Faster, Pussycat! Kill! Kill! Movie Review

In 1966, Russ Meyer's classic, Faster, Pussycat! Kill! Kill!, first hit the big screen. 1995 marks the re-release of what is considered the director's best and most accessible work: still as fun, twisted, and hilarious as ever.

The picture opens with an ominous voice-over, reminiscent of an old Ed Wood picture, warning us of the dangers of a certain creature that often "travels in packs." Of course this creature is none other than ... the go-go dancer, which, when released after a hard night's work, has the tendency to wander through the desert looking for trouble.

Faster, Pussycat! is the story of three such creatures (Tura Satana, Haji, and Lori Williams) who, after a particularly competitive auto race, wind up in a plot involving murder, kidnapping, and the lust for an old man's "stash" of money. It's a thin plot, of course, but the ultra-hammy acting by the three ladies is what really carries the story from one hilarious scene to the next.

The Ed Wood comparisons don't stop at the narration. In many respects, Faster, Pussycat! is so bad it's good. Satana, Haji, and Williams couldn't act their ways--working together--out of a paper bag. But surprisingly, this works. With the heavy use of '60s hipster-slang and a cool jazz/thriller theme music soundtrack, the three leads are portrayed as anti-heroines of a bygone age. So what if they haven't memorized their lines?

And don't be fooled, Meyer knew what he was doing. The script is full of self-mocking references, with Satana referring to a "scene" or "the screenplay." And as a true master of low-budget filmmaking, Meyer could turn this schlock into profits. While appearing as half-industrial film, half-farce, the sum result is an entertaining fringe picture that's really quite suitable for the mainstream.

As new prints of Faster, Pussycat! travel around the country, you'll probably hear that Meyer was "a soft-core pornographer" with films like Beyond the Valley of the Dolls. But when you see this movie (and you really should), you may not even notice: despite the sensationalistic topic and scantily-clad characters, Pussycat has no nudity, due to the heavy censorship activity of the era. Of course, Meyer's reputation is quite the opposite. Meyer fools us all again.


Comments

Faster, Pussycat! Kill! Kill! Rating

" Good "

Rating: R, 1966

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