THESE KITTENS SCRATCH!
The IFC Center in New York City is hosting a rare screening of Russ Meyer’s cult drive-in clasic, Faster, Pussycat! Kill! Kill! (1966) on Monday July 26 at 8pm. Tura Satana, Haji, and Lori Williams star as three rough tough busty go-go girls on a thrill ride that leads to murder. See the below clip of one of the many catfights herein:
Below is an excerpt with my interview with pretty blonde Lori Williams from my book Drive-in Dream Girls:
Though she danced in a number of popular films, the one that will go down in infamy is the Russ Meyer cult classic Faster, Pussycat! Kill! Kill! This low budget movie filmed in glorious black and white for an estimated budget of $45,000, was done entirely on location outside of Los Angeles. Williams was cast as the go-go dancing Billie, a hot blonde thrill seeker out for kicks who goes on a wild melee with her fellow dancers Tura Satana as the tough, menacing Varla and Haji as the exotic Rosie. “I was with the Paul Konar Agency and had a pretty good agent,” recalls Williams. “For whatever reason, Russ Meyer cast Tura Satana and Haji after seeing them dancing in clubs. Tura had some minor acting credits but I believe Haji did not. [Haji actually co-starred in Meyer’s Motorpsycho! released in 1965.] Meyer wanted the blonde to be a completely different type. For my role and the Sue Bernard role of the kidnapped teenager he wanted to get ‘an actress.’ He put a call out to the agents and Pat Konar sent me to the interview. It was like a big cattle call. After I got the third callback there were just a few of us left. Russ wasn’t going to hire me because I wasn’t busty enough. I wasn’t really a ‘Meyer girl.’ But he liked my look and form and said we’d work it out somehow.
The character of Varla intimidates her cohorts just like off-screen Tura Satana intentionally or not intimidated her co-stars. Being of Japanese and Cherokee heritage, Satana is incredible in appearance and makes an imposing figure clad all in black—never smiling. According to Lori, “I was scared to death of Tura who is a phenomenal woman and had an amazing life. But she really was a tough chick. She argued with Meyer constantly. When I saw Russ—who is hard to take on—back down a few times from her I thought, ‘Whoa, this lady is not to be tangled with.’ At one point, she didn’t want to do a scene a certain way. She slammed her hand against some railroad equipment and broke her hand. This was enough to frighten anybody. Off camera, I kind of hid a lot with Sue Bernard. I felt I was out of my realm around Tura and if I made her mad she’d whip me. But she was very nice to me and I never had any problem with her I think because I kept my distance.”