Monday, January 26, 2009

Faster, Pussycat! Kill! Kill! (1965)

I'd wanted to see Faster, Pussycat! Kill! Kill! for a while, generally because of its awesome title and awesomer poster. It focuses on three go-go dancers who get their kicks driving around recklessly and abusing anyone who annoys them. Their leader, Varla (Tura Santana), gets annoyed easily, and has a firm hold over Rosie (Haji), who loves her, and Billie (Lori Williams), who'd rather be dancing or fornicating. They meet Tommy (Ray Barlow) and his bubbly girlfriend Linda (Sue Bernard) in the desert, and he races the three women. In danger of losing, Varla runs him off the track and proceeds to beat him to a pulp, eventually killing him.

They take the petrified Linda with them, and regroup at a gas station where the chatty attendant clues them in to a local handicapped old man (Stuart Lancaster) sitting on a huge amount of money. Varla plots to keep Linda with them for now while they ambush the old man and steal his fortune. However, they get tied up at his house, forced to deal with his crotchety paranoia as well as his two sons, the slow-witted body builder "The Vegetable" (Dennis Busch) and the bitter but upright Kirk (Paul Trinka). Now it's a battle of endurance and stubborness between Varla and the old man, while Linda tries to escape the clutches of both. A lot of people will probably die.

I went into this movie wanting to love it (for reasons listed above as well as its lauded cult status), and I generally really enjoyed it, but found some of it lacking. The car scenes and fights at the beginning and end were great- exciting and well-shot. I dug the characters, especially Varla. She was badass and unapologetically hard. Also she shouted almost every line, which I found amusing. I kind of want to be her for Halloween? Almost everything about the characters and dialogue was harsh and mean, which was kind of cool because it's different than films I'm used to.

What bothered me was the general layout of the plot. It starts off exciting and scary, but then falls flat. The middle section is mostly all of the characters hanging out at the old man's house, talking in circles, being angry, and getting nowhere. A lot of the character interactions don't really make much sense, either, or are not expanded upon. Then it picks up again at the end. I feel like the writers knew they wanted to get from point A to point B, but weren't sure exactly how, so they ended up meandering a bit. I understand this is one of the main examples of an exploitation b-movie but I don't think I'm wrong in expecting a more gripping story. Also, the ending was pretty bullshit. It's not a big enough problem to be totally detrimental to the movie, and I'm assuming most people are watching Faster, Pussycat! for the lady-fights and big boobs, not the plot. Overall it was pretty awesome and interesting, with memorable performances, dialogue, and action sequences. And boobs. Big ones. I wonder how the remake will be handled.

Give me some Russ Meyer recommendations, please! I'm moving onto Beyond the Valley of the Dolls (after I watch the first one) next.

4/5

6 comments:

  1. Years later and I see no other RUSS MEYER suggestions, nor will you get any from me. I have long suspected that FASTER is his best film. Sad, yes? Cleavage just can't act or write, apparently.

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