Discovering Russ Meyer

Cherry Harry Raquel Poster

A new tradition has developed in my household, and it’s one that might sound familiar to a few of you: watching unmarked, unfiltered VHS tapes. For lack of a better term, I’ll refer to the practice as ‘tape-diving’, although conceptually, ‘Russian roulette’ also fits the bill rather nicely.

In the back room of our house, we’ve recently discovered a bounty of long-lost, home-recorded VHS tapes; all without labels, and each as potentially terrible as the next. The only way to find out what’s on a given tape is to insert it into a player and strap in for 180 minutes of 90s-era terrestrial TV, which – as I’m sure anyone who lived through that particular decade can attest to – is a dangerous proposition indeed.

Here at el casa Snacked Up, we’re an unwittingly stubborn bunch, so much so that we’ll gladly see most tapes through to the bitter end, whether it means watching Hocus Pocus through a sheet of grain with bad tracking, or even a twenty year old S4C documentary about sand cultivation. To quote (with a similar degree of cynicism) Chuck Moseley: It’s a dirty job, but someone’s got to do it.

This perhaps explains how I found myself locked into a viewing of a forty-year old erotic comedy called Cherry, Harry & Raquel over the weekend – my first encounter with director Russ Meyer. Strange as it may be to think Continue reading

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