Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Faster, Pussycat! Kill! Kill!

Faster, Pussycat! Kill! Kill!
Directed by: Russ Meyer, 1965, USA
Action / Drama, 83Min
Distributed by: RM Films/Nordisk Film

Three well endowed female kick-ass hell raisers who spend their time off from the strip joint they work at racing their cars in the desert, kidnap stuck-up preppy girl Linda [Susan Bernard] after gang leader Varla [Tura Satana] fights Linda’s boyfriend to the death. After a short stop at a desert gas station they set their sights on an old man [Stuart Lancaster] and his two sons. According to rumour the old man has a fortune hidden away at his home in the desert. Billie [Lori Williams] falls head over heels for the old mans semi-retarded, but incredibly well built son “the vegetable” [Dennis Busch] and after she decides that it might be time to leave the gang, becomes a obstacle for Rosie [Haji] and Varla’s plans.

This is a fantastic movie and one of my personal favourite Meyer movies ever. It has everything working for it; the amazing trio of Tura Satana, Haji and Williams is probably the best constellation that Meyer ever put together. The way Satana snaps the girls into order, beats the living crap out of anyone that gets in her way, the subliminal lesbian romance between Satana & Haji, the ever provocative Williams, who you always feel is the outsider in the trio, the three male characters, Lancaster’s vile old man taking his revenge on every woman who gets close to his ranch, the retarded hunk-o-muscle who when it all comes around knows that he is doing wrong by helping his father in his rape and murder revenges, and the goody two shoes older brother Kirk [Paul Trinka] who at first lusts for Varla and falls for her female charm before he has a rude awakening and turns to the dark side, it’s all just so brilliantly done. Mayer based his story on frequent co-writer and old wartime buddy Jack Moran’s screenplay, and it’s easily the best movie the two made together. Fast paced editing, screeching soundtrack, fast cars, beautiful women, the whole opening sequence where the tension builds as the narrator [John Furlong, who provided the voice for several other Meyer movies] explains the danger of what we are about to see “Ladies and Gentlemen, welcome to Violence!” before cutting over to the explosive burlesque dance routine that the girls pull off, the always as witty and sharp dialogue that Meyer frequently used to have in his movies (Definitely an influence on Taratino’s way of writing dialogue!) “Breast of thigh, darlin?” said to some of the most stunning women ever on screen. The exagerated violenThe tongue in cheek campiness that became Meyer’s signature mark, it’s all there, it all had to be there, the movie would have been a complete turkey without it, and it’s all these elements that you come to expect when you watch a Meyer movie. Faster Pussycat! Kill! Kill! Just happens to be one of the best pieces of mid sixties exploitation sinema that you’ll ever see. Check it out A.S.A.P.

Unfortunately this DVD was probably one of the lousiest, cheap and exploitative in all the wrong ways that I’ve seen in a long time. The print was a disgrace, there must be a better one around than this one, heck, even the clips in the featurette found on the disc where much better quality than the movie it’s self. And even the featurette isn’t complete, in mid sentence Tura Satana is cut off and we’re returned to the menu screen. Nope, this disc is an outrage, and after reading Jimmy McDonough's Big Bosoms and Square Jaws biography over Meyer, I’m sad to have bought this disc as the money is definitely not going where I would have liked to see it go, and the quality is so poor that I regret ever letting those French VHS tapes go. Meyer himself used to hold all rights to his movie negatives, making sure that he and no one else pocketed the profits from his movies, and knowing how his company was taken over by ass monkeys in his last years of life there’s a bitter after taste in my mouth after enjoying this fantastic movie in such a pitiful state.

Full frame 4:3, 1.33:1, black and white. As mentioned above, the print isn’t in the best shape.
Optional subtitles in Swedish, Danish, Norwegian and Finnish are available

1.0 Mono, no frills here either.

None mentioned on the sleeve, but there’s a neat featurette where the ladies (Satana, Haji, Williams and Bernard] now in their late sixties, early seventies reminiscence about the movie, its impact, and their buddy Russ Meyer. But like I also mentioned above, it breaks off before it is finished making it an extremely annoying feature on an already disappointing disc.

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