybrid selves blurring mores and forming beyond the binary dualisms of a hegemonic and phallocratic culture. However, like the real Carrie Nation the film has a message of temperance and how the enjoyments in finding oneself through over indulgence in anything can lead to evil. The irony in the name of the group is interesting. Carrie Nation was pretty much a formidable self-empowered woman who carried an ax. Something none of these exploited women are. Don�t take all this too seriously. Spread this cheese on a cracker and enjoy. Just one question where�s the DVD with Ebert and Meyer�s commentary?
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Deliciously entertaining, December 7, 1999
By 
This is an extremely fun movie. It's especially enjoyable if you're hanging out with friends. The pace is fast, the characters are fun, the music is distinctly late 60s, early 70s and it keeps you interested the whole way.
John LaZar is particularly memorable in his role as Z-Man or as Porter Hall put it: "The one, the only, the original."
A weird, funny movie with a message. Definitely worth having. If you want to have a good time watching a movie, accept no substitues.
Mike Myers told Heather Graham to watch this movie since she was going to play Felicity Shagwell. If only the sell-out sequel AP2 could've been this original.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars You're a groovy boy, I'd like to strap you on sometime..., June 22, 2001
By far the best movie ever made, EVER!! This film stands out as the absolute emperor of camp cult classics. Revolving around the antics of an all girl rock band that goes to Hollywood and is corrupted by fame, money, drugs (i.e. "Dolls"), and lesbian sex, the film is augmented by an laughably ridiculous soundtrack ("Go and Ask the Gentle People," "Candy Man"), hilariously over the top racial and sexual exploitation, and a script that is such a work of art, a masterpiece of the hip lingo of yesteryear's youth, that it's been repeatedly cannibalized in countless subsequent films (the most recent being the ... "Austin Powers" series). I love this movie and have considered it my personal responsibility to introduce anyone and everyone to this, this ultimate opus of bad taste and sheer fun.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Bonus Disc Alone makes this worth getting!, June 23, 2006
This review is from: Beyond the Valley of the Dolls (DVD)
I admit that Russ Meyer's films are my guilty pleasure ever since I walked into the theater in the 1960s to see "Vixen". While BVD (The name most folks use to refer to "Beyond The Valley of The Dolls") is not my favorite, it's the one with the highest production values. (Fox gave him a million dollar budget in 1970. And the other Fox film - "The Seven Minutes" - doesn't hold up and is NOT on home video.).

The VHS version is fun and has been around but when Fox announced the 2-disc DVD, all fans rejoiced. What bonus stuff would they add. Well, they went all out and and the 2nd disc contains nearly 90 minutes of NEW Featurettes featuring many of the folks who worked on the film as well as MOST of the cast members (Edy Williams is the obvious one missing.). Sadly, except for two "screen tests" of the same scene (7 minutes in total), there are no "outtakes" or even unedited extended scenes. Maybe they are lost. So the scenes shown are all from the film. There are featurettes on the Music in the film with the lead from The Strawberry Alarm Clock and the woman (I forget her name) who did the vocals and wrote some of the lyrics for The Carrie Nations (the film's fictional band). In fact she was a model and still looks great! Speaking of looking great, the three females in the band all look great in the interviews. They certainly don't look 36 years older! But Erica Gavin (the star of the above mentioned "Vixen") looks nothing like her former self. You'll swear this is a different person.

I'm still working my way through screenwriter Roger Ebert's commentary and the one by the cast. Heck, that's another 3 -4 hours. But Fox Home Video sure gives you a lot for your money in this Cinema Classics presentation. (They are issuing a Betty Grable box set in this form next and I'm anxious to see that!).

The Meyer Estate still owns the rights to all his other films (except "The Seven Minutes" and the European made "Fanny Hill") so, though they are credited in the featurettes, there is no footage from his other classics. If only Fox could strike a deal with them to produce "deluxe" versions of "Vixen", "Faster Pussycat, Kill Kill!" and his last feature "Beneath The Valley of the Ultravixens", Meyer fans would beat a path to the video stores.

Meyer fans - or even semi-fans - you need this 2-disc version!

Steve Ramm
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Beyond the Valley of the Dolls
Beyond the Valley of the Dolls by Russ Meyer (DVD - 2006)
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