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The ineffable name of a movie with boobs

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Pussycat 1

“I need a title for my new movie!”
“What’s it about”
“President Abraham Lincoln”.
“Too complicated. Let’s stick with “Lincoln””.

As opposed to in the case of cats, the Naming of Films appears to be an easy matter these days – just one of our holiday games.

But once in a while you’ll stumble upon a name that will stick. This is the case with the Russ Meyer’s movie from 1965: “Faster, Pussycat! Kill! Kill!”

You could wonder how someone gets the idea to call a movie such a thing. What is it? A line from the movie? It has the form of an exclamation or an order. But what does it mean?

According to the trivia section of IMDb, Meyer had put some rapt contemplation into the naming. He called it this way because he claims that the movie has everything when it contains speed (faster), sex (pussycat) and violence (kill, kill).

While I don’t agree that this movie has “everything”, missing a plot and anything remotely resembling to a character development, it certainly contains the elements favoured by Meyer.

It’s an honest name, even though the “speed” mostly consists of cars running around in a desert rather than exciting chases in a city, and the “sex” is limited to oversized boobs and strip dancing. (There’s no frontal nudity or actual sex performances. Any TV show these days is more explicit than this). The killing is proper though. The villains – three strippers who like thrills – kill men with their bare hands when they feel like it.

This is indeed a very odd little film. Apparently it’s one of John Water’s favourite movies and I can see the relationship. It’s trashy, in a deliberate, artful way, which made a reviewer at IMDb enthusiastically call it ”The Citizen Kane of trash cinema”.  True or not, I can agree that there’s something to it that makes it more memorable than other soft porn movies.

However I’m not on board with the idea that it’s a feminist film that empowers women, which I’ve also seen suggested. Fighting skills or not, we watch the women with a male gaze, hopelessly obsessed with the size of the boobs.

Faster, Pussycat! Kill! Kill! (Russ Meyer, US 1965) My rating: 2,5/5

Written by Jessica

February 28, 2013 at 11:36 am