Saturday, January 14, 2017

Faster Pussycat Kill! Kill! - 50 Years of Varla , Billy and Rosie


1966, Russ Myers, 83 minutes, black&white


The title of this movie is so iconic, it’s worth noting it was distributed under three other names as well - Leather Girls, Mankillers and Pussycat. The story of this movie is equally random - three go-go girls looking for kicks come across a guy and his gal doing time trials with his sports car in the desert and then race him, kill him and kidnap his girl, in that order. Before they can dispose of her as well, they hear of an old man living in an isolated part of the desert who has a secret stash of cash and concoct a plan to steal it, using the kidnapped girl as a distraction. From there is gets, sexy, violent, complicated and campy; ending in a karate fight between man, killer go-go girl and a truck. 

As a Russ Meyers film, this one stands out not only for what it contains, but for what it doesn’t. The film’s violence is sometimes shocking but not gory and there is no nudity or explicit sex. No rape scenes either, thank goodness. It doesn’t need any of that to hold your attention. All the actors are over the top excellent in their roles. The lead is the recently deceased Tura Satana as Varla. Pure evil and one of the meanest, toughest characters ever seen on the silver screen. Meyers outdoes himself cinematographically, using the main actresses own bodies as framing elements much of the time, especially their oversized breasts (it wouldn’t be a Meyers films without them). The dialogue is campy, fast and instantly quotable from beginning to end. The fried chicken lunch scene alone is a tour de force in editing and camp that actually advances the story as it entertains. 

Despite it’s reputation as a bad movie, Faster Pussycat Kill! Kill! is NOT a bad movie. A bad film does accomplish what it sets out to do and this movie could never be accused of that. It’s certainly not boring or poorly made, even the sound is recorded professionally and clean. The acting is over the top, as it should be for the subject matter and the actors put much more into their performances than they have any right to for such a low budget exploitation feature. This movie knows what it is and shoves it down your throat with no apologies. As outrageous as the plot may be, it makes sense and moves along faster and faster until the very end. 

I first saw Pussycat in a revival house in Harvard Square with a couple friends, one of whom was never the same afterwards. There was almost no one in the cinema with us but those that were there gladly came along for the ride. When I ran a video store, I made it a point to get copies to rent to an unsuspecting clientele and was pinching myself when I realized the only way to get Myer’s videos was to talk to him (or Kitten Navidaddirectly. I bought them ALL. Ever since I have had regular movie nights with Faster Pussycat in heavy rotation, not always to the pleasure of those attending - at least until they saw it - and then it became a part of their lives. 
Why there wasn’t an international holiday declared for the 50th anniversary of it’s release is unfathomable to me.« The point is of not return and you’ve reached it », Varla says, and you can never go back after seeing this flick.

links:

The best film podcast around just did 2 ½ hours about this film:

Learn more about Varla:

Learn more about my fellow Quebecer, Haji (Rosie in the movie)!
born in quebec! 

Buy the film:

And learn very little about Billy:

Notable critiques:

"Russ Meyer is the Eistenstein of sex films. He is single-handedly responsible for more hard-ons in movie audiences than any other director... Faster, Pussycat! Kill! Kill! (Russ's tenth film) is, beyond a doubt, the best movie ever made. It is possibly better than any film that will be made in the future."
John Waters, Shock Value

"This is the quintessential psychotronic film and Russ Meyer's best. It should have been locked into the Voyager space probe and launched into space to give extraterrestrial life an example of what 'kickin' ass' is all about."
Kurt Ramschissel, Film Threat

"Every inch of the film entertains, from the wild desert drag racing sequences to the sexually charged fried chicken lunch that the characters stop fighting each other long enough to share. Faster, Pussycat! Kill! Kill! has a deliciously ruthless rhythm that few films of such modest aspirations ever achieve-- it could very well be the most finely crafted exploitation film ever made."
Fred Beldin, All Movie Guide

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

New guy in town

Howdy doody, folks. This is Hipster J. Douchebag, one of the new guns in town here at the Celluloid Slammer. Ol' Vince was kind (dumb) enough to invite me along to this here shindig. Who the hell am I? Well, I used to work with Vince way back in the 1980s in a small comic store in Cambridge, Mass. These days, I shoot my mouth off in movie review videos like the one linked above. I have a vlog called "The Movie Wrench" where I tell Hollywood what's wrong with its movies and how to fix them. Takes a lot of ego for that. Anyway, I'm going to try to write some articles to add to this site. For now, watch the above and cry... or something.

Sunday, January 8, 2017

Buster Crabbe strips in a room of naked men

How is that for headline?

The film? Search for Beauty, 1934.

The plot: who cares, Buster Crabbe gets naked, but if you insist - Con artists convince 2 olympians to head a new health magazine that is really just a front to show salacious photos and tell scandalous stories.

Artist Ralph Hodgdon told me about this film recently as he and I (and Donna lethal) are big fans of Buster. He might have seen it on release, not sure. The naked guys in the locker room tip you off this was pre-code and it's a little jarring to see a film from 1934 with that much skin showing.

Friday, January 6, 2017

The Slammer has been updated

If you are reading this - you know that already!

I (Vincent-louis Apruzzese) have bene the only poster for over 1 ½ years, so after talking with Miss Lethal herself, I have taken over the site officially.

I will be slowly looking for new writers and I plan to do one post a month at least and put more effort into them. I think the new cleaner design will make it nicer to read and anyone can post comments again. JUST LETS NOT ABUSE THAT OK!

Comments off topic and inappropriate will be deleted and you will be blocked.

Hopefully the Slammer will be taking new inmates for years to come! 

Friday, December 23, 2016

What happened to Theme Music and Soundtracks?


Having started my serious film going in the 70s I was spoiled by the amazing music being produced for films… big films had theme music that invaded popular culture, something that rarely happens anymore. 

Think about it, John Williams alone created the music for Jaws, Close Encounters, Star Wars, Indiana Jones, the Fury while Gerry Goldsmith did the Omen, Star trek the Motion Picture, Alien… even reading the names I bet you are hearing the themes to those movies in your head. (Well maybe not the Fury, not exactly a cultural touchstone but believe me the music was great.)

What has happened since then? When was the last time a new movie came out that had you humming the theme music when exiting the theatre? When did directors and executives in Hollywood decide that generic music was good enough for even the biggest budgeted movies? Sorry theme songs don’t count, it’s too easy for them to seep into the popular culture. I am talking about instrumental compositions that helped bring the experience to a new level, that stood on its own as music in it’s own right. 


I miss it. Television still seems to know the value of a good theme and the power of recurring music throughout a series. There must be composers out there that can step up as Williams and the rest step down, no? At this point, I would even welcome the disco versions of popular movie themes coming back! who can forget the MECO version of Jaws 2? 

Saturday, December 3, 2016

Cool Air (short film)


Cool Air from Vincent-louis Apruzzese on Vimeo.

My 3rd and maybe last Lovecraft short animation. At least for a while unless someone decides to pay me to do more.


Here are Links to the first two

Music of Erich Zann ( presents at Another Hole in the Head, November 1st San Francisco)
Pickman's Model

Saturday, October 29, 2016

2 ½ Nosferatu



Nosferatu, the silent, illegally made version of Dracula, is still the greatest of them all. It's hard to beat Max Schrek in the role and his look is, to this day, creepy as hell. Despite there not being a complete version, the various restored prints get across the genus of filmmaker Murnau and it's imitated in style and tone by new filmmakers and probably all future ones.



The Herzog versions made a huge effort to get a modernized take on the original. He filmed in the city the silent was filmed in and Klaus Kinski looks AMAZING. The wine pouring scene with those ton like claws of his is unsettling decades later.

There are two Herzog version of Nosferatu... one German, one English. Same cast and same shots. It's really hard to tell them apart if the sound is of. I find the English version a little less effective since English was not the first language for any of the actors.

Friday, October 28, 2016

Village Gai

A new documentary... in French. It's 6 minutes so practice your French or just take look. I have been trying to get this done the last 8 months so i'm glad its off the table now.


Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Missing films from my collection

We all have films missing from our personal collections and I am no exception. There are two that puzzle me as to why they are not available on DVD or blu-ray or as far as I know on Netflix or other streaming services. These were all sold on VHS back in the day so why not today?



Hanussen 

The 3rd in the Klaus Marie Braundauer trilogy of Nazi era series of film with director Istvan Svabo. The other two are readily available and all there are awesome and make a great night of depressing art cinema. All are based on real people, Mephisto takes place a the start of the third reich, Coronel Redl during the war and Hanussen was hitler's psychic... until he started seeing the end of the war in a less than favourable outcome for the nazis. 



Track 29

This film's absence is even more mysterious. Christopher Lloyd, Sandra Bernhard, Theresa Russell and Gary Oldman all in one film by Nicolas Roeg! I put this on the same level with Insignificance which I love, love  love. The film is a total mindfuck as you might have guessed form the cast and director but the cast alone should have assured it a place on DVD.

What films are missing from your collection?

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

My Lovecraft animation at SF Indiefest!


The first animation in my Lovecraft series will be presented as part of the Another Hole in the Head section of Indiefest in San Francisco. If anyone is in the area, go and tell me how it went!



Showing In
Shorts - At the Movies of Madness
New People CinemaTue, Nov 1 9:00 PM
Film Info
Director:Nomi Apruzzese
Running Time:4 min.
Country:Canada
Year of Release:2016
Category:Animation
Horror