Vintage Pulp Nov 7 2019
THE WESTERN SIDE OF ITALY
Somewhere between Hollywood and Rome lay the wild frontier.


Above, numerous Italian posters for 1960s and 1970s westerns. Some of these movies were true spaghetti westerns (produced in Italy and shot in Europe, often Spain), while others are U.S. productions. All the imagery is beautiful. The artists responsible include Renato Casaro, Rodolfo Gasparri, Averardo Ciriello, Aller, aka Carlo Alessandrini, et al.

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Vintage Pulp Mar 11 2017
NUMB CHUCK
Been through the desert on a horse with no name.


It isn't the horse that has no name in the spaghetti western Ciakmull—L'uomo della vendetta, but the man. Probably that's true in the song too, though we've never given it serious thought. In any case, above you see a beautiful Rodolfo Gasparri promotional poster for the movie, which premiered in Italy today in 1970. The title means “Ciakmull—Man of Revenge,” but it was changed to The Unholy Four for the movie's English language release.
 
And what's unholy about the four characters referenced by the title? They're all lunatics to one degree or another, freed from a mental asylum when it was burned down by robbers as a diversion during a gold heist. The four nutjobs band together and what follows is formless Cormac McCarthyesque wandering until Ciakmull, who's amnesiac hence nameless, collides with his former life.
 
He learns he's actually Chuck Mool, a real bad hombre, and he has some scores to settle. You're thinking, Mool? Like from the Reno Mools? The Abilene Mools? What the hell kind of last name is that? Well, it isn't his last name. But he has one of those, and when it's revealed everything finally becomes clear. Or at least it's clear only if he's been told the truth. But what if somebody has lied to him about his identity? Well then all bets are off.
 
On the whole Ciakmull—L'uomo della vendetta is a pretty good spaghetti western, but maybe not a good movie. That's okay, though. Spaghetti westerns aren't supposed to be good. If they were, they'd have called them strangozzi al tartufo nero westerns. The movie slots into the genre perfectly—which is to say it's filled with gunplay, dust, horses, hard sun, five o'clock shadows, and lots of steely eyed glares. Give it a watch with cheesiness foremost in your mind and you may like it.

Does anyone here know my name? I'm hoping it's something insanely cool, like Beardy McMustache.
 
Ciakmull? That's horrendous. My hair is way too good for me to have a name like that.
 
I ain't fuckin' around here, buddy. Stop calling me that.
 
Wait. What? You're my sister? Holy shitballs, girl—you fine!
 
I know you haven't touched a woman in years, so I'm just gonna rub up on you a little. There. Isn't that nice?
 
This amnesia thing has its advantages, because I feel totally fine about what's happening in my Wranglers right now.
 
Did you see that? That was not a brother-sister type greeting. You saw that, right?
 
Yeah, we all saw it. Hey, Ciakmull? Buddy? Those chaps ain't doing a good job hiding that pup tent you got going.
 
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Vintage Pulp Nov 15 2015
SIGHTS TO BEHOLD
In the land of the blind the painter is king.

Above, two more posters for the spaghetti western Blindman, starring Tony Anthony and Ringo Starr. We talked about the movie last month on the day of its 1972 Japanese premiere. Its Italian premiere was a year earlier, today in 1971. These two great pieces were painted by Rodolfo Gasparri, yet another top notch Italian poster artist, whose work you've seen before on his nice promo for Klute. We'll have more from him later.

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Vintage Pulp Sep 29 2015
TOO KLUTE FOR WORDS
Fonda and Sutherland’s understated murder mystery remains a top film of the era.

This Italian poster was painted by Rodolfo Gasparri to promote the mystery/thriller Una squillo per l’ispettore Klute, which means “A call girl for Inspector Klute,” but was of course originally released in the U.S. as merely Klute. Jane Fonda won a best actress Oscar for her portrayal of the big city call girl Bree Daniel, Donald Sutherland received acclaim for his role as a soft-spoken rural detective, and the movie remains quite good, a game changer when it was released, and an enduring time capsule of 1960s culture turning the page to something different. If you haven’t seen it add it to the queue. Klute premiered in Italy today in 1971. 

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History Rewind
The headlines that mattered yesteryear.
January 22
1946—CIA Forerunner Created
U.S. president Harry S. Truman establishes the Central Intelligence Group or CIG, an interim authority that lasts until the Central Intelligence Agency is established in September of 1947.
1957—George Metesky Is Arrested
The New York City "Mad Bomber," a man named George P. Metesky, is arrested in Waterbury, Connecticut and charged with planting more than 30 bombs. Metesky was angry about events surrounding a workplace injury suffered years earlier. Of the thirty-three known bombs he planted, twenty-two exploded, injuring fifteen people. He was apprehended based on an early use of offender profiling and because of clues given in letters he wrote to a newspaper. At trial he was found legally insane and committed to a state mental hospital.
January 21
1950—Alger Hiss Is Convicted of Perjury
American lawyer Alger Hiss is convicted of perjury in connection with an investigation by the House unAmerican Activities Committee (HUAC), at which he was questioned about being a Soviet spy. Hiss served forty-four months in prison. Hiss maintained his innocence and fought his perjury conviction until his death in 1996 at age 92.
1977—Carter Pardons War Fugitives
U.S. President Jimmy Carter pardons nearly all of the country's Vietnam War draft evaders, many of whom had emigrated to Canada. He had made the pardon pledge during his election campaign, and he fulfilled his promise the day after he took office.
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