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Valley of the Dolls: Special Edition

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Sex! Drugs! Show business! Consider how the initial shock value that this campy exploration of intoxicated theater life and its intentionally sophomoric sequel in-name-only have aged: Valley of the Dolls: Special Edition now exudes a classy soap vibe, and the rampant exploitation of ’60s counterculture in Beyond (penned by Roger Ebert, who hated the first film) unfolds with goofy Austin Powers-esque energy. EXTRAS The discs are loaded (in the best way, man). Insightful commentary from Barbara Parkins highlights the first package — she admits that ”the whole film is canned” — which also includes three featurettes, a wealth of historical media (in an old television special about the film) and a ”Pill Popping Guide” that is actually just comprised of onscreen trivia about the movie. On his commentary for Beyond, Ebert discusses working with famed porn auteur Russ Meyer (”he works in the skin flick genre[s] but is not really of those genres”) and the cast members ruminate on a separate track about their free-wheeling experiences on the set. Five featurettes and screen tests conducted by Meyer are standouts, especially one practice take where the director fine-tunes the dynamics of an erotic kiss, forcing the actors to repeat it over and over.