“Situated on precipitous peaks above yawning canyons,” bellers our off-camera guide, “San Francisco thrusts itself into the bosom of the Pacific.” The cadence of the eloquent voice-over suggests ersatz Ed Murrow, but the salacious syntax is unmistakably that of Russ Meyer. After five minutes, all semblance of documentary realism is abandoned in favor of fly-about coverage of a bevy of “discotheque discoveries” fruging as though their lives depended on it. Come for the pulchritudinous va-voom, stay for the va-va-va-voom camera placement and editing pyrotechnics of the Sergei Eisenstein of smut. The goal of the original Mondo films was to cloak prurient behavior in documentary camouflage, thus legitimizing the need for nudity. Russ’ first color outing begins with a pneumatic beauty behind the wheel as she chauffeurs us through the city’s summits and valleys. Not since Vertigo had San Francisco’s peaks been put to better use. (1966) — Scott Marks
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