Roger EbertEver since I started watching Russ Meyer sex flicks back in college and reading about the filmmaker, I have heard about the movie that Meyer tried to make with the Sex Pistols in the mid-1970s, Who Killed Bambi? Before he started on his film criticism career, Roger Ebert had worked on scripts for a couple of Meyer's movies and had been assigned to write a script for the proposed Sex Pistols film. But no excerpts from Who Killed Bambi? were available ... until now.

A couple of weeks ago, shortly after Sex Pistols manager Malcolm McLaren died, Ebert wrote a rollicking blog entry titled "McLaren & Meyer & Rotten & Vicious & me" about his experiences trying to get Who Killed Bambi? made. The entry included a few fragments of the screenplay Ebert started writing. This week, he's published a follow-up blog entry that includes the entire script he wrote for the Sex Pistols project. The screenplay is labeled as a second draft from July 1977, and at the time, the film's title was Anarchy in the U.K. -- Ebert says he proposed Who Killed Bambi? shortly afterward.
I found the script to be rather dated -- you'd know instantly it was written in the late 1960s or 1970s. The style reminds me of Terry Southern on a bad day. It's all very contrived and artificial, but that might have worked with the Sex Pistols. Of course, many of the women are described in the script as being "very busty," which is right in line for a Russ Meyer film. I'd love to compare this screenplay to Up Against It, the unproduced Beatles script from playwright Joe Orton.

The Who Killed Bambi? production fell apart shortly after shooting began, and there seems to be no definitive answer as to why. I can't imagine how a finished film would have looked and sounded, but frankly, I think I'm happier that Ebert pursued a career in film criticism instead. I'm also happy he's been blogging these bits of film history that would otherwise be lost.
categories Cinematical