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  • Widescreen 2.35:1
  • Dual Layer ( )
  • English: Dolby Digital Stereo
  • French: Dolby Digital Stereo
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    Dutch, English - Hearing Impaired, Swedish, French - Hearing Impaired, Spanish - Hearing Impaired

    Beyond the Valley of the Dolls

    20th Century Fox/20th Century Fox Home Entertainment . R4 . COLOR . 105 mins . R . PAL


    This film opens with a disclaimer that states this is nothing like Valley of the Dolls and is a separate entity utilising the same ideals of excess in show business. And it is easy to see why after watching this vile cash in.

    I have rarely seen a film so full of gratuitous nudity, gratuitous sex, gratuitous exploitation and gratuitous gratuitousness. Honestly. At least even porno declares it’s porno. This thing doesn’t even have the balls to do that. This 1970 disgrace is littered with orgiastic parties, drug use, sex in bathtubs, Nazis, she-males and just about every TV cliché you can imagine. Plus, then there’s the ending. Oh man.

    "If love is in you, then gentle will be all your steps as you walk beyond this valley..."

    This time around, we follow the music industry and the LA scene, man. A three-piece female rock band (Kelly, Casey and Petronella, managed by the leader’s boyfriend Harris) head for the big time in Hollywood. Kelly, the lead singer, has an aunt who works in fashion photography and when they meet up, Kelly is given a third of an inheritance she knew nothing about and is introduced to the swingin’ set. In a matter of moments the kids are ensconced in a wild world of drugs and lust and booze and, before you know it, their band has hit it big and they have everything they ever wanted. Kelly gets a new man, leaving the manager, Harris, with porn star Ashley St Ives. Casey steers clear of the scene only to find herself involved in a torrid lesbian affair and Pet becomes involved with a dude who’s going to be a lawyer. In between various bouts of showbiz sidebars, the shit eventually comes down on all of them. Harris attempts suicide to wake up paralysed (with a chance his spine will repair itself!), Kelly gets involved with Lance Rocke, who is pretty much a Hollywood pimp. Pet sleeps with a famous boxer, only to have him wreak a terrible revenge when she chooses the law student. Casey winds up at a party in which the ending to this awful film suddenly turns into a splattery bloodbath wholly unrelated to the previous ‘plot’.

    Yes, this film has everything - and that is entirely its problem. Trying to make a film that would no doubt hook the kids, the creators have crammed every clichéd piece of crap they could into it, creating a visual nightmare of gratuities. The landscape is spattered with hip slang of the day and the whole thing is very poorly edited, with the last couple of frames missing from nearly every scene as it skips from one to another. It reminded me a lot of Rowan and Martin’s Laugh-In, except we didn’t even get to see Goldie Hawn in a bikini. However, there are plenty of other bikini clad chicks walking around, not to mention the nude ones, making this more of an eclectic collection of soft porn scenes than an actual film.


    The costumes, lighting and camerawork are all superb and are at least the saving graces of this piece of crap. The authenticity of the 1970 atmosphere has been captured beautifully and as far as the transfer goes, this has been done magnificently. Like the original Valley of the Dolls this has been delivered in the cinema aspect ratio of 2.35:1 without enhancement. While there are naturally film artefacts in a film of 33 years old, there isn’t anything too offensive. In fact it’s mostly the film that’s the offensive one here.

    Shadows aren’t too good with details and blacks aren’t quite true to life. The rich colours though are exquisite and capture the '70s feel perfectly. Flesh tones are even enough, given they had so much to work with, so at least the nudity looks good, if not necessary.


    This film is about the rock music industry and so there’s scads of music included. Thankfully it all sounds great, with some live performances and a musical score by none other than John Williams. All the dialogue is fine, if a bit trite, with some of the more wooden clangers unfortunately being crystal clear. However, the hipper dialogue of the damn beatniks does act as a visitable time capsule in much the same way as the old '60s Archie comics are.

    The sound effects used are fairly stockish and cheesy, particularly when the film degenerates into the blood-soaked joke it becomes in the end. However, be that as it may, they have all been transferred to DVD just fine. Oh, and just you wait for the cheesiest voiceover epilogue ever as the film finally enters the closing credits. Yeesh!


    All the extras were told they’d never work in this town again and it seems they didn’t, for there are none to be seen.


    Pathetic. Exploitative. Gratuitous. Crap. Choose your weapon, they’re all the same. A disgraceful attempt to cash in on a very different movie that held much more import and reality than this waste of film. At some points I was wondering "what the hell am I doing watching this? I could be washing the dishes or being stabbed or waking up during surgery, anything but this". When finally the ending turns up it’s kinda like they ran out of ideas and thought hey, maybe we should add a twist? And boy, is it twisted. Shameless splatter is okay if you’ve never sold the film as anything else, but this is just insulting to the intellect. Try renting it for a laugh with your mates if anything.

  • LINK: http://www.dvd.net.au/review.cgi?review_id=3164
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      And I quote...
    "A more shameless rip off for a sequel’s title I have never seen."
    - Jules Faber
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    "Performances are fine, but the flimsy sets, the crappy props and the undisguisable late 70s hairdos are just too much."

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