Tura Santana, RIP
February 6, 2011 2:32 PM   Subscribe

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, Nev. [Previously.]
posted by chavenet (44 comments total) 12 users marked this as a favorite
 
.
posted by Kinbote at 2:37 PM on February 6, 2011


She is truly fantastic in Faster, Pussycat. It's a bit sad she didn't have more of a career, it took 20+ years before people could see through the schlock to understand what Russ Meyer was doing.
posted by Nelson at 2:37 PM on February 6, 2011 [2 favorites]


Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to violence, the word and the act. While violence cloaks itself in a plethora of disguises, its favorite mantle still remains... sex. Violence devours all it touches, its voracious appetite rarely fulfilled. Yet violence doesn't only destroy, it creates and molds as well. Let's examine closely then this dangerously evil creation, this new breed encased and contained within the supple skin of woman. The softness is there, the unmistakable smell of female, the surface shiny and silken, the body yielding yet wanton. But a word of caution: handle with care and don't drop your guard. This rapacious new breed prowls both alone and in packs, operating at any level, any time, anywhere, and with anybody. Who are they? One might be your secretary, your doctor's receptionist... or a dancer in a go-go club!

.

(Faster, Pussycat! Kill! Kill! Is genius cinema and I defy anyone to say otherwise. )
posted by Artw at 2:38 PM on February 6, 2011 [4 favorites]


.
posted by Joe Beese at 2:49 PM on February 6, 2011


I can only imagine how distraught astro zombie is right now.

.
posted by boo_radley at 2:55 PM on February 6, 2011 [1 favorite]


She was a hella woman.

She'd like to remind you that reality is all that's dirty underneath the clean.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 2:59 PM on February 6, 2011


checking your post title, chavenet, I didn't know she was Carlos' sister ;-)
posted by flapjax at midnite at 3:01 PM on February 6, 2011 [1 favorite]


durr. Satana!
posted by chavenet at 3:03 PM on February 6, 2011




She also had roles in The Astro-Zombies, Mark of the Astro-Zombies and Astro Zombies M3: Cloned (which came out last year.)

.
posted by zarq at 3:08 PM on February 6, 2011


Before shooting began, Satana told Meyer that he’d have to change the script. “I said, ‘I don’t do nude scenes,’” she recalls. “He said, ‘But you’re a stripper.’ I said, ‘I do not do nude scenes on stage and I do not do nude scenes on screen.’” Her adamancy surprised Meyer, but he relented, settling for a shot of her bare back. It was a good move, since the absent nudity enhanced Varla’s invulnerability.

The headbutting continued off set.“Russ had this rule,” says Satana. “Under no circumstances are you allowed to have sex during filming. And I said, ‘Well, then I have to quit.’ He said ‘Why?’ and I said, ‘I cannot go one day without release.’ He said, ‘Where the hell are you gonna find release in the middle of the desert?’ I said, ‘That’s for me to know, you to find out. It won’t be with you.’” Meyer had to let her have her way. “He said, ‘Don’t you ever tell the other girls,’” Satana recalls. “But it didn’t make a difference. They all knew anyway.”


A legend.
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 3:19 PM on February 6, 2011 [7 favorites]


.
posted by cazoo at 3:24 PM on February 6, 2011


"The best film ever made. Possibly better than any film that will be made in the future." -John Waters, on Faster Pussycat! Kill! Kill!
posted by mai at 3:24 PM on February 6, 2011 [2 favorites]


This is a loss. She was great in Faster Pussycat.
posted by Forktine at 3:34 PM on February 6, 2011


.
posted by SageLeVoid at 3:38 PM on February 6, 2011


.
posted by cavalier at 3:47 PM on February 6, 2011


Ah the lead go-go dancing bad-ass gang leader in Russ Meyer's Faster Pussycat Kill! Kill!

Icon. She waved her rebel freakflag high for lots of awesome chicks to follow.
posted by jojo chandran at 3:48 PM on February 6, 2011


.
(renders spacesuit for Tura and buys astrozombie)
posted by clavdivs at 3:53 PM on February 6, 2011


. (NSFW photo from 1954)
posted by CCBC at 3:54 PM on February 6, 2011


Wow. I assumed this was a tragically young passing, but she was 72. It hadn't occur to me that she'd age.

I saw Faster Pussycat! Kill! Kill! at student-run B-movie festival. The projectionists screwed up, and for the first ten minutes of the film, you could not see anyone's head. It was all torso on down, which kinda drove home the force behind Russ Meyers's casting decisions.

Once the projection problems got fixed, though, holy crap Tura Satana was an intimidating presence!

.
posted by ignignokt at 3:56 PM on February 6, 2011


.
posted by mikelieman at 3:56 PM on February 6, 2011


One of a kind.

Thanks, Ms. Satana. Godspeed.
posted by Capt. Renault at 4:05 PM on February 6, 2011


.

She was both one of the first women I ever lusted after and an early exposure to the idea that beauty isn't quite so narrowly-defined as modern Hollywood would have us believe.
posted by rhiannonstone at 4:07 PM on February 6, 2011 [1 favorite]


"The one thing you’ve got to remember is that you just never accept defeat. Remember to never let life get you down, because there is always something new to learn tomorrow. Life is to be lived, and lived well."

- RIP, Tura. you have been, and remain, an inspiration.
posted by lapolla at 4:08 PM on February 6, 2011 [4 favorites]


.
posted by motty at 4:09 PM on February 6, 2011


She was an idol of mine! She will be missed.
posted by Sidhedevil at 4:09 PM on February 6, 2011


She always went for the long green. Truly an inspired--and inspirational--woman.

.
posted by Chichibio at 4:14 PM on February 6, 2011


She will live on. How could she not?

Faster is still one of the movies I most fervently wish I'd had a chance to see as a teenager.
posted by blucevalo at 4:50 PM on February 6, 2011


Oh dear lord, not another one. I am a sad puppy.

.
posted by Splunge at 5:33 PM on February 6, 2011


Oh, this makes me really sad. I saw her live at Peaches Christ's Midnight Mass a few years ago; she was fierce and awe-inspiring as you'd imagine, but also as generous with her time and autographs as she could possibly be.

There was talk around that time of her shopping for a publisher for an autobiography. To the best of my knowledge, she never found one. Which is really a shame, because, if I recall correctly, she lived quite a fascinating life even before the movies.

.
posted by treepour at 6:55 PM on February 6, 2011


I can only imagine how distraught astro zombie is right now.

I genuinely am. She had what I think is one of the funniest lines I have ever heard, which I can only paraphrase, from Faster Pussycat. She pulls into a gas station and the attendant ogles her breasts while nattering about traveling around the country.

"See America first, that's what I always say." he says.

"Well, you won't find it down there, Columbus," she snaps back.
posted by Astro Zombie at 7:14 PM on February 6, 2011 [5 favorites]


One of a kind.

.
posted by Sailormom at 7:14 PM on February 6, 2011


( . )( . )
posted by louche mustachio at 7:36 PM on February 6, 2011


.
posted by ltracey at 8:19 PM on February 6, 2011


.
posted by Hairy Lobster at 9:18 PM on February 6, 2011


I saw Faster, Pussycat! years ago in college, and I didn't really know that much about Tura Satana otherwise. But from reading the links in this obit thread, it seems like she was an actual living, walking, talking incarnation of an ass-kicking b-movie heroine both on and off screen. The most intriguing detail from her Wikipedia entry (first link in the OP):

Walking home from school at the age of nine she was gang raped by five men. Her attackers were never prosecuted and it was rumored that the judge had been paid off. This prompted her to learn the martial arts of aikido and karate and, over the next 15 years, track down each rapist and exact revenge. "I made a vow to myself that I would someday, somehow get even with all of them," she said years later. "They never knew who I was until I told them."

Is this actually true? If so, why hasn't anybody made an epic grindhouse-style Tura Satana biopic?
posted by Strange Interlude at 9:35 PM on February 6, 2011 [4 favorites]


.
posted by yeloson at 10:00 PM on February 6, 2011


I love her for having taken revenge! I love her for having been beautiful and cool! The world needs people like Ms. Santana. We will miss you! I hope Paradise lives up to the brochures.
posted by Katjusa Roquette at 11:04 PM on February 6, 2011



posted by Civil_Disobedient at 7:23 AM on February 7, 2011


That opening sequence was genius. The visual of the audio track is mind blowing.

RIP
posted by gjc at 7:51 AM on February 7, 2011


Nobody's mentioned that Tura taught Elvis how to kiss, how to shake his leg like that, AND turned down his offer of marriage. She had to finally ask him to stop making Priscilla look like her too.
posted by stinkycheese at 8:06 AM on February 7, 2011


I watched Faster, Pussycat again that night in her honor. It's an amazing film, and her remarkable presence is key.

Her legend wll live on.
posted by Gelatin at 9:35 AM on February 7, 2011


Watching the intro to Faster, Pussycat reminded me of how fascinating her co-star Haji was. Another Meyer supervixen whose career never seemed to go beyond the schlockfests, with such credits as "Wam Bam Thank You Spaceman: Slave Girl (uncredited)". Sad, she showed so much talent. She's still alive and kicking, happily. Her vanity site at fasterpussycathaji.com is parked but you can view it via Wayback here.
posted by Nelson at 3:56 PM on February 7, 2011


.
posted by Snyder at 6:30 PM on February 7, 2011


« Older Empire! An Al Jazeera Series   |   Flight to Dallas? $400. Hotel Room? $179 a night.... Newer »


This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments