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Notorious piece of crap gets DVD release! Buy now!!!

Discussion in 'Movie Forum' started by the_pauley, Mar 10, 2004.

  1. the_pauley

    the_pauley
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    One of the greatest awful movies of all time is out on R1 DVD, and at around a fiver a pop from DVD Soon (inc free delivery) it's well worth a look.

    "Myra Breckenridge" is so jaw droppingly awful it defies belief. One can only marvel at the fact that a major studio - Fox - greenlighted this script. Put it down to it being the last gasp of the Swinging Sixties and everyone was on drugs, I suppose.

    The film is mad as a bag of spiders and managed to upset everyone and his brother when it was released - Raquel Welch dildo raping a bound and gagged bloke, anyone?

    Definitely awful, but most definitely extremely watchable! They literally don't make 'em like this anymore.
     
  2. Smurfin

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    Doesn't sound it...
     
  3. Ed Selley

    Ed Selley
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    Is it even more "so bad it becomes good" than "Plan 9 from Outer Space"?
     
  4. lentini

    lentini
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    sounds great :smashin:
     
  5. the_pauley

    the_pauley
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    Even more so. More fascinating than "Plan 9...", which for all it's chuckles has long stretches of dullness. "MB" is more a case of constant jaw-dropping awfulness with a hefty budget behind it. A case of what the fudge is going on here? Are these people on something or what? Yes, more than likely...

    A synopsis:

    Myron Breckinridge (played by movie critic Rex Reed - acting experience and ability nil) goes to Europe - a small, hairy, podgy bloke - to have a sex change, and comes back to America as the sexy, man-hating Myra and miraculously Rex Reed is transformed into Raquel Welch, in her sex-symbol prime (and of course she can't act for toffees either).

    She enrols at the acting school of her uncle, ultra conservative, pervert Western star Buck Loner (played by legendary director John Houston), insisting that she is Myron's widow, with the hidden agenda of subjugating all men.

    In the middle of all this is May West as Letitia Van Allen an agent who "handles" only good looking leading men (including in a bit part, a pre-fame young Tom Selleck). Bear in mind West was about 200 years old when she made this movie, and can barely walk, let alone carry out seduction scenes with guys in their twenties. She apparently had a stroke just before making this movie and as a result has a rigid face for most of its duration.

    All this is sprinkled with various highly naughty acts, many of which pushed the envelope of permissiveness at the time. The story unfolds with the aid of archive clips from classic 20th Century Fox movies - visions in Myra's head, or something - I'm not really sure because it's all a bit of an acid-fuelled mess. Typical fag-end of the sixties lunacy - "Hey wouldn't this be cool - let's spend $50,000 and film it" - whether it was relevant to the movie or not.

    As to the director of the piece, well that's a bit of a larf too. Chap by the name of Mike Sarne. Had a novelty hit in the UK in the pre-Beatle early '60s called "Come Outside" duetting with Wendy "Eastenders" Richard. Quality piece of work as you can imagine...

    Anyway that was Sarne's 15 minutes of fame and not a word was heard from him apart from the odd guest spot on UK TV series or a song in one of the quickie British teen-musicals of the era, then obscurity. Flash forward 10 years until the release of "MB". No one connected the director Mike Sarne with the one-hit-wonder from the UK, but yes he was one and the same.

    He'd tried his hand at directing with two obscure (justifiably by all accounts) European efforts "Joanna" and "The Road to San Tropez" (review of "Joanna" - "...an unmitigated mess...") both of which tanked in spectacular fashion. Next thing you know he was attached as director of "MB" one of the hottest properties in Hollywood at the time - a major big-deal for Fox. Go figure...

    The fruits of his labour is now on shiny disc in all it's awful car-wreck glory. But compulsive with it. If you're going to make an awful movie - THIS is how to do it, in spectacular fashion.

    If ever a movie had "cult" written all over it it's "Myra Breckenridge" - it's gotta be worth a fiver just to satisfy your curiosity.
     
  6. Dimmy

    Dimmy
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    Sounds fascinating...

    My first question would undoubtedly be...

    How did the_pauley ever stumble across this film?
     
  7. dude1971

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    Well it got a 3.5 on www.imdb.co.uk

    "Myron Breckinridge (Rex Reed!!!) gets a sex change from a doctor (John Carradine--dead drunk) and comes out as Myra (Raquel Welch). She then decides to destroy male masculinity (or something like that) and proceeds to teach film history at an acting college run by lecherous John Huston (don't ask) and break up a young happy couple (young, handsome, hunky Roger Herren and Farrah Fawcett--yes THE Farrah Fawcett).

    They took a great novel by Gore Vidal that was unfilmable and, naturally, tried to film it. They also hired an English guy with a decidedly Anti-American attitude and hired a bunch of actors with questionable "talent" (Welch, Reed) and embarassed old professionals (Huston, Carradine, Andy Devine, Jim Backus, Mae West), threw it all together and....SURPRISE!!! An absolute disaster.

    The film got an X rating at its release (it's been lowered to an R), mostly because of a truly tasteless scene in which Welch sodomizes Rusty (Roger Herren) and a scene in which Welch attempts to have sex with Fawcett.

    The movie is very scattershot...scenes jump all over the place and people say and do things that make no sense. It's not good at all but I was never bored.

    Acting varies wildly...Reed is horrible...really sad. Huston chews the scenery again and again and AGAIN to a nauseating extreme. Welch is actually not bad as Myra but her lines make no sense so you never know what to make of her. West is hardly in the movie (a blessing) and it's really kind of sick to hear a woman almost 80 years old cracking sex jokes. Roger Herren (whatever happened to...) was very young, handsome and not bad as Rusty. Fawcett is OK.

    It's hard to find things to say about this...you just watch it in disbelief. A must see movie--to believe!!!!"
     
  8. Nobber22

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    NOOOO!! the_pauley - what are you doing? This kind of hype for "cult" films that "are so bad you HAVE to see it!" is just not on!

    I hate "cult" movie lables anyway (it's either good or it isn't), but now this Myra B.... crap is going to be bought by hundreds of forum members UK-wide from Play.com. Because you told them too.

    Then it will enter the Play Top 20 and more fools will buy it! It will enter the Top Ten and before you know it, there'll be 178 copies *For Trade* on the forum as the muppets finally realise their mistake! :rotfl:

    Just like Donnie Darko actually.......;)
     
  9. the_pauley

    the_pauley
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    The label "cult movie" isn't an indication of quality, good or bad. It merely means a (sometimes obscure) movie with a small but devoted following. It can be a worthy artistic achievement or it can be a "Plan 9 from Outer Space".

    But it's a larf innit? It's not as if we're encouraging people to buy a Mel Gibbon movie and fund his loony dad and equally loony church in the process, is it?

    People will have fun! :laugh:

    As to how I discovered it? When it was released on VHS in the '80s. Was too young to see it on its initial release and it didn't get a UK TV airing until many, many years after its release, as to many at Fox it was a major embarassment and was unofficially buried for a long time. I was always aware of its reputation, so it was on my list of must-sees.

    Incidentally it ended up on its initial cinema release on what must be one of the most amazing double bills of all time, with Russ Meyer's "Beyond the Valley of the Dolls". Fox had high hopes for both movies and were appalled by the results. In MB's case justifiably so, but in the case of ".....Dolls", they just didn't get it. So rather than two prestigious "A" list releases, they cut their losses and stuck them out together on a double bill.

    Ironic in that MB is an awful movie trying to be a clever one, while ".....Dolls" is a very sharp movie deliberately passing itself off as a piece of junk.

    "Beyond the Valley of the Dolls" incidentally is in HMV's Buy One Get One Free sale. It's a two movie double disc set like the "Fly" and "Romancing the Stone" twofers. It is inappropriately paired with "Valley of the Dolls" (a true trash film of the so-awful-its-a-giggle variety) to which it bears no relationship whatsoever beyond the title. If someone had been awake at Fox they'd have paired this with "Myra" for the ultimate cult twofer.
     
  10. anephric

    anephric
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    This is definitely worth a watch: I have a fondness for bad 70s movies with ill-advised hoardes of arthritic celebs trying to be contemporary (because their agents told them it'd be a good career move, dahhhling).

    This is worth watching if you're a Gore Vidal fan just to see how much they manage to castrate the book of its teeth (and it was a VERY controversial book in its time).

    They just can't make Vidal into movies -- look at Caligula (or rather don't).

    Actually, I just thought about that and the reassembled cut of Caligula they showed on Filmfour was actually quite intriguing (on a par with Tinto Brass's other sleeze epic, Salon Kitty). And anything with Malcolm McDowell fisting people has got to be worth it.

    Ahem.

    Regardless, if you're a patron of the bad, bad arts, MB is worth a watch. Akin to a far-less-good Beyond the Valley of the Dolls.

    Regards,
    Anephric
     
  11. the_pauley

    the_pauley
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    Yes, Gore Vidal had a fit when they saw what they'd done with his book. :D

    Read it years ago before I saw the movie, and definitely pretty unfilmable - well legally anyway.

    The bit that is etched forever in my memory involves the Letitia Van Allen character played by Mae West in the movie.

    In the book she has a liking for extreme S&M sex, and there was a passage where she gets her jollies by having a wire coat hanger twisted round her neck, hung up naked - by the coat hanger - in the wardrobe while someone beats the crap out of her. The whole thing finishes with her being thrown down the stairs (at her request) and having an orgasm as her spine breaks on the bannister rail.

    As one does... :D

    By the way the much-touted "reassembled" cut of Caligula shown on 4 is far from the complete deal. Granted it has a few bits not in the original UK cinema rlease, but there's a much naughtier unrated version out there, a full hour longer than any print seen in the UK.

    First version I had was an unrated R1 copy from the USA, with a highly interesting (and hardcore) doco made at the time of filming. Drawback was that it was non-anamorphic and had to be zoomed to fill a widescreen TV. As the original film stock used for the movie was quite grainy anyway, the results were far from ideal, but you soon forgot that as soon as the shockeroonies began! ;)

    Much better is the recent R2 French 2 disc version which boasts a slicker anamorphic transfer, a remixed DD 5.1 soundtrack and a second disc full of goodies including interviews, featurettes and the doco from the R1 version.

    As it is a French release, the doco has burnt in French subtitles, and some of the French interviews prepared for the disc unfortunately don't have any English subtitle options. But the main thing is you get the best looking and sounding version of the movie available, for maximum quality perving. :D

    Warning: It ain't for the squeamish. :nono:

    Another warning: And - as certain forum members will be aghast to hear - it's got French writing on the cover!!! :eek:
     
  12. pj

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    yeah but does the french caligula have the penthouse sampler disc with it ;)
    i seem to remember my mate having a copy with one of those free inside his region 1! which he was shocked by as he thought caligula was a ben hur type epic! not the soft focus pornfest he purchased!
     
  13. the_pauley

    the_pauley
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    "Myra" was dispatched this week from DVD Soon. Anticipation mounts!!!!:clap:
     
  14. the_pauley

    the_pauley
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    It arrived this morning - with a surprise feature not mentioned in the publicity. It contains the theatrical cut and a Special Edition!!!

    Won't get a chance to look until this evening, but the promise of even more awfulness has me drooling!

    :clap:
     

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