Etsuko Shihomi gets her kicks fighting a diamond smuggling syndicate.
You see a poster like this and you know you've got a winner of a film on your hands. Not necessarily a good film, in the conventional sense, but one you know is going to be fun. This long promo, which you'll find nowhere else online, was made for Onna hissatsu ken: Kiki ippatsu, known in English speaking countries as Sister Street Fighter: Hanging by a Thread. It premiered in Japan today in 1974 and starred martial arts wizardress Etsuko Shihomi in the sequel to Onna hissatsu ken, aka Sister Street Fighter. This time she heads to Yokohama and battles diamond smugglers who surgically implant their improbably massive contraband stones into the buttocks of Chinese prostitutes. These bad guys are really evil. When a member of their organization screws up she gets her eyes stabbed out. See below. Surely there are better jobs out there, even if one has to sink to temp work or waiting tables at Applebee's. Does Shihomi defeat the mad surgical mafia of Yokohama? Hah. What a question. In terms of karate films, she was just getting started, as the stack of posters we'll be uploading in the future will attest. Speaking of which, we have the standard promo for Kiki ippatsu below, not as rare as the above, but still a nice piece of art.
Etsuko Shihomi looks soft but hits hard.
This rare poster was made to promote Onna hissatsu ken, aka Sister Street Fighter, which premiered in Japan today in 1974. The movie is fourth in the Street Fighter series, after The Street Fighter, The Return of the Street Fighter, and The Street Fighter's Last Revenge. In this one karate master and undercover drug agent Sonny Chiba goes missing in Tokyo, prompting his bosses to recruit his sister Etsuko Shihomi to search for him. Shihomi collects clues, allies, and esoteric enemies, but of course finally learns her brother is exactly where any viewer would expect—in the villain's lair, where he's been forcibly addicted to drugs.
Generally, penetrating these evil underground strongholds is perfunctory, but in this film Shihomi has more problems than usual. She'll get there, though—what's a ’70s martial arts film without a subterranean showdown? It's all a bit silly and clunky, if surprisingly gory at the end. Interestingly, the movie tries to be instructive, actually freeze-framing to label certain martial arts techniques, weapons, and important characters. Weird, but okay. In the end Shihomi wins using basic stick-to-itiveness—with nunchakus upside multiple male craniums. Oh, and by the way, there are lots of reversed swastikas in this film. We talked about those, but if you missed that discussion check here.
There isn't much chasing in The Great Chase but the movie is definitely great.
Norifumi Suzuki's Karei-naru tsuiseki, aka The Great Chase is fast, funny, and bizarre entertainment. Etsuko Shihomi plays a Formula 1 driver who also works for the Japanese secret service, in this case taking down an international drug syndicate. Shihomi was already a star in Japanese cinema from her supporting roles in Sonny Chiba's Streetfighter and its spin-offs. Karei-naru tsuiseki sees her honing her solo chops—literally, as she karates the shit out of dozens of guys. But you get so much more than fistfights here—you get Shihomi in disguises, a corpse filled with cocaine, a girl in armor being force fed a banana, a nun brawl in a church, a mob boss dressed as a bear, a fight on what has to be the world's highest cable car, and more. Pure cheese, but of the most flavorful sort, and with a top notch promo poster featuring Shihomi in a discolicious polka dot two-piece. We have posters for five other Shihomi actioners and she looks badass on all of them. We'll share those in the future. Karei-naru tsuiseki premiered today in 1975.
Leader of the headbands.
Poster for Makoto Naitô’s actioner Furyo bancho totsugeki! Ichiban, aka Wolves of the City: First To Fight. It premiered in Japan today in 1971. See another poster in the Furyo Bancho series here.
He may not be the best shooting gunman in the Old West, but you can’t fault his fashion sense.
This cover scan of Archie Joscelyn’s 1950 western Border Wolves was sent over from National Road Books, which is good timing, because the art is by George Gross and we featured one of his very best pieces back in October and said we’d get back to him. Gross (who should not be mixed up with German painter George Grosz) was a prolific artist who, as we mentioned in that previous post, was incredibly diverse, producing covers for Argosy, Baseball Stories, Bulls Eye Detective, Northwest Romances, Wings, Fight Stories, Saga, and many others. He was born in 1909 in Brooklyn, New York, began painting pulp covers in the 1930s and worked steadily through the 1980s, dying at the ripe age of ninety-four. You would suspect, looking at the shooting technique of the cowboy on the cover of Border Wolves, that Gross didn’t know much about guns. While that’s possible, we think the weird shooting position is a result of wanting to fit the cowboy’s entire arm on the cover. But he must have liked the result, because he used this awkward stance twice (see below). There are quite a few web archives of Gross art, so if you want to see more, let your fingers do the walking.
Chris Brown's career turned upside down by assault accusation.
Between Michael Phelps and Alex Rodriguez, it had already been quite a month for damaged images. But as details of pop singer Chris Brown’s arrest trickle out from various sources, a once bright future looks seriously clouded. Multiple sources now confirm that the woman Brown is accused of assaulting is mega-popular Barbadian singer Rihanna.
The incident occurred Sunday morning, when police were called to a silver Lamborghini parked in the Los Angeles neighborhood of Hancock Park. Brown had left the scene, but police found Rihanna with visible injuries, including a bloody nose and bite marks on her arm and fingers. Asked who attacked her she identified Brown. Brown turned himself into police Monday morning and, after posting $50,000 bail, retained celebrity lawyer Mark Geragos.
The fallout for Brown has already been severe—and deserved if the charges are true. After backing out of the Grammy Awards, where both he and Rihanna were nominated and scheduled to perform, he then cancelled a scheduled appearance at the upcoming NBA All Star weekend. Additionally, Wrigley’s Gum has suspended advertising featuring Brown.
As for Rihanna, she refused treatment at the scene, but her injuries were photographed by police, and she later received medical care at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center. No further information has been available from her publicist, other than that the singer is “well.”
He wrote a check with his mouth, cashed it with his face.
British actor and former pro footballer Vinnie Jones could be facing jail time for his role in a brawl in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. And by role, we mean the role of a guy eating a beer glass. The incident took place in a bar called Wiley’s Tavern, after a patron identified Jones as the character Juggernaut from X-Men: The Last Stand. According to witnesses, Jones took offense at being recognized for that role, when he has acted in much more significant films such as Snatch and Lock, Stock & Two Smoking Barrels. A profanity-laced shouting match escalated into a physical confrontation, at which point 24-year old Jesse Bickett smashed a beer glass in Jones’ face.
As a footballer Jones was known for his rough play, and still holds the English record for fastest booking, when he was ejected after just three seconds of play for illegally tackling Dana Whitehouse in a 1992 Chelsea/Sheffield United match. He also permanently injured Tottenham’s Gary Stevens with another illegal tackle, and infamously squeezed Paul Gascoigne’s testicles. But this time it was Jones who ended up in the hospital. Sioux Falls police Sgt. Tim Hagen, after studying a photo of the injured actor, deadpanned, “He sure got the worst end of that deal.”
Swimmer downed twelve drinks and one colleague.
Australian swimmer Nick D’Arcy pleaded guilty to assaulting fellow swimmer and Commonwealth Games champion Simon Cowley in a Sydney bar back in March. D’Arcy and a group of swimmers were celebrating their selection to the Aussie Olympic squad. A dozen drinks later, around 2:30 a.m., an altercation occurred when Cowley allegedly took exception to D’Arcy’s treatment of a fellow swimmer.
It was a short fight. Cowley lightly slapped D’Arcy, and D’Arcy lunged forward and delivered a single vicious punch that shattered Cowley’s face like it was a dinner plate, fracturing his jaw, nose, and eye socket. D’Arcy was arrested at the bar and later charged with inflicting grievous bodily harm. Cowley underwent surgery, had five titanium plates and twenty screws inserted into his face, and will be spending up to two years in braces until his teeth stabilize. Doctors said Cowley’s injuries were so severe because the tooth-bearing portions of his face separated from the rest of his skull.
The attack cost both men their spots on the Olympic squad—Cowley’s due to convalescence, and D’Arcy’s due to suspension. A prison term could be next for D’Arcy, but indications are he learned little from his recent experience. Speaking after the guilty plea, he said, “I strongly maintain that my actions were in self-defence but I do deeply apologise for the degree of injury sustained by Simon.” Which to our ears translates as: “Nobody is more surprised than me that Simon’s skull is made of pie crust, but I’d hit him again in a heartbeat, along with his stanky old mom and his sister too.”
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