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The Lovely Tura Satana
The Lovely Tura Satana
I just talked to Tura Satana earlier, to tell her I'm happy her autobiography is coming out soon. She's a lovely gal, very much a no-nonsense, earthy woman, and I like that.
It's probably impossible to say something about Tura Satana that hasn't already been said. She's easily the most well-known of Russ Meyer's actors, and star of his most famous film, Faster Pussycat Kill! Kill! But she's such an interesting woman with so many great stories that only she can tell that I can hardly wait to read them all.
And of course she's my favorite Asian American actress for what that's worth. The very antithesis of the frail Dragon Lady/prostitute stereotype that's so nauseous to see on screen. Any woman who can beat the living daylights out of five girls who jump her is A-OK by me.
The first time I ever saw Faster Pussycat Kill! Kill! was a revelation. It's an odd film in the Russ Meyer oeuvre in many ways. It's typical in some ways, in that the women pull all the strings in the plot, and the men are dumb as a bag of hammers. But it's a much more overt film than any other of his. Often Meyer's films have women being roughed up, mistreated, , beaten senseless and murdered horribly by crazy men. Mudhoney or Supervixens are pristine examples. Not so with Faster Pussycat. These women would beat the hell out of almost any man in a fair fight, and in fact do just that. The women are not only the sexually strong ones, they are also the physically strong ones, and the most cunning.
More than that, though, it's one of Meyer's only films with absolutely no nudity. For a filmmaker who made his reputation doing nudie films, it's amazingly restrained, and this is exactly what makes it so fascinating to me. The lack of nudity creates a wonderful tension in the movie that works so well with the rapid-fire use of montage and the quick jump-cutting in the movie. Everything in the film, the dialogue, the editing, the setting, creates an atmosphere of complete instability, where anything can happen, no matter how mad, ludicrous or violent, and at any time. It's worth it just for the scene where Varla discovers where the old man really keeps all of his money. Pure genius.