Femmes Fatales May 24 2024
HIROMI WORSHIP
If Maya manifests in the forest and nobody saw her was she really there?


In the Hindu religion Maya is the goddess of illusion, personifying the concept that the material world is not quite real, but Japanese actress Maya Hiromi is no illusion. She appears here in a photo published in 1977 in Heibon Punch Supplement 33, and in verifiable corporeal form she appeared in movies such as Onna kyôshi: Shônen-gari, aka Female Teacher: Boy Hunt, Kyoran no aegi, aka Morning Frenzy, and Kunoichi ninpo: Hyakka manji-garami, aka Female Ninja Magic: 100 Trampled Flowers. Like many pinku stars she racked up a bunch of credits all at once—seventeen in four years—then pretty much disappeared. But you'll see her here again.

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Vintage Pulp May 12 2024
SUFFER LITTLE CHILDREN
Who'd want to kill a child? On occasion, virtually any parent on the planet, but in this case it's a violent psychopath.


This poster was painted by the great Enzo Nistri (the brush behind classic promos such as this and this) for the giallo flick Chi l'ha vista morire?, known in English as Who Saw Her Die? It stars former James Bond lead George Lazenby (looking unhealthily thin here because for reasons inexplicable he lost thirty-five pounds for the role) as an American artist in Venice whose young daughter goes missing. He first appeals to the (pro forma ineffectual) police, but the girl turns up floating dead in the Grand Canal.

This brings Lazenby's estranged wife Anita Strindberg to town for the funeral, and soon they're asking questions about a child murder from the previous year, which we the viewers have seen in the opening reel being committed by a woman clad and veiled in black. Lazenby and Strindberg go full sleuth in order to identify and locate this suspected killer, who meanwhile graduates to knocking off adults who might have clues. You may assume co-star and former Bond villain Adolfo Celi has something to do with all this, and he might, but this is a giallo. There's no way to know who's the killer until the final reveal.

The movie's real star may be Venice, where residents once sauntered easily through lanes uncluttered by tour groups and AirBnB renters. You'll see many hidden nooks of the city, beautifully shot by director Aldo Lado and cinematographer Franco Di Giacomo. This type of scenery will come courtesy of AI image generators in the approaching years. After all, why close down St. Mark's Square when you can render it in a computer? Take heart, though—even a computer will never be able to generate Anita Strindberg. Chi l'ha vista morire? premiered in Italy today in 1972.
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Femmes Fatales Mar 16 2024
ALL ABOUT EVE
The exact opposite of buttoned up tight.


Eve Meyer, who was Eve Turner before marrying filmmaker Russ Meyer, is seen here in a photo made when she was a Playboy centerfold in 1955. A black and white version of the photo was included in that layout. After a few years modeling, Meyer appeared in several films, then produced fifteen movies, including Cherry, Harry & Raquel, Motorpsycho, and Beyond the Valley of the Dolls, all of which are schlock classics. We think this shot of her is classic too.

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Vintage Pulp Feb 18 2024
MANILA HEAT
Caffaro knows how to Handle her business.


Why do we spend our valuable time watching exploitation movies? Well, because we watch all pulp related genres of movies, from film noir to horror. So why discriminate? We also watch such movies (which is a set we figure includes sexploitation, blaxploitation, women-in-prison, and more) because owing to their sexual, racial, and political aspects, their like will probably never be made again. Last month we completed our look at Cheri Caffaro's infamous Ginger McAllister sexploitation-spy trilogy. Now we're moving on to her later work in Too Hot To Handle, which premiered today in 1977.

Set in and around Manila, Caffaro plays an experienced and wealthy assassin named Samantha Fox who takes on a difficult triple-contract. In order to succeed she'll need all her skills of disguise, deception, and sexuality. Meanwhile the cops are on her trail. When one of the investigators gets close—real close—Caffaro takes a liking to him and, passing herself off as her alter ego Melinda Burroughs, tries to navigate sleeping with the enemy while fulfilling her murderous obligations.

All Caffaro movies are low budget, and all are bad. This one is poorly written and acted, and as usual there's a touch of the kinky, both in front of the camera, as well as behind, as Caffaro's husband Don Schain directs her getting her squeezebox fondled by hairy co-star Aharon Ipalé. That's called commitment to the product and your art—or alternatively, finding a way to monetize your spouse-sharing fantasies. It didn't improve the movie.

The only surprise here was that former top European star Corinne Calvet somehow got suckered into playing a brothel owner named Madame Ruanda, later dying as one of Caffaro's targets. Alas, Corinne—sexploitation is a welcoming mistress for those desperate to pay bills, but next time we recommend a loan shark. The vig is a bitch but at least you get to hang onto your dignity. But even if Too Hot To Handle was too bad for Calvet to be in, it isn't too bad for you to watch. Caffaro is weirdly great. In the sexploitation realm nobody did more with less.
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Vintage Pulp Jan 28 2024
ABDUCTOR STRAIN
Liking this film will demand very hard work.


We're back to Cheri Caffaro quicker than you thought, finally taking a look at The Abductors, part of a trilogy of films, along with Ginger and Girls Are for Loving, in which she plays government agent Ginger McAllister. The character, who is no James Bond or Emma Peel (budget alone prevents that), usually lounges around sun-drenched climes, but occasionally is called in by her handler to deal with tough cases. This time she's needed to take down a sex trafficking ring. She recruits her pal Laurie Rose as bait, has her swallow a tracking chip, allows her to be kidnapped, and intends to follow her to the heart of the operation. But the plan doesn't quite work out—cut to Caffaro and Rose bound, gagged, and at the mercy of bad men.

Things look dire at that point. There's not much upside in being tied up in a basement in nothing but your panties. However Caffaro and Rose have two advantages. First, they both know karate or something. And second, they both love sex. They don't even have to fake it. These two can get off even with the flabbiest villains. And if their martial arts and sexual prowess don't bring down the crooks, they have outside help from an entire government funded crimefighting organization. In short—they'll be just fine. The movie is less so. In the end you can say about it exactly what you can say about the other two entries in the Ginger McAllister series: it's bad but interesting; it's surprisingly equal opportunity with its nudity; and it showcases a uniquely brave actress in Caffaro. The Abductors premiered today in 1972.
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Femmes Fatales Jan 24 2024
SHORT ON AMMO
Looks like she's down to her last two bullets.

U.S. actress Cheri Caffaro is in full ’70s hair mode in this eye-catching open shirted promo image. Caffaro, you may remember from our previous visits with her, starred in such grindhouse filcks as Savage Sisters, Ginger, Girls Are for Loving, and The Abductors. We've discussed all of those except The Abductors, but we'll get to that one, as well as her 1977 actioner Too Hot To Handle. If you're wondering where she's posing above, with a solider in the background looking circumspectly in the opposite direction, that would be St. Thomas in the U.S. Virgin Islands, at a monument called Fort Christian in the town of Charlotte Amalie. The shot is from 1973. 

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Femmes Fatales Dec 14 2023
IN WITH DENEUVE
A different classification of star.


Above is a beautiful promo image of French icon Catherine Deneuve, who's considered by film buffs to be one of the best actresses of her era. Or possibly any era. Some of her acclaimed films include Repulsion, Belle du jour, Indochine, Le dernier métro, aka The Last Metro, and Les parapluies de Cherbourg, aka The Umbrellas of Cherbourg. She also established her cult cred in films like The Hunger. Always looking for the offbeat, we've watched her in Zig Zig and Hustle, the latter of which paired her with Burt Reynolds. For her work, which is ongoing, she's won two César Awards and been nominated for many more. And if that isn't enough, she also has legendary hair and can run really fast. The photo is from 1964. 

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Intl. Notebook Nov 6 2023
FORM VS. FUNCTION
When you've gotta go you've gotta go—inside your costume.


When you were a kid did you ever wonder how mermaids performed their bodily functions? We did too. And now that we're adults we wonder the same about actresses that play mermaids. The Pulp Intl. girlfriends seem to use the bathroom about every two hours, so assuming they're close to average in that department we can't imagine that shooting mermaid movies is a time efficient process. In this case, the performer shoehorned into a rubber tail is French/Italian actress Dominique Boschero, who did it for her 1963 film Mare matto, aka Mad Sea. We feel for her. It's a pretty simple mermaid outfit compared to Ann Blyth's in Mr. Peabody and the Mermaid, but still highly inconvenient, we suspect. We'll watch the movie to see if her discomfort was worth it. Meanwhile, more promo images below, and see another Boschero image here that we were first to put online way back in 2011. 

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Vintage Pulp Oct 2 2023
SAND AND SEX
Russ Meyer and Co. do it in the desert.


Above is a Japanese poster made for Cherry, Harry & Raquel, on which the local distributors splash that magical English word “Sex.” Twice we've discussed this practice and shared examples, here and here. The movie is one of numerous exploitation efforts from Russ Meyer, who graced American grindhouse cinemas with such dubious classics as Wild Gals of the Naked West, Motorpsycho!, Mondo Topless, Beyond the Valley of the Dolls, and Faster, Pussycat! Kill! Kill!

Cherry, Harry & Raquel deals with a bordertown sheriff and his sidekick who smuggle marijuana, and are instructed by their drug boss to kill a former partner who's gone into business on his own. The hunt-and-kill operation goes wrong, as the prey quickly becomes the predator. In Meyer's hands the film is something of a desertified hallucinogenic short, intercut with random scenes of nudity and seduction to stretch it to feature length. The sexual content is mostly played for laughs, and none of it is erotic. At least as far as we were concerned.

It was the poster and Meyer's name that drew us, and we were also a bit curious to check out b-movie legend Charles Napier in one of his earliest roles, but none of what we saw impressed us. When Meyer was on his game his movies could be entertaining. Faster Pussycat and Valley of the Dolls are both worth a watch just for their self-conscious silliness. But unless you're a Meyer completist, we recommend skipping Cherry, Harry & Raquel. It opened in the U.S. in 1969, and eventually reached Japan today in 1976.
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Vintage Pulp Sep 2 2023
ANIMAL DESIRE
Eclipse Books strips buyer motivations bare.


We just talked about Bruno Fischer's The Lustful Ape, but we're circling back to it to highlight this cover from Eclipse Books because it's an example of a brief trend in crime and adventure paperbacks of nude models on covers. We shared a few French examples seven years ago, and we have more we may compile into a post later. Obviously, the classic painted GGA covers sold sex too, but subtle like. Here Eclipse has stripped away the fig leaf of artfulness—along with everything else. Still, it's a nice bit of erotic photography.

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Next Page
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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