Modern Pulp Apr 29 2009
HOTEL HELL
Hello, desk? There’s some sort of loud disturbance next door in room 666.


A couple of days ago we were riffing on a movie called The Beyond, aka Spirit City of the Damned, aka Seven Doors of Death, and showed you the colorful Thai poster. By contrast, the sinister and almost monochromatic promo art you see above accompanied the film’s earlier Italian release as E tu vivrai nel terrore—L'aldilà. The story concerns a hotel perched atop an entrance to hell (hope that isn’t giving too much away), but of course when Catriona MacColl inherits the property she doesn’t know anything about that and thinks she’s actually getting a sweet deal. But the difficulties of maintaining a dead & breakfast soon prove overwhelming, not least because staff turnover in a place inhabited by demons can be pretty high (though heating bills are low). L'aldilà is a bit incoherent, truth told, and the fx are clunky even by 1981 standards, but it does possess unbridled exuberance thanks to the unflinching direction of Lucio Fulci. That’s all we’ll say about the film, except that there’s a character here named Joe the Plumber who meets a gory death, so depending on your political beliefs, this could be a must-see. L'aldilà premiered in Italy today in 1981.

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Modern Pulp Apr 27 2009
RESIDENT EVIL
In real estate the key is location, location, location.


There’s almost nothing not to love about this Thai poster, with its rich colors, baroque text, and gory overload of evil. It’s for an Italian horror flick called E tu viviaine terrore—L’aldilà. If your Italian is rusty, that translates to something like And You Will Live in Terror—The Beyond, which was changed for the German release to Die Geisterstadt der Zombies, which means Spirit City of the Zombies. It hit the Netherlands next and the title was changed again, this time to Hotel der Verdoemden. When the film reached American shores, it was edited down a bit and called Seven Doors of Death. So an evil which once encompassed the entire beyond saw its grip reduced to one measly spirit city, then to just a lowly hotel, and finally to a suite of rooms, where it watched a lot of pay-per-view porn and rarely showered. But, like economies, evil always bounces back—it earned a release in Thailand, where it was re-titled The Beyond, and it rejoiced mightily at regaining its former stature. There's a clear lesson about perseverance in this saga, and as our global economic crisis continues, we suggest you follow evil's example. On a factual note, we have no idea exactly what date the film premiered in Thailand, but even without that info we were going to post something Thai today, mainly because someone mentioned lemongrass soup earlier. So there you go—a little glimpse inside the editorial process here.

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History Rewind
The headlines that mattered yesteryear.
March 29
1951—The Rosenbergs Are Convicted of Espionage
Americans Ethel and Julius Rosenberg are convicted of conspiracy to commit espionage as a result of passing nuclear secrets to the Soviet Union. While declassified documents seem to confirm Julius Rosenberg's role as a spy, Ethel Rosenberg's involvement is still a matter of dispute. Both Rosenbergs were executed on June 19, 1953.
March 28
1910—First Seaplane Takes Flight
Frenchman Henri Fabre, who had studied airplane and propeller designs and had also patented a system of flotation devices, accomplishes the first take-off from water at Martinque, France, in a plane he called Le Canard, or "the duck."
1953—Jim Thorpe Dies
American athlete Jim Thorpe, who was one of the most prolific sportsmen ever and won Olympic gold medals in the 1912 pentathlon and decathlon, played American football at the collegiate and professional levels, and also played professional baseball and basketball, dies of a heart attack.
March 27
1958—Khrushchev Becomes Premier
Nikita Khrushchev becomes premier of the Soviet Union. During his time in power he is responsible for the partial de-Stalinization of the Soviet Union, and presides over the rise of the early Soviet space program, but his many policy failures lead to him being deposed in October 1964. After his removal he is pensioned off and lives quietly the rest of his life, eventually dying of heart disease in 1971.
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