Vintage Pulp Jan 1 2009
SNAKE HARMER
Less Bang for your buck.

Night of the Cobra Woman, which opened in the U.S. today in 1972, wasn’t even remotely about top-billed actress Joy Bang getting it on with a snake, as the promo poster hints. No, the plot actually involves were-serpents—you know, people who turn into serpents. Seriously. And the lead is not Bang, but is actually African Amerian actress Marlene Clark, not deemed worthy of a place on the poster for reasons we can only guess. Meanwhile, a shoestring special effects budget denies us the thrill of believable snake transformations. But we do see a lot of Clark's flesh, and that, as they say, is at least something.

The film was shot in the Philippines, which gives it a gritty feel, but even though Philippine laws are notoriously lax concerning snake-on-girl action, it never actually occurs in the way implied on the promo. So basically, the filmmakers cruelly teased the snakes, then compounded this sin by violating truth-in-advertising laws. Had we been around in 1972, and had PETA been around, we’d have called them in, because it’s evil to give any creature blue balls, but particularly snakes, who have to slither around on them. Frankly, we expected more from an actress named Bang.

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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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