• Supervixens (Arrow Video) DVD Review

    Released by: Arrow Video
    Released on: March 28th, 2005.
    Director: Russ Meyer
    Cast: Charles Napier, Shari Eubank, Charles Pitts, Uschi Digard, Haji, Henry Rowland, Christy Hartburg, Sharon Kelly, Deborah McGuire
    Year: 1975
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    Supervixens – Movie Review:

    Made fast and cheap in 1975 for under a hundred grand, Supervixens just might be the ‘ultimate Russ Meyer movie.’ All of the director’s trademark quirks are flung in your face in this one, the first movie that Meyer handled the writing chores on without any outside help.

    Clint Ramsey (Charles Pitts) works a menial job at Martin Bormann's small town gas station. After a buxom customer named SuperLorna (the absolutely stunning Christy Hartburg) flirts with him, he finds himself in some serious trouble when he goes home to his wife, SuperAngel (Shari Eubank ). They argue and then they fight after she molests him, and he ends up driving off after she lands an axe head in the hood of his car. While he’s out having a drink at the local bar and chatting up SuperHaji (Haji of Faster Pussycat… Kill! Kill!), she’s having a fling with the local sheriff, Harry Sledge (Charles Napier of Rambo: First Blood Part II and Beyond The Valley Of The Dolls). When Harry can’t do what it takes to satisfy the ultra-bitchy SuperAngel, she starts tearing a strip off of him with some serious verbal abuse. Harry isn’t into that, and he pays her back in spades, eventually brutally murdering her in the bathtub of her small home in a particularly bloody and nasty scene that still packs a wallop thirty some odd years after the fact.

    When Clint gets the blame pinned on his own bad self, he high tails it out of town and hits the open road. Along the way he meets a strange cast of characters including a farmer and his German mail order bride named SuperSoul (Uschi Digart of Roxanna) and a few other hot women, all of whom want to get him in the sack and have their way with him.

    Eventually, Clint stops off at a gas station in the middle of the Arizona desert called SuperVixen’s Oasis, run by a lovely lass who goes by the name of, you guessed it, SuperVixen (Shari Eubank again). He’s only stopping in for a cheeseburger but soon she convinces him to stick around. The two hit it off and he works for her at the garage and things are going really well until Harry shows up for a fill up and recognizes Clint. He lets himself get close to the couple and slowly, calculatingly, plots his revenge.

    This movie is insane! The women all have ‘Super’ in front of their names for a reason – they’re all larger than life in more ways than one and they’re all much stronger, and much more voracious than any of the male characters in the film (typical of Meyer’s filmography). These women walk all over the men in the movie and truly are Supervixens, each and every one of them, not just Sheri Eubank’s second character.

    Russ’s cinematography leers over ever curve in the movie, and there are a lot of them, and makes us realize just how full of life these women are, each one of them a textbook example of just how gorgeous the female form can be. I could sit back on the couch with a cold beer in hand and watch Hartburg’s opening scene at the gas station on repeat for hours on end and not get tired of it – the women are all that hot, and Meyer does just that good a job of capturing their ‘essence.’ Truly the smell of female has never had such a pleasant aroma as it does in this film.

    Aside from the cheesecake though, the movie also boasts a terrific and oh so maniacal performance from Charles Napier. Grinning from ear to ear as he beats the crap out of SuperAngel or grimacing like a demon as he lobs sticks of dynamite off a cliff as Clint tries to save a bound SuperVixen from certain doom, Napier makes the most of his part and chews through the scenery to the backdrop and then right out the backdoor of this one. He’s terrific as the heavy, and he really shines in this part.

    Meyer’s camera does a good job of capturing the claustrophobia of the indoor locations used and an even better job of capturing the expansive and dusty deserts used for the outdoor scenes. Large buttes, craters, rocks and sand are all used expertly in the final action packed half hour of the film and you can almost feel the dust in the air when Napier’s explosive go off.

    While many of the plot elements come out of nowhere and return there just as quickly as they arrived (which makes the story a little nonsensical at times) there’s so much happening in this movie so quickly that it’s easy to forgive a few little quirks here and there. Supervixens is hyperactive sleaze at its finest and required viewing for all Russ Meyer fans.

    The film packs in some truly dark comedy and witty satire with plenty of exploitative elements resulting in an engrossing, and more importantly, extremely entertaining movie that delivers the goods by the bucketful.

    Supervixens – DVD Review:

    The fullfame 1.33.1 transfer presents the film in its original aspect ratio and for the most part, the movie looks quite good (by 2005 standards – but 2020 standards it looks rough). It’s not quite as sharp as Vixen was, and the image is a little bit softer than some of the other movies in the collection but the colors are pretty nicely handled. There is some mild print damage but it’s not distracting in any way and there are no problems with mpeg compression that I noticed. Some mild edge enhancement is present throughout, but it’s not a big problem.

    The Dolby Digital English language mono track is perfectly sufficient. While it sounds like a low budget movie the dialogue comes through fine, as does the exceptionally cool score and the sound effects. There’s a little bit of hiss present in a few scenes but it’s minor and I didn’t find it bothersome.

    Arrow have wisely ported over the audio commentary from director Russ Meyer from the previous long out of print laserdisc release from Russ Meyer Films. As seems to be the norm with Meyer’s commentaries, this one is packed full of gossip and interesting facts about locations, cast members, crew members, and the director’s own exploits both on and off the set. Meyer does a good job of pointing out how many crew members made cameos as extras in the film, including his own appearance as the hotel operator towards the end of the film. He also points out how locations were found on the fly and on the cheap and how they didn’t bother getting permits to shoot where they did, they simply threw a bit of money at the locals who didn’t seem to feel the need to ask any questions. Meyer also has no problem talking up the fact that his leading man, Charles Pitts, had the serious hots for co-star Shari Eubank (and really, can you blame the guy?) and that he was continually trying to ‘get in her pants’ and that she wanted nothing to do with him as a result. He talks about Charles Napier and how taking pretty much every role ever offered to him hurt his career, and how he’ll never top the performance that he gave in this movie (I’m inclined to agree with Russ on this one). He also seems to be a little fixated no Napier’s teeth and ‘redneck lips’ which he points out a lot. He discusses the difference between making industrial films, shooting war footage during his time in the service, and making features. He also points out a lot of the phallic symbolism that the movie is laced with, though most of it is so blatantly obvious that you don’t really need him to point it out for you. Regardless, it’s a fun and informative track and a nice document detailing the history of this fine, fine film.

    Aside from that, there are trailers for the feature and for other films in the Arrow/Russ Meyer collection: Faster Pussycat! Kill! Kill!, Blacksnake, Mudhoney, Vixen, Wild Gals Of The Naked West, Beneath The Valley Of The Ultravixens, Cherry Harry And Raquel, and Common Law Cabin. All in all, over twenty one minutes of Russ Meyer movie trailers to get you stoked for the rest of the films in this series.

    Supervixens – The Final Word:

    Supervixens is pure exploitation insanity as only Russ Meyer can do it. There’s plenty of sex, plenty of violence, and enough glorious dialogue in this film to satiate even the most jaded of cult movie buffs and Arrow brings it to DVD in style with a great commentary track and some fun trailers.

    Comments 3 Comments
    1. Todd Jordan's Avatar
      Todd Jordan -
      My absolute favorite Russ movie. Where's the boobie pics?
    1. AngelGuts's Avatar
      AngelGuts -
      You sum up the film's virtues beautifully.

      This, to me, is the ultimate Meyer, not PUSSYCAT.

      What separates Meyer from the rest of the softcore/exploitation crowd (not all, but some) is the technical prowess of his films, the cutting, the coverage, the expertly staged action, sex, and dramatics. I hope for a Blu of this one day. If I owned just one Meyer or wanted to hook someone on Meyer, this would be my gateway drug.
    1. Jason C's Avatar
      Jason C -
      Wow, this one is truly special. Still making my way through the boxset and this might be my favorite so far. The women are so hot and the craftsmanship is so much better than its peers. I always dug Charles Napier, but now seeing his Russ Meyer characters, he's even cooler.

      Of all the Directors to have their films locked up in rights hell, why this one? I can't think of Director I wouldn't sacrifice to get decent HD releases of Russ Meyer's films.