Russ Meyer’s Up! (1976) and Beneath The Valley Of The Ultra Vixens (1979) featured birthday girl Kitten Natividad. Russ and Kitten were a couple for 15 years.
For those that are interested in learning more about Russ Meyer, please check out this terrific interview with Vixen star Erica Gavin at AVManiacs.com. She talks very candidly about the sad state of RM Films since his passing and the people in control of a once successful company. For even more on the unfortunate fate of Russ’ film legacy I can recommend Big Bosoms and Square Jaws: The Biography of Russ Meyer, King of the Sex Film by Jimmy McDonough.
Russ Meyer was said to have been very generous with all his friends and acquaintances, and never isolated friends from one another. Biographers have attributed most of his brutish and eccentric nature to the fact that he was abandoned by his father, an Oakland police officer and overly coddled by his mother, Lydia, who was married six times. Meyer had a half sister, Lucinda, who was diagnosed in her twenties with paranoid schizophrenia and was committed to California State mental institutions until her death in 1999. Mental illness ran in his family and it was something he secretly feared. During his entire life Russ Meyer spoke with only the highest reverence for his mother and sister.
Starting in the mid-1990s Meyer had frequent fits and bouts of memory loss. By 2000 he was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease, and his health and well-being were thereafter looked after by Janice Cowart, his secretary and estate executor. That same year, with no wife or children to claim his wealth (there are rumors he fathered a child), Meyer willed that the majority of his money and estate would be sent to the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in honor of his late mother.
Russ Meyer died at his home in the Hollywood Hills, of complications of pneumonia, on September 18, 2004. He was 82 years old. Meyer’s grave is located at Stockton Rural Cemetery.
Written under the pen name “Adolph Schwartz” and published by a company named “Hauck” for Meyer’s late mother’s maiden name. Russ Meyer’s self published three volume autobiography was released in August 2000 after fifteen years of delays and rewrites. Many Meyer fans had pre-paid for the book as early as 1990. It is an immense 18-pound, 3-volume set of luxurious 100-lb paper stock; sewn signatures and thousands of photos.
“I’ve always had a tremendous interest in big tits”
Surrounded by abundant women Russ Meyer talks about his two favorite subjects in these clips from Playboy’s Voluptuous Vixens.
The only music video that Russ Meyer ever made is for the song Soul Twister by Jean Park and uses footage from Faster Pussycat! Kill! Kill! and features Meyer’s last serious girlfriend Melissa Mounds (Debra Angela Masson) who was also found guilty of assaulting him in 1999.
Russ Meyer returned to directing for his first time in 20 years with a documentary about big-breasted stripper Pandora Peaks. Reminiscent of the director’s earlier Mondo Topless, the film is a collision of rapidly moving montage sequences that supply acres of skin along with Meyer’s own lecherous sense of humor.
Eva “Tundi” Horvath was born in 1965 in Budapest, Hungary. She was a stunning blonde of mind-boggling proportions and was yet another discovery of the great Russ Meyer. Russ Meyer is rumoured to have shot extensive footage of Tundi for his never-released epic, The Breast of Russ Meyer. However, her career was relatively short. Meyer did shoot her in 1987 for the French magazine, Newlook, (and her layouts appeared in a few other magazines), including Oui and the March 1990 issue of Fling, but she did little after that.
Kitten Natividad and the Pussycats, Dolls & Vixens: Tribute to Russ Meyer show at the M Modern Gallery in Palm Springs California.
“We tried to keep it happening, but [after awhile] it was over. We just loved each other as human beings and we were happy that we did things together. I cared for him a lot, even after he had Alzheimer’s. He’d have horrible accidents and I’d have to clean him up. But that was a different sort of love. He was a great man, incredibly loyal, wonderful man.”
- Kitten Natividad on her relationship with Russ Meyer
”He was my kind of man. He was dark and I found him very manly. Very handsome. I said, ‘Oh God, I’d like to strap him on.’” - Kitten Natividad
Russ Meyer and his girlfriend of 15 years Kitten Natividad.
Over the years Russ Meyer alluded to other projects throughout his career which were halted at various levels of completion…
CHOICE CUTS - For Darryl Zanuck at Warner Brothers circa 1971.
ELEVEN - A horror project for Tempo productions, that was to be filmed in the South circa 1972.
BEYOND…BEYOND - Russ was talking of this BVD “non-sequel” around 1972.
FOXY - To feature then wife Edy Williams. In 1973 some censorship decisions from courts caused Russ to drop production for fear of losing his investors money. Russ produced BLACKSNAKE that year completely with his own funding.
UP THE VALLEY OF THE BEYOND - A project co-written with Roger Ebert which was being planned around the time of UP! and BENEATH THE VALLEY OF THE ULTRAVIXENS (both also co-written by Ebert using a pseudonym).
THE JAWS OF VIXEN and THE JAWS OF LORNA - Projects sometimes alluded to in the post-BTVOTUV period. THE JAWS OF VIXEN was promoted at the end of that film.
BLITZEN, VIXEN AND HARRY - A 1982 Variety article described this as a co-production of RM International and Filmwelt Verleih-Und Vertribs of Munich. It was to be a DIRTY HARRY parody starring Charles Napier, Henry Rowlnd, and seven Playboy Playmates.
MONDO TOPLESS II - A sequel spoken of in the mid-80’s which is still being listed as available “someday.” According to Russ’ current literature, some of the featured talent appears to be Eva “Tundi” Horvath, Tami Roche, “Baby Doll” Devereaux, and Kristine Mills.
THE BREAST OF RUSS MEYER - A twelve hour videography incorporating segments from all of his films, and newly shot footage organized into a biographical form. This labor of love is frequently referred to in interviews, but it has yet to be released.
In 1977 Russ Meyer and Roger Ebert would begin work on the screenplay for Who Killed Bambi which would have starred The Sex Pistols. The film fell apart just as quickly as it came together.
You can read a first hand account about this by Roger Ebert here…
and the screenplay he and Russ wrote here…