When he was 14 years old, his mother pawned her wedding ring in order to buy him an 8mm film camera.
A filmmaker unencumbered by modern society's notionsof what a movie should be. A man for whom no plotline is too extravagant, no action too intense, and no women too top heavy. A raging libidinous font of creativity whose rapid, ingenious editing defined a generation and scandalized the censors.
Strap on your seatbelts, folks, and get ready for a wild trip through a filmography which cuts a ragged path through the entire underbelly of American exploitation cinema. Born in San Leandro, California on March21,Meyer began shooting his own films when he was fourteen years old.
His service in World War II turned out to be a growing experiencein many ways; aside from continuing to sharpen his filmmaking skills in and out of the Army, he was also among the soldiers who landed in Normandy during World War II, a time he regards as the most exciting of his life.
Itwas during his military tenure in France that he met a guy named Ernest Hemingway, who had a strong influence on Russ' passage into manhood. After the war, Meyer found his camera expertise in high demand; aside from working as a cameraman on such major Hollywood productions as Giant,he also became a freelance photographer for Playboy and other pinup publications, even cutting his teeth on a short film, The French Peep Show.
However, Meyer could not resist the urge to strike out on his own, so he decided to make a movie called The Immoral Mr. The result became a classic of its kind and made the first of many fortunes for its creator. Teas seems like little more than your average nudie cutie, with its silent title character granted the power to see through clothing and the comical results which follow forming bulk of its one hour running time.
Several other soft nudie films followed,the most notable of which, Eve and the Handyman, starred Russ' wife, Eve, who later went on to serve as his right hand on every film until her tragic death in a plane crash.
The other lead in thefilm, Jim Ryan, worked on most of Meyer's subsequent projects and even made cameo appearances through the early '70s.
About Ryan, Meyer remarks, "He was a great help. Never a problem, never gave me a hassle. Everything he contributed to the films was enormous. Violent consequences soon follow. Shot in moody black and white, the film has little storytelling drive, focusing more on the strange incidentals along the way, and kicked off a new wave of exploitation filmmaking, the"roughie.
Lorna herself was played by "the outrageously abundant, cantilevered Lorna Maitland - the new standard of beauty by which all women shall be judged," as the ads put it. Lorna was Meyer's first formal narrative work, and the introduction of violence into the filmic brew inspired what was his finest film by that point, Mudhoney.
A released convict moves into a Tobacco Road-style community and finds himself in the middle of a domestic war between a rich, kindly old man, his daughter, and her no good lech husband who uses religion like a sledgehammer.
Excellent acting, stark photography, and the usual razor sharp editing create a multi-layered atmosphere of dread and twisted sexuality which would continue to carry over into Meyer's next several efforts. The biker craze was sweeping the nationin the mid-'60s, and Meyer decided to take his stab at this wild fad with Motorpsycho, starring his recurring actress, Haji, in her only true leading role.
Alex Rocco, who went on to appear in The Godfather and The Stunt Man, co-starred in this violent drive-instudy of a trio of delinquents whose rampage through the desert starts a deadly cycle of revenge. On Motorpsycho, according to Haji, "the only one with a trailer was Russ and his girlfriend.
There were spiders, scorpions, everything. We had one little outhouse and a big barrel on top of four wooden planks for a shower, and it was so cold that you would have to stop and pray before you went in.
In Pussycat, three go go dancers decide to take a break from the club and head off to the desert, where they start a deadly game of chicken with a young couple. The statuesque, demonic leader of the psycho go gos, Varla, is played by Tura Satana, an unforgettable screen presence.
The rapport between everybody on the set was very, very good. Everybody did everything from moving props to marking scenery and marking spots where we had to be in the next take. I had to stage the fight scenes because nobody else knew how to do them, and so literally when I did the fight scenes, I really had to pick up each and every one of those guys and carry them through in order for them to look realistic.
Basically I had to lay one guy on the floor because he was afraid he was going to get hurt. A lot of it actually had to be done in reverse,so try to imagine doing a fight scene that way.
Mikels, most notably in The Astro-Zombies with John Carradine, but Pussycat remains the film which fans prize above all others. Satana's life away from the camera remained equally fascinating; she appeared with Elvis Presley in Tickle Me and even dated the King himself before his marriage to Priscilla.
She then worked as a professionalbodyguard, often in Las Vegas, and her appearance of martial arts expertise in the film was no illusion: He took five people out there in the desert besides the actors and made a great quality film - the sound, everything.
Later I worked on a big production and thought, 'All these people, God, what they all doing here? If you're thinking about becoming a filmmaker, this man should be your inspiration.Nov 08, · 's film Finders Keepers lovers Weepers. 's film Finders Keepers lovers Weepers.
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· Directed by Russ Meyer. With Anne Chapman, Paul Lockwood, Gordon Wescourt, Duncan McLeod. Paul, the owner of a topless go-go bar on the Sunset Strip, isn't having a good day.
His girlfriend, unbeknownst to him, is planning to rob his club, and his wife is caninariojana.com · Review of Finders Keepers, Lovers Weepers () By Grayson D () on 23 Feb Sure, it's faint praise, but Finders, Keepers, Lovers, Weepers!
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