viva satana!    The flesh and blood Tura Satana died on the 4th of February. Death had a hard job bringing Mrs Satana in. It's not surprising: as well as her name, in herself she was enough to frighten the devil himself. When Tura Satana appeared on the screen, spectators' flies started shaking. She's died, but death hasn't won everything. We're not going to be cheesy and say "She'll always live in her films". No. In Tura Satana's case, cinema and life, fiction and reality all go down the same route.
She was born in Japan in 1939. Her father was Japanese-Hawaiian and her mother was Cherokee. Tura Luna Pascual Yamaguchi was her given name. When she was born the Second World War broke out and the family was sent to a concentration camp for Japanese people in Chicago. Shortly after the war, when Tura was no more than 10, she was attacked in a way that was going to change her whole life. Five young men raped her. The family reported it but, as one of the rapists was a policeman's nephew, the five young white men were released. And they weren't happy with that: they reported her for indecency and she spent a year in a reform school. When she left the reform school, Tura knew that she would have to look after herself. She added the karate her father had taught her to the hatred she had stored up in the reform school. In her part of town and at school too, she was marginalised and attacked by her Afro-American schoolmates. At 14, she beat up four classmates in a fight and had to go back to reform school. She stayed there until a woman judge saw her rape case and ordered her to be set free.

At 15 she left home and started to work at strip clubs. Using the artistic name "Japanese Beauty", she developed burlesque and karate movements to use on her clients. As well as her originality, her body seemed to be made for sin. That's when she met Elvis. Or so she said ... and she always kept the story alive. But her wandering personality always kept her on the move and she decided to go to Hollywood. Shortly after getting there, she played a stripper in Who´s sleeping in my bed, which starred Dean Martin. In 1963 Billy Wilder saw the film and offered her a small role in Irma la Douce. She started working in the small parts they gave her in tv series and films, but never stopped doing striptease, which she loved. One night at the Pink Pussycat Club the film director Russ Meyer approached her. That very night Meyer offered her the main role in his next film. That night Varla was born, the star of Faster Pussycat! Kill! Kill!, the mythical film. The film became a pop icon, one of the most famous B movies. Tura and Meyer never worked together again, but their names were to be linked forever. Tura was like a migrating bird. Mrs Satana worked in more films, for example AstroZombies and Doll Squad (later on they would be referenced in Charlies Angels and Kill Bill). In the 70's Tura disappeared from the screen on a slope of low budget films. She got married. She had children. She was widowed. She worked as a phone operator at Los Angeles police. She has a serious traffic accident. She started to be invited to B movie festivals. And on the 4th of February she died at home. Her loving children and grandchildren were with her.