| Vixen!





Russ Meyer

USA, 1968


Review by Rumsey Taylor

Posted on 03 August 2004

Source RM Films VHS

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“Is she woman… or animal?” reads Vixen!’s tagline. It is appropriate only to the title character’s incessant and savage lust. Otherwise, this is an approachable, lackadaisical woman; it’s just in the sack where her primal traits are revealed (which would be often). Early in the film at a picnic, and spontaneously aroused, Vixen engages in an erotic dance with a fish. _Any_thing involving a woman can be sexy, or so Russ Meyer would attest.

The film is set in Canada, and is loosely construed upon the work of a migrant pilot named Tom. He escorts couples about the country, offering his lodging if the trip is too long. In most every trip (I presume, given the consistent result of those included in the film) Vixen offers each guest, male and female, the experience of bating her incessant lust.

Vixen’s brother and his black friend, Judd and Niles, are regulars at the household when Tom is away. Niles has emigrated from the United States in protest, because of his refusal to join the Vietnam War (where he suspects he would be an expendable). He finds, in Canada, no pressure to draft and a similar racial prejudice in Vixen. To her — the film’s rallying object of attraction — he is the only character for which she does not undo her feebly buttoned blouse with a coy stare and a single arched eyebrow.

This film includes a lot of sex, playful dialogue, and politics. Niles ruminates, in his every scene, on the futility of the war, and in a prominently incongruous sequence later in the film his protest in defense of communism is included in montage with another of Vixen’s shags. It’s ridiculous.

Vixen! possesses the characteristic wit and humor of Meyer’s dialogue, and it is curious in this case as the film has an increased freedom in its X rating. The film is unpretentious sexploitation, yet it is also restrained: present are the same sort of sexual allusions that characterize Meyer’s best — and more moderately-rated — works. Among my favorites is when Vixen escorts a male houseguest to a more “potent” fishing hole on a secluded river: Tom recounts, to the man’s wife, “Vixen knows all the Best Spots. She’ll make sure Dave has a Good Time.” The dialogue of this film alone, without any visual accompaniment, would presage a much more explicit film, not to mention its entertainment in and of itself.

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