Howard Hughes got things rolling with The Outlaw, and there were noble attempts by Tashlin (Son of Paleface) and Walsh (The Sheriff of Fractured Jaw), but it takes a Russ Meyer to get mammaries in the sagebrush. The preamble is really quite epic, majestic vistas and icons (bugles and swords, flags and feathers) in ringing montage to ensure that thereís a grain of wonder in the mock-stentorian narration. (A swirl of colored paint in the stream states battle carnage, Tarkovsky has it in Andrei Rublev.) Then the ghost town thatís a blatant abandoned set, the happy pandemonium of a prairie Gomorrah, the unnamed hamlet that might as well be called Impulse. A saloon adorned with cartoon colors and literally rubbery mugs, working girls who lasso the clients, schoolmarms with holes strategically placed in their frocks. The prospector with cotton whiskers and eyebrows (Werner Kirsch) remembers it all, regaling the camera: "Sit down and quit stariní!" This anvil-smacking burlesque -- three or four jokes in a continuous loop -- still has plenty of lowdown surrealism, from the marble bathtub in the tipped-over outhouse to the Indians in the hills armed with bazookas. "And then came salvation..." The stubby stranger with the fifteen-inch pistol (Sammy Gilbert) defeats the varmint (Frank Bolger) and claims the pendulous heroine (Terri Taylor), Wagner trumpets the consummation. "The same old nickelodeon again." Back in the present the old timer yearns for some mischief and, because itís Meyer, gets it, "das ewig Weibliche zieht uns hinan." With Jackie Moran and Julie Williams.
--- Fernando F. Croce