Intl. Notebook Aug 1 2023
FERAL CATS
Hiss hiss, bang bang.


The fun pinky violence actioner Nora-neko rokku: Wairudo janbo, aka 
Stray Cat Rock: Wild Jumbo, premiered today in 1970, so we have for you all the promo images were able to find. You see Meiko Kaji, Tatsuya Fuji, Bunjaku Han, Sôichirô Maeno, and others. We wrote in more detail about the movie at this link.

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Femmes Fatales Jan 13 2023
HAN SOLO
Totally fine all by herself.


Above is a nice image of Japanese actress Bunjaku Han, who appeared in landmark pinky violence films like Stray Cat Rock: Machine Animal, Stray Cat Rock: Wild Jumbo, and many others, as well as in more obscure fare such as Kawaii akujo, aka Lovely Wicked Woman. Here you see her in a 1969 shot made by Shigeru Izumi and first published in Heibon Punch

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Vintage Pulp Aug 1 2020
WILD IN THE STREETS
They say money isn't everything but it sure feels like it sometimes.


Above, an alternate poster for the pinku heist movie Nora-neko rokku: Wairudo janbo, which starred Meiko Kaji and Bunjako Han, and premiered in Japan today in 1970. We watched it, we liked it, and we explained why here, where you can also have a look at the film's tateken sized poster.

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Vintage Pulp Aug 1 2018
YEN FOR THE GOOD LIFE
The money is there. All they have to do is steal it.


Nora-neko rokku: Wairudo janbo, aka Stray Cat Rock: Wild Jumbo, stars Meiko Kaji and Bunjaku Han in a Nikkatsu Studios/Hori Production co-effort. The movie is based on a Satoshi Funachi novel and concerns five obnoxious delinquents who, with the help of an insider, decide to rob a religious group called the Seikyo Society of 30 million yen. There's a festival going on there, which means the organization's coffers will be fat with cash.
 
As usual with these movies, it takes a while to get to the central plot, but the digressions are interesting. A good portion of the running time involves the group's road trip to the religious compound and the various scrapes they get into along the way, including a comical interlude at the beach. When they finally reach their destination does the robbery go as planned? Of course not. They rarely do.
 
As a side note, viewers should be forewarned that while Akiko Wada gets top position on the poster she doesn't get much camera time. But what more do you need when you already have Meiko and Bunjaku? Nora-neko rokku: Wairudo janbo is definitely one of the better Japanese juvie flicks and a worthy second entry in the five film Nora-neko rokku series. It premiered in Japan today in 1970. Read about the others, here, here, here, and here.

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Vintage Pulp May 2 2016
MEIKO A STATEMENT
The message is pretty clear—get on her bad side and you’ll regret it.

This beautiful and very rare promo poster was made to promote a Japanese film called Onna banchō nora-neko rokku. In the English speaking world its various distributors couldn't seem to settle for long on a title, and it was called alternately Alleycat Rock: Female Boss, Stray Cat Rock: Delinquent Girl BossFemale Juvenile Delinquent Leader: Alleycat Rock, and Wildcat Rock. It’s the first of five Alleycat Rock or Stray Cat Rock films, and revolves around Meiko Kaji’s girl gang’s unwitting influence over a fixed boxing match. The boxer is supposed to take a dive for a yakuza cartel but instead wins the fight in order to save face with Kaji and her hotties (two of the gang members are played by Bunjaku Han and charismatic pop star Akiko Wada, so we can understand the boxer’s change of heart). But unbeknownst to Kaji, it was her boyfriend who had convinced the yakuza the bout could be fixed in the first place, and now he’s in deep trouble. Wonderfully lensed like so many of these pinku movies, with the requisite grey Tokyo cityscapes, neon splashed nightclub locales, and shots featuring eight or ten characters meticulously packed into the same frame, Onna banchō nora-neko rokku is a nice all around effort. It premiered in Japan today in 1970.

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Vintage Pulp Nov 22 2014
STRAY CAT STRUT
She slinks down the alley looking for a fight, howling to the moonlight on a hot summer night.


Since we featured Reiko Ike yesterday it seems only right to have Meiko Kaji today. Which of them is the real queen of 70s Japanese action cinema? It’s up for debate. Maybe it’s even someone else entirely. Anyway, you see above and below two posters for Nora-neko rokku: Mashin animaru, known in English as Stray Cat Rock: Machine Animal. It was the fourth of five Stray Cat Rock films, and Kaji starred in all, though as different characters in each.

The series is about juvenile delinquency and takes place against a backdrop of industrial cityscapes and inside the sorts of groovy nightclubs you might associate with Austin Powers. The plot involves Kaji and her cohorts planning to sell stolen LSD in order to help a soldier escape the Vietnam War, but getting entangled with rival gangsters who want to horn in on the deal. It’s very much worth a viewing, and stacks up well against the previous entries. Wild stray cat—you’re a real gone girl. Nora-neko okku: Mashin animaru premiered in Japan today in 1970.

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Vintage Pulp Aug 12 2011
WINNING HAN
Her Wicked, Wicked ways.

Above is a rare poster for a 1971 Japanese film entitled Kawaii akujo, known in English as The Lovely Wicked Woman, or sometimes The Lovely Bad Woman. You won’t find any info about the production online under the English titles because for some reason all the movie databases we consulted referred to it as Cute Vanity Fair. But trust us, this poster doesn’t say “cute vanity fair”, and we seriously doubt the movie was ever released in the West under that highly dubious title. It actually says "cute villain," and it wouldn't have been released in the West under that title either. Anyway, whatever you call the film, it was directed by Inoue Umetsugu and starred Bunjaku Han in a story of murder and intrigue centered around a tabloid newspaper. Han appeared in about twenty-five movies, including the classic pinku serial Stray Cat Rock, and starred on television scores of times before dying prematurely in 2002 at the age of fifty-four. We’ll have a bit more on her later.

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History Rewind
The headlines that mattered yesteryear.
July 15
1939—Adams Completes Around-the-World Air Journey
American Clara Adams becomes the first woman passenger to complete an around-the-world air journey. Her voyage began and ended in New York City, with stops in Lisbon, Marseilles, Leipzig, Athens, Basra, Jodhpur, Rangoon, Bangkok, Hong Kong, Wake Island, Honolulu, and San Francisco.
1955—Nobel Prize Winners Unite Against Nukes
Eighteen Nobel laureates sign the Mainau Declaration against nuclear weapons, which reads in part: We think it is a delusion if governments believe that they can avoid war for a long time through the fear of [nuclear] weapons. Fear and tension have often engendered wars. Similarly it seems to us a delusion to believe that small conflicts could in the future always be decided by traditional weapons. In extreme danger no nation will deny itself the use of any weapon that scientific technology can produce.
1997—Versace Murdered in Miami
Italian fashion designer Gianni Versace is shot dead on the steps of his Miami mansion as he returns from breakfast at a cafe. His killer is Andrew Cunanan, a man who had already murdered four other people across the country and was the focus of an FBI manhunt. The FBI never caught Cunanan—instead he committed suicide on the houseboat where he was living.
July 14
1921—Sacco & Vanzetti Convicted
Nicola Sacco and Bartolomeo Vanzetti are convicted in Dedham, Massachusetts of killing their shoe company's paymaster. Even at the time there are serious questions about their guilt, and whether they are being railroaded because of their Italian ethnicity and anarchist political beliefs.
July 13
1933—Eugenics Becomes Official German Policy
Adolf Hitler signs the Law for the Prevention of Hereditarily Diseased Offspring, and Germany begins sterilizing those they believe carry hereditary illnesses, and those they consider impure. By the end of WWII more than 400,000 are sterilized, including criminals, alcoholics, the mentally ill, Jews, and people of mixed German-African heritage.
1955—Ruth Ellis Executed
Former model Ruth Ellis is hanged at Holloway Prison in London for the murder of her lover, British race car driver David Blakely. She is the last woman executed in the United Kingdom.
1966—Richard Speck Rampage
Richard Speck breaks into a Chicago townhouse where he systematically rapes and kills eight student nurses. The only survivor hides under a bed the entire night.
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