Tuesday, 6 October 2015

Good morning and goodbye (3½ Stars)

"What's worth owning is worth fighting for".

This is the tenth film in the Russ Meyer Collection, made in 1967. I don't consider it to be one of his better films, despite an outstanding performance by Stuart Lancaster. The film is presented as a morality fable, but it's difficult to understand the message Russ wants to put across. It's clear where the guilt lies, but the problems are solved by an outside force.

As is typical for Russ Meyer, he makes films with similar characters, as far as their backgrounds are concerned, but he distributes the guilt differently. In that respect, "Good morning and goodbye" is a companion film to "Common Law Cabin". Burt Boland is the only rich man in a small town. He plays the stock market and wins, while everyone else works hard shovelling salt for poor pay. Burt's wife has died for reasons that we're not told, leaving him alone with his teenage daughter, Lana. He marries a younger woman, Angel, who only wants him for his money.

Angel is the epitome of evil. She mocks her husband for not being able to "get it up". To be fair to Burt, if I had a woman who constantly mocked me and compared me with other men I wouldn't be able to get it up either. Angel goes out at night to find herself men, telling her husband where she's going. In the daytime she's still hungry for sex and looks for other men. She even seduces Lana's boyfriend, because she thinks that all men exist for her pleasure.

A Goddess lives in the woods. The Goddess is a mystical spirit who watches everyone, but remains invisible. One day she reveals herself to Burt. Burt is lured by her beauty, and he follows her into a trap. The Goddess seduces Burt, and over the following week he returns to her every day. He tells Angel that he has a new lover, but she doesn't believe him. On his final day with her Burt drinks a goblet of the Goddess's blood. He returns home as a man of such great virility that Angel never wants another man again.

And they all lived happily ever after.

Do you see my problems with the story? Angel is the evil person, but she isn't the one who changes, it's her husband who has to change. The good have to change to be accepted by the evil? Apart from that, I have to question the story's resolution. If Burt has suddenly become a super-stud, why doesn't he kick Angel out and find a new women who is worthy of him?

It could be possible that Russ Meyer's ideas of morality were developing with the passage of time. In "Lorna", made three years earlier, we have a purely Biblical morality. The wife who sleeps with another man is an adulteress, and she is punished with death. In "Good morning and goodbye" the superior being is a Goddess who rewards female sexuality. If a woman wants sex she is good and is rewarded. If a man doesn't give a woman the sex she needs he's evil and is punished. Unless, of course, the man is willing to change. Burt might seem like the story's winner, but he's really just taking the place he should have had all along. Angel is the winner, because she finally receives the virile sex slave that she has always deserved.

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