The temperature in the Amazon just keeps going up.
This remarkable Japanese poster was made to promote a film called 空手アマゾネス, which was originally released in Italy as Le Amazzoni - Donne d'amore e di guerra, and also known in English as Battle of the Amazons, The 100 Fighting Amazons, and Karate Amazons. It was also known in Japan as Karate Amazones, as you can see by looking at the poster. It starred Lincoln Tate, Paola Tedesco, and Solvi Stubing, and that looks like Tedesco on the art getting some relief from the heat by going shirtless. We talked about this movie long ago. Feel free to have a look here. It was originally released in 1973, and reached Japan today in 1974.
A killer in black stalks Rome's fashionista set.
In Nude per l'assassino, aka Strip Nude for Your Killer there's a motorcycle helmeted serial killer on the loose and police have no idea who he is. The murderer first slaughtered a gynecologist whose most recent patient died of cardiac arrest during an abortion, but now the maniac is working his way through staff and talent at the Albatross Modeling Agency, killing women and men, catching many at their most vulnerable—i.e. naked. Suspects and clues are minimal. But hmm, let's see, how does a botched abortion tie into the other killings? Could it be.... revenge? Very likely. And what often happens in giallo when killers wear face-obscuring motorcycle helmets? Could it be... Well, we won't give it away, except to say the twist of who's under that helmet isn't a twist at all.
Near the end of the film there's a radio broadcast during which an announcer talks about the most recent murder. But first he reports on the government's “drastic new austerity measures.” We were fascinated to learn this was going on in Italy forty years ago. It didn't work then, and it doesn't work now. We can say the same about the movie. But while you won't find Nude per l'assassino on any list of top giallo films, it has some charms: Edwige Fenech, Femi Benussi, Solvi Stubing, and Erna Schurer. We've been pretty lazy about the giallo genre over the years, but watching this movie made us decide to remedy that. We're going to check out some of the better giallo flicks and report back. Nude per l'assassino premiered in Italy today in 1975.
Justice is blind, but it can still shoot straight.
This nice poster was made for the 1971 spaghetti western Blindman, a forgotten classic in an inherently cheesy genre. Tony Anthony plays a nameless blind gunman out to rescue fifty European women promised as brides to a group of miners in Lost Creek, Texas, but who were instead kidnapped to Mexico by a gang of bandits. Anthony channels Clint Eastwood, but we don’t mind because he does determined menace passably well, helped in his portrayal by a pair of creepy blind guy contact lenses from the prop department. How he can successfully aim at his quarries in order to aerate them is never addressed, but really, why bother to question it? It’s all good fun, especially because one of the main villians is Ringo Starr, and some of the fifty brides include Agneta Eckemyr, Krista Nell, Janine Reynaud, and Solvi Stubing, who’s certainly worth killing for. Shootouts, fistfights, explosions, and a double-cross or two equal spaghetti western gold. Blindman premiered in Japan today in 1971.
My eyes are up here, people.
Above, an eye-opening photo of German actress Solvi Stubing, one of the great sex symbols of Italian cinema. Her film career began in 1964, and included appearances in Nude per l'assassino, aka Strip Nude for Your Killer, Le deportate della sezione speciale SS, aka Deported Women of the SS Special Edition, and Le amazzoni, aka Battle of the Amazons (we wrote about that one here). This photo is from the French magazine Sexyrama, 1970.
Once upon a rain forest dreary.
From the immortal director Alfonso Brescia, who gave humanity films such as Super Stooges vs. the Wonder Women and Kill Rommel!, comes Le amazzoni - donne d'amore e di guerra, aka Battle of the Amazons. As you’ve no doubt guessed, it’s a sword and sandal epic, shot in Italy and starring an international cast of b-level actors, including Lincoln Tate, Lucretia Love, Paola Tedesco, and Solvi Stubing. In the film, a group of villagers hire some thieves to help defend against a band of Amazons.
You’ve seen this plot before when it was called The Magnificent Seven, or better yet Seven Samurai, but unfortunately, the only magnificent aspects of Amazzoni are the various scantily clad women. These warriors are hot, but also exceedingly mean. They kill their own wounded, torture people in various diabolical ways, and run roughshod over the nearby peasants like a band of neocons, appropriating whatever or whomever they desire.
When the thieves and villagers make their mutual defense pact, we get a little culture clash comic relief to lighten the tone, which is good because the entire film is so dark it looks like it was shot through a pair of welding goggles. Eventually the fun and games end and we’re off to a climactic final battle, the outcome of which we won’t spoil except to say that in a movie with an anti-feminist subtext, things are not likely to end well for queen ballbuster. The above poster was produced for the film’s Italian premiere today in 1973, and you can see the original trailer here.
There's nothing like a summer romance to make an old man feel young.
This poster for Nudisti all'isola di Sylt was made for the Italian run of a West German movie called Heißer Sand auf Sylt, known in English as The New Life Style (Just to Be Love) and Naked and Free... The New Life Style. It's about a group of hipsters who head to the British seaside for some partying, drugs, and good clean promiscuous sex. The group is surprised when Renate von Holt hooks up with middle aged square Horst Tappert and the two hit it off. Their romance is genuine and idyllic, but Tappert doesn't like von Holt's friends, and they don't like him. Eventually the counterculture clique is exposed as shallow and uncaring, but at the same time von Holt's and Tappert's May/December romance starts to develop generational cracks.
The movie makes attempts at comedy, but the plot is mostly serious, and comes with a moral: youth will reject what it's offered in favor of kicks and thrills. Pretty obvious. The point is really to show lots of skin. That skin is notable because the women are uniformly gorgeous. Von Holt, Babsi Zimmermann, and Uschi Mood are major beauties. There's also a quick peek at Solvi Stubing, who later became more famous than all of them. This roster of lovely women is the only reason to expend any time here (though Jake la Motta and Rocky Graziano appear in the U.S. version, which could be a draw for boxing fans). Nudisti all'isola di Sylt doesn't have an Italian release date, but it premiered in West Germany today in 1968. Von Holt, Zimmermann, Mood, and Stubing appear, in that order, below.
On the Ege of survival.
Above are selected pages from an October 1972 issue of The National Police Gazette, with cover star Solvi Stubing, who appeared in many films, including Strip Nude for Your Killer, Pussycat Pussycat I Love You, and Yearning for Love. You also get Norwegian beauty Julie Ege in the centerspread. The Ege shots are handouts, part of a larger set that had appeared a year earlier in the Swedish magazine FIB Aktuellt leading up to her starring role in Creatures the World Forgot. To prepare for the movie she supposedly spent a weekend on a deserted island, alone save for a photographer documenting her experience—i.e., here’s Julie gathering wood while wearing only a loincloth, and here’s Julie gnawing on some hearts of palm she’s managed to forage, etc. All in all, we think it was one of the cleverest publicity stunts ever. Producers of Survivor take note—loincloths for everyone. But we digress. We’ve re-posted clearer versions of some of the Gazette’s borrowed images below, and perhaps down the line we’ll even post the entire FIB Aktuellt shoot. In the meantime, you can see one more Ege photo here.
The headlines that mattered yesteryear.
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.
1964—Warren Commission Issues Report
The Warren Commission, which had been convened to examine the circumstances of John F. Kennedy's assassination, releases its final report, which concludes that Lee Harvey Oswald, acting alone, killed Kennedy. Today, up to 81% of Americans are troubled
by the official account of the assassination.
1934—Queen Mary Launched
The RMS Queen Mary, three-and-a-half years in the making, launches from Clydebank, Scotland. The steamship enters passenger service in May 1936 and sails the North Atlantic Ocean until 1967. Today she is a museum and tourist attraction anchored in Long Beach, U.S.A.
1983—Nuclear Holocaust Averted
Soviet military officer Stanislav Petrov, whose job involves detection of enemy missiles, is warned by Soviet computers that the United States has launched a nuclear missile at Russia. Petrov deviates from procedure, and, instead of informing superiors, decides the detection is a glitch. When the computer warns of four more inbound missiles he decides, under much greater pressure this time, that the detections are also false. Soviet doctrine at the time dictates an immediate and full retaliatory strike, so Petrov's decision to leave his superiors out of the loop very possibly prevents humanity's obliteration. Petrov's actions remain a secret until 1988, but ultimately he is honored at the United Nations.
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