The Losers AKA Platinum Pussycat (1968)

Wow, talk about a mind-bending obscurity! You’d be hard pressed to find a reference to this movie in even the most thorough of film guides. A combination of grimy sexploitation and grade-Z action, Platinum Pussycat begins its warped journey with the beautiful Dena being pursued on suspicion of murder after her boyfriend is stabbed to death and Dena is stupid enough to handle the murder weapon. Turning up on the doorstep of her former squeeze, a tough ex-cop named Mike, Dena pleads her innocence and — after explaining that her boyfriend was engaged in a shady deal that would’ve netted him a very tidy wad of cash — Mike agrees to help her out.Before heading out to hunt down information, Mike hides Dena at the apartment of his current girlfriend Linda, an artist who is not only unimpressed with her new roommate, but obvious quite jealous of her: “It’s not hard to see how you attract men!” She doesn’t remain jealous long however, as two thugs quickly burst in and strangle Linda. They then drag Dena back to their hideout where the poor girl is tied up, whipped, and burned with a cigarette before Mike rescues her in the best James-Bond tradition — specifically, donned in a wetsuit and armed with a spear gun à la Sean Connery in Thunderball.As Mike and Dena rekindle their old flame — it obviously didn’t take him long to get over the violent death of Linda! — Dino, the slimy crime lord behind all the carnage, rolls about on his bed with two very low-rent-looking girls who certainly know how to get down and dirty for their boss. (“I’m a god,” Dino shouts with a maniacal laugh.) Some more torture and sex scenes ensue before the whole sordid affair winds up in a steelyard. After a stand-off that would do Tarantino proud (well… not quite), Dena is revealed to be the manipulative, money-obsessed femme fatale we always suspected she was: “The money! It would have made the whole thing worthwhile!”With anonymous locations and dubbing that’s almost as disorienting as a Doris Wishman film, it’s hard to ascertain exactly where Platinum Pussycat originates from — at times it looks decidedly American while other times it could easily pass for a Euro sexploiter complete with a clash of styles that certainly adds to the film’s schizophrenic nature. Pussycat also has a unique visual style, alternating between black & white and sepia tones, and bursting into full “Blushing Color” (as the ads say) during selected sex scenes.Platinum Pussycat seems to have originated around the same time as co directors EDWARD MONTORO and JAMES SOMICH produced their Uschi Digart romp Getting into Heaven. While Somich disappeared from the scene, Montoro went on to produce and/or distribute such exploitation faves as Grizzly, The Grim Reaper, Don’t Go in the House, and Pieces. An impressive legacy indeed….

Date: March 21, 2020