“Tura Thursday” is a regular series celebrating the legacy of the late, great Tura Satana, best known as Varla in the 1965 Russ Meyer cult classic Faster, Pussycat! Kill! Kill!. This series is curated by Tura’s longtime manager, friend, confidant and CEO of Tura Satana Productions, Siouxzan Perry.
When Russ Meyer shot Faster, Pussycat! Kill Kill! in 1965, he had a modest budget of about $45,000 – one of the more practical reasons for the film being shot in black and white and for the choice of location. He began filming at the Pussycat Club, a strip club in Van Nuys, before moving on to the California desert late on the same day. During principal photography, the cast and crew stayed at the Adobe Motel in the remote town of Johannesburg. The film’s early racing scene was shot on the dry salt flats of Lake Cunniback, and the scenes at the Old Man’s house at a ranch outside the town of Mojave…
TURA! Director Cody Jarrett recently got a hot (very hot) tip off from one of Tura’s fans regarding the location of this original FPKK set ranch. There was only one thing to do… Cody packed up camera and crew and sped off to investigate and shoot footage for the documentary.
The whole experience certainly made a deep impression on our director and you can see why in the following clip and through Cody’s own words below it.
“FILMING at the Faster, Pussycat! Kill! Kill! ranch was surreal. Standing on that porch – in the exact spot where Russ Meyer, Tura Satana, Haji, Lori Williams, Dennis Busch, Susan Bernard, Paul Trinka and the great Stuart Lancaster unknowingly created cinema history — was one of the eerily coolest moments I’ve ever experienced.
TURA! Cinematographer David Diano and I traveled deep into the California desert, honestly unsure of what we’d find. But what we discovered, more than anything, was a spirit. A spirit unchanged by time, man, or the universe around it. A spirit that knows exactly what it is and doesn’t have to prove it to anyone; it just is.
And what that is, is bad-ass. Being there was like being on the set of FPKK during a lunch break! Although the ranch shows it’s age on a surface level, it truly looked and felt even better than I’d hoped it would. The emotional gravity was there, as well the physical challenges and sweltering heat and sun. It’s inviting and harsh, seductive and tough: the perfect complement to Varla’s sexy-cum-murderous personality, and an important character in its own right.
Now whether that was part of a larger master plan or just a brilliant cosmic fluke, I’m not sure. But either way… it was perfect.
Well done, Russ Meyer. Well done. “
Many thanks to all Tura Satana fans who keep in the loop and keep us in the loop of all things Tura! If you have any stories, images or information about Tura get in touch with Siouxzan Perry via [email protected]