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Velvet Glove Cast in Iron: The Films of Tura Satana: Volume 1 (Filmography Series) Paperback – 17 May 2013
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About the Author
While he still has a day job in IT, Hal C F Astell is a teacher by blood and a writer by inclination, which gradually morphed him into a movie reviewer. He writes primarily for Apocalypse Later, his movie review site, but also for others who ask nicely.
Born and raised in the rain of England, he’s still learning about the word ‘heat’ after nine years in Phoenix, AZ, where he lives with his better half, Dee, in a house full of assorted critters.
Just in case you care, his favourite movie is Peter Jackson’s Bad Taste, his favourite actor is Warren William and he thinks Carl Theodor Dreyer’s The Passion of Joan of Arc is the best movie ever made. He’s always happy to talk your ears off about the joys of precodes, fifties B pictures or Asian horror movies.
He’s usually easy to find at film festivals, conventions and events because he’s likely to be the only one in a kilt. He’s friendly and doesn’t bite unless asked.
Velvet Glove Cast in Iron is his second book, published alongside the first, Huh? An A-Z of Why Classic American Bad Movies Were Made.
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Most helpful customer reviews on Amazon.com
That was Tura's finest on-screen work: she dominates the picture completely, snapping and crackling like a fallen power line. Meyer fashioned her into a gorgeous and malevolent force of nature. Puny men, beware! And if you're a gorgeous chick who thinks you have the upper hand, well, don't turn your back on her!
Except for FASTER, PUSSYCAT, most of Tura's film work was minor--either in the sense that she was cast in inferior pictures, or that she had showy but teeny roles in prestige films (like Billy Wilder's high-profile but generally unsatisfying IRMA LA DOUCE).
The refreshing aspect of the book (which is either self-published or a co-op project) is the agreeable honesty of author Astell. He's a sharp, skilled writer who understands the realities of the movie business, and he makes a good case for his contention that Tura became an important cinema figure with an admittedly thin body of work. In other words, she triumphed in spite of the projects she found herself in.
Astell is considerably less fond than I of THE ASTRO-ZOMBIES (sure, it's a mess; maybe I just have more tolerance for the picture's delirious imagination and brazen cheapness of production--and, as Astell notes, there's something grimly fascinating about watching onetime star character actor Wendell Corey, apparently soused, struggle to manage his dialogue.
You'll flip for Keith Decesare's vibrant cover illustration, but wish, as I did, for a few more interior photos.
Because Astell limited himself to Tura's film work, the definitive look at Tura's early burlesque career, during which she was touted as "Miss Japan Beautiful," still needs to be explored. Who might hold an archive related to her dance career? Family? Friends? Oh, what a treasure that must be.
This isn't a major book, but it's a very pleasing one. If you dig Tura, you'll want to have a copy.For more from Mr. Astell, see [...]