From The Grindhouse Cinema Database
Revision as of 23:35, 29 January 2021 by Pete
Quick! Name me another actress who was linked to films starring Peter Cushing AND Bruce Lee!
Marlene got one of her first breaks as one of the slo-mo jumping beauties in Putney Swope and quickly graduated to Blaxploitation stardom in Slaughter with Jim Brown and Rip Torn. Of course, at that same time, Filipino madness was going down and Marlene ventured into horror territory by playing a Snake-Woman in New World Pictures' Night of the Cobra Woman (Which I still haven't seen yet).
Soon after, she grabbed parts in Amicus' The Beast Must Die co-starring with the under-appreciated Calvin Lockhart and Peter Cushing. And though her role as all too brief, she still gets recognition for appearing in a Bruce Lee film, Enter The Dragon (She plays Roper's secretary in case you're still wondering where she's hidden at).
Now she could've gotten a huge pass from me just from that work above, but wouldn't you know it? She just HAD to round out things by working for one of my Grindhouse Idols, Jack Hill. Switchblade Sisters, Jack Hill's "masterpiece" (as Director Quentin Tarantino calls it) was the next project and in it, she played "Muff" the leader of the black revolutionary gang that supplies The Jezebels with weapons.
And if that wasn't enough! Her crowning moment came in the misunderstood cult-classic, Ganja & Hess, which I call the "2001: A Space Odyssey of black vampire films". Finally, Marlene was given the chance to REALLY shine with this one. Given perhaps the largest role of her career, both in screentime and for character direction by displaying sexiness and torment all at the same time.
Though Marlene would find minor work in TV in the 80's, she left a big enough impression on me with her early film work to have me noticing her like this!
Written by Laydback - 11/26/07