Monday, February 7, 2011

Tura Satana (1938-2011)

If I ever decide to star in campy exploitation films, I'll sure do my best to become a disciple of Tura Satana. She's one ice cold, voluptuous femme fatale who twisted both mind and limbs of male characters in questionable films of the 1960's. She has now, sadly, followed the trend of this year and kicked the bucket like other actors and actresses I've loved.

[Around New Years Eve the man responsible for Sweden's first television nude shock in 1962, and responsible for a hell of a lot of great film characters in collaboration with among others Ingmar Bergman, died with his wife in a house fire. R.I.P Per Oscarsson. Then the celebrated Swedish actress Lena Nyman, who gave Americans a nude shock in I Am Curious (Yellow) in 1967, died in February 4th. May your slightly intoxicated soul rest in peace, too. I should also mention Maria Schneider, who died February 3rd. She deserves credit since she stuck her fingers up Marlon Brando's bum in Last Tango in Paris 1972, and never was remembered for anything else.]

Back to the lovely Japanese American destroyer of men - Tura Satana, who died February 4th at the age of 72. She's most famous for her character Varla in Faster, Pussycat! Kill! Kill!  (Russ Meyer, 1965), and rightfully so. There is something severely wrong with a person who does not get willfully seduced by her evil stare, her husky voice and brutal ninja chops. The scene below is my favorite from that totally awesome movie (I give up on my poor tries at academic language - it is simply a totally awesome movie). Watch her break the neck of that cocky guy!

- You've got a weird sense of humor!
- Try again, I get funnier!

Oh, would Joseph Breen and the guys choke on their coffee dipped donuts if they'd have seen this! Perhaps he did, he died the year the film was released. Hmm...

Well, apart from this glorious piece of cinematic joy, Satana also appeared in films like The Astro-Zombies (Ted V. Mikels, 1968), which is not to be confused with Federico Fellini's La Dolce Vita. I found a YouTube clip where some Satana fan has pasted together clips from her scenes in the film to the tunes of Swedish band The Cardigans. Look at that wardrobe. Look at her cruelty! Look at her body.

The lovely thing about Tura Satana is that she is so conscious of the corniness of the films and her lines, which in fact make the whole thing... awesome. Or to elaborate: according to universal studies it makes her acting sincere and humorous. I suggest you read up on her life, it's pretty fascinating. If all is true is irrelevant, in my humble opinion. Or "irrelephant", as Chico Marx would say.

Don't blame me for writing a weird post. I'm drinking whiskey on a Monday night. You do the math.

Anyway. We will miss you, Satana. The Divine Miss J and I, at least. This calls for a girls night with me, you, Varla and mojitos.


Jamil S.P. said...

Nice tribute.

Mykal said...

Great right up, Lolita! Thanks for sharing that clip. Wowie!

The Divine Miss J said...

Thank you Lolita!! Warms another icequeens heart. Wonderfull post. And you know I make a kickass moijto!

Classic Film and TV Cafe said...

Having seen FASTER PUSSYCAT, all I know is that she could have kicked my butt!

Matthew Coniam said...

This woman scared the crap out of me! I love your suggestion that Joe Breen may have died because she was just too much woman for him to handle.
Great piece, Lolita. I think you should do a video of your own personal tribute, with you recreating key scenes from Pussycat and the Astro-Zombies. Just a suggestion...
I didn't know Maria Schneider had died either. Not all that old, surely?

P.A. Lerma said...

orribile filme bê


Me and my friends were obsessed with Russ Meyer a couple of years ago.We love this movie and i made a gig poster based on one of the movie posters (the one with the cartoon gal)

Lolita Kane said...

Classic Film & TV Café:
She could kick anyone's butt! Awesome woman, indeed.

It can't be a coincidence, right? Haha. I read a lot about Joe Breen and the Hays Code right now, pretty interesting. Especially for a Swedish girl, not being able to fully comprehend the moral panic and fear of Catholic boycotts.
Great idea! I have however not fully understood my current editing program, and that put me off. But it's really fun to make your own videos, so I really should try.

Lowenbot and Peachy:
We all have a time in our life where we are obsessed with Tura Satana - it's only natural!