Wednesday, October 15, 2008

The Lost Films of Tura Satana

As I've written previously, I've been invited to show in "Tura! Tura! Tura!" a group happening celebrating the legendary screen icon, Tura Satana! Exhibit curated by Mitch O'Connell, Beth Cisco and Casey Sass, the opening is Thursday, October 30th from 7 to 11pm at the Tattoo Factory Gallery, 4443 N. Broadway in Chicago.

Just completed are two rare Japanese posters from Tura's lost and, up to now, unknown films from the late 1960s!

Tura Satana in Violent Planet

Tura reprises her role as exotic, tassell-twirling Suzette Wong in a sequel to "Irma La Douce" directed by Billy Wilder —— "The World of Suzette Wong." Filmed in Parisian and Far East locations, this time Suzette's penchant for gambling and gamblers brings her afoul of the law and the local Yakuza-gumi in Japan's port city of Kobe. Havoc ensues when the sizzling Suzette catches the eye of the Big Boss (Shin Kishida) in a riotous dice-rolling rumble!

Tura Satana in World of Suzette Wong

While filming on the Daiei Studio sets during "Suzette," Tura was introduced to studio chief Masaichi Nagata. An enterprising connoisseur of international cinema, Mr. Nagata praised Tura on her then-recent US blockbuster, "Faster Pussycat! Kill! Kil!" Over many cups of green tea, a plan was made. Teamed with director Kenji Misumi (Zatoichi series, Nemuri Kyoshiro series, DaiMajin series), Tura would power up her dynamic Varla character for a voyage to another world! Shooting under the working title "Varla's Outer Space Adventure" (Varla no Uchuu Dai Boken) began in July of 1968. As work progressed the title was changed to "Violent Planet" and tested Tura's endurance to the summer heat and on-set pyrotechnics. A climactic battle with Varla wielding only a shoto (short sword) against twin Guillon monsters was planned and possibly filmed. Unfortunately no footage has survived and we can only yearn for this lost jewel through the film's poster art.

Astromonster Fine Arts is the exclusive publisher of these rare treasures from the mod world of '60s cinema. Write to astromonster(at)sbcglobal(dot)net for details and ordering info.


Brad Warner said...

Was Ben I. Goldman involved in any of these films? The seem similar to his style?

aleX wald said...

I would agree! It is known that Ben Goldman was travelling around Japan during this period. Didn't he once shoot a reel of film at Toho after breaking and entering a set after hours? Good call, Brad!

Nerdstrom. said...

These are terrific, AW!

How flippin' great does Tura look flanked by those Guillons?!?

If you'll permit me, the answer is "really"; really flippin' great.

aleX wald said...

Thank you, sir!

Fred Schiller said...

You'd have a REALLY great show on your hands if Barry Fitzgerald could attend.

Of course he'd keep falling asleep.

But still...