Viva (4 stars)


(18) 120min


LA based artist and filmmaker Anne Biller’s deliciously diverting sexploitation flick spoof revisits the cautionary sex and drugs melodramas of the late 60s and early 1970s best exemplified by Herschell Gordon Lewis’ 1968 Suburban Roulette, Radley Metzger’s Camille 2000 (1969) and Russ Meyer’s Beyond The Valley Of The Dolls (1970).

Biller stars as Barbi, a voluptuous, bored suburban housewife who turns to her wealthy, swinging neighbours, Sheila (Bridget Brno) and Mark (Jared Sanford) to fill the time. It’s not long before the burgeoning sexual revolution with its psychedelic, drug-fuelled orgies, bohemian nudist colonies and high-class brothels enter Barbi’s suburban world.

Camply acted, beautifully shot and carefully detailed, this painstaking recreation of the kinky soft-core comedies that had a brief heyday during the hippy era is a singular pleasure that’s best approached with a broad mind and broader sense of humour. Extras include Viva La Vita: Canapés, Cabaret and the Carnal booklet by Beth Johnson; behind the scenes with narration by director Biller; exotic slide show and original theatrical trailer.

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