I have no idea what the fuck I just watched, but I kind of loved it. This is High Camp, effortless and energetic and unironically involving. I was totally submerged in the bizarre plot until the last ten minutes or so, which I think is an incredible triumph on Russ Meyer's part, until I realized that a woman was being chased around by a breasted man in a cape calling himself Superwoman. There are some things that you simply CAN'T suspend disbelief for, but the movie isn't any weaker for it...it just kicks it back to camp land.
Beyond the Valley of the Dolls will probably have zero crossover appeal to anyone who doesn't like shitty movies, which makes me sad. I wouldn't even try to initiate a friend with this, either. The drop into awfulness is very steep and played almost totally straight, which I really admire Dolls for. The only irony you find in the movie is blink-and-you'll-miss-them lines to the audience. I read an interview that Roger Ebert, who wrote the movie, did with someone, in which he claimed that he wrote the film as a parody of violent shitty movies, and the interviewer replied "did the director know this?"
Apparently not. And that is good.