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A persiflage is on the protest movements of the 1960s. Its hero is the bold and sex-obsessed tom-cat Fritz the Cat, as created by the legendary underground artist Robert Crumb. Quitting university, Fritz the Cat wanders through the hash, Black Panther and Hell's Angels scenes to find to himself.
In the 1960s, Fritz the Cat, a libidinous New York University student and poet, is annoyed by what he calls the "phonies" crowding Washington Square. He and his friends try to capture the attention of a girl dog, Winston, and her two sexy animal friends by playing the guitar and singing protest songs, but the females are more interested in a black crow, whom they try to impress by reciting liberal platitudes. When the crow reveals, to their surprise, that he is homosexual and uninterested in their overtures, the girls are left standing with mouths open. Taking advantage of the opportunity, Fritz cries out that his "soul is tormented," which prompts the sympathetic but gullible girls to gather around him. When he mentions "the existential essence of the life force," they are convinced he is a genius and allow themselves to be lured into a seedy apartment crowded with marijuana-sedated people. Finding that the only vacant area is in the bathroom, Fritz leads the girls into the tub with comments about "fulfillment" and "closeness," and manages to get them to remove their clothing and engage in coitus. To Fritz's annoyance, people from the other room join in, bringing along their marijuana, and a drug-induced orgy commences. Meanwhile, two pigs, one, a seasoned policeman, the other, his partner, Ralph the rookie, are sent to investigate the neighbors' complaints and break into the apartment. Upon finding all the occupants in the bathtub, one officer commences to beat the joy seekers into submission and the other is distracted by one of the naked females. Fritz, who has partaken of marijuana and is no longer in control of his wits, becomes fascinated with a gun in one of the policeman's holsters, pulls it out and accidentally shoots the toilet, causing a geyser of water to rush out and carry everyone out of the window and down the street. Fritz lands in an orthodox Jewish synagogue during a service, but takes refuge in the ladies room. The police bust in, looking for him, and proceed to search the aisles. When the officers inadvertently open the door to the ladies toilet, Fritz and a woman with whom he is having sex tumble out, as well as a radio tuned to a news report announcing the president's decision to send arms to Israel in exchange for the return of New York and Los Angeles to the United States. A joyous celebration erupts and everyone dances the hora , allowing Fritz a chance to escape from the police. When he returns to school, everyone is deep in their studies and ignoring him. Fritz bemoans the fact that he is buried under his books, thus missing real life and the women with whom he could be having sex. Deciding that he is getting a "phony education," Fritz sets fire to his books and notes, but then realizes that without them he will flunk and outrage his parents. While Fritz panics, the fire spreads and all of New York University burns. Still looking for experience, Fritz enters a Harlem bar and, wanting to be accepted, announces to the crows inside that he has a "considerable guilt complex" regarding the country's "social crisis" and wishes he were like them. He is oblivious of their disdain, and when an old, pool-playing crow, Duke, befriends him, Fritz orders him a drink. While placing the order, he calls the bartender "boy," which offends everyone in the bar. When they threaten Fritz with broken bottles and knives, Duke pulls Fritz out of the bar to safety. After stealing a car, Fritz and Duke take a joyride and catch the attention of the pigs, who have been recently transferred to Harlem. Driving wildly to elude them, Fritz crashes the car going over a bridge and is about to be thrown into the river to his death when Duke grabs him, saving his life. Duke then takes Fritz to an opium-filled establishment where he meets a luxuriously endowed crow, Big Bertha, and follows her to the junk yard outside for an orgasmic interlude. After engaging in exuberant foreplay, they are in the heat of passion when Fritz deludes himself into thinking he is one with the crows. Leaving Bertha unsatisfied, Fritz races to a street corner, stands on top of a car and lectures the pedestrians, challenging them to revolt against their white oppressors. When the pigs arrive to break up the gathering, Fritz inflames the crows against them and in the ensuing riot, gunshots erupt around him. While trying to save Fritz, Duke is shot down and dies. Air Force bombers fly overhead and Fritz flees from their strafing shots, finally hiding near the docks. Winston finds him there, and after they have sex in a garbage can, she suggests they leave the city in her Volkswagen Bug and head to the West Coast, where she will become a secretary and he can write poetry. During their drive, Fritz is elated by the wind and the freedom, while she nags and complains of hunger. Although Fritz would rather eat at a truck stop and talk to the drivers, they instead eat at a Howard Johnson's restaurant. In the desert, their car runs out of gas. Carrying a bucket, Fritz begins walking toward the nearest service station, which is miles away, but then, deciding to leave Winston behind, drops the bucket and walks on. Eventually Fritz encounters Harriet the horse and her Hell's Angel boyfriend, Blue the rabbit. Blue introduces him to two reptilian radicals planning a violent revolution to bring about change in America. Impressed by their rhetoric, Fritz agrees to help them blow up a power plant, but then witnesses them chain whip and gang rape Harriet, for whom he feels sincere fondness. A lesbian green beetle assigns Fritz to attach explosives to a girder high above the ground, but as he completes his task, Fritz questions the brutality and too late concludes that "the love you give is equal to the love you get." The beetle, who has decided Fritz is expendable, lights the fuse and Fritz is blown up in the explosion. Near death, he is hospitalized and put under police guard. At his bedside are Harriet and the three New York girls, who are mourning his imminent demise. From his deathbed, Fritz haltingly begins a confession of the things he has done. Claiming to know now what is really important, he pulls the women into his bed, where their clothes and his bandages are flung aside, and they enthusiastically engage in a joyous orgy.
Cast & Crew
|MPAA Ratings:||X||Premiere Info:||Los Angeles opening: 12 Apr 1972|
|Release Date:||1972||Production Date:||
|Color/B&W:||Color (DeLuxe)||Distributions Co:||Cinemation Industries, Inc., Aurica Finance Company|
|Sound:||Mono||Production Co:||Cinemation Industries, Inc., Fantasy Records, Steve Krantz Productions, Inc.|
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Fritz The Cat
Dana 58 2013-07-08
Clearly this little classic has the late sixties lifestyle in hand, you know collage life, sex, drugs, rock and roll, police brutality, race issues, being...