Vintage Pulp Jul 26 2018
ATTACK OF THE CLONE
Cinematic encounters of the worst kind.


The sci-fi adventure Starcrash was made to copy the success—as well as the basic blueprint—of Star Wars. But the only aspect of the movie that's comparable is the promo art. We already showed you the great U.S. poster. This is the Colombian poster made for the movie's premiere there today in 1979 as Ataques estelar del tercer tipo. Elsewhere in Latin America the film had titles like Infierno en el cosmos (Argentina), and Starcrash: Ataque interstelar (Mexico).

Looking more closely, you'll notice a ship similar to the Millennium Falcon. The engines are at the opposite end, but it's basically the same design. These guys were shameless. In addition, Ataques estelar del tercer tipo would translate as “star attacks of the third type.” Obviously, not content to merely rip off Stars Wars the producers decided to also borrow from Steven Spielberg's Close Encounters of the Third Kind. But what you get is a cinematic encounter of the worst kind, though a very funny one. We talked about it already. Check here.

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Intl. Notebook Mar 6 2012
ART OF WARS
Stars Wars conceptual artist Ralph McQuarrie dies.

Sci-fi artist Ralph McQuarrie died yesterday due to complications from Parkinson’s disease. McQuarrie’s concepts for Darth Vader, R2-D2, C-3PO and other characters indelibly shaped the Star Wars franchise, and, closer to Earth, he was also a go-to paperback cover artist during the 1980s. Below is one of our favorite McQuarrie pieces, the cover of Alan Dean Foster’s excellent Star Wars sequel Splinter of the Mind’s Eye. McQuarrie was eighty-two. 

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Intl. Notebook Feb 2 2012
STAR QUALITY
Some movies just can’t be improved upon.

Somehow, the fact that this original Star Wars promo photo is filled with pinholes and dings adds to its charm, since it mirrors the condition of Luke Skywalker’s landspeeder. There are some who would say the franchise drowned in cynicism, that it collapsed under the weight of fast food tie-ins, and fuzzy toys, and ill-considered digital revisionism. Those people would be right. Like this photo, and like Skywalker’s landspeeder, the original Star Wars had some scratches and dings, but cinematic believability derives from a well-known viewer psychology aptly described as willing suspension of disbelief. The key word is willing. You can’t bludgeon people into acceptance, no matter how slick the fx are. People willingly believe because the story and characters work. And in Star Wars, the simple story of a boy rising from his dusty roots to battle impossibly powerful galactic foes—and yet win—worked on every level. It still works. That’s why people who loved it as kids still watch it today as adults. Anyway, we’re just going to go ahead and call this photo one of the coolest artifacts we’ve ever found. 

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Modern Pulp Sep 26 2011
HUNGARY EYES
Hungarian graphic designers re-imagine promo art for a classic American series.

We have something a little different today, a bit of modern pulp from Central Europe. These are Hungarian posters for George Lucas’s Star Wars, The Empire Strikes Back, and Return of the Jedi, which incidentally were going for the equivalent of $350.00. Yes, seriously. Premiere dates on these are a little obscure, but the Hungarian re-releases took place in 1997, so we’ll go with that. Of course, it’s worth pointing out again that the main reason wonderful posters like these make it to the foreign marketplace is that the designers are freed from the anti-artistic influence of Hollywood marketing departments, which tend to be hands off when promoting big re-releases overseas (new films, of course, have the same promo art as in America, i.e. incredibly bad, which in turn leads to the sad sight of your humble authors trying to slink unnoticed past displays for Saw 3D and Zookeeper, but that’s another post entirely). See a great Star Wars poster from Poland here. 

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Vintage Pulp | Musiquarium Nov 8 2009
SAVAGE NOBLE
The three faces of Trisha.

Above we have Australian actress Trisha Noble on the German pamphlet art for Diese frau ist Gefährlich, which was a 1966 spy film originally released as Death Is a Woman. For some reason, the movie was retitled to Love Is a Woman for its American run, and you see that art below. But perhaps wanting to provide audiences with a three-dimensional portrait of the subject matter, the film also bore the title internationally of—you guessed it—Sex Is a Woman. We couldn’t find the Sex Is a Woman art, so the promo photo after which the German and American posters were based will have to do. Although she isn’t well known now, Trisha Noble is actually one of those people that has been in show business her entire life. As a teenager she released six hit albums in Australia as Patsy Ann Noble, then turned to acting. If you’re old enough, you may remember her from the American television series Strike Force, with Robert Stack. And if you’re young enough, you may recognize her as Padmé Amidala’s mother in Star Wars II: Attack of the Clones, and Star Wars III: Revenge of the Sith. And if you remember none of that, check her out here getting groovy to her hit single “Accidents Can Happen” and you’ll never forget her again.

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Vintage Pulp Jul 31 2009
EUROPA EUROPA

Various movie posters from Russia, Poland, Hungary, Turkey, and the former West Germany, circa ’50s, ’60s and ’70s.     

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History Rewind
The headlines that mattered yesteryear.
October 15
1945—Laval Executed
Pierre Laval, who was the premier of Vichy, France, which had collaborated with the Nazis during World War II, is shot by a firing squad for treason. In subsequent years it emerges that Laval may have considered himself a patriot whose goal was to publicly submit to the Germans while doing everything possible behind the scenes to thwart them. In at least one respect he may have succeeded: fifty percent of French Jews survived the war, whereas in other territories about ninety percent perished.
1966—Black Panthers Form
In the U.S., in Oakland, California, Huey P. Newton and Bobby Seale form the Black Panther political party. The Panthers are active in American politics throughout the 1960s and 1970s, but eventually legal troubles combined with a schism over the direction of the party lead to its dissolution.
October 14
1962—Cuban Missile Crisis Begins
A U-2 spy plane flight over the island of Cuba produces photographs of Soviet nuclear missiles being installed. Though American missiles have been installed near Russia, the U.S. decides that no such weapons will be tolerated in Cuba. The resultant standoff brings the U.S. and the Soviet Union to the brink of war. The crisis finally ends with a secret deal in which the U.S. removes its missiles from Turkey in exchange for the Soviets removing the Cuban weapons.
October 13
1970—Angela Davis Arrested
After two months of evading police and federal authorities, Angela Davis is arrested in New York City by the FBI. She had been sought in connection with a kidnapping and murder because one of the guns used in the crime had been bought under her name. But after a trial a jury agreed that owning the weapon did not automatically make her complicit in the crimes.
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