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  Faster, Pussycat! Kill! Kill! Girls Just Wanna Have Fun
Year: 1965
Director: Russ Meyer
Stars: Tura Satana, Haji, Lori Williams, Sue Bernard, Stuart Lancaster, Paul Trinka, Dennis Busch, Ray Barlow, Michael Finn
Genre: Action, Thriller, TrashBuy from Amazon
Rating:  8 (from 2 votes)
Review: Three go-go dancers have headed out to the desert to kill some time in their three sports cars, and when they reach a river they stop and get out. Billie (Lori Williams) dives into the water, but as she frolics her friend Rosie (Haji) becomes incensed and goes after her, fighting with her in the river until Billie manages to get free and onto the bank. Rosie is still not satisfied and forces her to the ground, where a catfight ensues, but their leader Varla (Tura Satana) is unimpressed and decides to show them who is boss with a game of chicken...

So begins one of the best-titled exploitation movies of the sixties, if not of all time, which came to towering prominence not at the point it was released, but years after when the cult of its director Russ Meyer was really taking off. It might not feature any of the nudity that his films became known for, but few would feel shortchanged at the overwhelming sense of female sexuality sent careering out of control and stomping all puny men before it that Faster, Pussycat! Kill! Kill! was immersed in. Not only that, but it made a true pin-up icon of its star, Tura Satana (her real name!) in her all-in-black outfit with her cleavage bared in what would best be described as an aggressive manner.

Not for nothing did trash auteur John Waters proclaim it as the best movie ever made, and there is a man who knows his way around a bad girl character, of which there are three here. It's plain they are trouble even from before we even see them, as a voiceover sweatily warns menfolk about the violence inherent in women, possibly your secretary, you receptionist, and naturally those go-go dancers. The next eighty minutes then goes on to provide a case in point with the wicked trio meeting a racer and his girlfriend, Linda (Sue Bernard), who Varla not only beats in an impromptu contest, but also beats to death in a show of feminine supremacy.

Linda is horrified, but before she can send for help she is bundled into the back of Varla's car and drugged. Now the criminals must work out what to do with her, and get the hell out of the area before they are discovered. After a tip off at a gas station, they follow a disabled, middle aged man (Stuart Lancaster) and his musclebound, muscleheaded son The Vegetable (Dennis Busch) who they have on good authority have a huge stash of cash at their disposal, and Varla believes it would be a pity to waste it on them. Money like that could solve the girls' worries, after all, and so we are left in the tense situation of waiting for violence to erupt once again.

Every time that the film begins to look as if it's starting to drag, Meyer recovers with a crazy camera angle (there in abundance), a memorable cut (Billie knocking back whisky to Varla lustily snogging), or a line that couldn't have come from anywhere but here ("Oh, you're cute... like a velvet glove cast in iron!"). Really Faster Pussycat! Kill! Kill! is a hymn to rampant women who beat the men at their own game, sexually voracious, two-fisted and out for themselves leaving a trail of crumpled up masculinity in their wake. Every man the three girls meet is left somehow less of an individual by their overpowering personalities, and even the meek and squealing Linda finds inner reserves of energy when her would-be saviour lets her down. It is a one-note experience, but not one you're likely to forget. Music by Paul Sawtell and Bert Shefter.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

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Russ Meyer  (1922 - 2004)

American director and one of the most notable cult filmmakers of the 60s and 70s. Meyer worked as a newsreel cameraman during World War II, before becoming a photographer. In 1959, his work for Playboy led to his first film – the hugely successful ‘nudie’ feature The Immoral Mr Teas. Other soft-core features followed before Meyer moved to a series of trashy, thrilling B-movies – Mudhoney, Motor Psycho and Faster, Pussycat! Kill! Kill! – that combined the two elements – incredibly voluptuous women and graphic violence – that would become Meyer’s trademark.

Cherry, Harry & Raquel! and Vixen were more sexual and cartoonish, developing Meyer’s excellent visual sense and skilful editing techniques. Meyer made two films for 20th Century Fox – the bawdy satire Beyond the Valley of the Dolls (written by critic Roger Ebert) and the semi-serious The Seven Minutes, but their commercial failure led the director to return to his independent roots. Supervixens, Up! and 1979’s Beneath the Valley of the Ultra-Vixens were even more energetic, inventive and sex-filled than their predecessors, the latter proving to be the last film Meyer directed.

 
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