Sunday, 11 June 2017

Faster Pussycat Kill Kill (5 Stars)

"Ladies and Gentlemen, welcome to violence".

This isn't just one of the best films ever made, it's also the most culturally significant film of the second half of the 20th Century. It's inspired almost every action film that's been made since. Anyone who hasn't seen it is seriously lacking in his knowledge of film history.

I first saw it when I lived in Germany. I'm not sure when, probably in the early 1980's. (It was made in 1966). There was a small arthouse cinema opposite Stuttgart's central train station that specialised in showing classic movies rather than new releases. It showed "Faster Pussycat Kill Kill" about once a month. Germans have good taste.

When I moved to America I borrowed it on video from a local store. I wanted to watch it with my girlfriend, but she refused to look at it. I'm not sure why. One of her friends had told her about it, and she felt that the film was somehow wrong. Is it too violent? Films made more recently have much more explicit violence. What makes the film so extreme is the attitude behind the violence. Violence is glorified as a means to an end. Women can use violence to get whatever they want, exploiting the weaknesses in men, whether they are physical or mental.

Tura Satana was born to play the lead role. She was born as Tura Yamaguchi in Hokkaido, Japan, but she picked the last name Satana as more fitting to her personality. When she was nine years old she was gang-raped by five men, but they were never prosecuted. Tura claims it was because they bribed the judge. Whatever the reason, she spent years patiently planning her revenge. She trained in martial arts, and when she had worked her way to a black belt she hunted the men down, one by one. A biography of her life is currently in development, so we'll soon know all the details.

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