The Immoral Mr. Teas (Russ Meyer / U.S., 1959):

Real bosoms and fake teeth or vice versa, Russ Meyer and the plight of Modern Man. The introductory montage makes a cubist out of Manet, with canted angles for flowery close-ups in preparation of the central gag, dilated out of The Girl Can't Help It. Goateed, bow-tied and straw-hatted, the eponymous schmo (Bill Teas) ambles through urban routines with "eyes on the future." Away from suburban barrenness, back to bountiful nature: An umbrella stuck in the sandy beach gives a grain of Tati, he rests astride a tree trunk with fishing pole erect until a blonde in a bikini has him jumping in the water. (Renoir that same year tells his own version in Le Déjeuner sur l'herbe.) The frustrations of voyeurism, a winking melancholia—the receptionist in the unbuttoned coat is the one penetrating him at the dentist's office, her anesthesia injection sends him into a reverie where chompers the size of antlers are pulled. "The mind can turn to noble thoughts," a swirling daydream disrobes the waitress down to an apron while he employs a fork on a watermelon. Elsewhere, the street hooker wants only to iron his pants and the burlesque dancer has him literally holding her dress and hat. So it goes in Meyer's serene send-up of educational flicks, a peekaboo poem on the essential sadness of the all-American lecher. Cock-blocked by Edward J. Lakso's narration ("Sunshine is important to photosynthesis and evaporation, which leads to rainfall," he waxes over a tableau of nudists in the woods), Mr. Teas find solace at last with the psychiatrist who reads Jules Feiffer. Russell has his own peeper to chase (The Insatiable Mrs. Kirsch), "some men just enjoy being sick."

--- Fernando F. Croce

Back to Reviews
Back Home