Friday, February 6, 2009


Filmmaker Anna Biller’s tribute to Seventies softcore sexploitation films, VIVA, is a real hoot, a lovingly recreated tribute to the era of swingers, orgies, nudist colonies and fashion disasters.

Biller – who writes, directs and designs the film as well as play the lead – stars as sensual suburban housewife Barbi, who sets out to – as the box copy puts it – "discover the seedy underbelly of the sexual revolution." As homage, it’s a home run; Biller hits her target dead-on, with the same wooden acting, outrageous situations and deadpan narrative style of the 42nd Street classics she emulates. If you didn’t know better, there would be virtually no way to tell that this wasn’t made around 1972.

Cult Epics unrated (but absolutely adult only) DVD features a gorgeous, 1,85:1 widescreen transfer that faithfully reproduces the bright colors and exquisite details of Biller’s 70’s set and costume designs. Regrettably, there’s no feature commentary track, but the bonus features include some behind-the-scenes footage with filmmaker narration by Biller, as well as a "nudie" slideshow.

A wonderful homage to grindhouse sexploitation films, with a sense of humor and sexy charm. Recommended to fans of the genre.

BUY: Viva (Unrated Edition)