Vintage Pulp Feb 16 2014
THORNY SITUATION
Who said life couldn’t be a bed of roses?


Way back in 2009 two promos for Seijû gakuen were the first pinku posters we ever shared on Pulp Intl. Ah, the good old days. We got the title wrong and misspelled the name of the star, but other than that, what a glorious memory. When we located that pair of posters we also found two others, and now, years later, we’re getting around to sharing those too. Seijû gakuen was known in the West as School of the Holy Beast, and above you see a rare two panel horizontal poster. At that orientation it renders a little small here, so we’ve posted the panels seperately below:

 
The second poster we wanted to share is a somewhat less colorful effort, but still quite nice, with a splash of rose pink in the middle. You see that below:

 
In addition to starring Yumi Takigawa, Seijû gakuen had Emiko Yamauchi and Pulp fave Yayoi Watanabe, and as we mentioned in the previous post, it’s nunsploitation from Toie Studios. As you no doubt have deduced, Takigawa goes through all kind of indignities, and at one point is bound with vines and whipped across her naked torso by two nuns using bouquets of roses (and, more importantly, their thorns). It’s a bizarre and bloody but beautifully shot spectacle.


 
Lastly, just below, we’ve decided to share a promo image of Yumi Takigawa looking her radiant best. She spends a good portion of the movie wearing a nun’s habit that covers everything except her face. If Toei and director Norifumi Suzuki wanted a lead actress whose face could be isolated in that manner yet still hold an audience’s attention they succeeded. Seijû gakuen was Takigawa’s first film but not her last—she’s still quite busy as an actress, appearing mainly on television. Seijû gakuen premiered today in 1974.

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Vintage Pulp Feb 13 2014
TUMBLING DICE
When the cat’s away, the cat will play too.

Above, a poster for Haruyasu Noguchi’s 1965 drama Toba no mesu neko, aka Cat Girls Gamblers. The movie starred Hideaki Nitani, Ichirô Sugai, and Yumiko Nogawa, who had earned widespread recognition for debuting in 1964’s shocking Nikutai no mon, known in the West as Gate of Flesh. That’s her holding the dice on the artwork. Despite Nogawa’s fame and her long film career that’s still ongoing, there’s no information about Cat Girls Gamblers on the web, just a bunch of skeletal pages designed to draw traffic. We hate those things, so we’re glad to have uploaded something substantial in the form of this great poster. 

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Vintage Pulp Feb 7 2014
PETER PAIN
Mild mannered pet shop owner becomes serial nuisance.


Above is a Japanese poster for 1962’s Mr. Peter’s Pets, one of the many nudie cutie flicks that were made during the 1960s. With a term like nudie cutie you might guess that the plots are mere means to rear ends, and you’d be right. In this one a pet shop owner orders a potion from a catalog, sending a dollar to India for Maharaja Poon Ja’s Animal Ambrosia, a Hindu elixir that ensures long life and happiness for one’s pets. But before he administers the elixir to his animals he decides, “Only if it is good enough for me is it good enough for my little friends,” and tastes it himself. It goes down accompanied by a bolt of lightning and a peal of thunder—sort of like when you do a Jäger shot. But instead of merely making him act like an animal he’s literally turned into one. Specifically, a turtle. Each time he takes the elixir he turns into a different animal, almost any type he wishes, from kittens to pythons.

Acting for the benefit of others never occurs to this guy. He immediately uses his power to gain proximity to unsuspecting women so he can watch them take bubble baths, play guitar nude, and so forth. It's justas silly as it sounds. Yes, it’s about a shapeshifting stalker, but nudie cuties were threat-free. Mr. Peter is a mere pain in the ass, ultimately chased away by a group of annoyed sunbathers. What’s sometimes interesting with these movies is to see if any cast members later became more widely known. In this case, not so much. Some of the performers appeared in Russ Meyer movies, and some, like Althea Currier and Pavla Tiano (below), were already famous on the burlesque circuit, but none made the leap into mainstream fame. We can see why. Mr. Peter’s Pets is really bad. But of course it was never supposed to Citizen Kane so you can hardly hold low ambition against it. It’s worth a gander.


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Vintage Pulp Jan 27 2014
NINJA TURTLE
Eiko Yanami strikes a kick-ass pose.


Although many directors and performers were involved in the Girl Boss movies, on some level Nikkatsu Studios was behind most of them as either producers or distributors. This one is an exception. The movie was called Soft-Shelled Turtle Girl Boss, it was made by Dai Nippon Eiga Seisaku Kabushiki Kaisha, which was known as Daiei Film for short, and it had Taro Yuge in the director’s chair and Eiko Yanami in the lead. We don’t know anything about the plot, but it’s a pinku girl boss flick, so she probably seeks and achieves revenge against a bunch of gangster types. We’ll look for more info, if not a copy of the movie. In the meantime, we’ll just enjoy the poster, which is absolutely killer. Soft-Shelled Turtle Girl Boss premiered in Japan today in 1971. 

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Vintage Pulp Jan 26 2014
IGARASHI BEHAVIOR
A good boss always creates advancement opportunities for her employees.


Above, a poster for Tadashi Yoyogi’s Semi-dokyumento: Sukeban yôjimbô, aka Girl Boss Document. A less known Girl Boss movie, this starred Noriko Igarashi, who you see brazenly flashing her tighty whities on the poster. It premiered in Japan today in 1974.

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Modern Pulp Jan 21 2014
DEVIL'S ADVOCATE
Kim Ji-woon’s thriller is hard to take but beautiful to behold.


Thanks to the wonder of downloading—er, we mean the legal purchase of a DVD at a sanctioned commercial outlet—this weekend we were able to re-screen one of our favorite recent movies, the 2010 South Korean gutwrencher Angmareul boatda, aka I Saw the Devil. Last time we watched it we didn’t write about it, but we think it’s a good time to recommend the movie because today was its official American premiere date. Amazingly, that unveiling was at the 2011 Sundance Film Festival. Well, nobody felt like dancing by the time the movie ended, you can be sure. Often lumped in with horror or torture porn movies, in truth I Saw the Devil is an unflinching but high-gloss revenge thriller, beautifully shot, and carefully paced. The revenge in question is directed toward a serial killer and director Kim Ji-woon’s documentation of that person’s gory exploits is where much of the movie’s early mayhem occurs.

Unlike many American films, I Saw the Devil doesn’t soften the impact of violence by turning it into a technical showcase for an fx house—the movie tries its best to make those scenes frightening yet somehow banal. No heads explode, nobody is thrown in a tire shredder, and nobody is impaled by a pair of skis. The most proximate cause of nearly every human death in history—technically speaking—has been lack of oxygen to the brain. Oxygen very often stops going to the brain because the blood needed to carry it there has gone somewhere else—the floor, for example. I Saw the Devil explores that concept with vivid clarity. Above is one of the American posters, and below is the original South Korean promo.


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Vintage Pulp Jan 18 2014
WOLF PACK
The gangs that couldn’t shoot straight.


Furyô banchô: Inoshika Ochô, aka Wolves of the City, aka Wolves of the City: Ocho the She-Wolf was a significant hole in our Japanese actioner viewing résumé, but we solved that by watching the film a few days ago. In short, you get an amoral motorcycle gang in Nazi regalia pitted against evil Yakuza, with the tide eventually turning when the legendary hellion Ocho the She-Wolf teams up with the gang. The movie looks great. Yukio Noda’s direction—for the most part—is a marvel. He frames shots with six, seven, sometimes even a dozen interacting characters spread across the screen, yet it all seems effortless. Modern directors don’t seem remotely interested in using shots like these anymore, which is a shame, but it may also be a function of today’s screenwriters choosing to limit the number of characters who interact simultaneously. In any case, this is one thing we loved about the movie and we’ve shared some images of this technique below.

But Wolves of the City is a mixed bag. It relies upon numerous violent set pieces, but where the dialogue sequences feel so carefully thought out, the action is pure Keystone Kops. Because Noda continues framing large numbers of actors in single shots, his performers seem more intent uponhitting their stage marks than making these confrontations look realistic. They reach their required positions in the scenes, but these hardened gangsters handle pistols and machine guns as if they were rubber snakes, dealing a major blow to what should be the visceral thrill of such moments. By packing the screen during the gunfights Noda forces the audience to accept that nobody can successfully shoot anyone from five feet away. It feels very bang-bang-you’re-dead amateurish, complete with wounded gangsters clutching their chests, spinning around, and falling to the floor.

In the end the plot ushers us through various deals, deceptions, and shootouts, and you finally get the inevitable throwdown between the bikers and the Yakuza. This is the most unlikely sequence of all, with bikers motoring around none too swiftly inside a confined warehouse while still miraculously being missed by a hailstorm of screaming lead. But by now we know what we’re going to get and we just have to go with it. At one point Ocho puts out a gangster’s eyes and archly informs him (as if he can hear through the head-splitting pain), “You’re the seventeenth victim of Ocho of Inoshika’s eye attack!” This movie does attack the eyes rather beautifully, and if you look past the Vaudeville antics of the action scenes you may enjoy it. The panel length poster at top is rare, and as far as we know it’s the only one of its kind to be seen online. Furyô banchô: Inoshika Ochô premiered in Japan today in 1969.

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Modern Pulp Jan 14 2014
THAI SCI-FI
Who knew doom and destruction could look so pretty?

Something a little different today, above are five Thai sci-fi and horror posters, showing the baroque stylings that make them so visually pleasing. The movies are, top to bottom, The Hidden, Scanners, Hex, Lifeforce, and The Believers.

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Vintage Pulp Jan 8 2014
UNDER NEW MANAGEMENT
Hey lady, you’re not the boss of me! Er, okay, yes you are.

Above, an excellent pinku poster of a recalcitrant tough guy having a knife held to his eye by an even tougher woman. It’s for a movie entitled Girl Boss: Dirty Fellows, but as usual we have to add the disclaimer that the translation here may be a bit off. Definitely the text says “girl/lady/woman” and “gang leader” which can be interpreted as “girl boss” or maybe “lady boss.” The rest, well, we’ve done our best. Also, it looks like Teruyo Hasegawa was in this movie, and we were told the release year was 1969, but that seems a bit late for Hasegawa, who was in films as early as 1954. Anyway, that’s all we got. If we mess up something we’re usually emailed about it, so we’ll just wait and see on this one.

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Vintage Pulp Dec 27 2013
SHORT CIRCUIT
Destined for a crash.

This poster is from Tôru Murakawa’s roman porno drama Aishu no circuit, aka Circuit of Sorrow. The movie was inspired by real life test driver Yukio Fukuzawa, who on 12 February 1969 lost control of his Toyota 7 at Fuji Speedway near Nakahinata, Japan and fatally smashed into a signpost. In the movie Kei Kiyama’s pop singer character meets Tôru Minegishi’s doomed racer when he happens along as she’s throwing her own records into the sea. From there things get even cheerier. But the poster sure gives us good thoughts. We gather that the music from this movie—composed by Yasuo Higuchi, sung by Seri Ishikawa, and with lyrics by a few people—became a big hit, and is remembered with great nostalgia by many. We looked for some video links but had no luck. Aishu no circuit premiered in Japan today in 1972. 

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History Rewind
The headlines that mattered yesteryear.
April 19
1927—Mae West Sentenced to Jail
American actress and playwright Mae West is sentenced to ten days in jail for obscenity for the content of her play Sex. The trial occurred even though the play had run for a year and had been seen by 325,000 people. However West's considerable popularity, already based on her risque image, only increased due to the controversy.
1971—Manson Sentenced to Death
In the U.S, cult leader Charles Manson is sentenced to death for inciting the murders of Sharon Tate and several other people. Three accomplices, who had actually done the killing, were also sentenced to death, but the state of California abolished capital punishment in 1972 and neither they nor Manson were ever actually executed.
April 18
1923—Yankee Stadium Opens
In New York City, Yankee Stadium, home of Major League Baseball's New York Yankees, opens with the Yankees beating their eternal rivals the Boston Red Sox 4 to 1. The stadium, which is nicknamed The House that Ruth Built, sees the Yankees become the most successful franchise in baseball history. It is eventually replaced by a new Yankee Stadium and closes in September 2008.
April 17
1961—Bay of Pigs Invasion Is Launched
A group of CIA financed and trained Cuban refugees lands at the Bay of Pigs in southern Cuba with the aim of ousting Fidel Castro. However, the invasion fails badly and the result is embarrassment for U.S. president John F. Kennedy and a major boost in popularity for Fidel Castro, and also has the effect of pushing him toward the Soviet Union for protection.

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