Beyond the Valley of the Dolls
Russ Myers, director

Review by Alyce Wilson

The Philadelphia Film Festival showed the Russ Myers classic, Beyond the Valley of the Dolls, which was, unbelievably, scripted by respected film critic Roger Ebert in his young, bohemian days.

Having never seen the movie, a sequel to Valley of the Dolls in name only, I thought the best way to see it would be on the big screen with a lot of people. I was right; it was an extremely campy film about what happens to a group of young female rock singers when they move to L.A. and fall into a world of casual sex and drugs, ultimately leading to murder and mayhem.

The movie was an absolute feast for the eyes: bright colors, dancing bodies, flashy camera and editing techniques. In a word, groovy.

One of the parts everyone loved was where Ronnie "Z-Man" Barzell, an Oscar Wilde sort of Svengali character, takes lead singer Kelly through his party and suddenly stops and exclaims, "This is my scene, and it freaks me out!" Everyone cheered and applauded.

The other favorite quote everyone cheered was when porn actress Ashley St. Ives says, "You're a groovy boy. I'd like to strap you on sometime."

The psychedelic visual candy of the film, even after so much time, was still a treat for the eyes. Campy even in its own day, the movie has vaulted into the cult movie canon, a refreshing time capsule of pop culture and those groovy days of yore.