Russ Meyer revolutionized the sex film industry. With his first feature, The Immoral Mr. Teas (1959) he added humor and a story (albeit of a rudimentary kind) to softcore nudity, earning himself the nickname, “King of the Nudies”. He later became a fully-fledged cult figure, thanks to his black and white go-go girls on the rampage extravaganza, Faster, Pussycat Kill! Kill! (1965) and the delirious Hollywood satire Beyond the Valley of the Dolls (1970). Meyer’s speciality, his recurring motif and Unique Selling Point, was women with enormous breasts. “Voluptuous,” he called them. “Superabundant.”
In 1992, I spent a day with Russ Meyer. We started off at his house on Arrowhead Drive in the Hollywood Hills, then he drove me in his Cadillac to his second house, in Palm Desert. And all the way there and back he kept talking, and I kept asking questions and recording his answers. I ended up with six cassette tapes.
Now, at long last, I have brought out the transcript of those tapes in an ebook. It’s not a biography, and was never intended as such. Nor is it a full account of his unique career – something that would need a lot more time and space to do it justice. But it does offer a glimpse into the mind of an extraordinary film-maker, self-made millionaire and true American auteur.
I also added some thoughts of my own, primarily trying to analyse my discomfort with some of his later films, when he ramped up the sexual violence.
You can currently download BREAST MAN: A CONVERSATION WITH RUSS MEYER from smashwords.com, where it’s available in epub, mobi (Kindle) and PDF formats, or from amazon.co.uk or amazon.com or any of the other amazons – see your local online store for details. Or download a free sample.
As an appetiser, here are some screengrabs from his movies. The man had a great eye – and not just for bosoms.