Vintage Pulp Dec 1 2016
HISTORY REPEATS
Perversion never goes out of style.

Years ago we briefly discussed the Marisa Mell thriller Una sull’atra and shared an Angelo Cesselon poster made for its Italian run. Well, we're back to the movie today with a poster made for its Spanish run under the title Una historia perversa. The illustration was painted by Francisco Fernandez Zarza-Pérez, who signed his work as Jano, and was one of Spain's more prolific cinematic illustrators. We put together a small collection of his work a while back and you can check that out here. Una historia perversa made its Spanish premiere in Barcelona today in 1969. 

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Vintage Pulp Oct 15 2013
DIABOLIKAL GENIUS
He was a Danger to everyone around him.

Above is a Japanese poster for Mario Bava’s Italian psychotronic masterpiece Danger: Diabolik, a movie we’ve discussed a bit before, and which every movie website in the universe has discussed as well. So, we’ll just reiterate what all those sites say: campy, cheesy, colorful, comical, languid, sexy, tongue-in-cheek, a prime influence on the late Austin Powers series, and so forth. We would add, however, that it was terribly reviewed in its time. But we like it, and it also has a political message that resonates today: Diabolik hoards wealth for his own amusement and lust for luxury, doesn’t care who he hurts or kills in the process, and has taken so much and done it so often that it has left his government destabilized and discredited. Sound familiar? Danger: Diabolik premiered in Japan today in 1968.

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Vintage Pulp Apr 6 2013
STARS IN DEUTSCHLAND


Below are the covers of some promotional brochures made by Illustrierte Film-Bühne for movies released in West Germany during the 1950s and 1960s. The examples here, some of which have killer designs, feature Elizabeth Taylor, Marisa Mell, Cary Grant, Virna Lisi, Sophia Loren, Doris Day, Tony Curtis, et.al. IFB 
was founded in 1946 in Munich by Paul Franke, and over the years produced thousands of these pamphlets. We’ll share more later.

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Vintage Pulp May 4 2012
PERVERSE URGES
Dial Mell for Murderess.

This evocative poster is for the 1975 thriller Perversione, which was originally made in Spain as La encadenada, and for its U.S. release was retitled Diary of a Murderess, or Diary of an Erotic Murderess. Spoiler alert: there’s a murderess in this film. Marisa Mell is nurse to a rich widower’s mentally disturbed son, but she turns out to be a grifter intent on liberating some of the family knick-knacks. She's especially covetous of an antique chalice that resides in a safe. At some point, she finds a diary left behind by the widower’s dead wife, and in its pages the departed plots the murder of her husband, writing her plan in helpful step-by-step detail. Mell decides follow the diary’s instructions, all the better to get hold of that chalice.

But nothing is as it seems here. The chalice is actually the Holy Grail, Mell has actually failed to ditch her terrible husband, and a few other surprises pop up to keep viewers guessing. Director Manuel Mur Oti has crafted an atmospheric piece here, but we recommend it for giallo fans only, because it’s a bit slow off the starting line. Also, we suggest watching the original version, because we’ve heard that the American cut is several minutes short on nudity. It may not matter though, because the movie may be impossible to find. We located our copy online, but the links have since died. Not that we’re recommending any illegal downloading. Us? Never. Perversione premiered in Italy today in 1975. Below, just because we can, we’ve posted an image of Mell at her lovely best, and you can see another one of great interest here

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Vintage Pulp Oct 19 2011
DIABOLICALLY YOURS
Mell and Koscina play two heavy hitters swinging for the same team.

Above, a poster for the Italian giallo Diabolicamente sole con il delitto, also known as Nell buio del terrore, and retitled The Great Swindle for its U.S. release. The movie stars two of the great giallo icons, Marisa Mell and Sylva Koscina, both of whom died prematurely from cancer. You can’t say either of them was ever in a truly great movie, but both graced several cult classics and they shine in this potboiler as lesbian lovers whose relationship is complicated when one of them marries a man. There’s much more to the plot, but when you get Jordan and Gretzky on the same team, why pay attention to anything else? Good for a laugh, and some minimal thrills, Diabolicamente sole con il delitto premiered in 1971. See more Mell here, and more Koscina here

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Vintage Pulp May 25 2011
BABES IN ARMS
Getting carried away yet again.

Today we have another issue of the post-pulp magazine Adam, filled with its usual offerings—adventure fiction, ads for dubious products and services, assorted cartoons with racist tropes, and of course a selection of nude and semi-nude models. Also, of special note is the final page, which features a nice handout shot of Austrian actress Marisa Mell. Of the ninety pages in this issue we’ve shared about thirty. We’d post more but then the website would take forever to load, and that’s no fun for anybody. One of these days, though, perhaps we’ll go back and mine these magazines for more imagery. In the meantime enjoy the pages below. It was all published this month in 1973. 

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Vintage Pulp Apr 25 2010
BLACK MASK
Diabolik loves money like an investment banker but is a million times cooler.

German poster for Mario Bava’s 1968 camp masterpiece Diabolik. We’re a little surprised how few people actually get this film, which pushed the swinging sixties thriller to its illogical extreme. The lead character—played by John Phillip Law—was a thief, and a rather Machiavellian one at that, who didn’t mind innocent people getting hurt if it meant more profit. Sounds a bit like a Goldman Sachs executive, right? But where investment bankers are typically balding math majors pretending to be swashbucklers of high finance, Diabolik was 100% stud, complete with a secret identity, a high tech underground lair, and a female sidekick always ready for some down and dirty. We recommend you check this one out next time you’re in the mood for a laugh. Diabolik premiered in West Germany today in 1968. 

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Vintage Pulp Aug 21 2009
ALTRA COOL
Working on a groovy thing.

Helmed by a director who would later become one of Italy’s grandmasters of cinematic gore, Lucio Fulci’s Una sull’altra, aka Perversion Story, is eerily similar in plot to Vertigo, complete with the death of the love interest and subsequent reappearance of her double. It’s even set in San Francisco like Vertigo, but the difference is Fulci notches the ’60s psychedelia up to the max, and offers up lots of Marisa Mell’s naked flesh. Mell had starred in the camp classic Diabolik the previous year, and here she is getting groovy again, particularly in one motorcycle striptease that’s probably worth the time spent watching the rest of the film. As a side note, you’ll see Jean Sobieski here, who happens to be Leelee Sobieski’s dad. Una sull’altra opened in Italy this week, and France today in 1969. The poster above was painted by Angelo Cesselon.

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Femmes Fatales Jun 18 2009
YOU'VE GOT MELL
Austrian sex symbol proves difficult to date.


Above, a rare promo photo of Austrian actress and sex symbol Marisa Mell, who starred in the all-time camp classic Diabolik. We don't know the year on this image, but we think it was around 1970.

Update: Right, well, we weren't close on the date. Below is a cover for the German magazine Neue Illustrierte Revue featuring the same shot dated December 1976, and we saw another frame from the session that was used in a November 1976 Playboy. So 1976 it is. Nice cover too.

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History Rewind
The headlines that mattered yesteryear.
August 18
1920—U.S. Women Gain Right To Vote
The Nineteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution is ratified despite heavy conservative opposition. It states that no U.S. citizen can be denied the right to vote because of their gender.
1958—Lolita is Published in the U.S.
Vladimir Nabokov's controversial novel Lolita, about a man's sexual obsession with a pre-pubescent girl, is published in the United States. It had been originally published in Paris three years earlier.
August 17
1953—NA Launches Recovery Program
Narcotics Anonymous, a twelve-step program of drug addiction recovery modeled on Alcoholics Anonymous, holds its first meeting in Los Angeles, California.
August 16
1942—Blimp Crew Disappears without a Trace
The two-person crew of the U.S. naval blimp L-8 disappears on a routine patrol over the Pacific Ocean. The blimp drifts without her crew and crashes in Daly City, California. The mystery of the crew's disappearance is never solved.
1977—Elvis Presley Dies
Music icon Elvis Presley is found unresponsive by his fiancée on the floor of his Graceland bedroom suite. Attempts to revive him fail and he's pronounced dead soon afterward. The cause of death is often cited as drug overdose, but toxicology tests have never found evidence this was the case. More likely, years of drug abuse contributed to generally frail health and an overtaxed heart that suddenly failed.
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