I know I´m risking it a bit because readers tend to riot if the boob factor is too high on my posts but this is about art - pop culture art and stuff.
Russ Meyer´s most famous movie ( if you never heard of Russ Meyer you still know this movie ) is without a doubt FASTER PUSSYCAT ! KILL ! KILL !
Of course Tura Satana plays the lead : Varla, boss of the three - go - go - dancer gang of rough riding, hard drinking, hard f - wording amazons.
As there is very little nudity but a lot of violence in the movie I could see it when I finally discovered Russ Meyer. And I have to say, Tura´s voluptuous cleavage did quite an impression on me.
She´s one of the iconic cult sirens of the world and as other people are quite more eloquent in this case it may be forgiven that I quote from them. We will miss you, Tura.
Now for those who never heard of the movie, what´s it about ? I think FOR THE DISHWASHER says it best :
Bisexual Go - Go dancing vixens with extremely large ( and real ) breasts who drive really, really fast cars, beat men up, and at times thrill kill. That's pretty much all I can say about Faster, Pussycat! Kill! Kill!
It's got a catchy theme song.
Lori Williams plays Billie the blonde with the hourglass figure
For more read the full faster pussycat entry
review of die satansweiber von tittfield
FASTER PUSSYCAT ! KILL ! KILL ! ( or DIE SATANSWEIBER VON TITTFIELD how it is called in german ) has inspired tons of movies and some scenes from the movie even appeared in Jean Park´s music video SOUL TWISTER - the only music video which was directed by Russ Meyer. Or so I read online.
Here are two articles about Tura ( more would be too depressing but there are some links further down ) : Tura Satana obituary - Actor best known for her role as a go - go dancer in Faster, Pussycat! Kill! Kill!
The actor Tura Satana, who has died aged 72, lived a life as eventful as the plots of the lurid B-movies that made her a star. Almost 6ft tall and trained in martial arts, she specialised in a kind of tough charisma that has rarely been matched on screen.
She was best known for her role in the Russ Meyer sexploitation movie Faster, Pussycat! Kill! Kill! ( 1965, tagline: " Superwomen ! Belted, buckled and booted ! " ). As Varla, the leather - clad leader of a gang of thrill - seeking go - go dancers, Satana was given an opportunity by Meyer to perform her own stunts and choreograph fight scenes, as well as to adlib dialogue. She responded by channelling a kind of controlled rage, stating in an interview: " I took a lot of my anger that had been stored inside for many years and let it loose. " Made for $45,000, the film became a cult classic, inspiring directors including John Waters and Quentin Tarantino.
Haji plays Rosie the exotic wildcat
Satana was born Tura Yamaguchi in Hokkaido, Japan, where her part - Filipino father acted in silent films and her mother was a circus performer of mixed Native American and Scottish heritage. The family moved to the US in 1942, but Tura and her father were interned for two and half years in the Manzanar relocation centre for Japanese-Americans in California.
The family were eventually reunited and settled in Chicago. At a time when anti-Japanese feeling was still prevalent, the young Tura suffered constant bullying at school. One evening, just before her 10th birthday, she was sent out by her mother to buy bread. On the way home she was raped by a gang of teenagers. The five youths were never prosecuted, although in interviews she claimed that over the course of the next 15 years, she tracked down each of her assailants and exacted an unspecified revenge.
Her father responded to the attack by teaching her the martial arts akido and karate. Tura was soon afterwards sent to reform school as a result of her frequent delinquency. When she was 13, her parents arranged for her to marry a 17 - year - old family friend, John Satana. The marriage lasted nine months, by which time Tura was appearing in Illinois nightclubs as a burlesque dancer and a nude model – her act combined martial - arts displays with the usual tassle - twirling.
Moving to Los Angeles, Satana dated Elvis Presley and Frank Sinatra before being spotted performing at the Follies theatre and offered a role in the television series Hawaiian Eye. Her martial arts skills led to bit parts in shows such as The Man From U.N.C.L.E. and she appeared in Billy Wilder's Irma La Douce ( 1963 ) and alongside Dean Martin in Who's Been Sleeping in My Bed? ( 1963 ). In the former she played a prostitute and the latter, a stripper.
It took the softcore king Meyer to fully recognise Satana's potential, even if he did not exactly cast her against type. After Faster, Pussycat! Kill! Kill!, she appeared in two more films, The Astro-Zombies ( 1968 ) and The Doll Squad ( 1973 ), before she was hospitalised after being shot in the stomach by an ex-boyfriend.
She had abandoned her burlesque career when changes in California licensing laws led many club owners to require dancers to perform topless. Satana gave up acting to become a nurse and, later, a police radio operator. In 1981 she married a former policeman, Endel Jurman. Soon afterwards, she was injured in a serious car accident.
For much of her later life, she worked in hotel security in Reno, Nevada. She was a canny businesswoman, trademarking her image, which appeared as an action figure, a Halloween mask and on T - shirts. She was also a good - natured regular at cult film conventions and, despite having a pacemaker fitted in 2003, seemed as tough as ever. Indeed, in one interview she recounted what had happened when an over - enthusiastic fan hid in her hotel room after a signing: " He went flying across the room and wound up with a broken arm, busted nose and badly twisted leg. The house detective carried him out. "
Jurman died in 2000. Satana is survived by her daughters, Kalani and Jade, and her sisters, Pamela and Kim.
Tura Satana, dancer and actor, born 10 July 1938; died 4 February 2011.
Tura Satana, Cult Actress, Dies by Dave Itzkoff
Tura Satana, the actress whose authoritative presence, exotic looks and buxom frame commanded the attention of viewers of Russ Meyer’s 1965 cult movie “ Faster, Pussycat! Kill! Kill! ”, died on Friday evening in Reno.
The death was announced by her longtime manager, Siouxzan Perry, who said the cause of death was believed to be heart failure. Ms. Perry said Ms. Satana was 72 when she died, though other sources listed her birth year as 1935.
Born Tura Luna Pascual Yamaguchi in Hokkaido, Japan, to a father of Japanese and Filipino descent and a mother who was Cheyenne Indian and Scots - Irish, Ms. Satana spent part of her childhood in the Manzanar internment camp near Independence, Calif., before her family settled in Chicago.
Her Asian background and looks and the fact that she developed early led to frequent harassment and assaults, and she led an itinerant lifestyle, working as an exotic dancer and nude model. She even posed for erotic photographs taken by Harold Lloyd, the former silent comedian, who suggested she pursue an acting career.
Her breakthrough role came in “ Faster, Pussycat! Kill! Kill! ”, a Meyer exploitation film that, in stark opposition to the director’s later works, featured no nudity. In that film, Ms. Satana played Varla, the leader of a gang of go - go dancers who kidnap a couple, murder the boyfriend and force the girlfriend to follow them on further lawless adventures.
Ms. Satana’s portrayal of Varla as a brazenly violent but unapologetically feminine woman who frequently upbraids the men who dare to ogle her — when a gas - station attendant tells her he believes in “ seeing America first, ” Varla replies, “ You won’t find it down there, Columbus ! ” — earned her a cult following that endured long after the drive - in era.
In later decades, the influence of Ms. Satana’s no - nonsense attitude could be seen in pop - cultural artifacts ranging from “ Xena, Warrior Princess ” to Quentin Tarantino’s “ Kill Bill ” movies.
Ms. Satana is survived by two daughters, Kalani and Jade, and two sisters, Pamela and Kim, according to Ms. Perry. Ms. Perry said a memorial service was being planned for around July 10, Ms. Satana’s birthday.
The promised articles :
R.I.P., Tura Satana: 'Faster, Pussycat' actress dies / Tura Satana dies at 72; actress starred in 'Faster, Pussycat! Kill! Kill!'
Cult actress Tura Satana dies at 72 / Tura Satana R.I.P.
Tura Satana orbituary / Actress Tura Satana dies
Russ Meyer Kurvenstar Tura Satana ist tot
Satansweib von Tittfield Tura Satana gestorben
Now let us not forget to celebrate Tura´s life so here is her entry at CINEMA CULT SIRENS which I quoted - something I do whenever I´m not the expert in movie babes :
Still today, Tura Satana's influence can be glimpsed in popular culture, even if the people inspired have no clue as who she really is. An unique figure in American entertainment, I can find no other celebrity that could compare.
Her main contention to glory is of course Faster Pussycat! Kill! Kill!, classic cult-movie directed by Russ Meyer. But why not start at the very beginning ? Fasten your seat belts, though, because this could be a memorable rollercoaster ride.
Tura Yamaguchi was born in July 10, 1935 ( or is it 1938 ? ). Sometimes after the end of WWII, after moving to Chicago, she was raped by five thugs. This prompted her to learn martial arts, mainly karate. She soon became main honcho of a gang of teenage girls. Tura admits to having been a rebellious juvenile delinquent, as many teased her about her oriental heritage ( the war was still fresh in many memories ). In fact, the father was from Japan and the Philippines and the mother was American Indian and Scots-Irish. She kicked everyone's ass in reform school ( but also learned how to knit ! ). At 13 years of age, she got married ( a fixed union by the two families involved ) with a guy of 17! This relationship would of course not work out.
Tura became soon after an exotic dancer in Los Angeles. The single thought of enjoying the sight of a very young and big-breasted Oriental hoochie-cooching on stage seemed to dissipate the patriotic elan of many American males: she turned out to be a real success. In that time, dancers traveled from city to city, to propose a more elaborate production than the ones seen in these more sordid times ( no lap dances or Champagne Room nonsense ). It's a complete tragedy that no existing film footage of Tura performing her craft with real passion exists. Here are some famous names that Tura worked with in those years: Rose Le Rose, Maxine Martin The Skyscraper Girl, Tempest Storm, Candy Barr and Stunning Smith the Purple Lady. Hummmm..........
At 19, Tura became pregnant, but she would still dance for the upcoming eight months! In general, a typical week of work earned her around $15,000. She still thinks that this experience was the best school she could ever learn in, even if she sometimes found guys hiding in closets in her hotel rooms. Fearless, she disposed of them in her own personal fashion. Of course, like many starlets of the era, Tura began a relationship with Elvis, for a few months, as the King lived his life to the fullest. Oddly, his future spouse, Priscilla Presley would begin later to display a Tura look ( hair, makeup, etc. ) !
We now arrive at the start of the sixties; this is when Tura finally exposed her fabulous figure on film. There were some television appearances on Hawaiian Eye, The Man From U.N.C.L.E., The Girl From U.N.C.L.E., The Greatest Show On Earth with Jack Palance, Valentine's Day, Burke's Law, etc. For the movies, she played a dancer ( what else? ) in Who's Been Sleeping in My Bed? ( 1963 ) with Dean Martin and Elizabeth Montgomery. The same year, she could be seen as a Paris prostitute in the musical Irma La Douce with Jack Lemmon and Shirley Maclaine.
She came back in 1965 as a dancer in Our Man Flint, a riotous James Bond spoof starring James Coburn.
It's very soon after that the role of a lifetime came her way: Varla in Faster Pussycat! Kill! Kill! Seeing this as an opportunity to play a real character instead of being mere decoration she accepted the challenge.
Results: an aggressive female character ( for the time ), very sexual in a different way, enjoying some very quotable dialogue. Let's note that Tura executed all her stunts and fights herself. With great relish. The movie's success was not instant: a cult would form in the years to come from word of mouth. There even was a rock band in the nineties named Tura Satana. Some lines from Faster Pussycat! Kill! Kill! were heard in White Zombie tunes. Even the Cramps were inspired by the movie ( and particularly by Tura ).
Astro - Zombies in 1969 was her first horror film. Sadly, it's pretty shoddy. Director Ted V. Mikels ( who still lives to this day in a castle with ten women ! ) saw Tura on stage and enjoyed the fact that she beat up a female patron who just threw her an ashtray by jealousy. So she played a spy named Satana, sharing the screen with veteran John Carradine, who took a shine to her during shooting. But the film remains juvenile and disappointing ( but can be enjoyed for a few laughs ), even with super - sexy Tura wearing a slit skirt and smoking languidly.
Her last film for a while was from the same Mikels, The Doll Squad ( 1973 ), famous for supposedly inspiring the creation of TV sensation Charlie's Angels.
The Doll Squad, in fact, presents the right - doers of a group of female adventurers battling it out with a megalomanical intend of ruling the world ( and why not ? ). Soon after this shoot, tragedy struck as Tura was shot down by a former possessive lover with a gun. Needless to say, there was a forced period of convalescence. Tura became employed in an hospital, then found work as a dispatcher for the LAPD!
In 1981, she broke her back in a car crash, which resulted in two years in and out of hospitals and many operations. She was married to a retired L.A. cop and has two daughters. She has her own website and fan club. In 2002, Tura made a comeback to movies in Mark of the Astro - Zombies, alongside Brinke Stevens, Liz Renay and John Carradine's disembodied head ( ? ).
Her humor and honesty in interviews are pure delight. If only she could have shot more films. If many still think of Faster Pussycat! Kill! Kill! as a Ed Wood kind of filmaking ( which it isn't ), how can we not admit that it was ahead of its time, still today ? Can you find me a similar production with three female characters with so much presence? I can only think of The Heroic Trio, but still at another end of the spectrum.
In my brain, there are many classic cinematic images : Greta Garbo's closeup in Queen Christina, Charlton Heston parting the Red Sea in The Ten Commandments, King Kong at the top of the Empire State Building, Toshiro Mifune in any scene in Seven Samurai... and Tura Satana in Faster Pussycat! Kill! Kill! whupping the butt of that stupid guy in bermudas. I demand her star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Now.
top ten posts / more posts of interest