Sunday, February 5, 2012

Common Law Cabin

Common Law Cabin/ How Much Lovin' Does a Normal Couple Need?; adventure, USA, 1967; D: Russ Meyer, S: Jack Moran, Babette Bardot, Adele Rein, Alaina Capri, Ken Swofford

Dewey's tourist trap on an island in the Colorado River is so washed up that he has to pay an old man to incite lost tourists to go there. Dewey lives there with his wife Babette and teenage daughter Coral. When the old man brings a troubled married couple, Dr. Ross and his bored but busty wife Sheila, a corrupt ex-detective tags along, Rickert, who stole jewelry and wants to buy off the ranch from Dewey. Rickert seduces all the women and tries to rape Coral, but a young lad, Laurence, saves her and kills the detective.

In 1967, the year where so many directors made their most inspirational movies, cult director Russ Meyer unfortunately delivered one of his weakest achievements, the sloppily conceived and filmed "Common-Law Cabin" that is far bellow his opus. One of the rare filmmakers who openly admitted (and showed in their films) that they are fascinated with large breasts, Meyer's stories became a sanctuary for extraordinary busty women and thus attracted a cult following, with this film collecting three women of that kind (but never showing them naked). Sadly, the writing was entirely mechanical: too wacky to be a drama, but too unintentionally comical to be a true comedy, "Cabin" is a strange hybrid of several genres, with the crime subplot revolving around a corrupt ex-detective ending up as the biggest burden due to its annoying antagonist and plot holes (why doesn't Babette never say she was raped by the bad guy?), heavy handed editing, over-the-top transitions involving the camera hastily moving through the landscape back and forth, bland dialoges and an insane showdown, all resulting in a mess of a film, yet here and there a couple of charming ideas emerge, such as when Coral passes by the opening credits spelled on a blackboard.


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