For some reason, I've been thinking about one of my favorite movies. It's a black-and-white epic written and directed by the brilliant and sly Russ Meyer, who has too long been dismissed as nothing more than a maker of porn films by those who have never watched any of them. There is a level of humor, insight into the complex psychology of the sexes and social commentary in all of Meyer's movies that escapes those mesmerized by the sight of heaving female flesh.
In 1965 (the same year when three other Meyer productions, Mondo Topless, Mud Honey and Motor Psycho were released), he made the classic Faster, Pussycat! Kill! Kill!, a film almost impossible to describe. The authoritative online film guide IMDB.com couldn't manage, and even Meyer's own synopsis ("The story of a new breed of superwomen emerging out of the ruthlessness of our times. We are introduced to three buxom Go-Go girls: Varla, Rosie, and Billie, wildly dancing the Watusi before the leers, jeers and lecherous come-ons of their drooling all-male audience. The violence, implicit in the girls' tease, is quickly moved out of the microcosmic bar into the outside world as they literally let go of themselves, embarking on a wild, violent, deadly journey of vengeance on all men.") doesn't tell the whole story.
And neither will I. One part of the film has always struck close to home: the relationship between the murderous, self-absorbed and (to use a classic Meyer-ism) buxotic "Varla" and pathetic loser "Kirk." While trying to find the fortune hidden away by his crippled (and demented) father in their isolated desert home, Varla first seduces and then tries to kill Kirk...
When Varla asks why Kirk insists on sticking around ever after her intentions are clear, he utters the words that might as well be etched on my gravestone:
"Because you're a beautiful animal, and I'm weak...I want you."
In the end, Varla is vanquished and Kirk survives, but it's clearly a hollow victory for him. One knows instinctively that he will spend the rest of his miserable, lonely existence mourning Varla.
This is something most women, and a few men, don't understand: whether the instrument of seduction is a stunning body or what seems to be a sweet, loving personality, there are a lot of men who will risk everything and, in essence, ignore reality, for a woman who has penetrated their hearts.
It's not all sex in many cases, though I wonder what else might have drawn Kirk to Varla's flame.
My own "Varla" is not possessed of Tura Satana's more visible assets. Nor, so far as I know, does she have a penchant for violence and dispensing weak men with karate chops. I consider it unlikely, probably impossible, for her to end up crushed under the wheels of a Jeep as Varla did, either. On the contrary, I think she will survive and thrive. Her weapons are far more subtle, if no less dangerous to the male of the species.
Regardless of what she has done since dispensing with me, I can repeat Kirk's words, and mean them:
You're a beautiful animal, and I'm weak...I want you.
Sometimes, I wish I was more like "Martin Bormann" in Meyer's Beneath the Valley of the Ultravixens, satisfied with a quick romp in a casket with the even-more buxotic "Eufala Roop."
But I'm not. And I miss my "beautiful animal..."
40 minutes ago