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FILM (1965)

Rewind film: Faster, Pussycat! Kill! Kill!

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 07 April, 2013, 12:00am
UPDATED : Sunday, 07 April, 2013, 4:26pm

Faster, Pussycat! Kill! Kill!

Tura Satana, Lori Williams, Haji

Director: Russ Meyer

Just by looking at the title, you'll know Faster, Pussycat! Kill! Kill! is the kind of movie born from a classic 1960s Americana diet of fast cars, hot girls, big breasts, tight tops and jeans, and violence.

Credit is due to director Russ Meyer, the schlocky auteur who combines all those turbo-charged thrills into a semblance of a plot. Opening with a jazzy, almost erotic narration on the connection between violence and sex, we cut to three down-and-out go-go dancers gyrating away on a stage.

After ditching their job, they take off in a classic jet-black Porsche and go on a crime spree, challenging a hick to a car race before killing him. After taking his southern belle girlfriend hostage, the three women hole up at a house owned by a crippled old pervert and his muscle-bound, mentally challenged son, and start searching for a pile of cash rumoured to be hidden on the property.

Political correctness doesn't enter the equation and it's all about the rush: here, that's presented in a chaotic mess where everything's an excuse to shock and excite the viewer.

Maniacal laughter overtakes the soundtrack, and bizarre acts of violence occur randomly. And then there's the flesh: lots of bouncing cleavage that seems as if it's going to pop out any moment, only to be forced back into a low-cut V-neck sweater. It might seem as if the filmmakers gave little thought to the proceedings - and they probably didn't - but you'll probably be so taken by the acid-like vibe, and the wanton combination of lust and ferocity, that you might not care.

Maybe we're selling it too much. Like many a cult classic from long ago, Pussycat probably sounds better on paper than it plays. It's pure Hollywood trash with the laundry list of cheesy cinematic trappings: terrible overacting, silly fights, jarring editing and even random 1950s beach dances in the desert. But after a while, even trash can turn into treasure and these flaws eventually add to the film's low-budget, brilliant charm.

But now, when endless sex and violence is just the click of a button away, it's hard to imagine what it must have been like to watch it in a cinema back in the day.

Pavan Shamdasani

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