Vintage Pulp Dec 1 2023
TRIPLE TROUBLE
Three times the danger, three times the fun.


We talked about Reiko Ike's 1974 pinky violence flick Kyôfu joshi kôkô: Animal dôkyôsei—known in English as Terrifying Girls High School: Animal Courage—a long while ago, but we wanted to highlight this rare promo in tateken format. You can see the original poster and learn a bit about the film here.

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Vintage Pulp Sep 22 2023
TOKYO DRIFTERS
Oshida and her friends run riot in the capital.

We're sticking with Japanese posters today. Here's one for the 1970 pinky violence flick Zubekô banchô: yume wa yoru hiraku, aka Tokyo Bad Girls, aka Delinquent Girl Boss: Blossoming Night Dreams. We showed you two other promos for this film, which were the standard and always fun tateken sizes. This is a rare bo-ekibari. 

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Vintage Pulp Sep 14 2023
PEONY DREADFUL
This flower is toxic—to thieves and killers.


We've been on a movie binge, so we have one to discuss for the third day in a row. Above is a poster for the 1968 action-drama Hibotan bakuto, aka Red Peony Gambler. It's fair to call the film a classic. It was directed by the legendary Norifumi Suzuki, and starred Junko Fuji and Ken Takakura. Fuji plays a wandering gambler seeking retribution for her father, who was murdered by an unknown bandit. The killer left behind one clue—a distinctive cloth wallet that Fuji now carries with her. Ultimately she finds her father's killer. No surprise there—that's the entire point. But revenge, unsurprisingly, is more complicated than she'd imagined.

When a movie spawns multiple sequels it's a safe bet it's good, and this one had seven follow-ups. Hibotan bakuto has nearly everything you want from a sword opera. The choreographed action, while not fully convincing, is fun. The direction and cinematography are excellent. And Fuji crafts an interesting performance, staring unblinkingly into the middle distance, looking grim, exuding a compelling coolness and self-containment. Overall, we found the movie very worthwhile. We'll check out at least one or two of the sequels and report back. Hibotan bakuto premiered in Japan today in 1968.
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Vintage Pulp Aug 12 2023
TOP GERIRA
Zero to crazy in under ninety minutes.


We first shared a poster for the pinky violence movie Sukeban gerira, aka Girl Boss Guerrilla, years ago and said at that time we'd get around to talking about the movie. We subsequently shared a tateken style poster, but still didn't get around to the film itself. Well, it's finally later. Eleven years later, to be exact. We refreshed our memory with a new screening last night, and to accompany today's thoughts we're sharing a rare bo-ekibari style poster of this classic pinky violence actioner from Toei Company.

Miki Sugimoto and three friends, who comprise the small but spirited Red Helmet Motorcycle Gang, take a trip from Tokyo to Kyoto to see if they can hustle up some yen by whatever means they can manage—grifts, graft, blackmail, whatever. They make some cash but quickly run afoul of Ryôko Ema of the Kyogoku Group, head boss of all Kyoto's girl gangs, which leads to a Ryôko-Miki showdown for control of the city. Our advice: never fight in flip-flops. But then again, we're not as tough as Miki. She loses her flip flops, but wins the fight.

There's always a set of bad men in the background of a pinky violence movie, and it turns out that though Kyoto's girl gangsters are now under Miki's hard won control, all operate under the umbrella of the Tsutsui Gang, who are basically the Kyoto branch of the yakuza. Miki has to give regular tribute to the boys, obey the rules, or pay the price. She'swilling to toe the line, but her situation is quickly complicated when she makes a new pal played by Reiko Ike, who's disinclined to obey anybody, but particularly the local yakuza clan, one of whose higher ups is her big brother.

Along the way to settling this mess you get fights, captures, torture, and nudity. Comedy and romance are part of the equation too, as is a bit of social commentary (a Red Helmet girl picking up gonorrhea from a priest is particularly biting). In the end a final throwdown is inevitable but how it turns out is anyone's guess. Nothing is guaranteed in a pinky violence movie—well, except violence.

Pinky violence movies can be fun, but the misses tend to be well wide of the mark, if not psychologically disturbing. Sukeban gerira is a nice example of the genre. It's wild, but never quite to the extent that it makes you want to run from the room. An excellent moment comes just a few minutes in, when Sugimoto aggressively bares a tattooed breast at a set of macho assholes, causing them to physically recoil. That sums up the best pinky violence: a new brand of feminine power that overcame any opposition set against it. Sukeban gerira premiered today in 1972.
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Vintage Pulp Jun 13 2023
GIRLS GONE BAD
They're a hell of a lot of trouble.


Above: an alternate poster in tateken format for a movie we highlighted last year—Sanbiki no mesubachi, aka Three Pretty Devils. It starred Reiko Ohara, Junko Natsu, and Yoko Ichiji, and preimiered in Japan today in 1970. See what we wrote about it here

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Vintage Pulp May 24 2023
SLICE AND DICE
She's someone you really don't want to cross.

Above: two excellent posters for Onna shikaku manji, aka Mankiller, aka Eternal Killer Woman, which premiered today in 1969 starring Junko Miyazuno. You notice the swastika-looking graphic and the simlar tattoo on Junko's thigh? It's actually a symbol that predates Adolf and the Hitlerians, as we explained a while back at this post. We've had these posters for several years but had no luck finding the movie, so we finally gave up and decided to just upload the art. We think it's worth sharing even without info about the film, and hopefully you think so too. 

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Femmes Fatales Apr 28 2023
LETHAL WEAPONS 5
We deal in human slaughter. But when the killing business is slow we also hire out to open Champagne bottles at parties.

We ran across this menacing promo image online showing the titular quintet of delinquent girl bosses from Delinquent Girl Boss: Worthless To Confess, originally titled Zubekô banchô: zange no neuchi mo nai, and which premiered in Japan today in 1971. Reiko Oshida is front and center, flanked by Yukie Kagawa, Mieko Tsudoi, Masumi Tachibana, and Yumiko Katayama. We've shared plenty of promo art from the film, and discussed what it's about. You can see all that by clicking its keywords below. And if you get the urge to be trendy and open a Champagne bottle with a sword, try to do better than these people.

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Vintage Pulp Nov 17 2022
BLADE PART 2
Black don't crack a smile.

Above is a second excellent tateken poster for Shin joshuu sasori: 701-gô, known in English as New Female Prisoner Scorpion: 701, with Yumi Takigawa dressed in black from head to toe and looking ready to deal out death. These tateken style promos are rare, so we're happy to have found two. As usual, we like to share posters on a film's premiere date, and that was today in 1976. 

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Vintage Pulp Sep 1 2022
SCHOOL FOR BAD GIRLS
Reiko strikes down upon her enemies with great vengeance and Furyo anger.


More Reiko as soon as that? Why yes. Above you see her on a promo poster for her pinky violence flick Kyofu joshikôkô: Furyo monzetsu guruupu, known in English as Terrifying Girls' High School: Delinquent Convulsion Group. We shared this art as part of a collection ten years ago but didn't discuss the film. Reiko and Yûko Kanô star, and as the title suggests, it's about the rough and tumble lives of female juvenile delinquents. Reiko's high school is run by the Red Rose Clan. Things go very right when she's elected head of the gang, then very wrong when her father dies in a brutal auto accident, she's transferred to the outcast class for non-payment of tuition, the Red Rose tosses her overboard, and she finds out her mother is indulging in sexual extracurriculars. Talk about a run of bad luck.

But you can't keep Reiko down. She fights her way into the good graces of a group of girls that hang out in a local bar. They decide to form a new gang called the Union Clan to fight the Red Rose and take control of the school, which is beginning to descend into anarchy. Soon after forming her new gang, Reiko learns that her father's accident was orchestrated. Like any devoted daughter, she vows revenge. It won't be easy, but once a girl has dealt with the evils of high school, a cabal of heavily armed international drug dealers is a cakewalk. As required by the pinky violence genre, what follows are clouds of cordite and showers of sparks. Doesn't that sound fun? Reiko never disappoints. Kyofu joshikôkô: Furyo monzetsu guruupu premiered today in 1973.
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Vintage Pulp Jun 13 2022
THE DEVIL'S OWN
They're trouble in triplicate.


The above poster was made for Sanbiki no mesubachi, usually known in English as Three Pretty Devils, starring Reiko Ohara, Yoko Ichiji, and Junko Natsu. It concerns three female con artists who are running loose during the gigantic World Expo in Osaka. They engage in every type of grift—they pick pockets, sell counterfeit parking passes, coax free meals from bedazzled older men, engage in a little sexual blackmail, and more. Eventually they get the bright idea to put together an escort service for foreigners, but in order to do so have to cross the local yakuza. Needless to say, that's a bad idea.

The yakuza boss, who's played to the edge of caricature by a frowning, sneering Tsunehiko Watase, perceives the girls more as an opportunity than as competition, and wants to turn them into escorts. Ohara's mancrush Saburo, a yakuza footsoldier, tells her to leave Osaka before it's too late, but when the yakuza find out about his betrayal they shoot the poor sap dead. No self-respecting devil gives up easily, so even cold-blooded murder doesn't end the girls' scheming ways. Eventually their chance for a big score finally comes when Natsu appropriates a bank document worth 200 million yen. The yakuza, as always, stands in their way.

Our synopsis makes this all sound dramatic, but the movie is mostly lightweight, with serious moments but a lot of comedy and music. Regarding the latter, legendary gay performer Pītā has a featured role as a transvestite nightclub singer. It was an early role for him. He's on the promo art in the red turtleneck, which is why there are seemingly four pretty devils on a poster where you'd expect three. While he serves as local color in a nightclub that features prominently in the plot, his treatment by the filmmakers is completely respectful, which is noteworthy considering the year. On the whole, Sanbiki no mesubachi is a pretty good movie. It premiered today in 1970.

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History Rewind
The headlines that mattered yesteryear.
April 12
1945—Franklin Roosevelt Dies
U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt dies of a cerebral hemorrhage while sitting for a portrait in the White House. After a White House funeral on April 14, Roosevelt's body is transported by train to his hometown of Hyde Park, New York, and on April 15 he is buried in the rose garden of the Roosevelt family home.
April 11
1916—Richard Harding Davis Dies
American journalist, playwright, and author Richard Harding Davis dies of a heart attack at home in Philadelphia. Not widely known now, Davis was one of the most important and influential war correspondents ever, establishing his reputation by reporting on the Spanish-American War, the Second Boer War, and World War I, as well as his general travels to exotic lands.
April 10
1919—Zapata Is Killed
In Mexico, revolutionary leader Emiliano Zapata is shot dead by government forces in the state of Morelos, after a carefully planned ambush. Following the killing, Zapata's revolutionary movement and his Liberation Army of the South slowly fall apart, but his political influence lasts in Mexico to the present day.
1925—Great Gatsby Is Published
F. Scott Fitzgerald's novel The Great Gatsby is published in New York City by Charles Scribner's Sons. Though Gatsby is Fitzgerald's best known book today, it was not a success upon publication, and at the time of his death in 1940, Fitzgerald was mostly forgotten as a writer and considered himself to be a failure.
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