Eye For Film >> Movies >> Vixen! (1968) Film Review
Reviewed by: Paz Newis
What is the difference between pornography and erotica? I heard a pundit once say that if it offends you, it is pornography, if you like it, it's erotica. I don't know what appellation to use if it makes you laugh then faintly disturbs you. Smutty filth? Filthy smut? It ain't just good clean fun.
It seems to be just that, at first. A Canadian wilderness pilot (Garth Pillsbury) has a pretty young wife (Erica Gavin) and while he is away the eponymous Vixen plays merry heck with the local men folk - top half only action and simulated sex, pretty risque, and you can see the influence on later Seventies porn flicks.
Director/producer/editor/cinematographer Russ Meyer makes clever use of foreshadowing, flash-forwards and epic scenery. These positives, however, are discordant with the funky soundtrack and soft porn titillation. I thought the lesbian scene must have pushed the envelope for its day, although not so much, as it is curtailed by the return of heterosexual hubby.
Then racism rears its ugly head. Vixen blatantly taunts her brother's friend, Niles (Harrison Page), a black man, calling him "Rufus" and telling him to "keep his place." In the 21st century, it is surprising how this blatant bigotry jars. But that is nothing compared to the next scene, when Vixen seduces her own brother in the shower. A taboo too far? It certainly is for Niles, who immediately falls in with the IRA. No, he does, really. I'm not making this up!
The film's climax does offer hope, as Vixen acknowledges Niles as a human being, although she can't bring herself to say, "...thanks." And then, she is eyeing up her next victims - no repentance, or retribution for the infidelity, the racism, let alone the incest.
This is just a simple tale of a pretty young brunette bisexual nymphomaniac. Wink.Reviewed on: 09 Apr 2005