Directed by: Russ Meyer
Starring: Tura Satana, Haji, Lori Williams, Sue Bernard
The Plot is Afoot!
Varla, Rosie and Billy spend their days as gogo dancers for a night club, dancing for dollars in front of ogling screeching men. On their free time they unwind by relieving their aggression and break the law by murdering a street racer and kidnapping his girlfriend. When they meet an old man and his two unstable sons, they decide to make themselves at home in their old farm when Varla learns the old man may be hiding a large cache of money.
Russ Meyer was a man who loved breasts. He surely enjoyed the female form, but mostly he loved breasts. He fetishized them, worshipped them, and centered his entire career making films that idolized them in some form or another. Russ Meyer is one of the last directors who cast and adored curvy busty women, and though he’s written off sometimes as an exploitation director, Meyer definitely was a dying breed of male. Sure, breasts are still worshipped in today’s society, but not many directors have the guts to reveal them so much in their films.
The closest we’ve come is with Tarantino who worships the female foot to an obscene degree. But no one had a bigger passion for breasts than Russ Meyer did. One of Russ Meyer’s last films was a semi-biographical documentary about the ex-porn star Pandora Peaks. She was a woman known primarily for her humongous breasts. Though the film itself does delve in to her life, Meyer spends a better portion of the movie filming Peaks dancing erotically, and using her giant breasts as a form of seduction for the audience.
In either case, one of the Russ Meyer’s most iconic films of his career is the exciting and fantastic “Faster Pussycat! Kill! Kill!” It’s also one of his most restrained in the arena of breast idolatry. “Faster Pussycat!” is instead based more around the female form than the breasts, as Meyer casts the iconic Tura Satana who is a curvaceous goddess in every form imaginable. As Varla, she plays off of two other insanely sexy women, Rose as played by the vivacious Haji, and Billie as depicted by the buxom Lori Williams. “Faster Pussycat!” is the picture of a trio of women objectified by men day in and day out for cash. When they finally do step out on their own, they use their free time to have fun, ride fast cars, and victimize anyone they come across.
Satana as Varla leads her trio in to the desert to engage in some rollicking and relieving of sexual aggression and anger, with the threesome representing different personalities all their own. Loria as Billie is a party girl prone to bouts of adventure, while Haji is much more bent on following Varla’s orders and restraining her urges. Varla watches over and presides over them with her sweet hot rod, and doesn’t mind smacking someone across the chops to get her point across. The threesome come across a young couple on the side of the road racing.
After Varla makes quick work of her bold male competitor in a drag race across the desert (which includes Satana flexing her martial arts abilities) murdering him viciously, the trio kidnap his girlfriend Linda and intend to make her suffer for witnessing the little murder unfold. Little do they know they meet their match when they come across an old wheelchair bound gas station attendant and his muscle bound son Vegetable. Varla feels up the mentally disabled son and discovers the old man is hiding a large sum of money, and anxious to break out from their job, Varla decides they should infiltrate the house and steal it out from under them.
Much of the terror unfolds with Varla and the group interjecting in much of the demented family’s every day activities, as Linda is forced to endure the violence before her eyes while vainly attempting to escape the trio of deadly women. Soon greed and paranoia take over as Varla falls for one of the sons of the Old Man, as Rosie uncovers feelings for her fearless leader in the process. There’s a lot of wicked action to be had, and many moments where Meyer admires the curves of these gorgeous women.
Haji and Lori Williams are never bashful about revealing their curves, bending over and flexing for their male targets, while Haji spends most of the movie romancing the old man’s son Vegetable in moments of passion. There are many great moments of seering tension, and a wonderful finale where Satana begins murdering her suspected traitors and has it out with the Old Man’s son attempting to run him over with her car as he holds the car back by will of his strength.
While many fans of Meyer insist that films like “Mudhoney” and “Beyond the Valley of the Dolls,” but I always go back to “Faster Pussycat! Kill! Kill!” The performances are just too damn excellent, and it’s probably his most entertaining in his entire career. Not to mention there’s no one on Earth like Tura Satana.
Go, baby! Go, baby!
There is surprisingly very little blood to be had here. There’s some blood spill whenever someone is punched across the face, but for the most part the violence is clean with a lot of broken bones, quick broken backs, and literal knives to the back.
There’s a lot of implied nudity featured in “Faster Pussycat!” as the trio of women are often busting out of their shirts, while Haji and Lori Williams have a cat fight in the water. There’s also a scene where Lori Williams bathes without a shirt on, but most of it seen behind her back.
Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to violence, the word and the act. While violence cloaks itself in a plethora of disguises, its favorite mantle still remains… sex. Violence devours all it touches, its voracious appetite rarely fulfilled. Yet violence doesn’t only destroy, it creates and molds as well. Let’s examine closely then this dangerously evil creation, this new breed encased and contained within the supple skin of woman. The softness is there, the unmistakable smell of female, the surface shiny and silken, the body yielding yet wanton. But a word of caution: handle with care and don’t drop your guard. This rapacious new breed prowls both alone and in packs, operating at any level, any time, anywhere, and with anybody. Who are they? One might be your secretary, your doctor’s receptionist… or a dancer in a go-go club!
Russ Meyer’s most iconic film of his career, “Faster Pussycat! Kill! Kill!” is arguably one of his most accomplished female empowerment fantasies with great writing, an excellent score, and very memorable performances from Haji, Lori Williams, and the immortal Tura Satana. While many movie fans will argue Meyer has made better, “Faster Pussycat!” is Meyer’s most entertaining.