10 Noteworthy Exploitation Films

Faster Pussycat! Kill! Kill!
Faster Pussycat! Kill! Kill!
Faster Pussycat! Kill! Kill!
Courtesy Amazon.com

American director Russ Meyer, over the course of his 26-film career, became known as the "King of the Nudies," thanks to his creation of the grindhouse subgenre of sexploitation movies. The 1965 movie "Faster Pussycat! Kill! Kill!" was probably his best known (or at least most culturally impactful) of them all.

The film's plot centers around three bisexual go-go dancers out on a crime spree in the Western American desert. In short order, they find trouble after they pick up a young couple, murder the man and bring the woman along for the ride. Car racing, martial arts and wrestling among the stars prove to be common pastimes as the plot ultimately brings the women to an isolated house inhabited by a wheelchair-bound elderly man and his sons -- all of whom have designs on the women. The stars, in turn, have designs on the money the old man may have stashed in the house.

"Faster Pussycat!" is noted by critics for its inherent dualism toward gender. On the one hand, Meyer employs extremely buxom actresses for his roles. (Indeed, in other films of the sexploitation genre he helped to create, he hired women in their first trimester of pregnancy.) But his script also empowers the women; they're subservient to no man.

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