An unabashed and unapologetic homage to the bosomy romps of a bygone era, “Pervert!” is a throwback to those halcyon days when women carried a little extra meat on their bones and proud Americans fornicated in the drive-in theaters that once dotted the landscape of this great nation. The dinosaurs of that landscape like Russ Meyer and Doris Wishman no longer menace the mainstream with busty kung-fu fighting heroines and gratuitous explosions, which means it’s high time for some new blood to pick up the torch and satisfy our exploitation needs. After seeing “Pervert!,” the new feature from Jonathan Yudis and Mike Davis, I think the baton has been safely passed.
As the movie opens, we find our young hero James (Sean Andrews) driving across the desert to spend the summer with his estranged father Hezekiah (Darrell Sandeen). Fresh from college, James is anticipating a relaxing few months in the country, so it’s quite a surprise to discover dear old dad shacking up with a blonde bombshell named Cheryl (Mary Carey) and indulging in other, less…savory pursuits involving sharp implements and mysterious cuts of meat. Cheryl, of course, decides to take James under her, uh, wing in order to educate him about the fairer sex, but as the bodies (and breasts) start piling up, James eventually comes to realize a crazed killer is lurking right under his nose.
The plot, as with most B-movies, is mostly a framework upon which to drape frequent sight gags, plentiful displays of gore, and Mary Carey’s ample chest. Lest you be fooled into taking the effort too seriously, the soundtrack is also appropriately over-the-top, resorting to appropriate sound effects as often as it does the occasionally menacing score.
Also typical of such an endeavor, the acting is all over the place. Andrews is convincingly incredulous at the events transpiring around him, while Sandeen (perhaps most famous as one of the Klansmen beaten up by Bart and the Waco Kid in “Blazing Saddles”) is a great find. Hezekiah is a barely restrained tsunami of profanity, violence, and lechery, and Sandeen captures the role perfectly. Director Yudis also has a fine role as the local white supremacist hip-hop auto mechanic, a man who eschews “hands-on” parenting in favor of his feet. As for the female roles, Juliette Clarke holds her own as Hezekiah’s nurse Patty, and Carey, uh, jumps up and down a lot.
Yudis and Davis are well aware of the inherent hilarity of their chosen genre, playing just about everything for laughs and largely succeeding. Not every joke is a winner, but any blown gags are quickly forgotten with the appearance of the next nudie cutie or grisly murder.
“Pervert!” is not for everyone. More specifically, it should be avoided by anybody who has a problem with nudity, sex, sucking chest wounds, meat, snakes, gratuitous corn on the cob, “wife beater” undershirts, or gay Nazis. The other 98% of the population should go out and get the DVD, or – if you’re lucky enough to live in the Los Angeles area – check it out at a midnight screening. It’s just too bad that Russ Meyer died a few days after shooting wrapped, as he never got a chance to see that his legacy, for the time being, appears to be in good hands.