Three strippers seeking thrills encounter a young couple in the desert. After dispatching the boyfriend, they take the girl hostage and begin scheming on a crippled old man living with his two sons in the desert, reputedly hiding a tidy sum of cash. They become house guests of the old man and try and seduce the sons in an attempt to locate the money, not realizing that the old man has a few sinister intentions of his own.
The tendency to dismiss Russ Meyer’s “Faster, Pussycat! Kill! Kill!” (1965) as just a cult classic is probably due to the most memorable feature of the film, the girls. First there are the two quintessential Meyer women, Tura Satana and Haji, towering brunettes with enormous breasts who dominate all the men around them; or at least Satana does, Haji’s character (with a strange Italian-Mexican accent?) is more focused on Satana than on men. They actually come across as a feminist empowerment fantasy, which is consistent with Meyer’s almost exclusive career focus on situations in which women wreak their will upon men.
If they are too extreme for your tastes there is blonde free spirit Lori Williams and air-headed sweet young thing Susan Bernard. While arguably the two prettiest women to have ever graced a film, there is no argument that William’s character is the sexiest of all time. Interestingly, it was the sweet-faced Bernard who became a Playboy centerfold just a few months after the movie (December 1966).
But “Pussycat’s” greatness comes from the visceral power of Meyer’s unusual images (can you say Fellini). Add to this abundant humor, inventive camera angles, fast pacing, clever editing, violence, and a generally amoral cast of characters.
The film gets even better with subsequent viewings, you connect better with the twisted dialogue and the wry humor.