- Rachel Welch trying to seduce Farrah Fawcett! Ooh la la! ;)
Starring – Mae West, John Huston, Raquel Welch, Rex Reed, Farrah Fawcett, John Carradine, Calvin Lockhart, Roger Herren, Tom Selleck, Jim Backus, Toni Basil
Directed by Michael Sarne
“You realize once we cut it off it won’t grow back. I mean it isn’t like hair, finger nails or toe nails you know.” -A surgeon to Myron Breckinridge just before sex reassignment surgery.
Have you ever taken LSD? I hear if you do that you can have acid flashbacks years after you tripped the light fantastic. And if you have partaken in LSD, watching Myra Breckinridge might make you think that you are in the middle of an acid flashback. A very bad acid flashback. And maybe that is what happened to the people who made this movie? They were all having bad acid flashbacks, so made a movie that looked like one?
Maybe the prerequisite for acting in this movie and directing this movie and producing this movie was to currently be taking drugs. LOTS of drugs. And maybe then the prerequisite for watching this movie is to first take drugs. LOTS of drugs. But I was stone cold sober when I watched this film.
I can’t use “being high” as an excuse for liking this film, a film that is considered by many experts to be the worst movie ever made in all of the history of cinema. Those experts obviously are not frequent purveyors of lesbian cinema.
Is serious medical attention needed if you like a movie that it considered to be one of the worst of all time? Perhaps I need to get my head examined? I’ve already done that many, many, many times; and thousands and thousands and thousands of dollars have been invested into what is wrong with my brain. So maybe you just have to be crazy to think this movie is actually kind of good? Crazy has been proven about me, but I’ve been told by experts that I am on the road to the recovery from crazy.
I wasn’t on drugs when I watched this film.
I am no longer deemed by medical science to be a crazy person.
I actually liked, yes liked, and no that is not a misprint, Myra Breckinridge.
The only answer is that there is just no explaining bad taste. Sometimes you just like a movie that is completely wackadoo and that is that and maybe it is also because you are gay and we have a long history of latching onto movies that most consider awful and then turning those “awful” films into a cult phenomenon.
It could be that because this film starred Raquel Welch, and let’s face it, I’ll sit through any zip-a-dee-doo-dah film with zero complaints and even find myself enjoying the movie if it has Raquel Welch in it. And this isn’t just any Raquel Welch film, but a Raquel Welch film where she tries to seduce Farrah Fawcett while they are sharing a bed.
And so well
What is a lesbian girl to do but love every minute of a film that has THAT scene in it.
Damn that Raquel Welch!
Damn her all the way to Hell!
Or at least into my bedroom to reenact that scene again, but this time I would guarantee a different ending because apparently Farrah Fawcett is just a big tease.
So what is this worst movie of all time, even though crazy me liked it, all about anyway? Well, it’s a hard one to explain since the movie makes very little sense, but apparently Myra Breckinridge (Raquel Welch) used to be Myron Breckinridge (Rex Reed), but then he had a bit of snip and -VOILA- Rex Reed is now Raquel Welch! And so Raquel Welch goes to Hollywood to help run her uncle’s acting studio and so then there is lots of dialogue that makes zero sense and sudden cuts from one nonsensical scene to the next nonsensical scene and camera shots that just concentrate on a horse’s and John Huston’s butts and then a camera shot of just Raquel Welch’s mouth while she is talking (but if I’m being honest, I could watch a shot like that all day) and then she is giving Myron (who follows Myra around even though they are the same person so maybe Myron is just a figment of Myra’s imagination or maybe he isn’t and maybe that is when taking drugs to watch this movie would have come in handy) and suddenly Myra is giving Myron a blow job, but then the camera pans down and Myra isn’t there and Myron is moaning and groaning for nothing, I guess, but then Farrah Fawcett shows up and wants to feed Myron lots of delicious food and
Then Mae West shows up and then the world and even this film starts to feel almost normal again because for a moment this zip-a-dee-doo-dah, wackadoo, most nonsensical movie in the history of cinema actually makes sense. And so proves the power of Mae West. Even at 77, Mae West was still SEX onscreen and I suddenly found myself jealous of my uncle who actually went to a screening of Mae West’s last film and got to sit directly behind her and said she still had the Mae West moves even well into her 80s and all she was doing was just sitting in a seat watching a movie because that is how awesome and amazing and sexy as hell Mae West was. And so thank God for Mae West who brings some sense into this film when she first appears.
When Mae West asks a cowboy how tall he is and he answers that he’s 6 feet 7 inches, I knew the punch line before Mae West even said it, so I inched myself to the edge of my futon so I wouldn’t miss a nanosecond of her line, “Well, never mind about the six feet. Let’s talk about the seven inches.” *RIM SHOT* She’ll be here all week ladies and gents!
Mae West gets dragged into the nonsensical world that is Myra Breckinridge and she has a scene at a nightclub where she sings a couple of songs that really have no logical reason for even being in the film other than her contract stated that she would only appear in the film if she got some musical numbers and so the director I guess said, “Yep! Here is good. We’ll put the musical numbers right here,” even though here makes (say it with me) no sense and so why not have a couple of musical numbers in the middle of a scene where Raquel Welch has to listen to Farrah Fawcett and her studly ignorant boyfriend talk about what normal is. Well, normal it isn’t those musical numbers going on during that conversation, that’s for sure.
Is one of those unnecessary Mae West musical numbers a song that The Black Crowes sang in the 80s? I guess they stole it from Mae West and so I had to check and make sure that I hadn’t actually taken drugs because seeing Mae West sing a song that was from my childhood, but 15 plus years after this film was made and sung in a completely different, but oddly same, manner as Mae West and so I thought for sure I was flying on the trip fantastic and maybe my allergy medicine that I had taken earlier wasn’t actually allergy medicine.
And during all of this Mae West singing that has no business being where it is in the film but then again what in this film does make sense, a tiny bit of Gore Vidal (who wrote the book the movie is kind of, sort of, but not really based on) comes into the picture (finally!) and so Gore Vidal trying to save this film and Mae West and The Black Crowes singing the same song and Raquel Welch and Farrah Fawcett having an intellectual debate and it all being in one scene makes total sense. Right? So anyway, Raquel Welch has to sit between tweedledum and tweedledummer as they tell her (and remember she used to be a he) how faggots and dykes and the like are not normal. And so Raquel/Gore Vidal asks what normal is and so the future Charlie’s Angels star replies, “Well, it’s what everyone does. I mean it’s what the majority of society does most.” And how true is that. Normal is always what everyone is doing, no matter what it is they are doing, as long as most people are doing it then it is normal. Abnormal is always what the few are doing. And so in the middle of this film, a socially conscious message slips through. And that happens throughout this movie. We hear lots of characters talking about faggots and dykes and fornication in movies and how the NRA is the only thing that is standing between us and the Communists taking over. And I thought, “Hey this movie actually is trying to show us that they are the nutty weirdos, not us.”
Then any socially conscious messages that we, the audience, might be trying to take with us, all get thrown out the window because who can concentrate on socially conscious messages when Raquel Welch straps on a dildo (oh my great good Lord, my lifelong dream actually came true?!!!!) and then promptly rapes Farrah Fawcett’s boyfriend (and then that kind of ruined my lifelong dream a bit) because he was there in the middle of that Gore Vidal/Mae West/The Black Crowes/Raquel Welch/Farrah Fawcett scene and he agreed about normalcy and what it constitutes or in his intellectual analysis when Myra, formally Myron, asks him how should a man act after hearing him talk about how icky faggots are and he replies, “He should ball chicks.”
Is it bad of me that I cheered this rape a bit? Finally it is a woman who is doing this awful deed to a man, an atrocity that women have suffered at the hands of men since the dawn of humans existence. And this is what this zip-a-dee-doo-dah movie does to your brain, it has you cheering a rape and turns on your libido because it is Raquel Welch with a dildo strapped to herself and wearing a very skimpy American flag costume that is doing the raping. Am I sure that I didn’t take any drugs at all before I watched this movie?
My wife looked up from her book and asked, “Is that lady raping that man?” When I replied yes, she just shrugged her shoulders and went back to reading her book. I guess she agreed with the majority and thought this film was the worst too. Later she looked up from her book again and said, “That’s a large fucking hat.” Because John Huston spends most of the movie wearing a cartoonishly large cowboy hat and why not, nothing else made sense, why should his hat?!
The movie ended and we find out at the end that the whole movie was all a dream. Just like on Dallas and St. Elsewhere. So see, Myra Breckinridge inspired some great TV.
And at the conclusion of this crazy-ass movie, I got the strangest, yet probably very true, thought – If Myra Breckinridge were a French avant-garde film, it would have been considered an award winning classic by those critics and maybe even Gore Vidal too. Well, maybe not Gore Vidal because he was not one to jump on a bandwagon, but the critics probably would have forgiven Myra Breckinridge and its odd eccentricities if they could have used French avant-garde as an excuse for the craziness because I’ve seen some critically acclaimed French avant-garde films that were crazier than this one.
That’s Raquel’s hand on Farrah’s naked shoulder. Ahhh…
And then this hand slips down and touches Farrah’s…and now
I’m going to be as big of a tease as Farrah in this scene and not let you know what happens next.
You’ll have to watch the movie for yourself to find out where that hand ends up. 😉
So the moral of the story is,
If you walk into a zip-a-dee-doo-dah, wackadoo of a film and know before it even begins that it is a zip-a-dee-doo-dah and wackadoo of a film, chances are you might actually like it. And bless those poor people who walked into this film in 1970, thinking they were getting a movie based on a renowned bestseller, but instead got this zip-a-dee-doo-dah, wackadoo, crazy-ass of a movie.
They also got Raquel Welch, so it couldn’t have been that painful to watch. And speaking of watching Raquel Welch, I think I need to go watch that scene with her and Farrah Fawcett in bed together again. But only for educational research purposes to help solve the world’s hunger problem and obtain peace in the Middle East and end global warming, and not for some lesbian-wish-come true reason, of course.
P.S.: Is it just me or is it really hot when Rachel Welch says, “Motherfuckers”?
P.S.S.: I know I need help. I’ve seen a therapist every Monday since the dawn of time, so it’s not like I’m not trying.
Update 2/22/2017: I originally published this review on April 25, 2015, but since then, I had to quit that crazy-ass therapist, so maybe that explains my love of Myra Breckinridge. I was getting therapy from someone crazier than me. Well, welcome to the crazy club. They don’t serve Coke unless you are Elton John or Mariah Carey. At least not at the looney bin I went too. The celebrities got Cokes and steaks and 24-hour-round-the-clock-doctor-and-nurse-on-call care and really, really nice rooms. And us regular Joe’s got lectures on why sugar is bad for us, and food that wasn’t even close to edible, and doctors that you only see once for ten minutes and then misdiagnosis you with bipolar and then you never see them again, and rooms that were older than Moses and smelled like he probably did after walking in that desert for 40 years or however long he just walked and walked and walked. Why didn’t God just give Moses a map? Just saying. And see, this is what watching Myra Breckinridge does to you. Makes you a little wackadoo, zip-a-dee-doo-dah too, because I was totally normal before watching this movie. Yeah, right. Maybe if they had just given me a Coke in the looney bin, then I’d be normal. Except I don’t drink Coke anymore, so me and normalcy just keep missing each other in the night. Well, normal, I never sleep, so why do you keep missing me? Oh well. Me and Raquel will just keep busy while we are waiting for you, normalcy. And so I guess that means you can take your time then. 😉