Podcast Debate Club: Can Britney do justice to Varla?

Say what you will about the shock-schlock, soft-core oeuvre of filmmaker Russ Meyer, the man was definitely ahead of his time when it came to showcasing the hips-lips-tits-power! aesthetic that would eventually become inextricably linked to third-wave feminism. His best-known work, 1966's sinsister thrillride Faster, Pussycat! Kill! Kill!, has come to be regarded over the years as something of a prefeminist classic, but even those who cock a skeptical eyebrow at the equation of big-breasted go-go dancers + homicidal karate chops = empowerment can probably appreciate the film's gonzo exuberance, as well as its arresting black-and-white cinematography.

Naturally, Quentin Tarantino wants to get his grubby retro paws all in it and do a winkingly "ironic" remake. And if we're to believe Variety's Liz Smith, he's set to do just that. Back in January, Smith reported that QT's casting choices for the three tough-talking, impossibly pneumatic leads were Kim Kardashian, Eva Mendes, and, uh, Britney Spears. And according to celebrity e-tabloid The Popcrunch Show, Spears has now accepted the role of the baddest of the bad-girl trio — Varla, who was in the original portrayed by actor and former exotic dancer Tura Satana, a woman who by all accounts was almost as formidable as her snarling, leather-gloved alter ego.

My personal feeling here is that the man who reinvigorated the careers of both Pam Grier (good choice) and John Travolta (good choice intitially, at least) is aiming way too low. But perhaps others feel differently, and can't wait to see lil' Britney try to fill Tura's prodigious brassiere. (Metaphorically, anyway.) So for the first installment of Bitch's Podcast Debate Club — a new offshoot of our quarterly Pop Culture Debate Club — we're posing the question: Should Faster, Pussycat! Kill! Kill! be remade? And who would you cast in the lead roles? Post your most convincing arguments in the comments section, we'll choose our two favorites and read them as a head-to-head debate in the next Bitch podcast, and the winners will each score a subscription to Bitch and a special mystery gift.

Sound good? Then get cracking!

by Andi Zeisler
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Andi Zeisler is the cofounder of Bitch Media and the author of We Were Feminists Once: From Riot Grrrl to CoverGirl®, the Buying and Selling of a Political Movement. You can find her on Twitter.

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