The breast and the brightest
Russ Meyer is dead.
Titillation kingpin Russ Meyer, the mastermind behind soft-core classics like Vixen! and Faster, Pussycat! Kill! Kill! and the mainstream melodrama Beyond the Valley of the Dolls, died Saturday at his Hollywood home. He was 82.
Back in the days when there was actually a hard line between pornography and mainstream movies, Meyer blurred it. He brought plots to nudie flicks, showcasing big-busted women in storylines that usually turned violent but were more sexually teasing and suggestive than explicit.
In the 1960s, when Faster, Pussycat! Kill! Kill and Vixen! achieved a broader kind of cult success, Hollywood took notice. Fox studios hired him in 1970 to direct Beyond the Valley of the Dolls, a sort-of sequel (scripted by thumb-happy critic Roger Ebert) to the camp show-biz saga The Valley of the Dolls.