Forget about the final cut. If there's one thing hot-shot movie directors can't resist, it's making a rock video. George Lucas did one. So have Brian De Palma, Martin Scorsese and John Landis--even Stanley Donen.
Now you can add the one (and only) Russ Meyer to the list.
In fact, when L.A. glam-rockers Faster Pussycat were hunting for a director to handle the band's first video, "Don't Change That Song," they immediately sought out Meyer, a founding member of the soft-porn pantheon and director of such bosomy cult classics as "Beyond the Valley of the Dolls," "Supervixens" and the film that inspired the group's name, "Faster, Pussycat! Kill! Kill!"
The director, now 65, has just completed the clip, which features the band--and several buxom lovelies--performing in front of a screen featuring black-and-white highlights from Meyer's original film. (The band's label, Elektra Records, is so happy with the clip that it's sending out 300 Meyer-autographed copies of the video to selected radio and retail execs.)
Admittedly not much of a rock fan, Meyer insists he hasn't changed his cinema formula to fit today's video extravaganzas.
"My style's still the same," he said. "Lots of cuts, no dolly shots, no zooms, and three bosomy girls to involve the audience. They weren't stupendously over-endowed, but they were the best I could find in L.A. We also used a jukebox in one sequence to re-create the monolith from '2001.' Otherwise, I guess it's a typical music video. After all, how much can you do in three minutes?"
Actually, Meyer had initially chosen a more ambitious setting, which didn't pan out. "I wanted to shoot the video up in Northern California in a field off I-5 that is contoured so it looks exactly like 100 (breasts). It's really marvelous if you're back-lighting it. Very symbolic. But we couldn't pull it off--I heard because no one could get the band up that early in the morning.
"But the group was very cooperative. The only advice I gave was to Taime (Downe, the group's lead singer). I told him not to wear his dress because, with all his makeup, it made him look like Renee Taylor doing a bad number in the Catskills."
Would Meyer do another video soon? "Sure," he said. "I looked around one night at 2:30 a.m. and I was the only one still standing--the young fellows were all exhausted. And that made me feel good. I said, 'Hey, I've still got it. I outlasted 'em!' "