Faster, Pussycat! Kill! Kill!

Dean DeFino

Published by Columbia University Press

Published in print February 2014 | ISBN: 9780231167390
Published online November 2015 | e-ISBN: 9780231850544 | DOI:
Faster, Pussycat! Kill! Kill!

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This book looks at the production and critical reception of Russ Meyer's film Faster, Pussycat! Kill! Kill! (1965). It places the film within the cultural history of the 1960s, looks at its representations of gender and sexuality, and assesses the specific ways in which it meets the criteria of a cult film. The book describes Pussycat as an enigma and shows how, although it was a box-office failure when initially released on the grindhouse circuit, it has since been embraced by art-house audiences, and has also been referenced in countless films, television series, and songs. The book describes the film as a riot of styles and story clichés lifted from biker, juvenile delinquency, and beach party movies. It argues that Meyer's film has the coherence of a dream and the improvisatory daring of a jazz solo. The book highlights the fact that John Waters has called the film the greatest movie ever made, and that Quentin Tarantino has long promised to remake it and asks, “what draws Waters and Tarantino, and so many other cult fans, to Pussycat?”

Keywords: Russ Meyer; Faster; Pussycat! Kill! Kill!; gender; sexuality; grindhouse circuit; John Waters; Quentin Tarantino; juvenile delinquency; beach party movies

Book.  144 pages.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Film

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