“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.
One of the “true loves” of Tura’s life was non other than Mr Ted Mikels. They had a very special bond and it showed in the few films they made together. Their friendship carried on through the years until Tura’s death. Tura would do anything for Ted and vise versa.
Ted V. Mikels on how he met Tura:
“I was flying with some friends from central Oregon down to Mazatlan for the last vacation I ever took—that was 1959 [laughs]. On the way we stopped in Vegas. When I first saw her she was an exotic dancer; what a gorgeous, lovely lady! I didn’t meet her until seven years later. I was about to do Astro Zombies, and an agent mentioned Tura Satana. I said, ‘Wow! I remember her from Vegas.’ So she came in for a reading, and I revamped the part especially for her, to make her a ‘Dragon Lady,’ and promptly fell in love with her (and all that)… I was smitten with her the first time I met her, and I’ve loved her ever since.”
(Incredibly Strange Films Excerpt: Ted V. Mikels)
Here’s a great interview Ted V. Mikels on “The Astro-Zombies”
The first film Tura made with Ted was the cult classic THE ASTRO-ZOMBIES— a 1968 science fiction horror film starring John Carradine, Wendell Corey (in his final film appearance) and Tura Satana. It was written, directed and produced by Ted V. Mikels.
Watch the trailer here:
It became a cult classic in it’s own way and there are so many memorable scenes not to mention that pink dress that Tura wore!
Here is a rare photo taken off set of Tura & Ted clowning around.
Tura as the vicious Satana with John Carradine.
With Ted setting up one of the classic scenes.
The ASTRO-ZOMBIES was filmed on a low budget of $37,000, with $3,000 of the budget used to pay Carradine. The film would be Mikels’ last collaboration with Wayne Rogers from M*A*S*H fame, who also co-wrote and co-produced the film.
There were 2 more ASTRO-ZOMBIE films Tura made with Ted: MARK OF THE ASTRO-ZOMBIES (2004) and ASTRO-ZOMBIES M3 CLONED (2010) where Tura Satana returns for her third astro-zombies movie and her last screen role, though in a rather bizarre fashion. Her dialogue is new, recorded specially for this film, but what we see is archive footage from THE ASTRO-ZOMBIES of Satana in her pink outfit, displayed as a hologram.
Tura’s original script:
Both of the earlier ASTRO-ZOMBIE films are available in Planet Tura and they are autographed! So grab one…if just for cult film history purposes.
Join us next week where we will discuss Tura and Ted in THE DOLL SQUAD–The little low budget film that inspired CHARLIE’S ANGELS! Yep…that CHARLIE’S ANGELS.
For more info about Ted and to see what he is up to now visit his website: http://www.tedvmikels.com
And on Facebook, where believe it or not he is quite active.
Say hello…he would love to talk with you!
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