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Friday, March 07, 2008


Big-budget train wrecks starring name actors are now so commonplace that they barely elicit a disinterested yawn, but back in the days before such toxic contrivances fell out of the Hollywood film industry's ass by the score, the arrival of a major studio-unleashed bomb came as something of a shock. One of the most seismic shock waves was generated by the infamous 1970 adaptation of Terry Southern's satirical novel MYRA BRECKINRIDGE (1968), a film originally rated X and considered by many to be among the pantheon of the all-time worst movies ever made, and I'm glad to say that this colossal steamer has just begun making the revival circuit with a brand new 35mm print. I saw the film about twenty years ago on cable, but I've been dying to see it on the big screen, a towering example of exactly the kind of gaudy, tasteless shit that can be simply stunning to behold. But just what is this celluloid monstrosity that bears the name MYRA BRECKINRIDGE? I'll let the ad for the revival speak for itself:

Just how awful is the 1970 box-office flop Myra Breckinridge? Based on the book
by Gore Vidal about a man who wants a sex change, it ruined sales of the novel for years, sparked numerous lawsuits, and prompted Time magazine to say, “Myra Breckinridge is about as funny as a child molester.” See all the bad taste for yourself this weekend when Anthology Film Archives revives the rarely-screened movie with a new print. Originally rated X, the film was most shocking for a scene in which Myra (Raquel Welch) rapes a man with a dildo and then runs off with his girlfriend (Farrah Fawcett). Perhaps today’s audience will conclude that Myra was just ahead of her time. Rex Reed, Tom Selleck, John Huston, and Mae West also star.

Time also described the film thusly: "It is an insult to intelligence, an affront to sensibility and an abomination to the eye." If that ain't a challenge to moviegoers, I don't know what is.

The film also features the real King of Queens, Rex Reed, as Myra's male side, and his performance has to been seen to be believed.

Rex Reed and a topless woman. Who'da thunk it possible?

So head on down to the Lower East Side's Academy Film Archives this Friday through Sunday and witness this unholy mess for yourself! For more info, consult the following:

32 2nd Ave.
New York, NY 10003
East Village
Phone: 212-505-5181


SENTER said...

What is it about movie critics and their uncanny ability to contribute to the very worst cinematic atrocities? Roger Ebert’s “Beyond The Valley…”and now Rex Reed? Frank Sinatra Jr. shoulda' given him that “b-flat haymaker” he promised years ago.

Anonymous said...

Hey, I just saw Tron again (in 70mm) this week, and it's even worse than I remembered! That didn't keep the place from being P-A-C-K-E-D with geeks, who howled with derisive nostalgia at each hideous line inflicted upon the cast (not to mention the sight of Barnard Hughes with a Mobius dildo on his head).