FASTER, PUSSYCAT! KILL! KILL! (1966 United States)

faster-pussycatOF course, Russ Meyer is the great auteur. He wrote, directed, produced, shot and sometimes appeared in his films, well, certain parts of him at any rate. When you dare to watch some of his ‘oeuvre’ you are submitting to the visions of a madman…

Misogyny isn’t really the word, as you can imagine the drooling old sleaze ball worshipping these women and doing anything for them while he’s filming them bouncing around. In RM’s later years there was something mentally ill about his fantasies, like a naughty boy desiring only to provoke and offend. I don’t know why he even bothered with plots. That’s not what the audiences were there for. But he was one of the first filmmakers to deal explicitly with the link between sex and violence and to reverse the roles of the standard action movies, but technically this is too cheap and amateurish – apart from a really gripping final fight scene. The whole thing feels too improvised to have any artistic merit.

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But it is powered along by a cheerful energy. Quite a ridiculous story about three go-go dancers on a rampage. They’re Varla (Tura Satana), her girlfriend Rosie (Haji) and Billie (Lori Williams). It starts right off with the three of them in separate cars speeding down a desert highway. Watch for the close-ups of them “driving”–the sky behind them never moves. Within the first ten minutes, Rosie and Billie get soaking wet and have a catfight. They attack an innocent couple, kill the guy and kidnap the girl. They then get involved with a lecherous, but interesting, old man (Stuart Lancaster) and his two sons.

The rest of the plot is just too silly to get into.  Big bad Tura Satana is decidedly bi-sexual and clearly the head of the group; and what she says goes! Lori Williams makes Britney Spears look like Angela Merkel by comparison, with hips that arrive five minutes before she does. Haji, we later gather, is Varla’s lover (a fact the actress herself was not aware of until she questioned Russ Meyer regarding her motivation for a particular scene-I bet it was the only time in RM’s career he ever had to deal with that question). Poor Haji has to speak all her lines using a ludicrous Italian accent and over-emphasized hand gestures. She gets to spit out lines like “I’m a gonna spinna dry you!” And there are big breasts.

ah3suZ9If you’re not won over by the very first frames (in which a soundtrack expands as a voice-over describes EXACTLY what this film is going to be about), then there’s not much more you can come to expect. You have beautiful women, crazy car chases, violence, and lecherous men. Some people discuss Meyer’s work as artistic, some as trash, but it’s obvious here that Russ doesn’t draw a line between either and is willing to both explore the ugliness of individual people as well as make epic monuments out of big breasts.

In order to pull off what he needs, he sets his action in the desert and in far away, isolated houses. This gives the whole film a sense of science fiction, alternative space, which both helps the pulp and the themes. This is a great escape from the real world.  The acting and action are both laughable, but to complain about such things is like going to Disney World to admire the toilet facilities. Did I mention there are big breasts? This is the type of film for which the term Guilty Pleasure was coined. Just enjoy becoming abreast of the situation.

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Comments

  1. This is your most hilarious review to date! That gif image just kills me ha ha! :mrgreen:

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Thanks Marina, if you haven’t seen an RM ‘film’ yet, give it a go, lol.

    Like

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