Yul be the death of each and every one of them.
It's been quite a while since we looked at the work of Italian illustrator Enzo Nistri. In recent years we've been focusing on his younger brother Giuliano, but they were both major talents. Here you see something special from Enzo—a textless original piece of art for the 1975 Yul Brenner movie The Ultimate Warrior, known in Italian as Gli avventurieri del pianeta Terra. It's about a group of people trying to survive in post-apocalyptic New York City. They eventually hire a tough-as-nails warrior to protect them. That would be Brenner. The movie is set in 2012, which is rather funny, but sci-fi fans are used to temporal predictions being way off. Blade Runner was set in 2019, and Soylent Green was set in 2022, and here we are without flying cars, replicants, or crackers made of human beings—although that last might show up soon the way things are going. In any case, fantastic work from Enzo. We'll try to feature him more later. And we may even screen the movie and report back.
Hmph. That actually turned out to be a surprisingly easy choice.
Above: nice Robert Maguire art for Wilson Tucker's novel To Keep or Kill, from Lion Library, 1956. Tucker was primarily a science fiction writer, an acclaimed one, who invented the practice and term, “tuckerization,” which is to borrow a friend's name for a fictional character. This is not to be confused with actually basing a character on a friend. Tuckerization is sort of an in-joke, a nod to someone in one's social circle. Turning back to the cover, this fits nicely into our collections of women who've killed or mortally wounded men, which you can see here and here.
Queen Kong is so bad you'll hope a giant ape carries you away just so you don't have to finish watching.
Sometimes you get fooled. These Italian posters for Queen Kong, aka La regina dei gorilla, vibed sci-fi b-movie, but what we got was a comedic gender swapped version of King Kong about an egomaniacal filmmaker who dupes an idiot named Ray Fay into starring in her monster movie set in Uganda. Despite its efforts to be literate and referential, the final result here is too stupid to enjoy. It's on the level of an old public access program written by high school seniors who haven't figured out yet that the gags they think are incisive and original have been done a thousand times before—mostly in Vaudeville. Tongue-in-cheek lines like, “We came to make a movie but created a farce,” and “So that's gorilla warfare!” just sting. Our guess is that the filmmakers had access to a giant ape hand and worked backward from there. Intentionally trying to make a bad cult movie is usually a losing game. We were embarrassed for everyone involved. But we like the posters. Queen Kong premiered originally in 1976, and cheated ticket buyers in Italy for the first time today in 1977.
Oh, look who it is—the neglectful husband I've been hearing so much about.
Above: a cover for Every Bed Her Own, by Don Elliott for Greenleaf Classics' imprint Leisure Books, 1966. Elliott, in this case, is actually sci-fi author Robert Silverberg, and the art is by Robert Bonfils, the titan of mid-century sleaze illustrators. This is another cover that fits with our collection of cheaters caught red-handed.
Now that I have slain *beep* my human rival I will show you that my hard drive *click* does more than just store data.
We haven't seen Carlo Jacono's work in a while, so here's a nice effort of his on the cover of Black Abyss by J.L. Powers, aka John Glasby, 1966, from Badger Books. The book deals with humans traversing the gulfs of space and encountering hostile lifeforms. We presume, based upon the art, that at least one of those lifeforms is robotic. Don't worry though—it has a Windows operating system, so it'll break down before accomplishing anything. Jacono has used this motif of an unconscious woman being carried before. Look here to see what we mean. And for an entire collection of his work look here.
Wherever you look, there it is.
We're back. We said we'd keep an eye out for pulp during our trip to Donostia-San Sebastián, and we did see some, though we couldn't buy it—it was all under glass in a museum. The Tabakalera (above), a cultural space mainly focused on modern art, was staging an exhibit titled, “Evil Eye - The Parallel History of Optics and Ballistics.” A small part of the exhibition was a selection of Editorial Valenciana's Luchadores del Espacio, a series of two-hundred and thirty-four sci-fi novels published from 1953 to 1963.
We snuck a few shots of the novels, which you can see below. Overall, though, what was on offer were photos, short films, political literature, and physical artifacts dealing with war and conflict. Since the participants were all artists, journalists, and witnesses from outside the U.S., everything naturally focused on wars that the U.S. started or sponsored—those ones they don't teach in school. The pulp fit because of its suggestion that human conflict would continue even into outer space.
We also said we'd try to pick up some French pulp, and that side trip happened too. We managed to score several 1970s copies of Ciné-Revue that we'll share a bit later, and those will feature some favorite stars. Though the collecting was fun, we're glad to be back. The birthday party was a success, as always, and now we're down south where the weather is gorgeous and hopes are always high. We'll resume our regular postings tomorrow.
The artist is actually the one who's out of this world.
Above is the Italian poster for the sci-fi/horror movie La cosa da un altro mondo, which opened in Italy today in 1952 but originally premiered in the U.S. in 1951 as The Thing from Another World. We talked about it several years ago while sharing its Belgian promo. Today's effort is the work of Italian illustrator Sandro Symeoni, a genius who painted in so many modes he can be unrecognizable from piece to piece. See some of his best work here, here, and here.
There's something very fishy going on.
This promo poster just screams winner, don't you think? If it isn't a good movie, it's got to be deliciously terrible. It was made for L'isola degli uomini pesce, known in English as The Island of the Fishmen, a movie that starred Richard Johnson, Barbara Bach, and Claudio Cassinelli. No surprise what it's about, thanks to the title, but nothing is spoiled—the fishmen show up within the first few minutes of the film when a group of convicts in a lifeboat are attacked and the five survivors end up stranded on a swampy island. Since the fishmen hunt there, the attrition rate on this parcel of land is a bitch. Two cons are killed almost immediately upon arrival, and a third barely survives a pit trap. They soon learn humans live there too—paranoid misanthrope Richard Johnson, his companion Barbara Bach, their servant Beryl Cunninghman, and others, all residing in and around a baroque slave plantation house.
Johnson, who is a quack scientist, is trying to train the fishmen for what shall here remain undisclosed purposes. It involves going deep underwater where humans can't survive—but strangely, not so deep that Johnson can't simply drop down in his unpressurized wooden submersible and watch them at work. It's all a crock, even for bad sci-fi. But there are three points of note with the film: first, you can actually see that some budget went into creating the fishmen; second, Johnson speaking in a constipated Dick Dastardly voice is flat hilarious; and third, Barbara Bach is Barbara Bach. Or maybe we should have listed her first. The producers at Dania Film, perhaps realizing Fishmen was a total woofer, rode Bach hard, putting out a bunch of skinful promotional photos and getting her a Fishmen-themed nude shoot in Ciné-Revue. There's always a silver lining in 1970s exploitation cinema—and on Pulp Intl. L'isola degli uomini pesce premiered in Italy today in 1979.
Greetings, Earthling. Take me to your leading purveyor of glitter.
This promo photo features Hungarian actress Catherine Schell, and it was made for the cheeseball British television series Space: 1999, about the trials and troubles of the inhabitants of a moon colony after a massive explosion blows the moon out of Earth's orbit. As the survivors hurtle through space they encounter strange phenomena and new lifeforms. Schell played an alien named Maya from the planet Psychon, and could transform herself into anything organic, including, seemingly, an aficionado of intricate beadwork. She played Maya for twenty-five episodes, and is also well known for appearances in films such as On Her Majesty's Secret Service and Moon Zero Two. This shot is from 1975.
Okay, I think we're ready. Formula for edible pomegranate flavored body oil, test seventeen, commencing now.
Brian Aldiss was better known as a sci-fi author, but his 1961 novel The Male Response deals with sexual mores and politics. On Aldiss's website he writes: “Only marginally science fiction, the story tells how the indecisive Soames Noyes is sent by his company with a computer to the newly free black state of Goya, in Africa, where he becomes entangled with women and witch-doctors. Reluctantly, Noyes faces all challenges and, following by public promiscuity, becomes President.” That certainly sounds fun, especially the promiscuity to president part. It obviously could only happen in sci-fi. The cover art here is by Robert Stanley.
The headlines that mattered yesteryear.
1937—Chamberlain Becomes Prime Minister
Arthur Neville Chamberlain, who is known today mainly for his signing of the Munich Agreement in 1938 which conceded the Sudetenland region of Czechoslovakia to Nazi Germany and was supposed to appease Adolf Hitler's imperial ambitions, becomes prime minister of Great Britain. At the time Chamberlain is the second oldest man, at age sixty-eight, to ascend to the office. Three years later he would give way to Winston Churchill.
1930—Chrysler Building Opens
In New York City, after a mere eighteen months of construction, the Chrysler Building opens to the public. At 1,046 feet, 319 meters, it is the tallest building in the world at the time, but more significantly, William Van Alen's design is a landmark in art deco that is celebrated to this day as an example of skyscraper architecture at its most elegant.
1969—Jeffrey Hunter Dies
American actor Jeffrey Hunter dies of a cerebral hemorrhage after falling down a flight of stairs and sustaining a skull fracture, a mishap precipitated by his suffering a stroke seconds earlier. Hunter played many roles, including Jesus in the 1961 film King of Kings, but is perhaps best known for portraying Captain Christopher Pike in the original Star Trek pilot episode "The Cage".
It's easy. We have an uploader that makes it a snap. Use it to submit your art, text, header, and subhead. Your post can be funny, serious, or anything in between, as long as it's vintage pulp. You'll get a byline and experience the fleeting pride of free authorship. We'll edit your post for typos, but the rest is up to you. Click here
to give us your best shot.