Faster, Pussycat, Kill, Kill!: Campy Menace

                                                                Tura Santana is Varla, a chick with a baaad attitude

With a few exceptions, Russ Meyers created films that used common precepts of camp to somehow obviate the label of soft-core porn. His is a world of lusty women with huge, barely contained breasts, bouncing across a cartoon landscape. It’s 1960s low-brow burlesque with just enough plot to claim a linear storyline…barely.

Faster, Pussycat, Kill, Kill (1965), tells the oft-told tale of three strippers who run amok in the California desert, just-a kidnappin’ and murderin’. They race cars, beat up men, slap women, talk tough and generally require intense therapy.

What gives this film a cult spin is the lead amigo, Varla, played by Tura Santana, who conveys a morbid, un-camp level of menace. Arguably, this is Tura Santana’s film. She just doesn’t let up with the attitude.

B-films rarely give you much of character development. No point. Two-dimensional people are all you need. They rarely have epiphanies or any type of backstory. In a cartoon world, you don’t have to know where someone has been in order to guess where they’re going.

                                 The Three Amigos

It is in this existential vacuum that an amoral, pitiless murderer like Varla is sparked to life. For a few moments, she forces you to see beyond her chest and wonder what the hell happened to her? Why so violent? It is her unrelenting, negative energy that lifts the film from mere camp to midnight-madness movie immortality.

Most of the action occurs in the desert. It could just as well be the moon. This is a land untouched by civilization, by a sense of jurisprudence or hope. In a place without people, one doesn’t require a reason to kill. Anyway, it doesn’t matter if characters live or die – for in a cartoon world, the Coyote always survives the fall and Daffy Duck remains undead. Requiescat in pace pussycat.

#russmeyers #fasterpussycatkillkill #turasantana #softcore #cult #film #review #rogerebert #ianclarke

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