Tura Satana. Oh how I love thee. Let me name the ways. I love your badassery in Faster Pussycat! Kill! Kill!, your martial arts prowess in The Doll Squad and your careless whimsy as you off your enemies in Astro Zombies (though… sadly not my favourite of your movies), not to mention that amazing pink cutout dress! Your style, your flare, your sass.
For those who don’t know who this badass woman is (how dare you), here is a little blurb from Wikipedia.
Satana was born Tura Luna Pascual Yamaguchi in Hokkaidō, Japan. Her father was a Japanese silent movie actor of Filipino descent, and her mother was a circus performer of Native American (Cheyenne) and Scots-Irish background. After the end of World War II and a stint in the Manzanar internment camp in Lone Pine, California, Tura and her family moved to Chicago.
Tura Satana studied martial arts since she was a child (sadly, due to being sexually assaulted as a child – she later sought out all of her attackers and got revenge), as a teenager she formed a girl gang and as a result was sent to reform school, at the age of 13 she was forced into a marriage to a 17 year-old boy by her parents, at the age of 15 she moved to Los Angeles and using a fake I.D. she became a burlesque dancer, was romantically linked to Elvis and was convinced by Harold Lloyd (yes that Harold Lloyd – silent screen star) to become an actress. Tura was an incredible and fascinating woman. I would have loved to have met her.
In my own opinion, I always hoped that Tura Satana had a longer career. Her screen presence was undeniable. After the movie The Doll Squad, she lived through the tragedy of a former lover shooting her. She stopped acting for a few decades because of it, returning in 2004 to make a couple more Astro Zombie movies. Thankfully, she did the comicon circuit, allowing new generations to appreciate her! There is a documentary being made about her and I hope it gets released one day.
A few of her other roles were in The Girl From U.N.C.L.E., Irma La Douche, and the sequels to Astro Zombie.
My two all time favourite movies are Faster Pussycat! Kill! Kill! and The Doll Squad. She is beyond a total badass in both of those movies. We recently had a movie night in our backyard, a way to get our Killer B Cinema fix, while socially distancing with our neighbours. It was a first time viewing of Faster Pussycat! Kill! Kill! for everyone else who joined us. If you haven’t seen either of these movies, go do it now! I’m posting either trailers or full movies below.
The Astro Zombies (1969)
The Doll Squad (1973)
Faster Pussycat! Kill! Kill! (1965)
Each month I run a b-movie night called Killer B Cinema. Join Lizzie Violet & Zoltan Du Lac for a monthly evening of b-moves from the 1950s to 1990s! There will also be trivia with prizes & much more! Please follow us on Instagram and Facebook!