Up! (1976)
By: J.R. McNamara on May 8, 2006  |  Comments  |  Bookmark and Share
The AV Channel (Australia). Region 4, PAL. 4:3. English DD 1.0. 80 minutes
The Movie
Director: Russ Meyer
Starring: Edward Schaaf, Robert McLane, Elaine Collins, Candy Samples,
Su Ling, Janet Wood, Linda Sue Ragsdale, Raven De La Croix
Screenplay: Reinhold Timme, B. Callum
Country: USA
In 1976, Russ Meyer, the rural Fellini, made UP!, a comedy with a script co-written by Reinhold Timme, a pseudonym of film critic Roger Ebert, with whom he had worked with before in 1970 on Beyond the Valley of the Dolls, and would work with again on his last cinema release Beneath the Valley of the Ultravixens in 1979. The cast of Meyer's regulars are present, with their giant-sized boobs, and some equally ridiculous prop penis' as well. Up! has been released in Australia as part of Madman's Director's Suite collection (along with Vixen, SuperVixen, Faster Pussycat! Kill! Kill! and Beneath the Valley of the Ultravixens) and as a collection make for a treasure for Meyer's aficionados, fans of 70s cinema and those who enjoy the silliness of pre 80s soft core pornography.

Up! tells the tale of Adolph Schwartz (Edward Shaaf), who looks a little like another well known Adolf, who has been murdered in his American castle. His death was caused by a piranha dropped into his bath….but who is the culprit? Was it The Ethopian Chef (Elaine Collins), The Headsperson (Mary Gavin aka Candy Samples), the lovely Limehouse (Su Ling), or could it have possibly been Leonard Box (Larry Dean), or maybe blow-in Margo Winchester (Raven De La Croix), whose antics with the local men seem to be taking all the attention away from his murder, or could it have been one of the many other strange characters who dwell in the town. Who knows, but with the help of the pneumatic Greek Chorus (Kitten Natividad), we will find the answer...

If you enjoy Meyer's films because of the sex, the kitschy music, the spectacular scenery, or even the bodaciously buxom bimbos, then Up! is for you. As usual in Meyer's films, all the action takes place in a country town, and features all of Meyer's favourite hick characters with their skewed morals, and some of the most fantastical unbelievable dialogue in the history of cinema. Really, if you are hiring Up! for amusing social commentary, you won't be disappointed, subtle at times and in your face at others. If you are hiring Up! for naked chicks kung fu fighting at twilight in a stream, you won't be dissatisfied and the gorehound won't be too unhappy with this one either, there is a chainsaw murder and a couple of axings as well. Really, if you enjoy exploitation films, you won't feel down, you'll feel Up!
This transfer is full screen, and is a bright image, with only the occasional artifact, except when stock footage is used (specifically Schwartz's Germanic castle) when the quality drops considerably.
This feature is presented in mono only.
Extra Features
There are two decent extras on this disc. The first is Pussy Galore Night: Interview with Kitten Natividad (12 minutes 10 seconds) and No Fairy Tale…This!: Interview with Raven De La Croix (18 minutes and 4 seconds). Both interviews are interesting looks into Russ Meyer's world, both cinematically and personally. As usual these productions have some wonderful tales that are associated with them, and both these women have some interesting stories to tell, although those who have watched more than one of Meyer's Madman releases will see some of Kitten Natividad's stories are familiar. De La Croix's stories of the filming of this movie are particularly interesting.
The Verdict
Convoluted, confusing to the point it needs a narrator to keep you up to speed, but with lots of nudity done by lots of well-endowed women to make up for it. This is not one of Meyer's high points, like Faster Pussycat Kill! Kill! or Supervixen!, but there is no doubt Meyer's ability for inspired camerawork and amazing exterior footage is god-like. As much as I enjoyed Up!, I don't find it to be essential Meyer viewing, but it is still worth a look.
Movie Score
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