Modern Pulp Apr 23 2024
IN HER DEFENSE
Well, looks like them bandits is gone, miss. And now, I'm powerful curious about several aspects of your predicament.


Above you see a piece of modern Mexican comic book art painted by Rafael Gallur for the cover of issue #771 of La Ley del Revolver, published in 2010. Many questions could be asked here, but none can be answered without buying the comic book. Perhaps we'll do that down the line. We've shared other work from Gallur before and, like this one, it's extremely lurid. Check it out here

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Vintage Pulp Apr 23 2024
DEATH RATTLES
We recommend that you keep your distance.


Japanese posters for U.S. film productions are sometimes so good we forget that the movies might not be. Case in point: the above poster was painted by the famed Japanese artist Seito, who was behind promos for films like Star Wars and Flesh Gordon. He produced this for the horror movie Rattlers, which premiered in the U.S. today in 1976 and reached Japan on an indeterminate date sometime afterward. The Japanese title is to the point:恐怖!蛇地獄means “Horror! Snake Hell.” The movie is its own special hell. It's about a bunch of rattlesnakes that run wild, and it's sssssssssssssssso bad. University of California herpetologist Sam Chew figures out how to deal with the offending reptiles, with the help of intrepid reporter Elisabet Chauvet, but nobody figured out how to deal with a bad script, a weak director, and a zero-charisma lead. You can let this one slide.

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Vintage Pulp Apr 21 2024
STOPPING POWER
This is what's called in the realm of answers a hard no. Don't let the door hit you in the dick on the way out.

To say that Adam magazine is an interest of ours is an understatement, but we haven't shared an issue for eight months. That's been a result of our drawn out and complicated move, which we initiated last summer, thought we'd have finished by November, but actually just completed to the point of unpacking our scanner last month. Lesson: buying a house in the south of Spain takes three times longer than you anticipate. Rest assured, though, we're still collecting Adam, and today we're sharing our eighty-fourth issue, which takes us down to fifty-four more we need to upload.

This particular example, which was published this month in 1965, was tightly bound, so we have only a handful of scans because we didn't want to destroy the magazine by flattening it. Apparently there's such a thing as a triangle scanner meant for such situations, but we never heard of one until this week. Anyway, the cover here of a woman holding off a prospective assailant was painted to illustrate Walter S. Bratu's story, “Ice That Burns,” in which a random everyman runs afoul of a Nordic femme fatale, and gets snared in a blackmail and bribery plot. In a twist he eventually uses his car to bash hers off a cliff, but it didn't surprise us. In vintage men's magazines women who are sexually unavailable to the hero usually come to bad ends.

There's also a story from Carl Ruhen that wins the award for best title of the issue, if not all of 1965: “So Ineffably Sad.” It's about a man named Jacky Ryan who accidentally kills a woman and must somehow cover up the crime. This issue also has signed work from Jack Waugh (he'd give up on signatures as the years progressed), and of course a couple of pictorials, both with unidentified models. As we said, we can't show you everything because of our desire to preserve the magazine, but if we ever get a triangle scanner we'll add to this post. For now, we have a mere fifteen panels below.

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Vintage Pulp Apr 20 2024
GIVING AT THE OFFICE
No, darling, I'm not screwing my secretary. I have a new boss, and she's screwing me.


Bee Line Books was one of the imprints that transitioned from painted covers (examples here and here) into photo fronts, as you see with Roy Battle's 1974 novel Something for the Boss. We wanted something to read on a train ride and this fit the bill. The story deals with a suburban wife and her banker husband, and how his ambition to ascend the corporate ladder leads him to press her to have sex with the branch president. She does, and this leads to a full fledged swapping lifestyle, not only with the president and his wife, but with their two depraved collegiate children. Yeah, it's pretty kinky, but that's no surprise for a sleaze novel published during the ’70s. By then there were no limits. Despite the raunch, Something for the Boss isn't anything you can bank on for entertainment. Next. 

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Vintage Pulp Apr 19 2024
REST UNEASY
When there's a killer on the loose you'd better sleep with one eye open.


This poster for While the City Sleeps doesn't impress with masterly art the way so many vintage promos do, but its simplicity is, in an oblique sort of way, we think, meant to echo tabloid covers from the era. RKO made a special poster in collaboration with Confidential magazine, which you'll see below. The movie's plot is pure tabloid fodder. A serial killer has slain women in New York City, leaving the cryptic message “Ask mother,” written on the walls of one murder scene. Vincent Price, owner of Kyne News Service, part of a media empire comprising ten newspapers, a wire service, and other interests, offers the position of executive director to three employees in order to draw them into cutthroat competition with each other. Soon it becomes clear that finding the identity of the “lipstick killer” is the winning move. Intrigue and subterfuge take over the office. Everyone gets involved, from senior editors to stringers to gossip columnist Ida Lupino, but the killer is too clever to be caught.

At least until intrepid Pulitzer Prize winning television reporter Dana Andrews airs a scornful and taunting broadcast, deliberately setting up his own fiancée as bait. He doesn't even ask her permission. Well, he does, but only after arranging to publish their engagement announcement in the New York Sentinel right next to a story about the killer. Reckless? Yes. Presumptuous? For sure. There are intertwined plotlines here, but Andrews using his true love as a lure was the most interesting aspect for us. He isn't the only heel on display. The movie is ostensibly about a serial killer, but is really a framework for exposing backbiting and cynical ambition in the big city. Director Fritz Lang, in what was his penultimate U.S. film, explores the cruel banality of what, these days, some call “hustle culture,” and brings the production to a conclusion that's, in the words of Thomas Mitchell's character, “Neat, but nasty.” Our words are: a mandatory watch. While the City Sleeps had a special world premiere today in 1956.
Edit: Vintage movies are excellent windows into bygone customs and practices. There's a great moment in this one. Rhonda Fleming and James Craig are chatting in her apartment late one night when the doorbell unexpectedly buzzes. They look at each other confused for a second, then Fleming says, “It's probably the drugstore. That was the last bottle of Scotch.”

You know, there were a lot of things wrong with the mid-century era. But there were a few things right too. Getting the all-night drugstore to deliver booze has to be one of the most right things we've ever heard of, so we give thanks to While the City Drinks—er Sleeps—for clueing us in, and suggest you call your congressional rep immediately and ask for a law allowing pharmacies to deliver alcohol. If not for yourself, do it for the children. 
 
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Vintage Pulp Apr 18 2024
REIKO RIDES AGAIN
Oshida makes her mark and it looks like a swastika.

Above is a bo-ekibari style poster for the pinky violence actioner Furyô banchô: Ikkaku senkin, aka Wolves of the City: Fast Money. This piece is cousin to the standard sheet for the film we shared a couple of years ago. Just as when we showed you that one we haven't located the movie yet, but we'll keep working on it, if only to find out why star Reiko Oshida has a swastika on her back. We're guessing she's in a motorcycle gang, and it's their emblem. Furyô banchô: Ikkaku senkin premiered today in 1970. You can see the other poster here, and that entry also discusses briefly the swastika symbol in Japanese culture.

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Vintage Pulp Apr 18 2024
MISPLACED CONFIDENCE
You're upset I betrayed your trust. But if I hadn't, all the publishers calling about your scandals would have been even more upset.

It's election season in the U.S., so above we have a cover for Harriett H. Carr's Confidential Secretary, originally published in 1958, with this Berkley paperback arriving in 1961. It's about a woman who takes a job in a Washington, D.C. corporation and is drawn into congressional intrigue, over the course of which she finds true love. This isn't one we'd read, but it does fit into our cover collection featuring the U.S. Capitol building—soon to be belching smoke and flames, the way things are going over there. The art is uncredited. 

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Femmes Fatales Apr 18 2024
OVER AND ABOVE
Hold that smile. And remember, a model's job is hard, but not nearly as hard as thinking up interesting poses.


That would be Eve Eden perched on a branch in the above image. She could be pretty high off the ground—the girth of the branch indicates that. We guess she climbed a ladder, or maybe even a scaffold. The photo made the Pulp Intl. girlfriends smile. Verbatim: “No guy ever has to climb a fucking tree for a picture.” Fair point. Eden probably had the same thought waiting for the photographer to say he'd gotten the shot he wanted. You've probably never heard of her. During a nine-year cinema career she appeared in nearly twenty films, including 1959's Naked Fury and 1960's So Evil, So Young, but most of those roles were tiny or uncredited. However she was also a popular magazine model and may be better remembered for her work in that medium. We saw her in a 1969 issue of Adam last year, but this is a much better shot. You have to applaud her effort. 

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Vintage Pulp Apr 17 2024
SENIOR MOMENT
Why, thank you, ladies, I am a goat, and proud of it. Um—you mean greatest of all time, right?

We've been having an ongoing conversation with the Pulp Intl. girlfriends about the word, “cougar,” when used to refer to older women who chase younger men. They say there's no male equivalent. If you're an older man chasing after young women, you're just a man, we were told. We think cougar is kind of a fun slang term, but then we are neither women, nor women in that age range, so our opinion doesn't actually count.

Anyway, we came across this cover for Tiffany Thayer's 1950 novel The Old Goat, and we're going to go with "goat" as a term for a male cougar. And no, not “greatest of all time.” Just goat. We'd like it to catch on, but sports fans have a firm hold on it at the moment. However, we'll do our part to change that if you do yours. The art on this, by the way, is by an unknown, but the rear cover and several interior illustrations are by Lyle Justis.

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Vintage Pulp Apr 16 2024
STRIFE IMPRISONMENT
No appeal, no parole, no mercy, no hope.


Today we continue our journey through ’70s exploitation cinema with Jackson County Jail, churned out of the grindhouse factory known as New World Pictures. Plotwise, Yvette Mimieux plays a Los Angeles advertising exec who leaves her cheating husband and finds herself at loose ends, but manages to score a job from a friend in New York City. She decides to get there by driving cross country, but passes through fictional Jackson County, located somewhere in or around Texas (a geographical fact we learn from a news broadcast that provides a Dallas Cowboys update). She's railroaded into jail and raped by the cop working the graveyard shift. Afterward, Mimieux manages to brain him with a stool and escapes with the help of hardened criminal Tommy Lee Jones, who early in his acting career (and with that monobrow of his) was already capable of making lines like this sing: “There's nothing wrong with being a crook. Everybody's crooked. I never met a straight person in my whole life. Whole goddamn country is a rip-off. And everybody in it.”

Jackson County Jail is sometimes labeled a women-in-prison flick, but it's a bit different for a generally low rent sub-genre because Mimieux was an established star, thirty-four years old with more than twenty movies behind her. The credibility she lends the film changes little about its basic purpose—titillation mixed with violence and an indictment of hick culture. Simultaneously, though, the filmmakers definitely don't go to the extremes of other women-in-prison dramas, in which we've seen women hung up by their hair. There are some viewers, we suspect, who wouldn't consider this movie a women-in-prison flick at all. We're fine leaving it out of the conversation too. The jailbound portion lasts barely twenty minutes of what is perhaps more of an outlaw movie, complete with Jones letting fly with this response to being told the police will kill him: “That don't matter. I was born dead.” Whether women-in-prison, outlaw, or counterculture, that's a damned good line. And Jackson County Jail is a pretty good movie. It premiered today in 1976
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Next Page
History Rewind
The headlines that mattered yesteryear.
April 23
1986—Otto Preminger Dies
Austro–Hungarian film director Otto Preminger, who directed such eternal classics as Laura, Anatomy of a Murder, Carmen Jones, The Man with the Golden Arm, and Stalag 17, and for his efforts earned a star on Hollywood's Walk of Fame, dies in New York City, aged 80, from cancer and Alzheimer's disease.
1998—James Earl Ray Dies
The convicted assassin of American civil rights leader Martin Luther King, Jr., petty criminal James Earl Ray, dies in prison of hepatitis aged 70, protesting his innocence as he had for decades. Members of the King family who supported Ray's fight to clear his name believed the U.S. Government had been involved in Dr. King's killing, but with Ray's death such questions became moot.
April 22
1912—Pravda Is Founded
The newspaper Pravda, or Truth, known as the voice of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union, begins publication in Saint Petersburg. It is one of the country's leading newspapers until 1991, when it is closed down by decree of then-President Boris Yeltsin. A number of other Pravdas appear afterward, including an internet site and a tabloid.
1983—Hitler's Diaries Found
The German magazine Der Stern claims that Adolf Hitler's diaries had been found in wreckage in East Germany. The magazine had paid 10 million German marks for the sixty small books, plus a volume about Rudolf Hess's flight to the United Kingdom, covering the period from 1932 to 1945. But the diaries are subsequently revealed to be fakes written by Konrad Kujau, a notorious Stuttgart forger. Both he and Stern journalist Gerd Heidemann go to trial in 1985 and are each sentenced to 42 months in prison.
April 21
1918—The Red Baron Is Shot Down
German WWI fighter ace Manfred von Richthofen, better known as The Red Baron, sustains a fatal wound while flying over Vaux sur Somme in France. Von Richthofen, shot through the heart, manages a hasty emergency landing before dying in the cockpit of his plane. His last word, according to one witness, is "Kaputt." The Red Baron was the most successful flying ace during the war, having shot down at least 80 enemy airplanes.
1964—Satellite Spreads Radioactivity
An American-made Transit satellite, which had been designed to track submarines, fails to reach orbit after launch and disperses its highly radioactive two pound plutonium power source over a wide area as it breaks up re-entering the atmosphere.
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