Tura Satana 1938-2011

“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 woman, the surface shiny and silken, the body yielding yet wanton. But a word of caution: handle with care and don’t drop your guard.”

Russ Meyer’s films have such an unabashed energy, are so far ahead of their time, that it’s sometimes hard to believe that his most famous movie was released over four decades ago. That realization hit me hard when I went to a screening of Faster Pussycat! Kill! Kill! with star Tura Satana in attendance. It was disheartening to see someone who portrayed one of the most vibrant characters in cinematic history struggle to ascend a flight of stairs. Time catches up to us all.

Then Tura spoke.

I can’t remember a single word she said, but I certainly remember how she said it. She laid into us with ferocity, fists flying, eyes gleaming, regaling us with her misadventures in the underbelly of the sleazy ’60s. She drew you in despite every decent instinct in your body screaming to run the other way, the kind of woman that only comes along a few times in your life and is best viewed through a set of solid steel bars. As the night wore on the years just fell away and, like the film that made her famous, I realized that some things are truly timeless.

Rest in peace, Tura. You were too much woman for this world.

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