Vintage Pulp Aug 28 2020
SPY VS. SPY
Low rent Bond imitation withers in comparison to its inspiration.


By the time the mid-1960s rolled around movie studios the world over were imitating James Bond. The film Ypotron, aka Agente Logan - missione Ypotron, which was released in Italy today in 1966, was one of the worst imitators. It's inept in all aspects, especially the slide guitar soundtrack that might make you bury yourself somewhere in the back yard. But then you'd miss lines of dialogue like, “I don't specialize in making speeches. I use bullets.” Yes, it's bad. It is bad-good? That depends on you, since you'll have to provide all the actual entertainment. But good or bad we wanted to share the above Italian promo poster painted by Ezio Tarantelli, which is good-good. You can see more Tarantelli here, and another poster for Ypotron at the top of this post.

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Vintage Pulp May 13 2020
X-RATED ACTION
Who was that masked man?


The COVID-19 epidemic—and particularly a quarantine order that has covered where we live—has forced us to deal with severely diminished social activity, which we've done by placing more content on Pulp. Intl. It's kept us busy, and today marks the sixty-sixth straight day of posts—by far an all-time record. But even boredom has its limits, and after today we're going to ramp back down to a normal posting schedule, which means an occasional day off, including tomorrow. And maybe the next. So we'll have to make sure today is particularly full. To that end, we have three movies to discuss. Read on.

Above you see a beautiful poster for Mister-X, a wannabe high style Italian spy movie along the lines of Diabolik or James Bond. Basically, a legendary retired thief comes out of the woodwork to stop a copycat who's committed a cruel murder. Naturally, his investigation uncovers a much deeper plot. The movie stars Pier Paolo Capponi acting under the pseudonym Norman Clark, with Gaia Germani as his slinky, fashion forward sidekick.

Best line: “I hope you'll accept my apologies for the frisk but there's an ancient proverb that says: the enemies of my enemies are my enemies.”

We've never heard that particular proverb, but there are a lot of things about Mister-X that are off kilter. It's another one of those films that was supposed to be sleek and clever but was upended by a dearth of talent. For us, it was mainly Germani and the pretty Capri setting that sustained our interest long enough to see the villain die screaming like a schoolgirl. But hardcore fans of euro b-cinema will probably find more here to enjoy than we did. Mister-X premiered in Italy today in 1967.
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Femmes Fatales Jul 1 2016
GAIA THEORY
It's all about natural balance.


The Gaia theory suggests that organisms interact with the inorganic world to form a synergistic system that maintains the conditions for life on Earth. None of that has anything to do with Italian actress Gaia Germani, née Giovanna Giardina, save that she's part of that synergistic system, and a particularly good part. Her film career included the 1965 spy movie OSS 77—Operazione fior di loto, 1967's Bang Bang, and 1974's Seduzione coniugale, which we talked about here. This photo is from around 1970. 

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Vintage Pulp May 18 2016
ART OF SEDUCTION
Scenes from a Roman marriage.


1960s and 1970s Italian poster art is consistently great. Even obscure pieces are beautiful. The above locandina style promo is for the drama Seduzione coniugale, which means “marital seduction,” and starred Gabrielle Tinti and Rosemarie Lindt in the story of spouses who hit a rough patch, resulting in the wife enjoying sexual extra- curriculars with a hairy young judo instructor, while the husband scores with the less hairy but more beautiful Gaia Germani. He pays dearly for his straying, though. In fact, you could say he hits another rough patch—at high speed and with irreversible consequences. Directed by Daniel Franco with an excess of style, and assisted by a dreamy title track that's a minor classic of the Italian sexploitation genre, the film is a curiosity but we can't really recommend much about it beyond Germani and the promo poster. It premiered in Italy today in 1974. 

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History Rewind
The headlines that mattered yesteryear.
September 30
1955—James Dean Dies in Auto Accident
American actor James Dean, who appeared in the films Giant, East of Eden, and the iconic Rebel without a Cause, dies in an auto accident at age 24 when his Porsche 550 Spyder is hit head-on by a larger Ford coupe. The driver of the Ford had been trying to make a left turn across the rural highway U.S. Route 466 and never saw Dean's small sports car approaching.
1962—Chavez Founds UFW
Mexican-American farm worker César Chávez founds the United Farm Workers in California. His strikes, marches and boycotts eventually result in improved working conditions for manual farm laborers and today his birthday is celebrated as a holiday in eight U.S. states.
September 29
1916—Rockefeller Breaks the Billion Barrier
American industrialist John D. Rockefeller becomes America's first billionaire. His Standard Oil Company had gained near total control of the U.S. petroleum market until being broken up by anti-trust legislators in 1911. Afterward, Rockefeller used his fortune mainly for philanthropy, and had a major effect on medicine, education, and scientific research.
September 28
1941—Williams Bats .406
Ted Williams of the Boston Red Sox finishes the Major League Baseball season with a batting average of .406. He is the last player to bat .400 or better in a season.
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