Sunday, 10 January 2016

The Meyer Files #2: Eve and the Handyman (1960)

Once more into the breach. After last week's inauspicious debut, my expectations for Meyer's second feature are considerably lower than when this project started.

First, some housekeeping: To speed things up, I am going to release the next three reviews right now -- these early films are not good, and I want to get to Meyer's narrative features, which are movies I would actually recommend.

On to the review!

This one has a little more of a plot and features Mrs. Meyer herself in the starring role.

Eve Meyer is an important member of RM's inner circle -- as well as performing in front of the camera, she would become a co-producer and distributor of his films. Without her smarts (and her ability to intimidate Meyer out of a few bad ideas), Meyer may never have achieved the financial independence which enabled him to stay on his own terms for the rest of his career. Her co-star is another Meyer acolyte, James Ryan, who would reprise his handyman character in future Meyer opuses.

So basically the story is Eve in a trench coat following the Handyman around and trying to get his attention. To confuse things further, she also appears as a nurse who helps the Handyman with helping a tree give birth(?!?) and a waitress in an ice cream bar who the Handyman is infatuated with.

Apparently this movie was made because Eve was jealous that Meyer was not including her in his new career. It shows. The movie is basically the same story as Mr. Teas, except with Eve following him around. There is almost no nudity and far fewer bosom-related puns, which is a major weakness. Meyer without boobs is like Michael Bay without explosions -- it's like he does not know how to direct without having them to lend a sense of perspective.

That last statement is the worst description of a director's modus operandi ever, but it nails Meyer's cock-eyed aesthetic to a T.

Once again, there is no dialogue -- just Eve Meyer narrating her pursuit of the Handyman. Eve has a pretty husky voice and kind of looks like Lauren Bacall, which is a plus. Her male co-star looks like Kyle Maclachlan's country cousin, which is... weird.

I'm running out of things to say about this movie. Fact is, not much happens and it all winds up being about hair brushes. You can watch it to figure that out.

Don't worry, two more of these 'nudie cuties' and we'll be out of the woods. While these early movies can be hard to watch, it's important to point out that without these early efforts, we would not have gotten Faster, Pussycat! Kill! Kill!, Beyond the Valley of the Dolls or Supervixens.

Russ Meyer will return with Wild Gals of the Naked West!

For previous entries...

The Meyer Files #1: The Immoral Mr. Teas (1959)

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