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Film / Faster, Pussycat! Kill! Kill!

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From left to right: 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!"

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.

"Faster, Pussycat! Trope! Trope!":

  • Ambiguously Bi: Billie implies that she's bisexual during the "AM and FM" speech to Rosie, saying that "one-band broads are a drag".
  • Ambiguously Gay: Rosie is definitely crushing on Varla, though it's never made explicit.
  • And Call Him "George": The Vegetable's introductory scene features the Old Man scolding him that he was "too rough the last time" with a girl, while the boy himself awkwardly fondles a kitten.
  • 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.
  • Big Bad Ensemble: A gang of criminal go-go dancers led by the ruthless Varla clash with an unnamed old man who turns out to be a Serial Rapist.
  • Bleed 'Em and Weep: Linda breaks down crying after killing Varla. Probably not out of any Stockholm Syndrome-induced affection for her kidnapper (Linda makes it very clear in an earlier scene that she despises Varla), 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.
  • 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 she only fights men, and 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.
  • Dumb Blonde: Billie's carefree and oversexed behavior makes her come across as this, especially compared to the more reserved (and dark-haired) Varla and Rosie. However, she is a subversion as she's actually quite perceptive and capable of psychological viciousness.
  • Dumb Muscle: The Vegetable is a dimwit who can barely speak and does whatever the old man tells him without questioning the morality of it. He is also a slab of muscle with enough strength to stop a speeding car with his bare hands (although since Varla is stubborn and never lets her foot off the pedal, he does eventually die of exhaustion).
  • 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 was rendered wheelchair-bound by a railway accident, and attempts to rape Linda.
  • Extremely Short Timespan: The events of the movie occur from morning to afternoon of the same day.
  • 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 is sullen and disinterested 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.
  • Gory Deadly Overkill Title of Fatal Death: Faster, Pussycat! Kill! Kill!
  • 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 gas station attendant saying that the old man's accident that crippled him also "queered his mind" (meaning he went crazy).
  • 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.
  • Hillbilly Horrors: The old man and his family live in the desert isolated from civilization (there's not a phone in miles) and he and the Vegetable have a habit of raping and murdering passing women, which they plan to do to Linda. Released almost a decade before The Texas Chain Saw Massacre (1974), the Trope Codifier, many critics think this film is a prototype of the hillbilly horror genre.
  • 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.
  • Karmic Death: Varla is killed by a vehicle, her most potent weapon.
  • 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.
  • Lima Syndrome: Billie sympathizes with Linda's predicaments, going as far as making herself drink until she passes out while she's supposed to be watching her to give her a chance to escape Varla.
  • 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.
    • Subverted again the first time Linda tries to escape. Varla correctly guesses that she ran away because the old man tried something funny and verbally rips him a new one for it. However, this doesn't stop Varla from repeatedly and viciously smacking the shit out of Linda as punishment when Kirk brings her back.
    • 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!
  • Psychopathic Manchild: The Vegetable seems at first glance like a harmless innocent, even breaking down and weeping when he's ordered to assault Linda. He also stabs Rosie to death in anger for Billie being dead, and is implied to have hurt a lot of other women by accident.
  • "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.
  • That Liar Lies: Varla tries to excuse Linda's hysterics as her being unwell, to which Linda responds by desperately attempting to tell Kirk that Varla is lying through her teeth ("She lies!") and is actually a murderer.
  • 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.
  • What the Hell Is That Accent?: Rosie's accent sounds cartoonishly Italian most of the time, but it takes dips into Russian and Mexican. And she completely loses it momentarily while fighting Billie.
  • 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.