Vintage Pulp Apr 8 2009
RABID SEASON
Chambers of horror.


Marilyn Chambers doesn’t often get sufficient credit for what she did here—she made the first leap from porno vixen to mainstream lead. Yes, Rabid was low budget, but it was also general release, a modest hit, and pretty damn convincing as well, from both the acting and special effects standpoints. As a bonus, it features possibly the grimmest poster of all time. Plenty of adult actresses have tried to accomplish what Chambers did, including Sasha Grey in Steven Soderberg’s upcoming The Girlfriend Experience, but Chambers was the first and—based upon early word on The Girlfriend Experience—remains the best. Though Cronenberg has gone on to direct high-budget masterpieces like A History of Violence and Eastern Promises, Rabid remains a compulsory component of his catalogue. As for Chambers, she never really got another shot in a mainstream movie. The rest is (porno) history. Rabid premiered in the U.S. today in 1977.

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Vintage Pulp Feb 17 2009
EASTERN PROMISES
There will be bloodspray.

Anytime you get Reiko Ike in a flick, vital fluids will stain the walls. Furyô anego den: Inoshika Ochô, aka Sex & Fury, falls into a category generally known as “pinky violence” or “pinku”. Like yesterday’s Seijû gakuenaka, this film is a Norifumi Suzuki-conducted symphony of lesbian sex, shock-nudity and hyperviolent action. Near the mid-point Suzuki treats us to a sequence in which the heroine is surprised in the bath by eight Yakuza, but leaps from the tub and fights them naked. The vicious sword battle spills from the bath chamber into a courtyard, all in wonderfully choreographed slow motion, with arterial spray jetting hither and yon like water from the Bellagio Fountain. It’s one of the most famous and daring sequences in cinema history, and was echoed by David Cronenberg in his recent thriller Eastern Promises. You may notice that Reiko Ike is upstaged on the poster (and the black-bordered alternate version below) by a bare-breasted Christina Lindberg. Ms. Lindberg is a sexploitation queen who we’ll talk more about in the future. Furyô anego den: Inoshika Ochô premiered in Japan today in 1973.

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History Rewind
The headlines that mattered yesteryear.
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.
July 12
1971—Corona Sent to Prison
Mexican-born serial killer Juan Vallejo Corona is convicted of the murders of 25 itinerant laborers. He had stabbed each of them, chopped a cross in the backs of their heads with a machete, and buried them in shallow graves in fruit orchards in Sutter County, California. At the time the crimes were the worst mass murders in U.S. history.
July 11
1960—To Kill a Mockingbird Appears
Harper Lee's racially charged novel To Kill a Mockingbird is published by J.B. Lippincott & Co. The book is hailed as a classic, becomes an international bestseller, and spawns a movie starring Gregory Peck, but is the only novel Lee would ever publish.
1962—Nuke Test on Xmas Island
As part of the nuclear tests codenamed Operation Dominic, the United States detonates a one megaton bomb on Australian controlled Christmas Island, in the Indian Ocean. The island was a location for a series of American and British nuclear tests, and years later lawsuits claiming radiation damage to military personnel were filed, but none were settled in favor in the soldiers.
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