by Johnny Web
Anna Biller, the writer, director and star of Viva, set out to make a bad
movie, a send-up of the bad exploitation movies made in the first wave of
the sexual revolution in the late 60s and early 70s. She did everything
possible to re-create what the cheesy films were like in that era: the
fashions, the sets, the script, the dialogue, the awkward blocking, the lame
philosophy, the hairstyles, the bad acting, the bad music, you name it.
Biller managed to cover just about every possible cliché from the era: the
swingin' bachelors, the psychedelic cartoons, the nudie musicals, the casual
drug use, the flamboyant gay characters, the gratuitous lesbian scenes, the
bored housewives. All the characters walk around with a martini in one hand
and a cigarette in the other. When they aren't spouting trite jargon about
sexual liberation, they're exchanging 70's catch phrases from TV
Ms. Biller did an excellent job on her movie. I laughed out loud a few
times, and smiled in recognition many times. There's really only one thing
wrong with the film. It's way too long. And I mean WAY too long. This sort
of spoof gets old and repetitious very quickly, but this movie goes on for
two hours, so it really started to irritate me in the last half hour, even
though I liked it. At 80 minutes this could have been a beautifully paced
spoof, but at 120 minutes it really drags and repeats itself. (I was
especially bored with an "exaggerated laughter" gag which was repeated many
If you are not familiar with our grading system, you need to
explanation, because the grading is not linear. For example, by
our definition, a
C is solid and a C+ is a VERY good movie. There are very few Bs
and As. Based on our descriptive system, this film is a:
OK genre spoof that should have been great if brevity had
been the soul of its wit.
- Anna Biller shows her breasts, as do many others at an orgy.
- Many others show everything at a nudist camp
- Andrea Lain shows everything, as do others in a nudie musical.