Set during the great Depression, the story deals with young Calif (John Furlong), a former inmate making his way up to California. Stopping by at a place, he gets a job doing odd jobs for old man Lute Wade (Meyer mainstay Stuart Lancaster). His daughter is Hannah (Antoinette Christiani), who is married to old drunkard Sidney (Hal Hopper). But Sidney is not happy that his wife is involved with this new man, so with the help of a fanatical priest (Frank Bolger), they decide to ruin the life of this young man, no matter what the cost.
If you read my blog, if ever, you know Russ Meyer is my favorite director, period. And this black and white melodrama is one of my favorites. It’s before he went truly over-the-top, but at the same time nothing’s normal about a Russ Meyer film. The cinematography is gorgeous, accentuating the black and whites in striking contrast. The acting is pretty cool, with Hal Hopper stealing the show. He was also in Lorna, playing the same kind of unlikeable asshole he does in this one, only here he’s much worse, beating women and making them feel like shit. And speaking of Lorna, Lorna herself, Lorna Maitland, shows up as part of a sex family living next door to the Wades. She’s the hottest babe in the film, and shows her plenty big breasts to the thanks to all of us. Wouldn’t be a Russ Meyer film without a couple of big tits. Rena Horten also shows her breasts, as the mute beauty (the perfect woman?) and in another kind of performance, Princess Livingston as Maggie Marie is hilarious as the toothless moonshiner who motivates his girls to “get it on”.
Like most of his black and white period films, this is pretty damn violent. Russ Meyer didn’t shoot his films in the typical Hollywood way. Instead he opted for a more realistic approach. If you’ve seen his other b/w dramas, such as Faster Pussycat Kill Kill and Motor Psycho, you know what I’m talking about. It was probably because of budget, but it’s one of the reasons these movies persist, that and the fact that this is one of his best scripted productions, with best performances. The women are a big part of it too. Long live Russ Meyer!