Jarv’s Schlock Vault: Pervert!
The following movie has been rated “Horny Fourteen.” Pregnant women and men who already have an erection at this point in the film should leave the theater now.
I was once asked to describe a Russ Meyer film. Believe it or not, that isn’t actually the easiest thing in the world to do, and the best I could come up with was “Imagine if you’d never seen a porno before. Then imagine that you wanted to watch a full length movie with women with humongous breasts, comedy music, and occasional intentional jokes. Then imagine a bit of bloodshed thrown in to the mix, and, by the way, I’m really not joking about the ginormous juggs”. That, really, is not the best description ever written of the oeuvre of the king of sexploitation cinema, famed auteur of films such as Vixen, Up! and Faster, Pussycat! Kill! Kill! but I do struggle to think of a better one. Basically, every Russ Meyer film that I’ve ever seen (including Ebert scripted Beyond the Valley of the Dolls) is basically notable for being stock full of women with frankly enormous boobs and I struggle to really remember anything else about them. Sadly, postmodernist dickheads (looking at you, again, cokey) have rehabilitated the old filth merchant’s reputation and he’s now some kind of worthy director. For the record, I don’t buy this- as I’ve seen Vixen and I struggle to think of anything more cack handed than the racism plot in that. Nevertheless, his body of work is now apparently groundbreaking satire (honestly), and as such Ren and Stimpy director Jonathan Yudis decided to create his very own pastiche of Meyer films in 2005’s “cult hit” Pervert!
I don’t buy this shit about Meyer for a second. I think, actually, that he was a dirty old git with a fetish for gigantic, positively gargantuan norks. However, his films always did have a certain brio to them that it would be churlish to deny. There’s also no doubt that the best modern B-movie around, Rick Jacobsen’s Bitch Slap does draw heavily from Meyer’s work. So, despite my personal feelings that sexploitation is a pretty sorry genre all in all, there was potential for some good fun to be had from this film. The film opens brilliantly, with a pitch-perfect parody of the opening to every Meyer film that I’ve ever seen: a montage of ridiculously endowed women jumping on trampolines and whatnot. Mary Carey, lesbian porn actress, and star of Pervert! features prominently, which isn’t a surprise given the zeppelins that she’s smuggling, and my spirits began to lift a bit. Could this actually be funny?
James (Sean Andrews) is a degenerate fuckrag. He’s going back to see his father Hezekiah (Darrell Sandeen, who once played Buzz Meeks in L.A. Confidential) to make a man of himself over the summer. After an embarrassing encounter with a hitchhiker, he’s introduced to his father’s wife Cheryl (Carey). She’s got hot pants for him, and before you know it, they’re fucking like bunnies. In the meantime, his car is being looked at by a surreal hip hop redneck mechanic (Yudis) who wants to fuck him in the ass. He’s also coming to terms with his father’s strange meat sculpture hobby, and the whole thing is bordering on the insane. Cheryl disappears, and Hezekiah, goes into town and comes back with big-titted girl number 2, who is literally fucked to death by some as-yet unseen assailant. James, has fallen in love with Patty (Juliette Clarke) and has hired a slutty nurse to restrain his father, who he understandably believes to be a serial killer. Slutty Nurse also gets killed and the mystery is revealed….
Ready, because this is spoiler time…
It’s James’ cock killing women. James, you see, made a deal with a strange black dude in New Orleans to attract women, but the price he pays is that his cock detaches and then turns into claymation and brutally murders every woman that is nice enough to let him bounce up and down on her for a while. Patty discovers this (in a scene ripped straight from Shivers) and reveals that she was actually girl number 2’s lesbian lover. Cue stupidity in the desert and yet more gratuitous nudity.
Really, and I hate to sound like an old prude, but this kind of thing gets me down. It’s meant to be a homage to the Meyer films, but, well, I’m not sure they’re worth a homage, and furthermore, the whole thing is so over the top that it actually feels more like a parody of them. Except without being funny in the slightest. To make matters more annoying, the claymation cock scenes are strangely cartoonish, and definitely grow wearying in no time whatsoever. Furthermore, the shenanigans and bizarre touches (Yudis punting the kid, for example) just serve to push the whole thing into the realms of silliness, and a homage to Meyer cannot support such bizarre antics.
On the acting front, Carey clearly can’t act for shit, but she’s also clearly having a blast, as is Andrews and Sandeen (who probably can’t believe his luck), and this attitude is prevalent throughout the entire cast: they’re all having fun. The girls are willingly game to go through every piece of gross stupidity thrown at them, and it’s unfair of me to be rude about actresses that are obviously only in the film for having quite unfeasible tits and a willingness to get them out on command. Yet, and this is me putting on the old fart hat again, by the end of the film I was starting to dream of women with smaller boobs that were happy to keep their clothes on, because it’s just so god damned wearying.
On the plus side, the sound department were obviously having just as much fun as the cast, because they run the whole gamut of cartoon “boing” noises out there. It’s actually quite good work, and keeps the film tonally light and far less relentlessly depressing and revolting than it could have been. To be honest, you can see Yudis background on Ren and Stimpy here, as some of the sounds wouldn’t have been out of place on the cartoon.
Overall, this isn’t a great film. It’s too god damned sleazy and too relentlessly unfunny to really work for me. I get what Yudis is trying to do, but I’m sorry to say that Pervert! falls into the same category as Hobo with a Shotgun (although it’s nowhere near as reprehensibly shit as that effort) by simply trying far too hard while simultaneously not being good enough. It’s no coincidence that I was actively thinking about small boobed women in clothing by the end of it, as the sheer repetition of huge wams had got me down, and that is clearly not the aim of the film.
Maybe I’m just too old for this sort of shit nowadays.
Until next time,