The money is there. All they have to do is steal it.
Nora-neko rokku: Wairudo janbo, aka Stray Cat Rock: Wild Jumbo, stars Meiko Kaji and Bunjaku Han in a Nikkatsu Studios/Hori Production co-effort. The movie is based on a Satoshi Funachi novel and concerns five obnoxious delinquents who, with the help of an insider, decide to rob a religious group called the Seikyo Society of 30 million yen. There's a festival going on there, which means the organization's coffers will be fat with cash. As usual with these movies, it takes a while to get to the central plot, but the digressions are interesting. A good portion of the running time involves the group's road trip to the religious compound and the various scrapes they get into along the way, including a comical interlude at the beach. When they finally reach their destination does the robbery go as planned? Of course not. They rarely do. As a side note, viewers should know that while Akiko Wada gets top position on the poster she's barely in the movie. But the film is definitely one of the better Japanese juvie flicks and a worthy second entry in the five film Nora-neko rokku series. Nora-neko rokku: Wairudo janbo premiered in Japan today in 1970. Read about the others, here, here, here, and here.
She's a stone cold killer but there's another side to her.
This unusually glamorous shot of Japanese action star Meiko Kaji looking hair salon fresh is from the pages of the Japanese magazine Weekly Playboy. It's always strange to see her without a sword or a gun in her hands, but we dig it. The date is, we're thinking, around 1972. The actual image is timeless.
Yumi Yumi Yumi puts her knife in your tummy.
A couple a years ago we wrote briefly about and shared a poster for the Yumi Takigawa headlined pinku flick Shin joshuu sasori: 701-gô, aka New Female Prisoner Scorpion: 701. Above is another poster from the film, actually the standard poster, as opposed to the bo-ekibari, or horizontal two-piece we showed you before. It's a great image, as is the very Yumi shot of Takigawa below. See the other poster here.
She'll give you more than just a scratch if you aren't careful.
Above, an alternate promo poster for Kaidan nobori ryu, aka Blind Woman’s Curse, et al, with imagery slightly different from the others we showed you, which can see here.
She isn't even remotely done with you.
Way back in 2010 we shared a promo poster for Joshû 701-gô: Sasori, aka Female Convict 701: Scorpion, as part of a collection of promos from the entire Female Prisoner tetrology. If you click over to that group you'll see it right on top. The movie opened today in 1972 with Meiko Kaji in the lead as the iconic character Nami Matsushima, aka Matsu the Scorpion, and the posters above are the second and third we have for this fun movie. If you haven't seen it but appreciate a little Japanese style cinematic mayhem, we recommend you check it out.
Meiko Kaji finds herself in a gang of trouble.
Above and below are two beautiful posters for Hangyaku no Melody, aka Melody of Rebellion, starring Yoshio Harada and Meiko Kaji. We've located and screened some of the most obscure Japanese films of all time. But this one, with two iconic stars—no such luck. But we can tell you that it deals, like many pinku films, with the multifarious challenges of gang life. When (if) we find this one we'll circle back to it. For now just enjoy the posters, which are both significant upgrades from anything currently visible online. Hangyaku no Melody opened in Japan today in 1970.
The message is pretty clear—get on her bad side and you’ll regret it.
This beautiful and very rare promo poster was made to promote a Japanese film called Onna banchō nora-neko rokku. In the English speaking world its various distributors couldn't seem to settle for long on a title, and it was called alternately Alleycat Rock: Female Boss, Stray Cat Rock: Delinquent Girl Boss, Female Juvenile Delinquent Leader: Alleycat Rock, and Wildcat Rock. It’s the first of five Alleycat Rock or Stray Cat Rock films, and revolves around Meiko Kaji’s girl gang’s unwitting influence over a fixed boxing match. The boxer is supposed to take a dive for a yakuza cartel but instead wins the fight in order to save face with Kaji and her hotties (two of the gang members are played by Bunjaku Han and charismatic pop star Akiko Wada, so we can understand the boxer’s change of heart). But unbeknownst to Kaji, it was her boyfriend who had convinced the yakuza the bout could be fixed in the first place, and now he’s in deep trouble. Wonderfully lensed like so many of these pinku movies, with the requisite grey Tokyo cityscapes, neon splashed nightclub locales, and shots featuring eight or ten characters meticulously packed into the same frame, Onna banchō nora-neko rokku is a nice all around effort. It premiered in Japan today in 1970.
She's going to Rock your world.
Back in 2009 we shared two posters for Meiko Kaji's action-packed pinku Nora-nekko rokku: Sekkusu hanta, aka Stray Cat Rock: Sex Hunter. The above tatekan sized poster is an alternate promo for that film, which premiered today in 1971. It's similar to the version we showed you before but not identical—stripes go the other direction, woman pulling her undies down is missing, inset image of girls torturing a bad boy has been removed. Both posters are tops. Take a close look at the other one here (scroll down a bit).
When two incendiary personalities meet the result is bound to be explosive.
The rare poster above was made to promote the Japanese pinku thriller Asu naki furaiha, aka Jeans Blues: No Future, and it's the only panel-length promo for the movie we've ever seen. Meiko Kaji plays Seiko, who robs the bar where she works. Tsunehiko Watase plays Jiro, who rips off the Yakuza. They crash their stolen getaway cars into each other and from that accidental meeting a partnership is formed and the two scam and rob their way across the countryside like Bonnie and Clyde.
Jiro is a bit more serious of a criminal than Seiko, and is in more severe trouble, but Seiko is loyal to a fault now that she's found a kindred spirit. She refuses to leave Jiro even though the Yakuza are destined to turn up—in Japanese movies you can't realistically hope to shake those guys. But even if doom is the final destination there's fun on the road to ruin—speed, adventure, laughs, a little barnyard nookie, and regularly spaced cop murders. Plus you get Kaji and with her you can't lose, even if she does. Watching this was time well spent. Asu naki furaiha premiered in Japan today in 1974.
Fasten your seat belt—turbulence ahead.
Promo poster for Nora-neko rokku: Bôsô shudan ’71, aka Stray Cat Rock: Crazy Rider ’71. We talked about this final installment of the Stray Cat Rock franchise and shared the super rare panel length promo last year. The above version is the one that's more commonly seen, but this is a new scan—well, really a digital photo, because who has a scanner that big? Anyway, it's an improvement over what was already out there.
The headlines that mattered yesteryear.
1926—Houdini Fatally Punched in Stomach
After a performance in Montreal, Hungarian-born magician and escape artist Harry Houdini is approached by a university student named J. Gordon Whitehead, who asks if it is true that Houdini can endure any blow to the stomach. Before Houdini is ready Whitehead strikes him several times, causing internal injuries that lead to the magician's death.
1973—Kidnappers Cut Off Getty's Ear
After holding Jean Paul Getty III for more than three months, kidnappers cut off his ear and mail it to a newspaper in Rome. Because of a postal strike it doesn't arrive until November 8. Along with the ear is a lock of hair and ransom note that says: "This is Paul’s ear. If we don’t get some money within 10 days, then the other ear will arrive. In other words, he will arrive in little bits." Getty's grandfather, billionaire oilman Jean Paul Getty, at first refused to pay the 3.2 million dollar ransom, then negotiated it down to 2.8 million, and finally agreed to pay as long as his grandson repaid the sum at 4% interest.
1947—HUAC Hearings Begin
The House Un-American Activities Committee begins its investigation into Communist infiltration of Hollywood, resulting in a witch hunt that destroys lives, ruins careers, and makes Senator Joseph McCarthy the most feared politician of the era.
1968—Jackie Kennedy Marries
Former First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy marries Greek shipping tycoon Aristotle Onassis. The marriage comes as a total surprise to the American public, and results in a terrible backlash against her and also makes her the number one target of paparazzi for years.
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