Thursday, August 12, 2004

"This is my happening, and it freaks me out!"

The Movie: Beyond the Valley of the Dolls, 1970 (Roger Ebert, screenwriter; Russ Meyer, dir.)
Who says it: John LaZar as Ronnie “Z-Man” Barzell, a Phil Spector-esque impresario/producer
The context: Barzell walks into his own wild, swinging party, which is full of beautiful people and freaks.
How to use it: To take credit for a situation that could turn out to be a great time.

Beyond the Valley of the Dolls may be the most influential bad movie ever made. Among other things, it’s the source of the immortal line “Don’t bogart the joint!” Not that I know what that means. References to BVD pop up all over the place, from Austin Powers to Kevin Smith’s movies. This line is also used in a song by one of my favorite bands (now broken up), Too Much Joy.

The kids’ cartoon “Scooby Doo” started right around the time BVD was being filmed, and while “Scooby Doo” is supposedly based on a series of Enid Blyton novels, I defy anyone to watch the opening scenes of BVD and not think of The Mystery Machine. In fact, the original name of Daphne’s character was Kelly, which is also the lead character’s name in BVD. Coincidence?

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