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A thoughtful note from reader Matthew Patton of Deltona, Florida:
“Thought I’d mention two directors who should have been included because they apparently have big Trash Snob followings, although neither of them had what I’d call serious talent. The first is Russ Meyer, godhead to pretentious frat-boys everywhere, particularly Roger Ebert, who not only trumpeted some of Meyer’s films in his column in the Chicago Sun-Times, but then wrote scripts for the man (only one of them, however, under his own name). The only film of his I’ve seen is Beyond The Valley of The Dolls, and frankly, that was enough. Besides the manic editing, which made the film difficult to follow, there was a general sense that Meyer loathed people in general, women in particular, and lesbians with a particular vehemence. The only person who emerged from the farrago with her humanity intact was Cynthia Meyers–she may have been a pin-up model, not an actress, but she maintained a sort of unspoiled niceness that was very refreshing.
“The other sad-sack was Andy Milligan–someone actually wrote a biography about this fellow (The Ghastly One), although more because of his small-time participation in way-off-Broadway theater and exploitation films, milieus full of colorful, gabby people, than because of any real accomplishments in either field. The Ghastly Ones, which I actually bought, cheap, is an absolutely bog-standard old-darkhouse thriller, more interesting because he managed to make it for next to nothing with a hand-held camera than anything else. He also seemed to know a lot of good actresses from his theater days, and they acquit themselves rather well, although all of the men, except for the fellows who played the ancient lawyer and the snaggle-toothed hunchback, were tedious. Where the cult around this fellow developed, I don’t know. Maybe it was his awful life story, because it certainly ain’t the movies. Or am I missing the point?”
Matthew, we can’t remember why we omitted Meyer–we certainly considered him as an entry. Probably just because he was too passé, even among Trash Snobs. (And we’ve seen Beneath the Valley of the UltraVixens, which is slower than a Tarkovsky.) As for Milligan, wow–must check out to see if it warrants inclusion in the next edition.