Vintage Pulp Jul 21 2017
BUTTERFLIES ARE FREAKS
If you love somebody pin them to a corkboard.

You know by now that roman porno is a Japanese softcore film genre, and that the “roman” stands for “romantic.” So it's fitting that the poster for the roman porno flick Seishojo: hitontasu no keiken has a romantic image. That isn't usually the case, but this one, with the colors and flowers, is pretty. The English title of this was One Summer Experience: Sexy Virgin, or sometimes Sex Virginity Hito: Natsu's Experience, and what happens is a man named Nobuyuki who collects butterflies meets a girl named Ruri who thinks she's the incarnation of a butterfly. Turns out she's a mental patient, but nuts never looked as good as Terumi Azuma, so Nobuyuki has to be be forgiven for violating the tenets of the hot/crazy matrix. This one gets pretty weird. There's a scene where Ruri experiences sexual pleasure from being stabbed with insect pins, and all we can say is, you know, it's roman porno. The movie has immense importance, at least to us, because it was Azuma's first lead role, and she gave the cinema world plenty of enjoyable material over the years. Below you see a beautiful promo shot—reversed by the lithographer, which we know because in real life Azuma's torso mole is actually on her left—and a nice alternate poster. Seishojo: hitontasu no keiken premiered today in 1976.

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Vintage Pulp Jan 29 2017
HISSING IN ACTION
The cat is definitely out of the bag.

This cool poster is for the Japanese roman porno flick Bakeneko Toruko furo, aka A Haunted Turkish Bathhouse, a movie you should think of as an off-the-program addition to the website today, as it is not playing at Noir City. Obviously, the poster reveals that this is a ghost cat movie, and the title does too—a bakeneko is a cat that has changed into a yōkai, or supernatural creature. They made plenty of these ghost cat flicks in Japan, including Kaidan nobori ryu, aka Black Cat’s Revenge, which we talked about a while back.

This one stars Naomi Tani, Misa Ohara, Yumiko Tatsuno, and the luscious Terumi Azuma. Tani is whipped to death, no thanks to her husband, and comes back to haunt her killers as an avenging cat spirit. If you're a cat person, you might be thinking you'd love this. But the thing about these movies is the cats are basically just thrown into shots from off camera by production assistants, or sometimes suspended from wires, and there's no doubt their treatment was not very kind. It's good they have nine lives, because to us it looks like they need all of them to get through these movie shoots.
 
Below you see two more posters for the same film, alternate versions that are completely different from the one above. All three pieces are visible around the internet, but the red ones have never before been shared at this size or clarity. Watch the movie if you can. You'll find it interesting, especially the bathhouse elements (hint, hint). Whether you can watch it or not, please be kind to cats—they're a little evil in normal form anyway, but as bakeneko they're just plain lethal. Bakeneko Toruko furo premiered in Japan today in 1975.

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Vintage Pulp Jan 22 2016
PRETTY POISON
Azuma turns to banditry and heads roll.


Dokufu oden kubikiri asa is known in English by many titles—officially it's aka Poisonous Oden and Decapitator Asa or Samurai Executioner. But in our efforts to locate it we discovered it's known online also as Decapitation of an Evil Woman and Vamp and Samurai. Do we even need to tell you about this one, considering how much info is given away by the titles? A country girl played by Terumi Azuma goads a country boy into theivery and they and two partners quickly become notorious bandits hunted by the authorities. The story is derived from the real-life Oden Takahashi, who in 1879 became the last woman executed by decapitation in Japan. Despite this inspiration, much of the movie is played for laughs, with quite a bit of slapsticking, bungling, and yelling. Of course, it has to take a serious turn eventually, and indeed all four gang members soon become seasoned killers—just in time to start being whittled down by those annoyingly persistent authorities. We were surprised by the comedic tone saturating much of the film, but since Japanese audiences already knew the story of Oden Takahashi, maybe some foolishness was needed to keep them interested. We could have done without it, but the movie is still pretty good, and at sixty-one minutes you don't lose too much life to it. The poster above is exceedingly rare, never before seen online we're pretty sure. The one below is more common, but still very nice. Dokufu oden kubikiri asa premiered in Japan today in 1977.

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Vintage Pulp Nov 22 2015
TRICKY DICK
Some say being a big fish in a small pond is better than being a small fish anywhere. They may be wrong.


Hakkin nikubuton, aka Banned Book: Flesh Futon, for which you see a poster above, has one of those strange titles you come across occasionally in Japanese cinema. “Banned book” seems straightforward enough. But “flesh futon”? Hmm… Based on an erotic novel by Chinese writer Li Yu and starring Hajime Tanimoto, Maya Hiromi, Terumi Azuma, and Rei Okamoto, the movie tells the story of a poor writer named Mio who unexpectedly authors a bestselling erotic novel called—and this will clear up the title weirdness—Flesh Futon. See? Mio takes to fame quite easily, living in the fast lane and generally having a good time.

But his wonderful life begins to fall apart due to various unexpected misfortunes. These run the gamut from having a prostitute spread a rumor that his penis is “like a guppy,” to having to his house robbed and (now that we understand the title, we know this next part is coming) his book banned. When Mio later encounters the house thief this dodgy character reveals that it’s possible to have one’s penis enlarged. How? Let’s just say it’s a pretty ruff procedure. Mio opts for the surgery, but alas, quickly learns that being a big fish isn’t everything, as his previous misfortunes turn out to be only a taste of what is to come. Hakkin nikubuton premiered in Japan today in 1975.

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Femmes Fatales Sep 7 2015
JAPANESE HOLIDAY
Any day is special when she’s involved.

There are many good photos of Terumi Azuma—entire books of them, in fact, and we’ll get to one of those later—but for our money this is one of the best images ever made of one of the most photogenic Japanese stars of the 1970s. It comes from a collection called Holiday of Terumi Azuma, which is appropriate because today is a holiday in the U.S. You also may have noticed that we vanished for four days without a peep last week. That was holiday related too—we went on a spontaneous island jaunt with a few friends. Consider the above awesome image an apology for our absence, and rest assured next time we’ll at least get up an intermission card before we disappear. We have many posters for Azuma’s movies that we’ll share at some point, but in the meantime see more of her here and here. And what the heck, here too. 

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Femmes Fatales Aug 12 2013
TERUMI TERRIFIC
A perfect day to wear her birthday suit.

Well, it’s been awhile since we shared any 1970s Japanese actress promos, but today seemed like a perfect occasion. Above is roman porno star Terumi Azuma, and it just happens that today is her birthday. Azuma appeared in such films as Niizuma jigoku (Newlywed Hell), Ikenie fujin (Wife To Be Sacrificed), and Ikenie no onna-tachi (Harry and His Geisha Girls). Because it was illegal to show pubic hair in Japan when this photo was made in the mid-1970s, Azuma covers the offending area with her hand. You see this trick over and over in ’70s Japanese promos, and while it never ceases to bemuse, it also makes these shots infinitely better than something more graphic. Not that we’d mind if she moved her hand, but you know what we’re saying. Anyway, Terumi Azuma is fifty-seven years old today.

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Vintage Pulp Oct 15 2011
WET DREAMS
All we know about this movie is that there’s a lot of moisture involved.

A while back we shared a pair of wonderfully summery promo images featuring Japanese actress Terumi Azuma, and today we have a poster for one of her films. As usual, no western release means no official English title, but very roughly it’s Get Wet and Stand. That’s not particularly illuminating, we know, but until we see the movie ourselves, that’s all the info we can offer. That and the fact that it was made in 1976 by Nikkatsu Studios as part of its softcore roman porno collection, it’s based on the writings of a novelist who calls himself I. Hong, and it’s a comedy. Speaking of moisture, see below. 

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Femmes Fatales Jul 8 2011
AZUMA BEACH
When I ordered the extra large visor I assumed it would cover my whole body. How embarrassing.

Above, two brilliant shots of Japanese actress Terumi Azuma, who debuted in Nikkatsu Studios’ 1974 roman porno flick Ikenie fujin, aka Wife To Be Sacrificed, and went on to build a career in cinema and television that continues today. These images are circa 1975.

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History Rewind
The headlines that mattered yesteryear.
July 23
1984—Miss America Resigns
Vanessa Williams, who had been crowned Miss America and was the first African American woman to win the prize, resigns her title after Penthouse magazine purchases and slates for publication a series of lesbian-themed nudes Williams had posed for when she was younger. After resigning she files a $500 million lawsuit against Penthouse publisher Bob Guccione but later drops the suit.
July 22
1992—Cocaine Baron Escapes Prison
Pablo Emilio Escobar Gaviria, imprisoned leader of the Medellin drug cartel, escapes from a posh Colombian jail known as La Catedral after he learns authorities intend to move him to a real prison. His taste of freedom doesn't last—he's killed in a shootout a year-and-a-half later.
July 21
1925—Jury Decides the Teaching of Evolution Is a Crime
In the famous Scopes Monkey Trial, American schoolteacher John Scopes is found guilty of violating the Butler Act, which forbids the teaching of evolution in schools. The sensational trial pits two great legal minds—William Jennings Bryan and Clarence Darrow—against each other. Ultimately, Scopes and Darrow are destined to lose because the case rests on whether Scopes had violated the Act, not whether evolution is fact.
1969—First Humans Reach the Moon
Neil Armstrong and Eugene 'Buzz' Aldrin, Jr. become the first humans to walk on the moon. The third member of the mission, command module Pilot Michael Collins, remains in orbit in Apollo 11.
1972—Chaos in the Big Apple
In New York City, within a span of twenty-four hours, fifty-seven murders are committed.
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