Vixen! (1968)

Vixen, the title character of Russ Meyer’s kinky, X-rated comedy, has the heart of a lion, the body of a Greek goddess and the mouth of a sailor.

As played by 21-year-old, full-figured fox Erica Gavin, Vixen lives in the Canadian bush country with a pilot husband who is barely home. How does one pass the time when you’re lonely, super promiscuous and live in the middle of nowhere? Well, if you’re the star of a Russ Meyer movie and you look damn good in and out of a yellow bikini, you flash your boobs a lot and boink virtually every other human you come in contact with.

“Vixen!” is perverse, mindless and wildly immoral, but God help me, I enjoyed it. Part of the appeal is the zany, double entendre-laden script, co-written by Anthony James Ryan and Meyer himself, which positions all of the females as incredibly forward beings (“Mind if I use your lap as a pillow?”) and plays up the ridiculousness of skin flick conventions rather than pretending it doesn’t exist.

For the most part, the film is content in following Vixen along on her sexual escapades, gleefully bouncing from one bed to the next with reckless abandon. Easily the horniest broad in all of Canada, the swinging sexpot makes it with just about every other character in the movie, and yes, Vixen’s greasy brother happens to be one of them.

The film is fun so long as it sticks to Vixen shtupping, but “Vixen!” gets vexing the second Meyer tosses a little anti-Vietnam/anti-communism commentary into the fray towards the end. It’s a bummer Meyer felt the need to piss away the breezy, lighthearted tone of the first hour, particularly since a movie with this much outré behavior has no business lecturing us on real world problems.

Luckily, the brazen goofiness up until that point is more than enough to warrant a minor recommendation. Likewise, Gavin is a talent you wouldn’t want to overlook. It’s not everyday you come across an actress with the conviction to perform a sexy shimmy with a lake trout, and yet Gavin pulls it off — along with her bra, more often than not. 

Rated: X for sex, nudity, strong language and violence

Director: Russ Meyer

Starring: Erica Gavin, Garth Pillsbury

★★★ (out of ★★★★)

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