Wednesday, 17 February 2016
The Meyer Files #11: Good Morning and... Goodbye! (1967)
This movie is Stuart Lancaster's vehicle. Sure, we get a return from Alaina Capri, who provides many chuckles as the wife from hell, but there is something so... I don't know if I could call it human, but there is something so open and vulnerable about Lancaster's sad mug here that he cannot help but dominate proceedings.
The story is another re-run of Meyer's favourite scenario: Lancaster's impotent schlub Burt cannot get it up with Angel (Capri), his much younger wife. In turn Angel satisfies her desires with Stone (Patrick Wright), a neanderthal who is a sure thing when it comes to sex and nothing else. Angel rubs her infidelity in Burt's face, who takes it on the chin. He is finally snapped out of his stupor by an encounter with a mysterious forest nymph played by Haji. Rejuvenated by this mystical intervention, Burt goes back home to take down Stone and re-claim his bride.
This synopsis does not really simplify anything. Like last week's film, Good Morning and... Goodbye! (who came up with that title?!?) is short and sweet. The characters are pure archetypes, only their purity comes from Meyer's skewed view of gender relations -- Burt is good, which translates as a bad lay. Angel is bad, which means she needs a good lay. Stone is frankly evil, but he's great in the sack, so... you get the drift.
This is Alaina Capri's last film for Meyer, and after her moment in the sun she would go back to her original profession: teaching at primary school. All lust and malice, her performance is deliciously camp. Angel does not get the same kudos as Vixen or Varla (Faster, Pussycat!), but she is a prime example of the Meyer Superwoman, and has some of the funniest dialogue and scenes in the Meyer canon (at one point, she drives to a construction site and blares her horn until one of the workers heads her way).
In the batshit corner, Haji's performance as the Sorceress is... kind of hard to put into words. She meows, she snarls, she plays with snakes, she appears and disappears at will. It's definitely Haji's most out-there role, and considering her past work, that's saying something.
As Stone, the sociopathic ladies man, Patrick Wright is all shit-eating grins and sunburned pecs. Like Angel, he's a pretty typical Meyer character that lacks that little something to make him stand out.
Ultimately, that description fits the movie as a whole. It's pretty entertaining, with good performances and Meyer's technical expertise in evidence, but, apart from the title, the movie is not as out there as his other works of this period.
Still, it's fun, and makes for a good double bill with last week's Common Law Cabin.
Russ Meyer will return with Finders Keepers, Lovers Weepers!
For previous entries...