Russ Meyer’s 1970 cult sensation Beyond the Valley of the Dolls marked a groundbreaking collision between the director’s midnight-movie sensibility and the conventions of big-studio filmmaking. Following the success of his low-budget X-rated skin flick Vixen, the “King of the Nudies” was pursued by Twentieth Century-Fox and given a sizable budget to bring his outrageous visions to the mainstream. An unofficial companion to Mark Robson’s Valley of the Dolls, Beyond follows the story of three female rockers making their way through the libidinous landscape of sixties Hollywood. The film’s transgressive exuberance won it a legion of fans, among them the “Pope of Trash” himself, John Waters.
A formative viewing experience for Waters, Beyond went on to inspire his own audacious filmmaking. In the following excerpt from a program on our release, Waters discusses his love for Russ Meyer’s signature style.
In the clip below, Waters praises the film’s original music and retro visuals.