Vintage Pulp Sep 13 2010
MEAN PEOPLE SUCK
The rise and fall of the Roman vampire.

Japanese poster for the 1967 horror spoof The Fearless Vampire Killers, directed by Roman Polanski, and starring Jack McGowan, Polanski and Sharon Tate.  

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Hollywoodland Sep 4 2010
ETERNAL SUNSHINE
Thirty days of summer.


Summer is dwindling in the parts of the world that have actual seasons. As a reminder of everyone’s favorite time of year we’ve searched the internet and cobbled together a collection of thirty vintage images featuring some of yesteryear’s fittest femmes and hommes enjoying the sun, and sometimes each other. If you haven’t had a summertime moment like one of those below, there’s still time. Get to it. 

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Vintage Pulp Mar 30 2010
YEN FOR SUMMER
Living on Tokyo time.

Assorted frolicsome images from Japanese celeb magazines, with “Sharlon” Tate in panel four and Sylva Koscina in panel eleven.     

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Intl. Notebook Mar 4 2010
CLOTHES AND THE MAN
Kennedy artifacts pulled from Las Vegas exhibit.

The Los Angeles Police Department has apolo- gized to the family of Robert Kennedy and pulled from display items of clothing worn by the Senator the night he was shot in L.A. in 1968. The items—a tie, shirt, and jacket stained with blood—had been part of an exhibit hosted at the Palms Casino, and created for the 2010 California Homicide Investigators Assn. Conference.

The Kennedy family claims to have requested the return of Robert Kennedy’s effects more than ten years ago, to no avail, and called the LAPD’s official apology "insufficient." Department spokesmen claim to have been trying merely to put together a professional and educational display, not a “freakshow.” The exhibit does contain crime scene evidence rarely seen in public, including hundreds of photographs dating back as far one hundred years, but it also features sensational items such as the rope used to restrain Sharon Tate the night of her murder, and various O.J. Simpson artifacts.

Asked whether they would agree to the request made by the Kennedy family and return the items—a move that would comply with California state law regarding personal effects of murder victims—a spokeswoman for the L.A. County District Attorney’s office declined to answer in the affirmative about the potentially valuable collection, instead saying only that they were “looking into it.”

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Intl. Notebook Jan 31 2010
SURPRISING EXPLOITS
Even the ultra low-rent Exploiter is valuable as a window into history.

Here’s another issue of The Exploiter, from today in 1971. First off—and you’ll want to be sitting down for this—there’s no such thing as an orgy inspector. The story is actually about Ken Russell’s movie The Devils, and consists of stills from the set along with quotes stolen from interviews in better magazines. And concerning the Raquel Welch item, that story is about a movie too—her 1967 French comedy Les plus vieux métier du monde, aka The Oldest Profession. Inside The Exploiter you get more of the same cockteasing, including a story about Sharon Tate. But just when we were about to pronounce this issue a total loss, we reached a story entitled “Girl Killer Escapes from Prison.”

Apparently, in 1969 an eighteen-year-old girl named Margo Freshwater was sentenced to 99 years in prison for the murder of a Tennessee man named Hillman Robbins, Sr. He’d been shot five times in the head by Freshwater’s boyfriend as she stood by and watched. But not long after she was sent to the Tennessee Prison for Women in Nashville, Freshwater escaped (supposedly by sexually servicing the guards, but we take that with a grain of salt considering the highly dubious source). The Exploiter’s coverage ends there, like an old-fashioned cliffhanger: we know that Freshwater is at large, and that she achieved it by (maybe) blowing some guards.
 
Well, we were curious, so we used a handy new research tool called the Interweb—you may have heard of it—and discovered that, amazingly, Freshwater remained at large, established a new life as a model citizen, married, had children and even became a grandmother. Authorities finally tracked her down in 2002, arrested her in front of her shocked family, and sent her back to the same Tennessee prison from which she had escaped. In July of 2009 she was denied a new trial for the third time, and unless she gets a chance to face a jury and prove she was nothing more than a helpless witness to her boyfriend’s crime, it looks like she’ll be spending the rest of her life in jail.

So the lesson here is even the lowest rent tabloid—and The Exploiter is as low as they get—is worth reading from cover to cover because you never know what enlightening historical tidbits might be tucked inside. Oh, and crime doesn’t pay. That’s a lesson too. Well, it doesn’t pay unless you’re clever. Then you can get away with almost anything. Also, if you’re rich. You can pretty much call your own shots if you’re rich. Unless you screw a person or entity even richer than you. Then you might actually go to jail. But if you do, a blowjob or two can (allegedly) get you out. But only (we assume) if you're really good at it. If the moral complexity of all this is tiring, feel free to soothe your weary soul with a better version below of the Welch shot from The Exploiter’s cover. So Sunday isn’t a total loss.

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Hollywoodland Sep 28 2009
WEEKEND WORRIERS
Celebs found trouble in greater numbers than usual over the last three days.

Is it the end times? No, just another weekend in the world of pulp. It was hard to keep track of all the events that occurred. Most took the form of arrests. Actress Tawny Kitaen, who has looked much better than she does above left, was arrested for drunk driving in Newport Beach, California. She had recently appeared on a reality show called Celeb Rehab, and we think it’s safe to say she’s earned her spot on season two.

Meanwhile, over in Switzerland, Roman Polanski was arrested on an international warrant stemming from a 32-year-old statutory rape charge. U.S. authorities filed the warrant recently, but it must have slipped Polanski’s mind, because he was on his way to Zurich to receive an award at a film festival when he was pinched. So much for Swiss neutrality.

And in a development we’re sure Polanski is well aware of, two days ago Charles Manson follower Susan Atkins died in prison. Atkins was not present during the massacre of Polanski’s then-wife Sharon Tate and four others, but aided and abetted the murders of Rosemary and Leno LaBianca the next night.

And lastly over in desolate West Texas, actor Randy Quaid managed to get himself arrested along with his wife for skipping out on a hotel bill. He claims it was all a publicity stunt, which seems possible when you see how cheerful he is in the mug shot above right.

But we bet he wasn’t smiling when the prison guards stripped him naked and crawled all up in his body cavities with pitons and spelunking helmets. That's the way they do it in Texas—er, so we hear. This is not by any means a complete rundown of what happened since Friday, but we’re only two people here and that’s far too few to keep up with all the real world pulp going on. We wish all the celebrity jailbirds good luck.     

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Vintage Pulp Aug 12 2009
ACCIDENT WAITING TO HAPPEN
Pistolero loses second eye demonstrating how he lost the first.

This guy is just asking for it, right? Love the cover, though. We don’t know who painted it, but we know author Keith Luger wrote quite a few westerns and space operas for the Spanish imprint Bruguera. That makes perfect sense, because he was really Miguel Olivero Tovar from Valencia, Spain. Tovar/Luger was a big deal for about ten years, during which time he published many books, made time for a couple of screenplays, and saw three of his projects optioned into movies. More Luger books below, including one concerning Sharon Tate.

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The Naked City Aug 9 2009
THRILL KILL KULTS
Bye bye Miss American Pie.

Sharon Tate, Jay Sebring, Wojciech Frykowski, Abigail Folger and Steven Parent were murdered forty years ago today in Los Angeles, California. The killings took place just after midnight, and the bodies were discovered in the morning. Popular wisdom tells us this event brought a bloody end to the Summer of Love. As a rule, we don’t buy such easy labeling, but there’s no argument Tate was unusually lovely and her slaying while eight months pregnant was shocking, cruel and almost cosmically unfair. Her death also marked the beginning of the Sharon Tate and Charles Manson celebrity cults. The Tate cult consists of internet sites that rhapsodize over her beauty and talent, along with real-world victim advocacy groups determined to see that the Manson killers, and murderers in general, remain behind bars. And at the opposite end of the spectrum are the Manson fetishists, who mainly think he was innocent and who operate at least a few well-trafficked websites where crime scene photos are picked apart for supposed inconsistencies, and assorted straw man arguments are constructed and torn down. We were particularly fascinated by one forum dominated by a person who kept urging others to read up on the facts of “rigamortis.” Our view: if you posture as an expert on a subject, at least learn to spell it correctly. Below we offer up a selection of Manson/Tate images, and you can be sure we'll revisit this subject later.

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Hollywoodland Jun 16 2009
TATE WATCHERS
Sharon Tate became the most famous woman in the world—and all she had to do was die.

Confidential, June 1968, featuring Sharon Tate on the cover. When Tate died a year later she became much more famous than she had been while alive, due to the fact that she and her eight month-old unborn baby were among the victims of a mass murder by Charles Manson’s followers. For years tabloid covers featured Tate’s image along with exposés, or investigative reports attempting to prove she was killed by people other than the Manson family, or even wild stories about her being alive and well in Brazil. We have more of these covers, and will be posting them in the future. 

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Intl. Notebook Apr 12 2009
SMEAR FACTOR


April 1970 issue of Uncensored, with a different look from the 1950s version we posted previously. FYI, Alicia Purdom was the wife of British actor Edmund Purdom.  She claimed she had an affair with JFK in 1951, while they were both still single, and would have married him had not Joseph Kennedy stepped in and nixed their plans.

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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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