Speaking of THE HONEYMOON KILLERS, I’m looking forward to seeing it for the first time next weekend, Dec. 8, when it plays as part of a new feature on Turner Classic Movies — TCM Underground. Hosted by Rob Zombie, the weekly late-night Fridays feature, shows cult, low-budget and exploitation films. Jim Ridley might think it hopelessly passe (its first week was an Ed Wood double feature), but, as a non-grindhouse fan, I’m enjoying the opportunities it gives to expand the notion of what Quality is.
A few weeks ago, I watched a Russ Meyer double feature of MUDHONEY and FASTER PUSSYCAT KILL KILL — an experience I’ll never forget. Never have I seen such skill and (frankly) love, devoted to such obviously prurient hokum (some truly brilliant and brilliantly-directed sequences in MUDHONEY aside). But partly because Meyer has long been left behind in the explicitness sweepstakes, I found both films really worthwhile, despite being considered porn in their time, the mid-60s. I once wrote the following about Billy Wilder (who made a C-for-Condemned movie at about the same time) that I think applies to Meyer:
Wilder was the director who best straddled the Production Code era and its collapse. He had the craft and professionalism of the studio era without its oft-absurd comstockery of not showing toilets or having to have Lucy say she’s “expecting.” Here, in Wilder, is the director who handles bawdy subject matter … without collapsing into American Pie territory or pomo decadence, who shows that double entendres are most fun when they were kinda naughty—neither unspeakable nor all-too-speakable.
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