Vintage Pulp Jan 4 2018
HARD CANDY
It's bad for you but impossible to resist.


When we saw the promo materials for Sweet Sugar we had to watch the movie, because women-in-prison flicks are one of the most reliable forms of guilty fun out there. This one premiered in January 1972, and stars the majestic Phyllis Davis as the archetypal uppity American woman laid low in a tropical hellhole prison. How she got there doesn't really matter. It's what goes on there that the film is built around—medical experiments, a cruel warden, sadistic guards, and not nearly enough clothing to go around. Davis wins over the other inmates and eventually leads them in a chaotic escape attempt. As a women-in-prison entry Sweet Sugaris pretty well regarded, but of course utterly ridiculous and impossibly cheap—the entire budget could probably fit in the rear pockets of Davis's short-shorts. She actually appeared in another tropical prison flick, by the way—1973's Terminal Island, which we talked about a few months ago. In that one she was part of the scenery. In this earlier effort she's asked to carry the film and manages to lug it for ninety steaming minutes without once breaking down in tears and placing a furious call to her agent. Now that you know what you're going to get with Sweet Sugar don't place a furious call to us. We warned you.

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Femmes Fatales Dec 16 2017
ON DANCER, ON PRANCER
Vera to the right, Vera to the left, Vera all over the place.


You often see U.S. born Vera-Ellen's name spelled without the hyphen, but it needs to be there. She was born Vera-Ellen Westmeier Rohe. She had another hyphen too—she was an actress-dancer, working both on Broadway and in Hollywood. Some of her films: On the Town, Let's Be Happy, The Kid from Brooklyn and Carnival in Costa Rica. The above photo was made for 1954's White Christmas, and just for fun there are more below. If you weren't already in the holiday spirit, we hope you are now.



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The Naked City | Vintage Pulp Nov 23 2010
WAITING FOR LEPKE
Sing-Sing the body electric.


This True Detective from November 1939 features a cover painting of mobster Louis “Lepke” Buchalter, whose flight from authorities had taken him from the U.S. to Mexico, and then to Costa Rica, Puerto Rico and Cuba, and across the ocean to England, France and Germany. Buchalter had begun his career in organized crime by shaking down pushcart operators in Brooklyn, and had risen through the ranks of the criminal-controlled fur industry by doing every type of dirt imaginable, from issuing threatening phone calls to garment union activists to throwing acid in a competitor’s face. Eventually he was running a criminal empire that stretched to both coasts, and was acting as head of the infamous assassination squad Murder, Inc.

In 1936 Buchalter went into hiding after he became aware that criminal charges were being prepared against him. Not long after he dropped out of sight, he was indicted for smuggling an estimated $10 million in heroin into the U.S. from Hong Kong. The FBI printed a million posters and displayed them in every post office, police station, and federal building in America. All this attention was a problem for U.S. mob bosses, and so with characteristic unsentimentality, they decided Buchalter had to surrender. Convincing him was not difficult. While he undoubtedly had the flair and intelligence to dodge the feds indefinitely, living in another country away from the old neighborhood and away from the hundreds of underlings who respected him was not his style. Buchalter was a mobster through-and-through. To him, an anonymous existence, even in a tropical paradise or cosmopolitan foreign capitol, was little different from being in prison.

Buchalter’s associates got word to him that if he came back to the U.S. he would be able to surrender personally to J. Edgar Hoover. Surrendering to the Feds meant he would not face a more serious group of charges brought by Manhattan D.A. Thomas Dewey. But it was wishful thinking. The federal charges were rapidly followed by Dewey’s charges and Buchalter earned a fourteen-year jolt in the pen. His legal team hoped tohave the sentence reduced via appeals and procedural maneuvers, but when a snitch fingered Buchalter for ordering the murder of a candy store owner named Joe Rosen, he was tried for the killing, convicted, and sentenced to execution. By some estimates Buchalter had been responsible for a thousand murders as head of Murder, Inc., but all it took was one to seal his fate. Louis "Lepke" Buchalter was electrocuted in Sing-Sing prison's famous "Old Sparky" electric chair on March 4, 1944, perhaps while realizing life on a beach in Costa Rica hadn’t been so bad after all.

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Sportswire Sep 23 2009
BRADY'S BUNCH
Lawsuit alleges Tom Brady’s hired muscle shot at two photographers

From previous episodes pretty much everyone in the world knows that New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady is not one of those guys who enjoys the attention that comes with fame—unless the attention is coming from Brazilian models.

Two photographers found out firsthand just how camera shy Brady is, and the mess that resulted led to them suing Brady and his wife Gisele Bundchen yesterday. The court papers read like a chapter from an Ian Fleming novel, complete with the leafy tropical hideaway, menacing bodyguards, and lethal gunfire. The alleged incident occurred in Costa Rica in early April, when AFP photographer Yuri Cortez and colleague Rolando Aviles of the daily newspaper Al Dia tried to photograph Brady and Bundchen at a party being thrown on private property. The photogs had gotten permission to venture onto a neighboring property, from which they shot photographs of the party occurring next door. So far so good for the shutterbugs.

However, according to the court papers, when the two were returning to their rented SUV, bodyguards hired by Brady and Bundchen appeared, demanding their cameras and memory cards. Aviles immediately booked for the car, leaving Cortez to deal with the bruisers. Cortez claims one bodyguard twisted his arm behind his back and told him the Brady-Bundchen family wanted to have a chat. Aviles was still with the SUV at this point, and the confrontation moved in that direction. At some point the photographers claim they spotted a gun in the hands of one bodyguard and decided to drive away. That bodyguard or another then fired at the SUV, the bullet shattering the rear window and ricocheting off the windshield.

Asked for comment Brady’s lawyer said he had not seen the court papers yet, and Bundchen’s people said they had no comment. But we have a comment. If the charges are true, we wonder if the NFL’s zero tolerance conduct policy will apply to Brady. We doubt it. New York Giants receiver Plaxico Burress just got two years for accidentally shooting himself in the leg in a Manhattan nightclub and will face a league suspension even after he gets out of jail, but we think employing bodyguards who shoot at two fleeing men is equally disturbing. Just saying—and no we aren’t Jets fans.

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Mondo Bizarro May 27 2009
STATING THE OVNIOUS
Aliens are unimaginably advanced but haven’t figured out stealth technology.


Personally, we think if aliens were able to traverse the immense gulfs of space to visit Earth, by definition they’d be technologically advanced enough to prevent us from seeing them. But UFO believers are legion, and UFO websites continue to grow in popularity, particularly in France, where unidentified flying objects are known as Objets Volant Non-Identifié, or OVNIs. The images here are from the French website forum-ovni-ufologie.com. From top to bottom they were shot—or perhaps faked, depending on your beliefs—in Catalina, U.S.A. July 9, 1947, Bulawayo, Rhodesia 1953, Barra-da-Tijuca, Brazil 1952, Liege, Belgium 1990, Phoenix, U.S.A. 1997, Lac Chauvet, Puy de Dôme, France 1952, and above Lago di Cota, Costa Rica 1971.

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History Rewind
The headlines that mattered yesteryear.
April 24
1967—First Space Program Casualty Occurs
Soviet cosmonaut Vladimir Komarov dies in Soyuz 1 when, during re-entry into Earth's atmosphere after more than ten successful orbits, the capsule's main parachute fails to deploy properly, and the backup chute becomes entangled in the first. The capsule's descent is slowed, but it still hits the ground at about 90 mph, at which point it bursts into flames. Komarov is the first human to die during a space mission.
April 23
1986—Otto Preminger Dies
Austro–Hungarian film director Otto Preminger, who directed such eternal classics as Laura, Anatomy of a Murder, Carmen Jones, The Man with the Golden Arm, and Stalag 17, and for his efforts earned a star on Hollywood's Walk of Fame, dies in New York City, aged 80, from cancer and Alzheimer's disease.
1998—James Earl Ray Dies
The convicted assassin of American civil rights leader Martin Luther King, Jr., petty criminal James Earl Ray, dies in prison of hepatitis aged 70, protesting his innocence as he had for decades. Members of the King family who supported Ray's fight to clear his name believed the U.S. Government had been involved in Dr. King's killing, but with Ray's death such questions became moot.
April 22
1912—Pravda Is Founded
The newspaper Pravda, or Truth, known as the voice of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union, begins publication in Saint Petersburg. It is one of the country's leading newspapers until 1991, when it is closed down by decree of then-President Boris Yeltsin. A number of other Pravdas appear afterward, including an internet site and a tabloid.
1983—Hitler's Diaries Found
The German magazine Der Stern claims that Adolf Hitler's diaries had been found in wreckage in East Germany. The magazine had paid 10 million German marks for the sixty small books, plus a volume about Rudolf Hess's flight to the United Kingdom, covering the period from 1932 to 1945. But the diaries are subsequently revealed to be fakes written by Konrad Kujau, a notorious Stuttgart forger. Both he and Stern journalist Gerd Heidemann go to trial in 1985 and are each sentenced to 42 months in prison.
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