MOVIE REVIEW: Up! (1976)
It’s a total mess, held tentatively together by the “narration” by a naked Kitten Natividad (the clear highlight of the movie), but it’s the rampant misogyny that bothers me. I know the film is set in some fantasy macho version of rural America that only existed in Meyer’s head, but the way every woman is depicted as a slut and every man an animal driven solely by his dick gets real old, real soon.
Russ’s dismissive attitude to rape was reveal as far back as 1965's Motor Psycho. But in Up! there are THREE rapes and they’re all treated like nothing out of the ordinary. Margot (Raven de la Croix) is raped twice, the second time by a hulking lumberjack in a crowded bar and it’s treated as comedy. Both times, it’s understood in the narrative that Margot led the man on and it’s HER FAULT. Hell, during the second assault, the other bar patrons hold her down. Meyer himself makes a cameo appearance, slapping the attacker on the bum as he urges him on, then apologising to the lumberjack when he accidentally knocks him off the table mid-thrust.
Maybe this is what passed for humour in sexploitation back in the 70s. Or maybe Meyer was a woman-hating fuckwit. Either way, it doesn’t make for pleasant viewing.
But Up! is unpleasant on all sorts of levels. It’s BAAAAD – badly written, badly acted, badly filmed, badly edited. And because Meyer was losing the war against hard-core porn, he compensates by…ahem, upping the perversion stakes. The opening scenes feature an old guy, who we’re supposed to think is Adolf Hitler, as he’s whipped and humiliated by several women, then butt-fucked by a guy before sucking him off. It’s not really played for comedy. I can only imagine how uncomfortable hetero wankers felt watching these scenes in the cinema.
Meyer’s movies were always much more than just soft-core titty films. There are deeper sub-texts going on.
That said, I don’t think they’re particularly profound, underground, radical or maverick as some fans believe them to be.
And in the case of Up!, it’s just a load of shit.
AND HERE IS MY ORIGINAL, MORE BENIGN REVIEW OF "UP!", PUBLISHED IN PEOPLE MAGAZINE A FEW WEEKS AGO:
The ex-WW2 GI made a fortune in the 60s and 70s making dumb-as-fuck sex comedies that lacked coherent storylines but made up for it in giant-hootered babes.
While Meyer fans tend to focus on his better efforts like Supervixen (1975) and Faster, Pussycat! Kill! Kill! (1965), we’re gonna direct our goggle-eyed attention on the brain-meltingly stupid Up!
Basically, it’s a murder mystery surrounding the bizarre death of an Adolf Hitler look-alike in a Californian castle.
But it’s really just an excuse for top-heavy strippers like Raven De La Croix, Candy Samples and Foxy Lae to run around in public with their bosoms bouncing majestically in the breeze.
Confused viewers have to rely on Russ’s girlfriend, Kitten Natividad, who appears every few minutes as a naked narrator to explain what the hell is going on.
It’s as if good ol’ Russ is giving a wink to the audience as if to say, “Yeah, I know this is a load of crap. But check out the massive boobs on these dames!”
What’s the guts? Nazi fugitives, murder, bare bosoms and…um, we’re not really sure. It’s pretty bloody confusing, to be honest. But hey! TITS!