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Most B-movies produced for the drive-in market are watchable once or twice. This is one of a handful that improve with repeated viewings. And speaking of handfuls, let's look at the Pussycats themselves. First, there's Tura Satana as Varla. She must have taken a deep breath before every take, because she belts out almost every line of dialog with amazing force and menace. The only time she speaks at all rationally is when she's lying. Then, her whole persona changes to a shrugging deadpan. Lori Williams as Billy is the weakest of the three, though she would have dominated a normal drive-in flick. And her drunk scene is pretty much of a blast. But it's Haji's performance as Rosie that's the secret gem of this movie. She has the perfect undefinable latina accent-- neither Italian nor Spanish. In fact, she's a Canadian, and had to learn the accent. Hers is a wonderfully mannered, sneering performance I can't take my eyes off of. Of the men, Stuart Lancaster chews the scenery brilliantly as the rich, crippled, cantankerous old letch. Leering and sneering, and drinking heavilly at lunch. And his hulking yet mentally challenged son The Vegatable is great fun to watch, too. Squinting with concentration before each halting line of dialog. Secretly gentle, despite the vile things the old man wants him to do. And, like most of the characters in Pussycat, he seems like he could have been written by Tenessee Williams on LSD. Most of the dialog is quotable, and just about every frame could be enlarged to hang on the wall. This and Meyer's equally brilliant Beyond the Valley of the Dolls have had unestimable influence on directors as diverse as John Waters and Quinton Tarrantino. But, despite having been strip-mined over the years, retain a strange and often shocking vitality. As Richard Corliss said of Dolls, they mix evrything generally associated with both "good" and "bad" movies.

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RM10413 Faster, Pussycat! Kill! Kill! DVD (1966/Tura Satana) $39.95 $35.99