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(aka "Vixen!" )

 

directed by Russ Meyer
USA 1968

 

Five years ago it might have been necessary to devise all sorts of defenses for Russ Meyer's "Vixen," finding hidden symbolism and all that. But I see no reason why we can't be honest: "Vixen" is the best film to date in that uniquely American genre, the skin-flick.

It is also a celebration of zestful direction and photography, and a lot of the time it's very funny. In a field filled with cheap, dreary productions, Meyer is the best craftsman and the only artist. He has developed a directing style so open, direct and good-humored that it dominates his material; what a relief to bear laughter during a skin-flick, instead of the dead silence that usually envelops their cheerless audiences.

Excerpt of review from Roger Ebert located HERE

Posters

Theatrical Release: October 22nd, 1968

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DVD Review: Arrow Films - Region 0 - PAL

DVD Box Cover

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Distribution

Arrow Films

Region 0 - PAL

Also available in the Russ Meyer Collection which includes 18 films!

Runtime 1:10:45
Video

1.33:1 Original Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 5.30 mb/s
PAL 720x576 25.00 f/s

NOTE: The Vertical axis represents the bits transferred per second. The Horizontal is the time in minutes.

Bitrate

Audio English (Dolby Digital 2.0)
Subtitles None
Features Release Information:
Studio: Arrow Films

Aspect Ratio:
Fullscreen - 1.33:1

Edition Details:
• Erica Gavin Interview (19:26)
• Russ Meyer Commentary
• Trailer Reel
• Erica Gavin Photo Album

DVD Release Date: March 28th, 2005
Keep Case

Chapters 12

 

Comments

Although rated X (which was almost certainly self-imposed), Russ Meyer's "Vixen!" comes about as close to a mainstream film as any of the works in his oeuvre. Unlike the over the top entertainment of "Up!" and his last two Vixen films, here Meyer aims for what can only be called a serious skin-flick, or perhaps a melodrama built upon its star's enormous (and frequently exposed) breasts. Dealing with racism, American draft dodgers, and Cuban militancy, Meyer sprinkles in more sensationalist topics for his audience, like incest and bisexuality. The end result is, as Ebert notes, one of Meyer's best outings, and one that showcases Meyer's talents as a serious director who could competently frame a shot and get decent performance from nonprofessional actors (before shooting the film, star Erica Gavin was a topless dancer who had never acted before).

Unfortunately the image on this disc, and indeed all of the films included in Arrow's Russ Meyer Collection, can only be described as a disappointment. The image is incredibly soft and carries low levels of contrast and clarity. The image also contains very distracting ghosting that occurs during almost any movement, no matter how fast it is. Finally, the image is also interlaced. Even when my computer ran interlacing correcting programs, the combing was readily apparent. When they were turned off, horizontal movements looked like they do in the seventh capture.

The sound on this release was just fine, with the Dolby Digital 2.0 sounding clear and about as good as the tracks come. Unfortunately there are no subtitles on the release.

The main attraction with the special features has to be the commentary track by the late Russ Meyer. Here Meyer discusses an enormous range of topics from his experiences in WWII, to his regrets about using the casting couch on this film, to his experience of having Ernest Hemingway arrange his deflowering. It's a really fascinating track, and one in which Meyer displayed a surprising amount of candor. Also included on the disc is great interview with Erica Gavin in which she discusses her experiences on the film and a photogallery of her, behind the scenes footage of the film, and press clippings. Finally, there's a trailer reel that's found on several of the releases in the Russ Meyer collection.

While the release is far from ideal, I'll give the disc a slight recommendation. What you see is what you get with the poor image, but the film is a hoot and the extras very revealing. Hopefully there'll be a better release in the future that preserves the extras from this one.

 - The Immoral Mr. Teas

 



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Screen Captures

 

 


 

 


 

 


 

 


 


 

 


 
Heavy Combing and Ghosting

 


DVD Box Cover

CLICK to order from:

Distribution

Arrow Films

Region 0 - PAL

Also available in the Russ Meyer Collection which includes 18 films!




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