Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Supervixens (1975)

Directed by Russ Meyer
Starring Shari Eubank, Uschi Digard, Colleen Brennan, Charles Napier
Rated X

"Is the fucking we get worth the fucking we get?"

Borrowing liberally from Roadrunner cartoons, X-rated comic books, old movie serials and fractured fairy tales, Supervixens is one of Russ Meyer's most inspired desert epics, a bruising thrill ride full of fist-throwing macho men and oversexed glamazons all going crazy from the heat.

The episodic story involves one Clint Ramsey (Charles Pitts), an unmotivated gas station attendant at Martin Borman's Super Service who just wants to get through the day without an incident. Since he is inexplicably irresistible to women, this almost never happens.

When we first meet our man Clint, he is servicing the top-heavy SuperLorna (Christy Hartburg, AKA Playboy model/TV actress Christina Cummings, who later married a right-wing extremist and got pretty fuckin'crazy herself along the way), but when his darling wife SuperAngel (gorgeous Shari Eubank) gets wind of it, she demands he come home immediately. As she is clearly insane, he splits work to try and smooth things out.

When he gets there, Angel is waiting for him in a knockout black lace ensemble, but their clumsy coupling soon turns sour. Their verbal sparring turns into a knock-down, drag-out fist fight in the front yard. SuperAngel bashes up Clint's truck with an axe and threaten to "Chop him up good", so he drags his half-naked wife back into the house to calm her down.

Nosy old creep Rufus (frequent Meyer stooge F. Rufus Owens) from next door calls the cops, and soon officer Harry Sledge (Charles Napier) shows up and conks Clint on the skull with his night stick. SuperAngel gets a free ride to the hospital, and Clint gets off with a warning.

Clint is on the outs with his old lady, so he heads over to the local bar, where bartender SuperHaji (Faster Pussycat co-star Haji, bizarrely bejeweled from head to toe) propositions him. Meanwhile, SuperAngel has invited Officer Harry over, to thank him for saving her from the clutches of Clint. She attempts to seduce him, but it turns out that hard-man Harry has an impotence problem. The emasculating SuperAngel mocks him and his flaccid penis, which puts the already on-edge Harry into a full blown rage. He murders her in her own bathroom, stabbing her repeatedly and then electrocuting her in the bathtub in what is easily the most graphically violent scenes of Meyer's - or anybody's really - career.

Harry's got to cover his tracks, so naturally, he blames Clint for SuperAngel's murder. Martin Borman (Henry Rowland, RIP) drops by the bar to tell Clint he's been fingered, and that he needs to vamoose but quick. And so our fallen hero hits the road, with nothing but his tight denim jeans to help him along.

Clint meets an ever screwier collection of misfits, creeps, and bountiful babes as he traipses across the southwest, looking for a safe landing. He hitches a ride with SuperCherry (future porn star Colleen Brennan) and her groovy suitcase pimp boyfriend (Z-man himself, John LaZar). The always-up-for-it swingers try to entice Clint into a scene - SuperCherry even attempts some hand manipulation on him - but he rejects her advances, which pisses Z-man off. He beats the tar out of Clint and steals his wallet.

Clint is saved by a chicken-fucking farmer with a Swedish mail-order bride, SuperSoul (70's tit-queen Uschi Digard). He invites Clint to stay with them at the farm, as long as he doesn't bang SuperSoul. Naturally, he bangs her, and is forced to flee, with the farmer hurliing pitchforks at him.

Then he runs into an oddball motel owner with a deaf-mute daughter, SuperEulah (Deborah McGuire). He invites him to stay with them at the motel, as long as he doesn't...etc. etc. SuperEulah takes him out for a topless dune buggy ride and attempts to seduce him, prompting a high-speed chase when dad finds out.

Things finally turn around for our hero when he stumbles into a roadside diner and meets a waitress, SuperVixen ( a suddenly sunshiny Eubank), who appears to be the reincarnation of his slain wife. Or perhaps her (good) twin. Or the Yin to her Yang. It's never really explained. They fall head over heels for each other, and it looks like everything's going to turn out swell. That is, until a vacationing Harry Sledge turns up.

It all ends in a gonzo mountain-side showdown, with a fully-insane Harry chucking sticks of dynamite at Clint and Supervixen. Will love conquer all, or will bad-ass Harry squash these two fuckers like bugs?

Well, the ending is just as berserk as the beginning, so yes, but no. But yes.

Supervixens, much like Faster Pussycat, Kill Kill, is Russ Meyer firing on all cylinders. Easily the most accomplished film of his 70's sexploitaion era, Supervixens mashes cartoon hyperviolence with Little Annie Fanny-esque comic strip sexcapades to create a wildly clanging, balls-first, eyeball-gasm ode to the 70's Man and his giant, throbbing penis so effective in its chest-bearing machismo that you just wanna climb on the nearest dune buggy and head out on your own death-defying desert sexventure. Meyer's follow-ups to this were exponentially crazier, but none of 'em manage to achieve the complicated balance of surrealism, softcore, and teeth-gritting mayhem that Supervixens does. They also do not have the boundless charms of Shari Eubank.

Ms. Eubank is one of Meyer's most elusive starlets. She only acted in two films - this one, and the oddly muted PG-rated sexploiter Chesty Anderson, US Navy (1976), before giving up acting completely. A small town girl at heart, Eubank left showbiz in the late 70's and never looked back. She became a school teacher in Illinois and continues to teach there now, in her early sixties. She never does any press or interviews about her acting career, and from reports of people who know her, appears to regret ever making Supervixens. It's a pity, really, because she was an astonishing beauty, and her pneumatic, larger-than-life performance in Supervixens is really one for the ages.

While it is a tad overcooked - the entire SuperEulah and Supersoul sequences could be excised without missing a drop of plot - Supervixens still stands as one of the greatest sexploitation films ever made, a towering cinematic triumph of heaving bosoms, swaggering uber-men, and pop culture kitsch. You could base your life on this movie. You'd be dead in a month, but it would be the best month ever, that's for sure.

is available from Russ Meyer Films International.

- Ken McIntyre
Play by FoxSaver®


  1. Interesting update on Shari Eubank. According to Jimmy McDonough's RM bio she was pretty upset at the way this movie played out overall upon release. The fact that her father attended a showing and kept muttering "Jesus, Shari" (if I remember correctly) probably didn't help matters much, either.

    And if it weren't for Timothy Carey, I wouldn't go near Chesty Anderson for a second time. :D

  2. I know, right?

    I've seen Chesty three or four times over the years, incorrectly assuming I'll like it this time.

    Of course, I'll be reviewing it some time later this month. I never learn.


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