Vintage Pulp Jan 27 2024
THE MATRIX PT. 2
The return of the dragon.

A while back we shared two Italian posters for the Hong Kong action flick Tang shan da xiong, aka The Big Boss. Those were painted by Averado Ciriello, and one of them, with star Bruce Lee depicted as moving so fast he had seven blurry arms, brought to mind those moments in The Matrix when Neo and Mr. Smith fight at mindbending speed. We're looking today at more art from the movie. The above efforts—a finished poster and a preliminary study—were painted by Italian artist Giuliano Nistri for the film's British release by Crest Films. We included the study because we wanted to highlight a website that you should visit, where you can see more of the same and gain a greater appreciation for Nistri's work. It's at this link. Tang shan da xiong premiered in England today in 1971.

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Vintage Pulp Apr 13 2022
THE ANALOG MATRIX
You moved like they do. I've never seen anyone move that fast.


Usually when we share a foreign poster for a film it's because the foreign version is markedly better. The original poster for Bruce Lee's Hong Kong-produced martial arts thriller Tang shan da xiong is actually pretty nice, but the Matrix-like motion capture attempt on this Italian version is just too cool to ignore. In Italy the film was titled Il furore della Cina colpisce ancora, or “China's fury strikes again,” and the art is by Averado Ciriello. It's an inspired effort, which he almost equals on version two, at bottom. There are also two Japanese posters at this link, and it's here that we mention that the movie was titled in English The Big Boss and Fists (not Fist) of Fury.

Bruce Lee movies are not to be watched for their acting or complex plots, and the dialogue in this one is laugh-out-loud bad. The film is a morality play about Lee, an expert fighter, having promised his wise old uncle never to fight again because “violence is never the answer.” Of course he's immediately dropped into a pit of evil when his new job in an ice factory turns out to be a front for drug smuggling. His intervention in the racket comes exactly too late to help his cousin, who's murdered by the villains, but when he finally fights, it's with lightning quickness and almost mystical ability, as he lethally wades through hoards of baddies and cripples the smuggling enterprise single-handedly, or double-fistedly. Maybe violence is the answer after all.

But it isn't quite that easy. These traffickers didn't reach the top of the heap for nothing. Their continued commitment to violence demands that Lee either walk away or willingly descend into the same cycle. As always there's a final showdown with a crafty old karate master who pushes Lee to his limits. His moral progression from purity through temptation, corruption, shame, revenge, and consequences is cheesy but it's also very entertaining, and one thing is clear. He never needed digital help to dazzle the eye. He'd demonstrate his gifts in three more movies, then be gone, at the age of thirty-two, with his final film—his biggest hit Enter the Dragon—released posthumously. Tang shan da xiong premiered in Hong Kong in 1971 and reached Italy today in 1973.
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Modern Pulp Mar 22 2011
FIST FIGHTING
Whatever you call it, as long as it has Bruce Lee it’s all good.

Above, a never-before-seen-online poster for Bruce Lee’s Fist of Fury, made for the DVD release around 1999 or 2000. Fist of Fury should not be confused with Fists of Fury. The latter was released in 1971 and was better known in the U.S. as The Big Boss, whereas Fist of Fury was known as The Chinese Connection as well as The Iron Hand, and its Mandarin title was Jing mo mun and its Cantonese title was Jing wu men. Got all that? Great. Fist of Fury premiered in Hong Kong today in 1972. 

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History Rewind
The headlines that mattered yesteryear.
June 16
1961—Rudolph Nureyev Defects from Soviet Union
Russian ballet dancer Rudolf Nureyev defects at Le Bourget airport in Paris. The western press reported that it was his love for Chilean heiress Clara Saint that triggered the event, but in reality Nuryev had been touring Europe with the Kirov Ballet and defected in order to avoid punishment for his continual refusal to abide by rules imposed upon the tour by Moscow.
June 15
1978—Hussein Marries Halaby
King Hussein of Jordan, who had claimed direct lineage from the Prophet Muhammad and the most ancient tribe in the Arab world, marries American Lisa Halaby, who renounces her American citizenship, converts to Islam, and takes the name Queen Noor. Noor soon becomes one of the most glamorous and recognized royals in the world.
June 14
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.
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