This Is Arrow Video's Happening, Man, And It Freaks Me Out! BEYOND THE VALLEY OF THE DOLLS Coming To Blu-ray
The UK distributor announced their January releases this morning, and while the rest of the titles are certainly interesting - more on those below - it's the Meyer film and its companion that really take the cake. Beyond the Valley of the Dolls was Meyer's first studio film at Fox, and managed to be among the top grossers of 1970 with its lurid style and distinctively Meyer sensibilities.
Not only is the film the highest budget he'd had to work with, it was also his first film shot in the widescreen format and it's without a doubt one of his finest achievements. Worth noting is that the film was co-written by a little known film critic named Roger Ebert, who would partner with Meyer several more times under a pseudonym during the director's '70s period.
In addition to a healthy raft of bonus materials, detailed below, probably the most notable surprise about this already surprising release is the digital home video debut of Meyer's follow-up, the 1971 box office and critical disaster The Seven Minutes. Based on a story by Irving Wallace, The Seven Minutes is a lurid courtroom drama starring, among others, Yvonne DeCarlo, Ms. Lily Munster herself. I believe that The Seven Minutes may have had a previous VHS release, but no DVD as far as I can tell.
In addition to this amazing set, Arrow will also be releasing a Nikkatsu triple feature of The Rambling Guitarist, Voice Without a Shadow, and Red Pier, which is certainly still cool, but pales in comparison to my excitement about the Meyer films. Check out the full details below:
Synopsis:When Easy Rider rewrote the box-office rulebook in 1969, Hollywood scrambled to catch up - and 20th Century Fox noticed that one particular independent filmmaker was seeing impressive returns from tiny investments. So what would happen if he was given a decent budget and the run of a Hollywood studio and told to make the ultimate Russ Meyer film?Well, this is the result: an initially X-rated cult camp classic about an all-female rock band trying to parlay Midwestern success into a Hollywood contract with the aid of a hefty inheritance. But will they be able to maintain their trademark apple-pie wholesomeness under their new manager, the notorious Ronnie 'Z-Man' Barzell? Take a wild guess.Co-scripted by film critic Roger Ebert, Beyond the Valley of the Dolls is a merciless satire of Hollywood and the music business, a no-holds-barred psychedelic thrill-ride that gleefully stirs sex, drugs, rock'n'roll, fashion, lesbianism, transvestism and Nazis into one of the most riotously unhinged mainstream films ever made. This special edition also includes the rarely-seen The Seven Minutes (1971), Russ Meyer's Hollywood swansong, an adaptation of Irving Wallace's polemical novel about the absurdities of American obscenity laws.LIMITED EDITION CONTENTS:Limited Edition collection of both of Russ Meyer's Hollywood films (3000 copies)High Definition Blu-ray (1080p) presentation of Beyond the Valley of the DollsStandard Definition DVD presentation of The Seven MinutesOptional English subtitles for the deaf and hard of hearing for both filmsOriginal mono audio (uncompressed PCM on the Blu-ray)Two commentaries on Beyond the Valley of the Dolls by co-screenwriter Roger Ebert and actors Erica Gavin, John LaZar, Cynthia Myers, Harrison Page and Dolly ReadIntroduction to Beyond the Valley of the Dolls by John LaZarAbove, Beneath and Beyond the Valley: The Making of a Musical-Horror-Sex-ComedyLook On Up at the Bottom, with composer Stu Phillips and three members of the Carrie Nations discussing the film's musicThe Best of Beyond, favourite moments selected by cast and crew membersSex, Drugs, Music & Murder: Signs of the Time, Baby!, a look at the late 1960s culture that spawned Beyond the Valley of the DollsCasey & Roxanne: The Love Scene, discussed by participants Erica Gavin and Cynthia MyersScreen tests for Michael Blodgett, Cynthia Myers, Harrison Page, Marcia McBroomHigh Definition photo galleriesMultiple trailersReversible sleeve featuring two original artworksBooklet featuring new writing on the film by critic Kat EllingerDETAILS:RRP: £29.99 £24.99Region: B/2Rating: 18Cat No: FCD1183Duration: 110/115 minsLanguage: EnglishSubtitles: English SDHAspect Ratio: TBCAudio: LPCM 1.0 audioDiscs: 2Colour