An over abundance of double X chromosomes! An opulence of double D blouse busters! A mammarific masterpiece of coitus interruptus! Leapin’ Lizards!
The story –
Describing the plot of Supervixens is no easy task. For some, it is off the wall, incoherent, and more akin to Tex Avery cartoons than sexploitation films. To me, the movie is difficult to describe because I think it’s so chock full of awesome narrative surprises and crazy set pieces, that I don’t want to confuse you!
The basic story follows a feuding couple. As with most Russ Meyer movies the feuds are over sex. One partner is a nympho, and the other is… well, exhausted! Supervixens follows the lead male, Clint Ramsey (Charles Pitts) a gas station attendant, and his struggle to sexually satisfy his woman. His girl, SuperAngel (Shari Eubank) is not impressed or satisfied with his efforts, so seeks to get her kicks elsewhere! She seduces square jawed cop Harry Sledge (Charles Napier) but soon finds out he is also a bit of a dud between the sheets. SuperAngel treats him with the same disdain as Clint, so Harry turns on her, giving birth to one of the best villains in B movie history! Harry brutally murders SuperAngel by stomping her to death in a bathtub before finally, sadistically, electrocuting her in the water! Clint, now framed for the murder must go on the run and somehow clear his name! From here a whole host of set pieces and narrative twists ensue. Clint is set upon sexually by buxotics at every turn, resulting hilarious horny slapstick! The story may sound relatively simple, but trust me this movie is anything but straight forward!
The movie –
There is never a dull moment from the magic lens of Meyer! The editing is superb, fast paced, and dynamic. Quick cutting turns the simplest of scenes into exhilarating examples of energetic cinema. This lends itself perfectly to the dizzy cartoon style that his latter movies are famous for. Photographed with razor sharp focus; his years of shooting cheesecake photography are not wasted here; Russ truly brings life to the pin up! The movie is technical perfection, and any student of the lens would do well to study Supervixens.
Russ certainly knew how to craft a cinematic world, and this is one of his finest examples next to ‘Faster pussycat kill kill’ He creates a unique universe that his characters inhabit; a world where sexist views of men and woman sit alongside comedy, violence, love and lust. He has also noted himself ‘I like bookend constructions’ and it is this ability to balance the opposing sides of stereotypes, relationships and sex that confirm the genius of Russ Meyer. Those who see Russ as a simple purveyor of sex are dead wrong. This movie has a deeper cleavage than you think.
One of Meyer’s inspirations for Supervixens was the 19th century author Horatio Alger. Horatio wrote tales of good young men who set out on journeys to find their fortune. On their way they meet many trials and adversaries, but through fighting fair they always succeed in the end! This kind of adventurous morality tale is very apparent in Supervixens, and adds depth to Meyer as an auteur. Lastly, another notable quality of Supervixens is its glorification of monogamy. Despite having busty beauties throwing themselves at him, Clint tries to turn them away, as he is devoted to Super Angel. In the end we come to understand that SuperAngel already had satisfaction through Clint, and her sexual demands where unrealistic. How this transpires from a narrative perspective is very authentic, and doesn’t come across at all as satirical. Russ explained later in life that adding morality into his films was never to appease the censors, even though earlier in his career he said it was. Russ was very aware that the people who censor potential profanity are not that naïve.
To some, Russ had outdated clichéd views on relationships but yet he remained so modern and edgy. To fully appreciate the weight of it in this film, without me giving spoilers, you have to watch Supervixens.
The girls –
Buxom ladies are bouncing all over our screens and it is glorious. All of this tantalising, gyrating action builds up and overflows into a worthy climax. Supervixens throws curvaceous goddesses at you 100miles a minute, teasing, shocking, forcing you to loose inhibition and accept what you see as hyper reality. You will never again see woman like Russ Meyer’s woman. These girls have the ultimate of feminine bodies; child bearing hips eclipsed over tapered waists that shelter under protuberant pregnant breasts. Their minds on the other hand are tainted, violent and nymphomatic. These women only desire men to fulfil their selfish needs and the dumb hunks buy into it every time. They are exotic, hypnotic but utterly problematic and they embody the ultimate in feminist ideology. They use men as sexual objects, then discard them, just as woman are used and discarded in mainstream media. But as Gas station owner Martin Bormann concludes ‘is the f***ing you get, worth the f***ing you get?
Russ suffocates us with seven beauties ‘one for every reel, like a new linebacker’ SuperAngel, SuperVixen, SuperSoul, SuperLorna, SuperCherry, SuperEula and SuperHaji. All encompassing different aspect of femininity and beauty so you never grow tired of one girl.
The score –
Supervixens is the opus grande, of not only Russ Meyer, but of sexploitation cinema as a whole. Meyer’s technical proficiency combined with his ‘put on, send up’ approach allows the film to exist in a league of its own. There is not enough time for me to explore here, the influences of film pioneers – Edwin porter, Dviga Vertov, Michelangelo Antonioni, and Alfred Hitchcock; or investigate the undertones of Nazi nature films and early Scandinavian cinema. All that is really important is that Russ Meyer is the genre in which this movie truly exists. He has crafted an entirely new approach to filmmaking under the wings of his influences. Russ Meyer is the last true American auteur and anyone who takes cinema – its history and its genres – seriously, has to witness Supervixens.
*The visual quality of the screenshots/trailer do not represent the visual quality of the film.