You’re all shook up, aren’t you, baby?!
Faster, Pussycat! Kill! Kill! (1965)
Tuesday February 22nd, 9pm
Otto’s Shrunken Head
538 E. 14th street (A & B)
This week’s film is dedicated to
Tura Luna Pascual Yamaguchi “Tura Satana”
July 10 1938 – February 4, 2011
This month, we lost a true film icon. Bucksom, ballsy Tura Satana.
I first fell in love with Tura Satana when I was a 15 year old, snot nosed kid in NYC. Roaming the streets dressed like a Dead End Kid, smoking unfiltered Lucky Strikes, swilling whiskey and thinking I was as tough as nails…and then I wandered into the infamous Screening Room on Varick one day while cutting school. It was the new and ultimate cinema haunt for us truant kids with time on our hands, screening everything from classics to indies to 70’s porn in 3d (yes, it’s as terrifying as it sounds)…Curled up in a two seater movie seat still chain smoking and drinking whiskey, I watched as the toughest gang of broads I’d ever seen, led by Ms. Satana herself, hit the screen in Faster, Pussycat! Kill! Kill! and I was humbled, schooled, and elated. By the end, I walked out an even weirder snot nosed kid than when i walked in, knowing I had a lot to do to fill those knee high gogo boots of hers.
So, 20 years later I’m still dressing like a Bowery Boy, playing with cars and roaming the streets of NYC swilling whiskey from time to time in a “B” movie induced warped sense of reality…and I owe it in great part to Russ Meyer and Tura Satana. We’re all a little shook up over her passing, baby! and she’ll be sadly missed.
“If the gods could bestow perfect names on people, they would have named young Tura Luna Pascual Yamaguchi ‘Tura Satana’, a name that fit her like the black leather gloves she wore in FASTER PUSSYCAT, but they didn’t have to. Tura married John Satana when she was just 13 years old. Her first marriage didn’t last long but she kept that great name. Tura, whose exotic looks came from a Japanese father and Cherokee Indian mother, ‘developed’ early and began her career as a very popular Burlesque star at age 15, known on-stage, among other monikers, as ‘Miss Japan Beautiful’ and ‘The Living Statue’. In the mid 50′s she met Elvis Presley, before he was launched to mega-stardom. and the two became engaged. As Tura tells it, Colonel Parker pressured Elvis to break it off, fearing association with a stripper would hurt his career, but Tura continued to wear the engagement ring he gave her on her finger until her death. Her big bust and unusual looks caught the attention of film director Russ Meyer, who was moving from the ‘nudie cutie’ stage of his career to the berserk blend of sex and violence he became known for. Tura’s Varla was a shamelessly violent (Tura was an accomplished martial artist) yet sexy and feminine character who’s startling to watch in the film today and whose influence can be found in music, fashion and the work of other filmmakers such as Quentin Tarantino (watch the way Kurt Russell gets beat up at the end of DEATH PROOF. Straight out of FASTER PUSSYCAT)”
– Read more about Tura at We Are Movie Geeks
Read the full Cine Meccanica Review of Faster, Pussycat! Kill! Kill!