Seen at the Sydney Underground Film Festival

Pussy Cake Info

In Argentina, the title of this film is Emesis. Emesis, for those who aren’t wanting to google or don’t know this off the top of your head, is another word for vomiting. This title genuinely suits the film as there is a considerable amount of vomiting going on. It also brings up images of sickness, perfect for a movie about a mysterious otherworldly plague. Emesis is the kind of odd but intelligent title that could really work well when placed alongside a disturbing film like this… or we could just rename it Pussy Cake for the English-speaking audiences because Pussy Cake is a goddamn amazing title that might not mean a damn thing but it’s fun to say.

Pussy Cake follows an all-girl rock band on a tour of dive bars, trying to live out the glorious idea of being working musicians on the road. While it might not be the most glamorous life, at least this ragtag group of women have each other… and then one of them stumbles upon an old friend who looks half dead and is violently vomiting white goop into people’s faces and brutally killing them. That problem keeps them stuck in the town they’ve been performing in, a town they now realise is suspiciously deserted, and the band has to fight together to get out of town before they all get covered in the disgusting lethal white gunk spewing from every orifice of the weird possessed monsters that roam the town.

Pussy Cake is one of those films that can be described in one very simple, albeit silly, six word sentence… Argentinian Lesbian Punk Rock Evil Dead. That’s it, does that combination of key words sound like a film you’re going to enjoy? Cool, then you’ll probably get a kick out of Pussy Cake. It’s about as over the top and insane as that six-term long phrase implies and then some. There isn’t an ounce of subtle to be found, it’s an hour and a half of four badass women running around a deserted town while zombie creatures vomit up a substance that anyone with half an ounce of immaturity in them is going to compare to cum because it’s a gooey white substance… and it’s fucking awesome.

Pussy Cake (2022)
Pussy Cake (2022)

Some films need to have grand plots or make subtle creative choices and then there’s a film like Pussy Cake which just slams headfirst into a wall made of schlock and revels in it. It understands that it’s making a film that’s throwing back to an era where people were finally learning how to make gore look good so they just did as much as they could, so therefore Pussy Cake has to throw out all the gore it has since that’s the style it’s mimicking and sure enough it does that. 

Pussy Cake throws out gore from every hole, even making a few new ones just to make sure it can get all the gore out and it’s so over the top that after a while you kind of just get used to it. Sure, it’s shocking and a little disgusting to watch a decaying bloody corpse vomit up milk all over someone’s face… but after a half dozen times it almost becomes quaint, like the Monty Python Salad Days sketch if it just never ended. Throughout all this elaborate spraying of gore and grotesque fluids, you might be wondering if the film is anything other than just an excuse to test out the fancy hose systems that make good vomit scenes work and you’ll be happy to know that it is, but that’s not what’s gonna be most memorable.

The central cast of women who basically carry the film (sorry I don’t have their character names on hand, this was one of 10 films seen during the Sydney Underground Film Festival over three days so some details are hard to grab right now) creates a fascinating and charming bond that makes you hope they avoid being covered in the goop that keeps flying around. Two of them are actually a pretty adorable lesbian couple who end up being the emotional core of the film with a powerful final sequence that will somehow actually get you choked up, even after seeing so much spraying assorted fluids.

Pussy Cake was never going to be a subtle film, especially not with that title, but it is a glorious over the top Argentinian splatterfest that just goes for the extreme choice every chance that it can get. Does every moment land? No, some extreme vomiting sequences are less effective than they might be (If you vomit in front of someone 20 times, eventually they’re going to stop saying “You OK?” and just let it happen) but it’s so undeniably insane and fun that any fan of splatter cinema is going to have a good time with this absolute insanity… or at the very least, you’re going to have fun saying “I saw Pussy Cake” out loud at a social event, and that in itself it worth it.

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