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Remind Me

BEHIND THE SCENES

Faster Pussycat's parade of quotable one-liners was the work of scenarist Jack Moran. As a child star in the 1930s, Jackie Moran had appeared as Huckleberry Finn in The Adventures of Tom Sawyer (1938) and as Buster Crabbe's juvenile amanuensis in Buck Rogers (1939).

Working for Writer's Guild minimum and a bottle of booze, Moran turned out a script titled The Leather Girls in four days.

When Eve Meyer read Jack Moran's script, she was reluctant to produce the film.

The film's opening go-go sequence was lensed at The Pussycat Club, on Sepulveda Boulevard in Van Nuys, California, with Meyer's crew playing the popeyed patrons.

The film's desert sequences were shot in the Mojave Desert, around the towns of Randsburgh and Johannesburg. The dry lake scenes were shot on the lunar surface of Lake Cunniback.

Tura Satana did not get along with Susan Bernard and exploited the tension between them to get Bernard to emote onscreen.

A predilection for health foods gave Trinka halitosis, which complicated love scenes with Tura Satana.

The sound effect of Varla breaking Tommy's back was achieved by cracking a walnut.

Although Meyer had commanded his actors to abstain from sex during filming, star Tura Satana refused and began an on-set affair with assistant cameraman Gil Haimson.

Stuart Lancaster, who plays the old man in Faster, Pussycat! Kill! Kill!, recalled the making of Faster, Pussycat! Kill! Kill!: "We all got to be friends and the atmosphere was very relaxed. I mean, we worked hard. Especially with Russ; he could be demanding. But I could always talk to the cameraman and I learned a lot about the technical aspects of acting in front of a camera. The actors would help the crew out a lot of times, which I enjoyed. Once, I had to slate myself. I'd hold up the slate and go "Scene 74, take 5...clap," throw the slate away and start acting."

On Tura Sutana, Lancaster remembered that she "was very nice. She took us all out to a Japanese restaurant and she did all the ordering."

Lancaster also commented on working with Dennis Busch who played "Vegetable": "He was a good commercial artist and a real body builder. He took his weights out on the set and would work out after shooting. One day we were sitting around and he was curling some weights and he looked at his muscles and said 'I'm getting too big.' And I thought, 'Well, why don't you stop lifting weights then?' I also directed him in a one act play later called 'Hope is a Thing With Feathers,' about a group of bums trying to catch ducks."

In a past Psychotronic Magazine interview, Tara Satana revealed that "I still have my basic outfit. I have the blouse and the jeans, but I don't have the boots anymore, they went the way of the world. Russ still has Stuart Lancaster's wheelchair. He went back and got it. He found it on a junkpile."

Satana also admitted that the only cast member she had a problem with was Sue Bernard. "Susan didn't get along with us. She had her mother with her, who was one of those types of women, 'Don't come near my daughter, you're liable to give her something.' The only way I could get anything out of her acting-wise was to literally make her hate me. I had to get very physical and brutal, pulling teeth to get a reaction. But it seems like any of the good stuff she did in that film was when I was getting nasty with her. The rest of the time, all she did was cry."

Sources:
www.brightlightsfilm.com/16/
AFI
Cult Movies 3 by Danny Peary
picpal.com/tarart.html
Big Bosoms and Square Jaws: The Biography of Russ Meyer, King of the Sex Films by Jimmy McDonough
Russ Meyer-The Life and Films by David K. Frasier
The Psychotronic Encyclopedia of Film
www.5minutesonline.com
rogerebert.suntimes.com
www.austinchronicle.com
www.popcultmag.com
www.time.com
Stuart Lancaster interview by John Donnelly in Psychotronic Magazine
Psychotronic Magazine interview with Tura Satana by Marc Isted

Compiled by Richard Harland Smith & Jeff Stafford

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