Vintage Pulp Jul 10 2021
MEDICAL MALE PRACTICE
Is it freezing in here or are you as excited about this examination as I am?


In ’60s sleaze fiction no subject is taboo, including doctors turning examinations into sexual opportunities, as on this uncredited cover for Woman's Doctor by Lauris Haney. Sleaze fiction was a subset of mid-century literature, so one shouldn't look at covers like this as pervasive. They do pop up on Pulp Intl. often, though, because the art is nearly always outrageous, and we can't resist it. On a scale of one to ten, this one sits at about level four outrageousness. Just for reference, because you want to know, we rate this a six and this maybe a seven. We don't upload the eights, nines, or tens. At least not yet. Woman's Doctor came from Magnet Books in 1960, and was originally used in a slightly different form for the cover of Joe Weiss and Ralph Dean's 1959 sleazer Anything Goes.
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Vintage Pulp Apr 22 2017
PILOT EPISODE
You may now return to the full upright position. Heh. I never get tired of saying that.

Mid-century sexploitation fiction left no profession untapped for tawdry thrills. You can put Naked Angels in the airline sleaze bin, along with the classic Bronson's 19 Year Old Stewardess and others. The story here actually follows a specific naked angel, and the twists and turns of her love life both in air and on the ground in various cities and countries. We may put together a small collection of covers from this genre sometime. 1959 on this one, with uncredited art.

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Vintage Pulp Mar 11 2015
EYE OF THE TIGRESS
Just a woman and her will to survive.

This cover for The Passionate Tigress by John Saxon, aka James Noble Gifford, has art signed “Border.” We’ve never heard of him or her before, and as you can imagine, we can’t possibly hope to isolate a person with a name like that using internet searches. The people at the Greenleaf Classics website think this could be Ernest Chiriaka, and we agree the resemblance is uncanny, but absent confirmation this illustrator goes in the mystery category. 1959 on this. 

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Modern Pulp Feb 8 2010
CRUISE CONTROL
Pacino's violent thriller tells us that sometimes playing a role involves finding out who you really are.

We just saw this movie for the first time a few months ago and it falls squarely into the category: could-not-be-made-today. That doesn’t automatically make it good, but it just so happens this is a pretty good flick. You’ve got a young, intense Al Pacino, noirish direction from William Friedkin of Exorcist fame, and a story focused on sex, drugs, and violence.

Basically, Pacino plays a cop who goes undercover in New York City’s gay BDSM subculture. He’s looking for a killer, which requires him to play the role of an available, leather-clad party boy. But there’s deep cover, and then there’s deep cover. When you cross the line trouble always results.

The art above comes from a promotional pamphlet, and it conveys the mood of the film quite nicely. We recommend it, with a reservation—if you’re progressive-minded, you’ll probably hate it. But you know that going in. Whenever Hollywood portrays a so-called subculture for a genre flick, it’s an affront to those being portrayed, whether gay, Chinese, black, female, religious, Texan, environmentalist, Iraqi, or what have you.

Could Hollywood make films that portrayed all these segments of society in only positive terms? Sure, but who’d go see them? So bring on the action, and we’ll deal with the caricatures by agreeing that they’re just living cartoons, designed to offer some thrills and chills. Cruising premiered in the U.S. today in 1980. 

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History Rewind
The headlines that mattered yesteryear.
April 22
1912—Pravda Is Founded
The newspaper Pravda, or Truth, known as the voice of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union, begins publication in Saint Petersburg. It is one of the country's leading newspapers until 1991, when it is closed down by decree of then-President Boris Yeltsin. A number of other Pravdas appear afterward, including an internet site and a tabloid.
1983—Hitler's Diaries Found
The German magazine Der Stern claims that Adolf Hitler's diaries had been found in wreckage in East Germany. The magazine had paid 10 million German marks for the sixty small books, plus a volume about Rudolf Hess's flight to the United Kingdom, covering the period from 1932 to 1945. But the diaries are subsequently revealed to be fakes written by Konrad Kujau, a notorious Stuttgart forger. Both he and Stern journalist Gerd Heidemann go to trial in 1985 and are each sentenced to 42 months in prison.
April 21
1918—The Red Baron Is Shot Down
German WWI fighter ace Manfred von Richthofen, better known as The Red Baron, sustains a fatal wound while flying over Vaux sur Somme in France. Von Richthofen, shot through the heart, manages a hasty emergency landing before dying in the cockpit of his plane. His last word, according to one witness, is "Kaputt." The Red Baron was the most successful flying ace during the war, having shot down at least 80 enemy airplanes.
1964—Satellite Spreads Radioactivity
An American-made Transit satellite, which had been designed to track submarines, fails to reach orbit after launch and disperses its highly radioactive two pound plutonium power source over a wide area as it breaks up re-entering the atmosphere.
April 20
1939—Holiday Records Strange Fruit
American blues and jazz singer Billie Holiday records "Strange Fruit", which is considered to be the first civil rights song. It began as a poem written by Abel Meeropol, which he later set to music and performed live with his wife Laura Duncan. The song became a Holiday standard immediately after she recorded it, and it remains one of the most highly regarded pieces of music in American history.
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