Get down on your knees and pray—for it to end.
We decided to read another sleaze novel after being underwhelmed by Robert Silverberg's Passion Peeper, and ended up choosing Michael Knerr's 1962 effort The Sex Life of the Gods. Big mistake. It's adolescent nonsense, which is too bad, because the title intrigued us. Basically, a bunch of aliens kidnap a human and—for reasons we'll leave aside—plan to replace him with an exact duplicate. So the duplicate wings his way to Earth, but his ship crashes, and he comes out of it with amnesia. He has just enough intel to find the human's wife Beth, she fills in some facts for him, he thinks he's really her husband Nick, and voila!—they're soon boning on a bearskin rug. Nick was an artist, and when his impossibly hot studio model Janet learns he's devoid of memory, she sees it as a long awaited opportunity, sneakily lies that she's his mistress and voila!—they're soon boning in a secluded cabin. Clearly, in sleaze amnesia isn't so bad. Naturally, throughout all this, faux-Nick's alien buddies are searching for him, as are the local hick cops, and some federal types. When he finally clues in that he isn't really Nick, he decides the only just solution is to return the real Nick to Earth. Since Nick is imprisoned on the mothership, faux-Nick finagles his way back there, where he encounters his fiancée Jela and voila!—they're soon boning in zero g. We won't criticize the plot, the structure, the message, or the genre. It's sleaze fiction. You know what you're signing up for. The problem is Knerr should have had his writer's license suspended. We're going back to detective fiction.
All Through the Night is Bogart at his best.
There's no single movie that made Humphrey Bogart a superstar—he built his brand with each outing. But surely All Through the Night was one of his most important pre-icon roles. You see its Italian promo poster above, which was painted by the great artist Luigi Martinati. We've featured Martinati often, and you can see his work here and here. After originally opening in the U.S. in 1942, All Through the Night premiered in Italy as Sesta colonna today in 1949. You can read more about the film here.
Some people just can't say no.
Above is an alternate cover for N.R. de Mexico's classic drug sleaze novel Marijuana Girl, a surprisingly good tale of addiction and redemption we wrote about last year. That edition was from Uni Books and had a photo cover. This Beacon edition has a nice painted cover, which is signed but illegible. Have any idea whose signature this is below? Drop us a line.
Little Schmo Peep is such a creep and doesn't know how to stop.
1965's Passion Peeper, for which you see a Darrel Millsap cover above, is another sleaze novel credited to Don Elliott, but allegedly written by future sci-fi author Robert Silverberg. The blurb tells you all you need to know, as a voyeur named J. Martin Crispian gets his rocks off by spying on his female neighbors who live across the courtyard from his apartment. He describes himself as a schmo and a loser unliked by women, though he certainly likes them. Among his obsessions: a blonde who does nude calisthenics every night, a high school aged nympho, and this pair:
They were in a tight embrace. Mr. Crispian watched, startled by what he saw. These two young girls, framed in the window, were unmistakably kissing. [The redhead] began rubbing her hand over the brunette's blue jean-covered buttocks.
It had to be, Mr. Crispian thought. Two girls who were just roommates or good friends might kiss each other now and then, he figured. But they wouldn't kiss on the lips the way these two were doing. And they wouldn't go in for buttock grabbing and breast squeezing.
That's pricelessly funny. Interestingly, the peeper doesn't appear much through the middle of the story, as Elliott/Silverberg expands his narrative to encompass the lives of other characters. But everything circles back to him, as his spying puts him in the uncomfortable position, Rear Window fashion, of witnessing a possible crime. A clever ending follows, but future sci-fi legend or not, this is mediocre fiction. Silverberg was just trying to pay bills, which we can certainly respect. He later proved he could do much better.
Her neck of the woods is not a place you want to be.
Gale Sondergaard, born in 1899 in Minnesota, stands vigil in the woods in this promo photo made when she was filming 1939's The Cat and the Canary. Sondergaard went on to appear in Appointment in Berlin, A Night To Remember, The Invisible Man's Revenge, The Spider Woman Strikes Back, and numerous other films we'd like to watch. We did see The Cat and the Canary though, and talked about it last year. Check this link.
Maya Hiromi gets Onna roll and just can't stop.
This poster was made for the Japanese roman porno flick Onna kyôshi: Shônen-gari, known in English as Female Teacher: Boy Hunt. Nikkatsu Studios had already made two Female Teacher movies, but they're unreleated. This one did, however, spawn a sequel called Onna Kyoshi: Dotei-gari, or as it's known in English, terrifyingly, Female Teacher: Cherry Boy Hunt. We won't go there. Anyway we queued this up, and our first thought was: Wow, another roman porno film where a woman gets turned on by having her teeth drilled? Well, these movies explored every possible fetish. Having her teeth pried at turns her on so much she starts digging around her mouth herself with a fork. See the second screenshot below.
In any case, the sizzling hot Maya Hiromi plays a horny biology teacher who takes advantage of her position to indulge in some sexual extracurriculars. She shaves a student's pubes, gives a classroom lesson pantyless, has a nice little threesome, masturbates in a library, and engages in other activities that would get any teacher outside a roman porno movie arrested and placed on the sexual offender registry. We won't tell you what develops from all Hiromi's crazy academic activity, but trust us—you can expect it to be twisted. In the end Onna kyôshi: Shônen-gari is another Nikkatsu Studios humpfest where eroticism turns to something darker, and the final message—to the extent that it's comprehensible—is dubious at best. Can't recommend this one. Just can't. It premiered in Japan today in 1975.
But here's something we can recommend: a nice shot of Hiromi originally published in 1978. Just don't let it make you watch the film. It ain't worth it.
The temperature goes up but everything else goes down hard in low budget action flick.
We're drawn by cool promo posters, but even though there's nothing special about the cheap-ass art for the 1976 blaxploitation flick Black Heat, we had to watch it anyway because we love low budget vintage cinema. It's like panning for gold. Usually you end up disappointed, but occasionally you find something shiny and nice. Black Heat stars Timothy Brown, who we last saw in an epic disaster called The Dynamite Brothers, aka Stud Brown, that probably should have ended his cinematic career. But here he is two years later still riding the blaxploitation wave. He plays Kicks Carter, an L.A. cop trying to get to the bottom of illegal activities at a fancy hotel, keep his partner's born loser girlfriend out of gambling trouble, and make time for romance on the side. Considering the bad luck Brown had with The Dynamite Brothers we'd love to tell you Black Heat is a major step up in his career. It isn't. It's terrible. The only spark is provided by co-star Tanya Boyd, who you may remember from her eye popping turn in Black Shampoo. Anything she's in, we'll gladly watch, because as far as heat is concerned her dial goes to eleven. But she about covers the positives here. Well, her and the fact that the movie features one of our favorite sights from ’70s cinema—the car that goes over a cliff with a dummy in the driver seat. It's a good metaphor for the film—basically driverless, destined to crash and burn. Black Heat premiered today in 1976.
Never make a redhead angry.
Above, a cover for Les aventures de Zodiaque #46, by Gaston Martin for Éditions de Neuilly, 1953, with cool art of a lethal redhead painted by Aldé. In French “manque” means “lack,” but we don't know “pot.” The phrase “mon pot” means something like mate or friend, but we have a feeling “manque de pot” could mean something unusual. Anyway, you can see more Les aventures de Zodiaque and learn a bit about its history by clicking the keywords below.
Update: Jo to the rescue again:
«Manque de pot» means «lack of luck»
Pot is a slang word for luck. No relation with a pot or a jar.
She likes to chill out, but never so much that she fully lets down her guard.
Above you see U.S. actress Judy Holliday, who debuted in cinema in 1938 and appeared in such films as Adam's Rib and The Solid Gold Cadillac. Her career was going okay until she was named in the red-baiting publication Red Channels: The Report of Communist Influence in Radio and TV as having communist connections. Called before a congressional committee, she refused to name names, but learned that freedom of association was an illusion in 1950s America. Holliday kept working in films until 1960, and died early five years later, at age 43, from throat cancer, in the place where she had been born and spent most of her life, New York City. The photo above was made in 1944, when she was filming Winged Victory.
A classic story of koi meets girl.
As we've mentioned before, we rarely share boxcover art, but sometimes we make exceptions. This image is the DVD cover of the 1973 roman porno film Koi no karyudo yokubo, aka Love Hunter: Lust, but in poster form with all the informational text and logos removed. Mari Tanaka is the star, and we have plenty of her in the website, including in amazing images like these two. We'll have more from her later, as well. Koi no karyudo yokubo premiered today in 1973. |
The headlines that mattered yesteryear.
1995—Roger Zelazny Dies
American fantasy and science fiction writer Roger Zelazny dies at age fifty-eight of kidney failure related to colo-rectal cancer. Zelazny won the Nebula award three times, and the Hugo award six times, for novels such as ...And Call Me Conrad and Lord of Light, but was best known for his fantasy serial The Chronicles of Amber.
1971—First of the Pentagon Papers Are Published
The New York Times begins publication of the Pentagon Papers, a top-secret U.S. Department of Defense history of the country's political-military involvement in Vietnam from 1945 to 1967. The papers reveal that the U.S. had deliberately expanded its war with carpet bombing of Cambodia and Laos, coastal raids on North Vietnam, and Marine Corps attacks, and that four presidential administrations, from Truman to Johnson, had deliberately misled the public regarding their intentions toward Vietnam.
1978—Son of Sam Goes to Prison
David Berkowitz, the New York City serial killer known as Son of Sam, is sentenced to 365 years in prison for six killings. Berkowitz had acquired his nickname from letters addressed to the NYPD and columnist Jimmy Breslin. He is eventually caught when a chain of events beginning with a parking ticket leads to his car being searched and police discovering ammunition and maps of crime scenes.
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