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Nurse Ratched, My Hero: 4 Female Movie Villains I Love

What do my favorite film femme fatales have in common?

by
Kathy Shaidle

Bio

August 1, 2012 - 7:00 am

Portrait by Jason Mercier

Varla in Faster Pussycat! Kill! Kill! (1965)

Faster, Pussycat! Kill! Kill! is the Citizen Kane of crap.

Before the advent of video rental, John Waters would travel out of state just to see Russ Meyers’ 1965 magnum opus at a rumored drive-in booking.

If I could afford it, I’d give the movie the “24 Hour Psycho” treatment and project it on my living room wall.

(I won’t elaborate here on my post-modern theory that the film’s female trio represents the Marx Brothers…)

Much of FP!K!K!‘s lasting appeal is due to the late Tura Satana’s performance as Varla, the leader of the gang.

Even if only half of Satana’s hair-raising biography is true – gang raped as a child, married and divorced at 13 (!), photography model for Harold Lloyd — she was born to play the role of the heartless, greedy, lethal man-hater Velma.

To her credit, fandom has it that Satana was more amiable in person than the character that made her an underground icon.

Not that that would be too difficult. Like Edward G. Robinson’s Rico in Little Caesar (1930) Varla is one of the few movie villains with no redeeming qualities (unless you count her astonishing figure and wicked driving skills).

I couldn’t stand being Varla 24/7 – I’m not the dominatrix type. (It’s way too much work, for one thing.)

But once in a while, being able to deliver a roundhouse kick would come in handy.

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