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Film / Faster, Pussycat! Kill! Kill!

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From L to R: Rosie, Billie and Varla

"Ladies and Gentleman go go for a wild wild ride with pussycats, but beware — the sweetest kittens have the sharpest claws. For your own safety, see Faster, Pussycat! Kill! Kill! Wild women, wild wheels, race the fastest pussycats and they'll beat you... to death!"
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A 1965 B Exploitation Film directed by Russ Meyer.

Three thrill-seeking go-go dancers, Billie, Rosie and their leader, Varla, encounter a young couple in the desert while drag racing. After killing the boyfriend with her bare hands, Varla drugs, binds, gags and kidnaps his girlfriend, Linda. On a desolate highway, the four stop at a gas station, where they see an old man and his muscular, dimwitted son, known as the Vegetable. The gas station attendant tells the women that the old man and his two sons live on a decrepit ranch with a hidden cache of money. Intrigued, Varla hatches a scheme to rob the lecherous old man, who is confined to a wheelchair. Unfortunately, the old man and his son prove to be less harmless than first thought, putting the two sides in a life or death struggle.

Faster Pussycat Kill Kill is considered by many to be Meyer's best film, despite being rather tame compared to many of his later films. The film was only a moderate hit in theaters, as Meyer ironically opted to downplay the sexual elements of gratuitous nudity and sex, but it quickly became a cult hit, enduring as Meyer's most notable film in his filmography.

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"Faster, Pussycat! Trope! Trope!":

  • Absolute Cleavage: Varla's black shirt that shows off so much of her chest that it makes one wonder how a breast doesn't pop out mid-fight.
  • Ambiguously Bi:
    • Even though Linda and Varla definitely have heterosexual tendencies, their relationship along with Rosie give definite sexual vibes.
    • Billie implies that she's bisexual herself during the whole "AM and FM" speech to Rosie, saying that girls who're only on one wavelength are a drag.
  • Ambiguously Gay: Rosie is definitely crushing on Varla, though it's never made explicit.
  • Attempted Rape: The old man tries to rape Linda, but since he's crippled, she can run away. All this happens off-screen, with the only evidence of it occurring being that the old man tore part of Linda's shirt.
  • Author Appeal: The film is a checklist of Russ Meyer's fetishes: big boobs and dominatrix women are right at the top of his list. To a lesser degree, weak-willed, powerless men, with Vegetable being Dumb Muscle and a blatant Mr. Fanservice.
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  • Bare Your Midriff: Both of Billie's outfits, with the second one including a pair of short shorts. Linda in her two piece swimsuit is a more innocent version.
  • Bleed 'em and Weep: Linda breaks down crying after killing Varla. Probably not out of any Stockholm Syndrome affection for her kidnapper, but rather because Linda is a pretty innocent person compared to everybody else in the movie.
  • Bond Villain Stupidity: Near the end of the film, Varla chases Kirk and Linda around in the old man's truck and manages to corner them in a dead end. Instead of crushing them with the truck like she did with the Vegetable, she steps out and takes on Kirk with her bare hands, allowing Linda to enter the truck and run over Varla.
  • Boobs of Steel: In Varla's case, almost literally. Her chest seems to give her a fierce confidence and strength, and has nothing sexual about it.
    Roger Ebert: [Varla's] abundant cleavage seems as firmly locked in place as a Ninja Turtle's breastplate. One cannot think of her as fondleable.
  • Break the Cutie: Linda goes through a lot in the span of a day, seeing her boyfriend killed, being drugged and tied up, nearly raped twice and beaten, and ends up killing Varla, then cries over having killed a person.
  • Car Fu: Done by one of the sons against Varla, in the final fight.
  • Cassandra Truth: When trying to escape from Varla, Linda runs into Kirk and tries to tell him all that has happened to her. Because he's the old man's son, he ends up taking her back and believes Varla's story and that Linda is being hysterical.
  • Cat Fight: Billie and Rosie get in one (and they're in a river, so there's a lot of wet action going on) at the beginning of the film. Subverted with Varla, because when she gets physical, it's not beautiful.
  • Comic Trio: Varla is the schemer (leader of the trio, gets all the ideas that set off the plot), Rosie is the follower (follows Varla's orders without question because of Subordinate Excuse), and Billie is the complainer (objects the most to Varla's schemes).
  • Cool Car: Every car in the movie. All five of them. note 
  • Damsel in Distress: Linda initially, but the trope is subverted when she saves the Dude In Distress and kills Varla.
  • Erotic Eating: Varla eats corn very slowly while staring suggestively at Kirk.
  • Even Evil Has Loved Ones: Varla is extremely pissed off when the Vegetable kills Rosie, to the point of wrecking her car killing him.
  • Even Evil Has Standards:
    • Varla is a thief and a murderer and even she finds the old man's plans to rape Linda offensive.
    • Rosie is surprisingly shaken at Billie's death even though the two obviously didn't like each other and Rosie spent most of the time up to that point vocally advocating for them to kill Linda and dump her body somewhere.
  • Evil Cripple: The old man is was rendered wheelchair-bound by a railway accident, and attempts to rape Linda.
  • Extremely Short Timespan: The events of the movie transpire over little more than a single day in the desert.
  • Fanservice: This film is considered Russ Meyer's masterpiece, and there is a strong emphasis on sexy women.
  • Four-Temperament Ensemble: Varla is the aggressive and violent leader of the gang (choleric); Rosie isn't really interested in anything beyond following Varla's lead (melancholic); Billie is very fun-loving and receptive to new people (sanguine); Linda is a passive Nice Girl (phlegmatic).
  • The Friend Nobody Likes: Varla and Rosie just put up with Billie, and Billie doesn't much care for them either. Doesn't help that she actively tries to undermine Varla's plan.
  • Game of Chicken: Varla makes Rosie and Billie play Game of Chicken with her as a sort of punishment for fighting. Varla wins without breaking a sweat, while Rosie and Billie are visibly shaken.
  • Genre Refugee: Linda and Tommy are like the lead couple of any beach party movie, thrown into a far grittier genre than what they're used to. Eventually circumstances force Linda to become a proto-Final Girl.
  • Go-Go Enslavement: Linda has to put up with being only in her bikini and later a single shirt after she's kidnapped by Varla and company.
  • Have a Gay Old Time: This line by the old crippled man, "When you hurt somebody, the authorities get aroused!" It's advice for the Vegetable to be more careful with his strength.
  • The Hedonist: Billie just wants to have a good time. She hangs out with Varla and Rosie for "kicks", as she tells Linda. She didn't sign up for Varla's crime spree though, and is the most reluctant in going along with her schemes.
  • Hoist by His Own Petard: Rosie is stabbed to death by the Vegetable with her own knife. Varla is run over by the truck she uses to catch up to Linda and Kirk.
  • Ignored Enamored Underling: Rosie is pining for Varla. Varla herself treats her fairly well, but doesn't return her feelings. Cue scene where Varla makes out with Kirk, which is intercut with Rosie watching them, looking heartbroken.
  • Kill the Cutie: Tommy is a sweet guy who makes the mistake of meeting Varla and her gang, and gets a broken neck for it.
  • Laser-Guided Karma: Varla is killed by a vehicle, her most potent weapon.
  • Match Cut: A closeup of Billie drinking from a bottle of wine cuts to a closeup of Varla vigorously making out with Kirk.
  • Maternal Death? Blame the Child!: As the old man reveals in a rant, the Vegetable was big even when he was a newborn and his birth killed his mother. The old man says he hates him for this.
  • My Eyes Are Up Here: The gasoline station attendant stares directly at Varla's chest when he states he wants to see America.
    Varla: You won't find it down there, Columbus.
  • Near-Rape Experience: The old man tries to goad The Vegetable into raping Linda, but the latter has a change of heart at the last second.
  • Neutral Female: Played straight by Linda before inverting when she takes out Varla herself.
  • Never Say "Die": The Kill! Kill! part of the title is sometimes replaced with Wham! Bang or Go! Go! in bowdlerized TV airings.
  • No Indoor Voice: For some reason, Varla spends a lot of time yelling.
  • Oh, Crap!: When Linda escapes from Varla and the others and runs into Kirk, only for him to drive her back to his family farm and reveal he lives there.
  • Pet the Dog:
    • Varla unties Linda to let her have a shower. Subverted when she immediately talks about killing her to Rosie.
    • The old man tells Vegetable that they can place Billie's body in the house when he finds the latter crying over her.
  • Politically Incorrect Villain: The old man has a lot of issues with women; he tries to rape Linda repeated times and gives us this quote:
    Women! They let 'em vote, smoke and drive - even put 'em in pants! And what happens? A Democrat for president!
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech: Billie's "You should be AM and FM" speech to Rosie, mocking her crush on Varla.
  • Subordinate Excuse: The reason Rosie is such a doormat around Varla, in contrast to the rebellious Billie, is because Rosie loves Varla.
  • Tears of Remorse: After the Vegetable chases down Linda in an attempt to rape under his father's urging, he breaks down in tears before anything can happen, apologizing profusely. Later he cries over Billie's body when he finds her.
  • Throwing Down the Gauntlet: Varla does it twice to Tommy, challenging him to BOTH a drag race and a fistfight.
    Varla: I never TRY anything. I just DO it. Like I don't beat CLOCKS, just PEOPLE. Wanna TRY me?
  • Thrown from the Zeppelin: When Billie decides she's had enough of Varla's schemes, she tries to leave. Varla appears to allow it, only to take Rosie's knife and stab the unsuspecting Billie in the back.
  • Token Good Teammate:
    • Billie is full of objections to Varla's actions, treats Linda the best while hinting at her to run away, and ultimately tries to cut herself off from Varla's plan altogether, though that ends in her death.
    • Kirk is the most moral member of his family, taking care of his wheelchair-bound father and mentally handicapped brother (the latter who he genuinely wants to help), and does his best to help out Linda when he realizes how depraved Varla and her crew are.
  • Trailers Always Spoil: The original trailer is the classic "Well, don't need to see the movie after watching it" trailer.
  • The Unfavorite: The old man has no reservations about talking about how much he hates Vegetable in front of either of his sons or any of their guests at dinner and makes it clear he only uses him for his muscle. See Maternal Death? Blame the Child! above for why.
  • Unusually Uninteresting Sight: During the lunch scene, Varla slaps Billie hard after the latter hints a little too strongly at Varla's plans in front of the old man's family. This also makes Linda break down in hysterics. The old man and his sons don't seem all that fazed at either event and lunch continues as normal in short order.
  • The Vamp: Varla, who attempts to seduce Kirk into revealing where his father has his money hidden.
  • Villain Protagonist: The film follows Varla, Rosie and Billie as Varla kills a guy for kicks and kidnaps his girlfriend, then plans to steal a crippled old man's fortune, while Rosie and Billie serve as her minions. Though the old man is no good either.
  • Who Wears Short Shorts?: Billie's second outfit includes a pair of white gogo shorts.
  • World of Buxom: It's a Russ Meyer film, so of course the women have ample chests.
  • Wouldn't Hit a Girl: Averted. Tommy and Kirk have no compunctions about beating the crap out of Varla, but that's because she has proven time and again just how dangerous she is.
  • Wounded Gazelle Gambit: The old man claims he can't do anything when Varla accuses him of attempting to rape Linda. She doesn't buy it for a minute.

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