Tura Satana is not a lady you want to mess with. But no one who’s seen her ass-kicking performance as Varla, a homicidal, kickboxing go-go dancer in Russ Meyer’s classic Faster Pussycat...Kill! Kill!(1966) is apt to argue that point. This performance alone would’ve made her a major cult movie figure, but her role in Astro-Zombies (1969) and her turn as a sexy secret agent in The Doll Squad (1973) has helped to make her a bonafide legend in the wild world of underground cinema. Though Tura had stayed conspicuously clear of the spotlight for many years, she has re-emerged recently with her own website and plans for a book and film based-on her life.
Why do you think people still love "Faster Pussycat...Kill! Kill!" today?
Tura Satana: I think it's as popular today because it carries the same message that it did when it was first done. Plus, I think that a lot of people are seeing it for the first time. I think that the message that the film sends is a message to women in general. It is that women can be feminine and yet still be strong. They no longer have to feel that they are the weaker sex. We might not have the same strength that the males do, but we can learn to use the strengths that we have to make ourselves heard and felt throughout the world. It also shows women that they can still be as feminine as they want to be. I have always felt that I can be as feminine as I like. I like having someone open up the doors for me, and doing things for me that make me feel attractive. But, I know that I am capable of doing those things myself, as well.
Of the movies you've done, which is your favorite and why?
TS: I have to say that FPKK is one of my favorites, besides The Doll Squad. I think that it's my favorite because I put so much of myself into it. I let out a lot of the anger that was in me during the filming of the picture. It helped a whole lot to make me a better person as well.
Are you as tough as you seem in your films?
TS: I would have to say, that yes, I am as tough as the films. Because I have to be, not because I want to be.
Have you had to belt anyone lately?
TS: Not lately, but I wouldn't hesitate if I had to.
I read somewhere that you dated Elvis. What era was this in? Was it serious?
TS: Yes, I dated him back in the late fifties and early sixties. He asked me to marry him and I told him no, because we were both working on our careers. And we really didn't have the ability to put up with that and our careers. Sometimes I am sorry that I didn't, because I think that he would be alive today if I had.
Were you upset when you found out there a was a rock band out there using your name?
TS: Yes, I was upset but I was also flattered. I just hope that they were good, because I wouldn't want my namesake to be bad in the entertainment industry.
What are you up to these days? Any upcoming projects?
TS: At the present time I own an engine rebuilding business in Long Beach and I’m trying to make it a success. I have a couple of things in the wings. I am writing my autobiography and I’m talking to some people about making it into a film. Also, I’m helping to write a movie script and I have been asked to work in a couple of films. Plus, I write to all of my fans who write to me on the Internet.