Monday, 28 September 2015

Wild Gals of the Naked West (3 Stars)

This is the third film in the Russ Meyer Collection. It was made in 1962, and it's one of the weakest films in the whole collection. Clocking in at 61 minutes, it only qualifies as a short film. There are three segments in the film.

1. (0:00 to 5:50) The history of America's wild west is explained.

2. (5:50 to 28:00) An old man called Snake introduces us to a town so bad that it was never named. There are many short comedy sketches.

3. (28:00 to 61:00) A stranger arrives in the no-name town. He becomes sheriff and cleans up the town. More comedy sketches.

As in Russ Meyer's previous films there is no dialogue. In the first segment an unseen narrator speaks to us. In the other two segments Snake speaks to the camera to explain what's happening.

There's a bizarre contrast between the indoor and the outdoor scenes. The outdoor scenes look realistic, whether they're in the town or the mountains. The indoor scenes are eerily empty. Either the background is a plain wall, or the room's decoration is painted onto the wall. The following two pictures should explain what I mean.

The sheriff enters the saloon, but we don't see a saloon. There's a door frame with saloon doors in front of a plain yellow wall.

The sheriff goes to his room and finds the hotel's owner waiting for him. The only props are the door frame and the bed. The picture, the lamp and the table are painted onto the green wall.

The main problem with the film is that the first half isn't really a film at all. The humour is funny, but there's no story. It's just a string of unrelated sketches. The actual plot doesn't begin until the third segment. While the sheriff goes round town doing what he has to do the jokes from the first half are repeated, but by now they aren't funny any more. Another problem is that whetever the film's title promises there isn't much nudity. This wasn't Russ Meyer's finest hour.

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