The Canadian Bush was little travelled to until recently as the terrain is so rough, but with the arrival of heroic bush pilots such as Tom Palmer (Garth Pillsbury) the area became available to more and more people looking to hunt, fish, or simply spend time there as a tourist. Tom is married to Vixen (Erica Gavin), who is not exactly faithful to him, although Tom doesn't see it. In fact, she's not faithful to him at all, as she gets lonely for companionship when Tom is away for long periods and today she has just enjoyed the company of a Mountie, one of many conquests - and there are more to come...
Also known as Russ Meyer's Vixen!, putting its creator's name in the title, this was the first Meyer film with the word "Vixen" in the title and it's obviously a word he considered good luck as he used it again, for Supervixens and Beneath the Valley of the Ultravixens. Written by Robert Rudelson from a story by Anthony James Ryan and Meyer, it was a huge success for the director, and put him on the map as a commercial force to be reckoned with (which he nearly managed to undo with Beyond the Valley of the Dolls). It also made a brief star of its leading lady, and judging by her uninhibited performance it's easy to see why.
Vixen will basically shag anything that moves to satisfy her enormous appetites - well, almost anything, as she has her unattractive side because it is made clear early on that she is a dyed in the wool racist. Her brother Judd (Jon Evans) is a biker, and his best friend is Niles (Harrison Page, now best known for his role in TV comedy Sledge Hammer), a young black American who has ventured up to Canada to dodge the draft. Vixen calls Niles "Rufus" and worse, and is adamant that she will never go to bed with him, but the feelings are mutual.
Tom brings a rich, holidaying couple, Dave (Robert Aiken) and Janet (Vincene Wallace), up to the lodge and Vixen is immediately interested, that night performing the seductive, erm, fish dance. Nothing to do with Monty Python, it features her putting a fish in her cleavage and mouth, summing up the ridiculous, over the top nature of the sexuality in this film. Nevertheless her actions work and the next day on a fishing trip she and Dave go off together and indulge in a spot of alfresco lovemaking. Meanwhile Janet is trying to get Tom interested but being a faithful, married man, he is having none of it, leaving Janet frustrated.
But not for long, as when she lets the men go hunting the next day, Janet stays in her bedroom to get drunk and who should join her but Vixen? And with immortal lines like "Your body really turns me on!" we have a protracted lesbian scene. Vixen, with her painted on eyebrows and permanently heightened passions, is an absurd character, but suits the cartoonish story - she even goes as far as leading astray her brother. For some reason Meyer felt the need to include politics for the last fifteen minutes of this pretty short movie, so an Irish communist shows up and persuades Niles to go to Cuba with him, with a heated discussion the result. The outcome is a film that operates on a level of near hysteria, but is guiltily enjoyable for its excesses. Music by Igo Kantor.
[Vixen is available as part of a special edition 3 DVD box set of the Vixen Trilogy, with extras including featurettes, commentaries by the late Russ Meyer, and photo galleries.]
American director and one of the most notable cult filmmakers of the 60s and 70s. Meyer worked as a newsreel cameraman during World War II, before becoming a photographer. In 1959, his work for Playboy led to his first film – the hugely successful ‘nudie’ feature The Immoral Mr Teas. Other soft-core features followed before Meyer moved to a series of trashy, thrilling B-movies – Mudhoney, Motor Psycho and Faster, Pussycat! Kill! Kill! – that combined the two elements – incredibly voluptuous women and graphic violence – that would become Meyer’s trademark.