Intl. Notebook May 11 2024
ASKED BUT NOT ANSWERED
Enquiring minds want to know, but people can't always get what they want.


Tabloids are our thing. We've talked quite a bit about how influential they were during the 1950s. Apparently, considering the revelation that a recent presidential candidate depended upon one to catch and kill stories that could harm his campaign, they still are. This National Enquirer hit newsstands today in 1958. The cover has a rare shot of Ireland born actress Maureen O'Hara, who says she doesn't have a lot offer but wants a man around the house. She had plenty to offer, but she'd been divorced for around five years, so the headline makes sense. We'd have bought this but some joker wanted eighty bucks for it, which made milk come out our noses, we laughed so hard. We generally get our tabloids for fifteen, and the ones we choose are usually far more colorful than this early-period Enquirer.

We wonder if the ask was so high due to the paper's current newsworthiness. The whole situation is interesting, because unlike old top-tier tabloids like Confidential and Whisper that often uncovered inconvenient truths, the newer interations generally just make everything up, which places them closer to satire than news. Even so, tabloids remain the traditional last stop for people wanting to sell sensational stories, but who've been turned away by more ethical publications, which means facts occasionally land on tabloid editors' desks. Former Enquirer head David Pecker understood that, has testified during the ongoing Donald Trump hush money/finance disclosure trial that he expected it to happen, and, as it turns out, he was correct in spades.

Politics is a dirty business, but politicians are generally pretty square. Enquirer wouldn't have found itself in a position to help 95% of them, but for a serial cheat and swindler like Donald Trump (fact, not opinion), whose flaws have been famously described as “fractal” (i.e. inside his flaws are more flaws, ad infinitum into bottomless, kaleidoscopic eternity), Enquirer was uniquely able to weight the electoral scales. Pecker must have felt a tremendous sense of power. We would have. The politics-journalism nexus hinges upon access, and having access in D.C—basically being an insider—is like being an insider in Hollywood, but with the added heady sensation of being in the center of world-shaping events. It must really be something to have the president's ear.

We'd give a lot to have been in some of those Enquirer interview sessions, especially the Karen McDougal ones. A year after McDougal was made Playmate of the Year, PSGP (one of your two Pulp boys) started as a temporary hire at Playboy Entertainment Group and rose to have an office and a staff, before chucking it and running away to Guatemala. So there's a six degrees of separation aspect to it for him. It's a shame Enquirer killed McDougal's and Stormy Daniels' stories. Tabloids are part of the dark underbelly of U.S. culture. They've always catered to prurient interests. And reveled in it. But hiding prurience? That's low. In a rational world that would cost Enquirer the actual designation “tabloid.” We'll talk to the National Association for Tabloid Oversight (the other NATO) about that. Oh right—it doesn't exist. Well, it should.

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Vintage Pulp Apr 26 2024
LAY DETECTOR
Every top notch private investigator knows the best clues are found in bed.


We wanted to show you another poster painted by John Solie, who was responsible for numerous blaxploitation, sexploitation, and action promos, all executed at the extremely high level you see here with his one sheet for Stacey. His other notable efforts include those for The Arena, Star Crash, Hit Man, and Hollywood Boulevard. You can click his keywords at bottom to see everything we've shared from him.

Naturally we watched Stacey and it's a cheesy detective tale starring erstwhile Playboy centerfold Anne Randall, who plays a model-turned-private dick hired to investigate a rich woman's extended family before any of them are allowed to be included in her will. Randall arrives just in time for intrigue and murder. Private investigators need to possess a Class C license in order to legally take on clients. The C on Randall's license probably stands for “casual sex.”

Even so, there's not much here. The detective elements are uninspiring despite a noir style voiceover, and the sexual elements, even with Randall and co-star Anitra Ford in occasional undress, are not going to blow your skirt up. To put the overall nothingness of the movie in perspective, consider the fact that we couldn't find a copy with sharp enough resolution to make screenshots worthwhile, nor enough official production photos to make them worth sharing. That's how much of a historical afterthought it is.

In lieu of imagery you could use your imagination, but we recommend not bothering. Stacey resides at the low end of grindhouse cinema characterized by numerous bold and outrageous entries. In our opinion it's notable only for being the first exploitation effort by director Andy Sidaris, who would go on to helm boobalicious ’80s throwaways such as Malibu Express, Hard Ticket to Hawaii, and Savage Beach. Stacey premiered in the U.S. this month in 1973.

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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 27 2024
ZINSATIONAL
A new twist on a classic art form.


The two items above serve as interesting examples of how long Technicolor lithographs were manufactured in the U.S. We've seen and shared examples from as far back as 1952, but the two above feature Pamela Zinszer, who modeled and acted during the early 1970s and was a Playboy centerfold in March 1974. We've gotten used to calling these Technicolor lithos because of the printing process, but we can't be sure ones as late as these used that method. We'll stick with the terminology, though. See plenty more Technicolor lithos by clicking the keywords just below.

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Femmes Fatales Dec 29 2023
ALL THAT GLITTERS
No, she's not gold. She's something far better.


This Christmas themed image of Algerian born Italian star Edwige Fenech was made in 1976 while she was filming the comedy Cattivi pensieri, known in English as Evil Thoughts. She actually does in the film exactly what you see here, posing and dancing on a table while covered in holiday glitter, before being whisked off to bed by co-star Luc Merenda for some hazy focus softcore sex. Don't let that entice you into watching the movie, though. Fenech is a wonder, but she's done far better stuff.

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Femmes Fatales Nov 25 2023
CAUGHT IN HER NETS
If she was fishing for compliments she probably got them.


Danish actress Kirsten Lindholm strikes an interesting pose in this promo image made around 1970. Acting under her own name and as Kirsten Betts, she had small roles in seven movies, including The Love Factor, Crescendo, Twins of Evil, The Vampire Lovers, and Lust for a Vampire. Four of those were horror flicks made by Hammer Studios, which is why she's remembered by cult movie fans as a “Hammer horror babe,” which is like being a James Bond girl but with more blood and screaming. She was also a model, and turned up at one point in Playboy, which made occasional use of this pose, as we've seen previously with Dolores Donlon. We've not yet screened a Lindholm/Betts movie during our long pulp project, but that's probably inevitable. Expect to see her again.

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Femmes Fatales Nov 12 2023
A VERY HOT TUB
The most eco-friendly way to boil water.


The above photo and those below show the lovely U.S. model and singer Colleen Farrington, who we saw on a paperback cover not long ago. There are many frames from this session floating around online, and over time we developed a narrative about them. In our heads Farrington was a little nervous at first, and was like, “Maybe a drink and a smoke will relax me.” Ten minutes later: “Let's show it all!” She even went so far as to give a glimpse of what was most assuredly a massive bush. Farrington became Playboy's October 1957 centerfold—which was around the time these images were made—and about eight years later brought into the world Diane Lane, whose movie The Big Town we discussed last year.

Publishing nude actresses brings criticism our way occasionally. We received such an e-mail a while back when we mentioned feminist themes in Leslie Ford's fiction and posted a Reiko Ike nude on the same day, a juxtaposition which we admit invites scrutiny. The e-mail, which actually was mostly positive, suggested that female nudity is exploitative unless, perhaps, shot by other women. We disagree with that perspective, but it at least tacitly acknowledges the validity of erotic photography. There are some out there who see female nudity as exploitative no matter who shoots it, and believe that the concept of artistic nudity is just a fig leaf for the same old gender repression. But as we've said before, when artful nudity becomes taboo, control over what constitutes normal sex is ceded to the porn industry. How's that working out?

We think whether a nude female image is exploitative depends on myriad considerations: who made it and when; who financed it and what was paid, if anything; who appeared in it and why; whether they appeared willingly (even if it was only for money); what the art was trying to depict or say; the context in which it was disseminated or displayed;and whether it succeeded purely as a discrete piece of art. With all those factors in play, it's easier to just condemn everything. The final consideration, though, is key: the successful execution of the piece. Good art, as long as it was never intended to harm or subjugate, immediately or eventually sheds cultural criticisms like a duck sheds water.

Sexual desire is encoded in our DNA. Erotic art will rebound from the new puritanism and will always exist, but with the inclusion of fresh points of view. Arguably, it's already happening. Art is an appropriate realm for exploring sexual ideas. Erotic photography is pulp-related due to the sexual subtext of so much pulp literature and film noir, the evolution of men's adventure magazines into nudie mags, and the popularity of cheesecake pin-ups. The relationship between sexual subtext and a nude is exactly the same as the relationship between a word, and a definition of that word. We offer some definitions here at Pulp Intl. and will continue making the connection between what is hinted at versus what can shown, even if for the time being sharing nudes means we're swimming upstream.

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Femmes Fatales Oct 25 2023
AN ARCHER'S FORM
She shot an arrow into the air, it fell to Earth— Well, nobody knows where because they weren't watching the arrow.


Japanese actress Maria Mari poses with a fancy Nishizawa recurved archery bow, which like the arrow she shot nobody is bothering to pay an iota of attention to. It's understandable. Mari looks quite beautiful and slender here in this photo from 1980. The image is part of a series of seven published in Weekly Playboy featuring different actresses posed with sports and recreation gear. You'll be seeing the other shots as the months roll onward. In the meantime you can see a bit more Mari here and here

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Femmes Fatales Oct 7 2023
SLEIGHT OF HANDS
Abracadabra! Bim-skala-bim! Wherever my clothes were sent, return them from where they went!


This photo from an issue of Weekly Playboy features Japanese model Yuko Sugiyama looking a bit witchy, which fits for this time of year, if you happen to celebrate Halloween. Normally we only feature shots of actresses, which she never was as far as we know, but we like the image so much we thought we'd use it anyway. It's from 1968.

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Vintage Pulp Sep 18 2023
FARRINGTON ENOUGH
Horwitz Publications perfectly red the paperback market.


For a while we were tracking the possibly unlicensed usage by Australian imprint Horwitz Publications of celebrities on its paperback covers. We fell down on the job a bit. The last one we looked at was two years ago.
 
The red-haired model used above on Carter Brown's thriller No Halo for Hedy is Playboy centerfold and nightclub performer Colleen Farrington, who was the mother of actress Diane Lane. The book originally appeared in 1956, and the above reprint came in 1959. This photo used for the cover is rare. We've seen no other shot of Farrington in these capri pants. Presumably, at one point multiple frames from the session existed, but time disposes of such items. However, it can't diminish the beauty of this cover. You can see all of our Horwitz celeb covers by clicking here.

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Next Page
History Rewind
The headlines that mattered yesteryear.
May 22
1942—Ted Williams Enlists
Baseball player Ted Williams of the Boston Red Sox enlists in the United States Marine Corps, where he undergoes flight training and eventually serves as a flight instructor in Pensacola, Florida. The years he lost to World War II (and later another year to the Korean War) considerably diminished his career baseball statistics, but even so, he is indisputably one of greatest players in the history of the sport.
May 21
1924—Leopold and Loeb Murder Bobby Franks
Two wealthy University of Chicago students named Richard Loeb and Nathan Leopold, Jr. murder 14-year-old Bobby Franks, motivated by no other reason than to prove their intellectual superiority by committing a perfect crime. But the duo are caught and sentenced to life in prison. Their crime becomes known as a "thrill killing", and their story later inspires various works of art, including the 1929 play Rope by Patrick Hamilton, and Alfred Hitchcock's 1948 film of the same name.
May 20
1916—Rockwell's First Post Cover Appears
The Saturday Evening Post publishes Norman Rockwell's painting "Boy with Baby Carriage", marking the first time his work appears on the cover of that magazine. Rockwell would go to paint many covers for the Post, becoming indelibly linked with the publication. During his long career Rockwell would eventually paint more than four thousand pieces, the vast majority of which are not on public display due to private ownership and destruction by fire.
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