Originally produced as a tongue-in-cheek crime drama, The Fat Black Pussycat was reedited to play adults-only houses after falling into the hands of film producer/distributor M.A. Ripps (Poor White Trash, Macumba Love). Extensive surgery successfully amplified the picture's exploitability, but the final version bears obvious scars. The extra scenes include plenty of female nudity and some surprisingly strong violence for the time, adding several new characters and even altering the film's ending. Overall, these surreal deviations from the original plot probably improved The Fat Black Pussycat, as what remains from the first cut is amusing but hardly compelling. What director/screenwriter Harold Lea had in mind was a routine thriller with a wisecracking detective hero who gets the girl (after getting her drunk). His beatnik adversaries immediately date the film with its very square impression of pre-Beatles youth culture, complete with pretentious, drunken poets, dingy coffeehouses, and anthropologists comparing the beats to primitive pygmy tribes. But Ripps' tampering turns The Fat Black Pussycat into a much weirder animal, one that breaks at the drop of a hat for stark, gruesome murders of naked girls and bearded boys. A strange subplot involving a cat that communicates psychically with schizophrenics is introduced and explained in pseudo-scientific language so jumbled that it almost makes sense, and the new Ripps-approved ending involves not one but two killers, each compelled to murder thanks to unresolved homosexual tendencies. The hyper-lit violence and seemingly improvised dialogue of the padding lacks the relative professionalism of the rest of Pussycat, but this confusion only enhances the film's bizarre flavor. Well-known character actors Hector Elizondo, Geoffrey Lewis, and Leonard Frey all make early appearances in Lea's original footage, and professional hippie Wavy Gravy (then still known simply as Hugh Romney) has a brief walk-on during a raucous beatnik party. Russ Meyer fans will recognize a slice of frantic jazz scoring a few action scenes that was also used for Faster, Pussycat! Kill! Kill!, presumably purchased from the same stock music library.