Thrillville - Archives for Thrillville Beat
By Will ("The Thrill") Viharo
SEPTEMBER /OCTOBER 2005: FASTER PUSSYCAT, THRILL, THRILL!; CONNERY IS FOREVER; DRACULA, FRANKENSTEIN, ZOMBIES & EL SANTO
OUR DINNER WITH TURA SATANA: FASTER PUSSYCAT, THRILL! THRILL!
The Unbelievable happened to me recently: Monica, Tiki Goddess and I hung out the legendary Tura Satana. I mean personally, mano a womano, just us and her and her swingin' manager Siouxzan Perry. It happened very simply: I contacted Tura via email years ago, and we've kept in touch ever since, though we'd never met in the flesh. Then a couple of months ago I found out she was coming to town to appear on stage with Peaches Christ at a Midnight Mass screening of Faster Pussycat, Kill, Kill. I asked Tura if she'd like to join us for dinner when she arrived- and she accepted! This in itself instantly erased years of youthful rejection by snooty bimbos. I had a date with Tura Satana, just like that! Well, me and her and my wife and Tura's manager, but still, it was a major, MAJOR dream come true.
We met her at her hotel in SF (the Bijou) and took her up the street to a swank sushi restaurant in the posh Hotel Nikko. The thing that struck me right away was how little she's changed since her Pussycat/Astro Zombies days. Everything about her screams TURA SATANA. Walking down the street next to her was like taking a stroll with the Statue of Liberty or some other historical icon or landmark. She's an unassuming icon, though, very friendly, dressed in black, radiating exotic beauty and danger, apparently ready to either kick some ass or just eat some sushi. We ate sushi.
She may look as formidable as ever, but she is anything but intimidating in person. She is very gracious and sweet, and Siouxzan, a talented artist amongst many other attributes, rocks. She and I connected instantly since we both are not only fans of Tura, but classic TV, Tikis and pretty much all things Cool and Retro. Siouxzan manages most of the Russ Meyer Babes now, including our dear friend Raven de la Croix. It was a bond session, baby. Siouxzan also does Tura's web site, www.turasatana.com.
During dinner Tura enthralled us with tales of her days an exotic dancer, movie starlet, dating Elvis (she still wears a ring he gave her), Frank and the Rat Pack, Steve McQueen, Russ Meyer and much more. I don't feel at liberty to share them - though the one in Atlantic City about candles and masturbation is a classic - since Tura is currently peddling her memoirs. She's yet to find a publisher! Can we stop throwing money at mudslinging politicians and pundits and give the world some literature we can actually USE?! Thank you.
Afterwards we went back to her hotel room and fooled around. You know, posed for pictures and stuff, what did you think I meant? But hey, we were IN TURA'S HOTEL ROOM. I'll let your imaginations run wild from there. Here are a few pics to help inspire you, though. Thank you, Tura and Siouxzan, from all of us Thrill Seekers:
TOP SIX THRILLING FLICKS OF '05 (SO FAR)
Anyone who's followed this column for a while knows how haphazard my "Best Movies of the Year" list tends to be. I start out with a Top 10 that normally becomes 12 or 14 by the time I've actually seen all the candidates. It's not scientific and it sure ain't significant, so I just wing it. For what it's worth, here are the 6 Films To Beat this year - all of which will go down as bona fide classics, making '05 a pretty thrilling year for cinema, box office slump notwithstanding. I can say that about very few flicks from my personal annual lists. The following movies will all be in my Top 10 (or 14 or whatever I feel like) of '05 by year's end (or whenever). The only movie I KNOW will be added to these right now is Peter Jackson's KING KONG, due in December. The trailer looks a bit Jurassic Park-y for my tastes but I have faith that the man who gave us Dead Alive and Meet the Feebles can come up with some innovative, creative new ways to approach a classic giant ape-blonde babe romance... He also plans to stick to the original story and time period, which is promising. His Kong will probably be a fine example of what can happen when a director is actually a big fan of the source material he's plagiarizing (yes that's one more slap at Soderbergh). Most of these are still in theaters so catch them on the big screen while you can:
BOND IS A GIRL'S BEST FRIEND
Listen up, kids, it's real simple: Sean Connery is James Bond. Diamonds Are Forever is a 1972 James Bond movie starring Sean Connery, which makes it required viewing (Parkway, Thursday Sept. 8). It's also the only Connery Bond I haven't shown before, either. After swearing he'd never do another 007 flick after You Only Live Twice in '67, Sean reluctantly returned to the role he made famous and vice versa. (We've learned to ignore Never Say Never Again around here, since it proved saying "never again" may not be such a bad thing after all.) American actor John Gavin almost walked away with the part before they lured Sean back one last time. This movie follows the excellent 1969 Bond On Her Majesty's Secret Service which I showed last year and not enough people came to see, since George Lazenby stepped in 007's shoes and he doesn't get enough credit for doing such a credible job in a superior 007 classic. Too bad for you if you missed it. After Diamonds Are Forever, Roger Moore came aboard. His first effort, Live and Let Die, is actually one of my favorite Bonds, due to the Voodoo aspect, and Roger is okay, but for me it was downhill from there. DAF may not be the best of the Bonds, but it still has Connery, is set largely in a pre-Disneyfied Vegas, has Jill St. John walking around in skimpy outfits that'll curl your toes in frustrated lust, features a great Shirley Bassey theme song, and on top of all that - the World's #1 Theremin Lounge Band, PROJECT PIMENTO, www.projectpimento.com, returns to thrill us live on stage. Congrats to lead singer Lori Carsillo on her impending motherhood, too. Hope she can still sing at this gig, though...anyway, you have your assignment, just be there.
LAND OF THE HORROR HOSTS
Im getting tired now and October is always my busiest month, and this shit here sells itself. For the sake of brevity, economy, my tired fingers and your weary eyes Im going to now employ the Larry King/Herb Caen dot-dot-dot technique .here goes this year marks my Third Annual HORROR HOST PALOOZA (October 13, Parkway) and my sixth CREATURE FEATURES REUNION, which means well have all on one stage at one time John Stanley, a Surprise Mystery Guest (hint: he smokes cigars), Doktor Goulfinger www.goulfinger.com, Mister Lobo www.cinemainsomnia.com, Robert Silverman on theremin, and joining us for the first time ever, all the way from the Midwest, ROCK N ROLL RAY WHALEN, my fez-wearin doppelganger who is also a moviemaker/musician/impresario and overall madman, plus SFs own TV horror hostess, the sexy and statuesque MS. MONSTER www.b-minuscomiks.com, hopefully her Highness PEACHES CHRIST www.peacheschrist.com, will join the onstage mayhem and grace us with her presence as well .Television Horror Hosts have become a thriving subculture like Tiki, and we have many of the best right here in the Bay Area looking forward to Sandy Clarks documentary on the history of this phenom, AMERICAN SCARY, www.americanscary.com, due out next year if all goes well, stay tuned anyway, the double bill for this years Horror Host Palooza will include Al Adamsons notorious 1972 shocker DRACULA VS. FRANKENSTEIN and Ted V. Mikels 1968 cult fave ASTRO ZOMBIES (starring our pal Tura Satana) .Adamson was mysteriously murdered in a scenario right out of one of his Z grade drive-in flicks, many of which co-starred his blond bombshell wife Regina Carrol, who plays a burlesque dancer in this one other Adamson faves include the incredible Brain of Blood and the violent biker classic Satans Sadists starring Russ Tamblyn Russ also shows up in Dracula vs Frankenstein, a real sleazefest which has to be seen to be believed it was Lon Chaney Jr.s last screen role, I believe, and he looks it it was also the cinematic swansong for J. Carroll Naish, and even Forrest J. Ackerman has a cameo the monster makeup is, well, again, you just gotta see it, I mean, for one thing, Dracula has an afro Ted Mikels www.tedvmikels.com, is still alive and well and making movies in Vegas, where he recently completed the sequels MARK OF THE ASTRO ZOMBIES (which I showed a couple of years ago) and CORPSE GRINDERS 2 the only other TVM flick Ive shown is THE DOLL SQUAD, also starring Tura, and it was reportedly the un-credited inspiration for Charlies Angels Teds still pissed about it Astro Zombies is my favorite of his flicks, the last hurrah for Wendell Corey and one of the last for John Carradine, too this is truly a Double Feature From Drive-In Hell, and we got the horror hosts with the most to present it all to you then the following week, on Tuesday October 18 at The Parkway, get ready for the World Re-Premiere of John Stanleys own 1975 horror flick NIGHTMARE IN BLOOD, in a recently unearthed 35mm print its a great flick for fans of cheesy monster movies, horror hosts, comic book conventions, etc., all shot right here in the Bay Area, including the old Fox Oakland movie palace John will be there to present this World Re-Premiere, dont let him down next, on Friday October 28, we return to COPIA up in Napa www.copia.org, for A HALLOWEEN FIESTA, featuring John, Dok, Lobo, and psychedelic surfers POLLO DEL MAR www.pollodelmar.com, warming up the audience for a rare screening of SANTO VS. THE VAMPIRE WOMEN (1962), one of the legendary masked wrestlers greatest flicks. I friggin LOVE Mexican Monster Movies, man, it is one of my favorite genres www.santoandfriends.com. Nothing like wrestling superheroes, voluptuous vamps, cool sports cars, atmospheric South of the Border locations, and moody black and white photography to put you in that Tequila-soaked mood of tropical terror.
Or something like that. I don't know what I'm saying anymore. Tura scrambled my brains, and these fucked up movies have fried them. Over, easy and out. The point is of no return, and I've reached it. Till next time, keep your own passions sizzlin'. Aloha and adios from Turasville.
NEXT: BLOODY BEATNIKS & TIKI MONSTERS
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