Motor Psycho (1965) / Good Morning…and Goodbye! (1967)
Film: I think comparing Russ Meyer to Walt Disney is a fair one. Both men created an empire by making films aimed at a specific audience, unfortunately, ol’ Russ never got to make himself a theme park based on HIS cinema… I am sure a Tura Satana roller coaster would have been an excuse to go to America alone!! I am sorry, but give me the Wonderful World of Russ Meyer over the Wonderful World of Disney any day! A world where political correctness means not being a dirty Commie, where ‘Double D’ is flat chested, the definition of a city is a petrol station, a strip club and a junkyard in the middle of the desert, fast cars are a sign of machismo and slapping a woman across the face after she has spat at you is classed as foreplay.
We can all only pray that one day the world returns to those old fashioned values. (Before you slam the site, yes, this is all tongue-in-cheek and I’m not serious)
In the meantime, we still have Meyer’s films to remind us that Misogyny isn’t an entrant is the Miss America pageant.
This particular disc has two of Meyer’s masterpieces on show, and they are the rape/ revenge flick Motor Psycho and Good Morning… and Goodnight, which is a tale that is hard to define in a sub-genre, though ‘immorality play’ might be the closest.
Motor Psycho tells of a three man motorcycle gang… well, I say motorcycle, but they are effectively of Postie’s scooters… who are general miscreants and civil disturbers. Led by War veteran, and total nutjob Brahmin (Steve Oliver) the three set about picking on women wherever they can. They chance upon Gail Maddox (Holle K. Winters) whom they set about harassing, that is until her husband; horse vet Cory (Alex Rocco) turns up and pushed Brahmin to the ground. This gets Brahmin angry and they hang around until Cory leaves the house before setting themselves on Gail.
Cory arrives home from a job only to find that his wife has been assaulted and raped, and sets it on himself to track the gang down himself, after the local Sherriff (E.E. Meyer aka Russ himself) discounts the assault and rape, claiming it’s what women are made for and the she probably brought it upon herself (oh yeah, you read that right).
So Cory sets out to track down the gang, and on the way picks up a sidekick in the form of Ruby Bonner (Haji) whose husband had been murdered by the gang, and she herself had been left for dead. The pair track the gang into some hills in the middle of a desert, and after an encounter with a snake, set about exacting their revenge.
This film is classic Meyer, and a blast to watch. It’s melodramatic to a T (wait until you see the delivery of the line ‘She was assaulted; criminally assaulted!’ when Cory speaks of his wife’s attack)The characters are all traditional Meyer’s ones; the tough guy, the busty hard chick, the doddering, emasculated ol’ fart… you know the ones… and his usual not so subtle indicators are there too; from Ruby being forced to suck out snake venom (Cory’s cries of ‘Suck it…SUCK IT!’ are hilarious)to when Cory finally gets an opportunity to get his revenge, the dynamite he uses is particularly phallic in its display. This really has all of Meyer’s favourite stuff in it: groovy music, hot babes and macho men… you know, everything, including the ‘kitsching’ sink.
The next feature is Good Morning… and Goodnight! Which I admit I did really enjoy at all except for the typically sexy and lumpy women, Meyer has used to play the female roles. I admit, that it starts perfectly, with Cara Peters running inexplicably naked through the woods in slow motion as a Greek chorus tells what sort of tale we are about to endure… I mean enjoy, and introduces the main characters…
… and then the enjoyment dries up.
This film tells of Burt (Stuart Lancaster) whose wife Angel (Alaina Capri) is dissatisfied with their sexlife, and so goes looking for schlong pretty much well anywhere she can find it, but repeatedly with local tough guy Stone (Patrick Wright). Unfortunately, Stone roots everything he can get his knob into, and starts looking at Burt’s daughter, Angel’s step daughter, Lana (Karen Ciral), who is starting to get sick of her boyfriend, the effeminate Ray (Don Johnson… no, not THAT Don Johnson) constantly checking out her step mother… are you following so far?
OK: While out on his property one day, Burt comes (almost literally) across a witch, played by Haji, who using her spells and potions, allows Burt to reclaim his virility, control of his now wayward daughter, and his wife.
Awwww. What a nice ending.
This story is terrible, and unfortunately isn’t made any better by the lack of nudity, which would have been the only saving grace. Sure Motor Psycho doesn’t have any nudity in it, but the story is enough to keep interest. We do get to see some ladies bottoms in this one, but nothing else, and the story just isn’t engaging enough to allow that to be enough (and honestly the bottoms aren’t that great). The whole film is just people constantly insulting each other, but not in a Don Rickles/ amusing way and it becomes boring quickly.
There are themes explored in this film that Meyer did SOOOOO much better in other films, Beneath the Valley of the Ultra Vixens immediately springs to mind.
As far as watching this disc as a whole is concerned, this is a nice pair of Haji flicks, but really its worth it only for Motor Psycho.
This is a quite uneven representation of Meyer’s films in my book. Motor Psycho is a cool, if not slightly innocent example of a rape/revenge flick, whereas Good Morning… and Goodbye! Is a morality play with no morals… which may be the point, but it feels like a single idea, of witchcraft helping a man regain his virility and control of his life, fleshed out for far too long. Still the women and dialogue is classic Meyer, and that in itself makes for a fun double feature.
Extras: Only trailers present on this disc, but they are trailers for faster Pussycat! Kill! Kill!, Blacksnake!, Mudhoney, Vixen, Wild Gals of the Naked West, Supervixens, Beneath the Valley of the Ultravixens, Cherry, Harry and Raquel and Common Law Cabin.
WISIA: I honestly can’t see myself watching these particular Meyer films again if I felt like watching a Meyer film or two.
Reviewed on the Arrow Video DVD.