Friday, June 8, 2012

Faster, Pussycat! Kill! Kill!

Directed by Russ Meyer.
1965. Not Rated, 83 minutes.
Tura Satana
Lori Williams
Sue Bernard
Stuart Lancaster
Dennis Busch
Paul Trinka
Ray Barlow

The title Faster, Pussycat! Kill! Kill! doesn’t inspire thoughts of artsy fartsy cinema. I didn’t pop this in expecting a thoughtful examination of the human condition. If the title weren’t enough of a hint, it is a Russ Meyer film, after all. Entertaining junk is what I wanted. Entertaining junk is what I got. By the way, when I say “pop this in” I mean into the VCR. Couldn’t even find the darned thing on DVD or on the internet.

For those unaware, Russ Meyer is pretty much the father of the sexploitation flick, directing over 20 such movies in his career. They’re cheap, campy and exploitive. However, there is a certain passion that bleeds through the craziness. He wrote, directed and produced all of his own movies which were made on shoestring budgets. Pretty clearly, every warped moment leapt from the confines of his brain and plastered themselves on film. Yes, they objectify women. However, it’s atypical of the what that implies. In Meyer’s work, that generally means portraying the female gender as dominant, supremely confident and comfortable in their own skin. These are big, bad broads.

Big is a term that can be used to describe Meyer’s artistic vision. That vision and its description absolutely includes breasts with the emphasis on big. He’s obsessed with them. FPKK is nothing, if not a barely restrained display of that obsession. It’s only restrained at all because of when it was made and what he was trying to do. In 1965, nudity was impermissible if you wanted to have your movie seen by a “respectable” audience. Indeed, Meyer wanted to expand beyond the nudie circuit of which he was a star auteur. Therefore, in place of all-out nakedness we get lower than low cut, tighter than tight tops hosting a jiggle-fest of epic porportions.

Handling a rather healthy chunk of the jiggling is Tura Satana as our most voluptuous villain Varla. If you ever have the chance, read up a bit on Ms. Satana. As outlandish as her character is, her life seems to have been even more so. Allegedly, she survived a gang-rape at a very young age, learned martial arts and exacted revenge on her tormentors. She worked as a burlesque dancer at like 14, became involved with Elvis Presley at some point and turned down his marriage proposal. Trust me, I’m only skimming the surface. There’s lots more. One look at her outfit here informs us it must’ve taken an act of God for her not to have a massive flop-out every time she made a sudden move. By sudden I mean those unexpected things us humans do, like breathing. And I do mean massive in the most literal sense of the word.

The second most buxom babe is Rosie, played by the singularly named Haji. Finally, there’s Lori Williams as Billie. She doesn’t have nearly the bra size of her two co-stars but ably depicts another of Meyer’s fetishes. She has the kind of curves we normally only see on cartoon characters. By the way, she also had a relationship with Elvis. I guess it really is good to be the king.

Our three ladies are a trio of vicious vixens. By night, they’re go-go dancers. By day they drive fast, yell at each other and have the occasional catfight. In between all this, some square and his girlfriend invade their space. One thing leads to another and the square ends up in a fistfight with Varla. Bad move. She literally kills him with her bare breasts, um – I mean hands. The vivacious villains then kidnap the girlfriend since she’s the only witness and sorta go on the run. They wind up at the secluded house of a dirty old paraplegic after hearing from a gas station attendant that the man has a bunch of cash stashed on the property. The man lives with his two sons, one of whom is mentally challenged, to say the least. This little bit of info comes after one of the best exchanges in cinematic history. The attendant is leaning into Varla’s car window, telling her how he wants to get away and “see America” while staring intently at her cleavage. She snaps at him, “You won’t find it down there, Columbus!”

The story is only mildly interesting and unintentionally funny in spots. It’s the sexual innuendo filled dialogue and outrageousness of the situation that keeps us locked in for much of the runtime. That and the jiggling, of course. The conduit for both is the insanely and deliciously over the top performance by Satana. She snarls and screams nearly every one of her lines, barking orders and double entendres alike. All the while her boobs defy the laws of physics by bouncing around like basketballs but somehow not falling out of her barely there blouse. Alas, I’ve said too much. I’ll sum it up by saying it’s so bad, it’s awesome!

MY SCORE: -10/10

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