Everything you want in a movie, rendered luridly bright
REVIEW My eyes were literally popping at Viva, a time-warp back to the days of swingin' sexploitation films by Radley Metzger, Russ Meyer, Herschell Gordon Lewis, and similarly give-the-horny-people-what-they-want auteurs. Writer-director-producer-costumer-set designer and star Anna Biller plays Barbi, a bored Los Angeles housewife circa 1972. When her Ken doll-like hubby leaves her alone on a so-called extended business trip, adventurous Barbi becomes Viva, a frequently nude muse for every pervy guy in a neck scarf who crosses her path. Plot ain't really important here, though Viva is either a parody or an homage (or perhaps both), executed so perfectly it's almost hard to tell it was made in the 21st century. Bad acting, sleazy dialogue, constant porny background music, incredible outfits and hair, drug-hazed orgies, olive-bedecked finger foods, a nudist colony, a call girl subplot, and musical numbers Viva has everything you want to see in a movie, rendered in luridly bright Technicolor and filtered through what I can only describe as an XXX-rated scramble of The Brady Bunch. Biller is my new hero. I can't wait to see what she does next. (Cheryl Eddy)
VIVA opens Fri/11 at the Red Vic. See Rep Clock for showtimes.