Russ Meyer: Return of the softcore auteur

After director David O. Russell’s big comeback with The Fighter, rumor has it that his follow up may be the biopic of Russ Meyer.

As you may recall, Meyer is the talented man who gave us Vixen, Faster Pussycat! Kill! Kill!, Beyond the Valley of the Dolls, and numerous other softcore masterpieces.

This is very exciting news for me because I’ve long been a fan of Meyer’s, and not just because of the big boobies in his movies, but because he was a true independent filmmaker, and a true auteur, the fancy French term for a total filmmaker.


If you ever watch his films, Meyer was truly a very talented filmmaker who could do it all as a cinematographer, editor, you name it.

The guy really had a great command over his medium. As a big cult / B movie fan, I’ve seen a number of screenings of his films, and there’s nothing more fun than seeing Faster Pussycat or Beyond the Valley of the Dolls in a packed house.


For independent filmmakers today, Meyer should be a role model because he owned all of his movies (except two he made for 20th Century Fox), and had total control over what he made.

Whatever you think of his work good, bad or indifferent, he had as much control over his work as Spielberg or Lucas, and what you see is exactly what he wanted to make with zero interference. (Although his films were X rated, Meyer refused to ever make a hardcore film.)


If this movie indeed gets made, I would love to see it take the angle of a true indpendent filmmaker who did it his way, a la Ed Wood, which is one of my all time favorites.

This film could also have more appeal to modern audiences because of the sex, but also because at first Meyer was the scourge of feminists, but as time went on they hailed films like Faster Pussycat because the women of his films were strong, cunning, and knew how to take care of themselves.


At first Rob Cohen, who directed the first Fast and Furious movie and the recent bomb Stealth, was supposed to make the Russ Meyer pic, but David O. Russell is clearly better suited for this.

Perhaps it takes an insane filmmaker to understand another crazy filmmaker, and it’s thankfully hard to imagine either George Clooney or Lily Tomlin playing any role in Meyer’s life story.