An oral history of the excellent Josie And The Pussycats movie is now available to order – more details right here.

I’m never really clear on what defines a cult film but I’m pretty sure I know one when I see one, and 2001’s wild, hilarious Josie & the Pussycats movie most definitely rings that bell. Twenty years on, I’m delighted to say, it’s a healthy, happy cult, and constantly growing. Are you with us? Come on in, the Kool Aid is delicious.

While it was ostensibly adapted from a 1960s comic series and 1970s cartoon show, the big screen Pussycats mashes together decades worth of pop culture influences, from The Monkees to N-Sync, and paranoia about subliminal messaging to MTV product placement. Such heavily-loaded, self-aware scripts can be tricky to write, as can an authentically young, non-condescending voice but director-screenwriters Harry Elfont and Debra Kaplan absolutely nail it on both counts – just as they did with their debut feature, Can’t Hardly Wait.

They’re outstanding – I don’t know why they’re not superstars, to be honest. I’ll also recommend their recent YouTube sitcom Liza On Demand while I’m here.

One of the biggest fans of Josie is blogger, journalist and podcaster Russ Burlingame. He last year celebrated the film with a ‘Quarantine watch party’ tweetalong, featuring Elfont and Kaplan themselves, but that was just the appetiser. For the last six months, Russ has also been gathering interviews for a book, an oral history that traces the film’s development, production, release and reception.

The book is definitely happening so Russ’ crowdfunding campaign is more of a pre-order device than anything else. Having said that, the more money is raised, the better the end product. Russ says he’ll spend the extra profits on “fun perks that I can’t help myself adding on, because I love this movie as much as you guys do, and getting a serious, professional editor to help clean things up.”

A copy of Best Movie Ever: A Totally Jerkin’ Book will set you back $10 for the eBook, $15 for a paperback, $25 for a hardback. Russ is also offering blue prints of the movie’s set designs, but it looks like we’re too late to get editions signed by Elfont & Kaplan, unfortunately.

I’m delighted that we live in a world where cult movies can become cult books, and lovers of the Pussycats can join together.

Now all we need is a nice 4K HDR remaster of the movie, right? And a sequel – because can you imagine what uncharted territory that would be able to go into?

 

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