Vintage Pulp Feb 19 2013
THE AMAZING GINZA BLADE
Slices a tomato so thin you can almost see through it! But wait! There’s more! It also works great on Yakuza!

It’s been a while since we had any Meiko Kaji on the site, so today we have four posters—two normal sized and two panel length—for 1971’s Ginchô wataridori, aka Wandering Ginza Butterfly, and 1972’s Ginchô nagaremono mesuneko bakuchi, aka Wandering Ginza: She-Cat Gambler. Haven’t seen them? Well, in our opinion, part two is vastly better than the first installment, but neither is up to the standard of Lady Snowblood. Still though, there are Yakuza and she kills them. What more could you want? You also get Meg Flower in part one, and Sonny Chiba in part two—both good additions. Kaji is still going strong in show business, by the way, having appeared in nine episodes of the Japanese television series Kekkon Shinai in 2012. We have some extremely rare posters of hers we’ll get to shortly.

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Modern Pulp Sep 17 2012
BUSTIN' LOOSE
Who you gonna call? Yakuza busters.

And speaking of amazing posters, check out this masterwork for the neo-pinku actioner Sukeban hantâzu: Sôkatsu nagurikomi sakusen. It was released internationally as Yakuza Busting Girls: Final Death Ride Battle, is known in the U.S. as Yakuza Hunters Final Death Ride Battle, and was released on DVD as Yakuza Hunters 1: The Ultimate Battle Royale. That last title implies more films are to come, and in fact we understand there’s already a sequel, but we haven’t seen the first one yet. However, the poster, painted by the genius Japanese graphic artist who calls himself Rockin’ Jelly Bean, has convinced us to seek the movie out. We’ll get back to you.

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Vintage Pulp Jun 7 2012
KILLING TIME
Story of a mad Japanese woman.

Here’s an alternate version of a poster we shared a while ago. It’s for Reiko Ike’s seminal pinku Yasagure anego den: sôkatsu rinchi, aka Female Yakuza Tale. Haven’t seen the movie? It isn’t for everyone, that’s for sure. We tell you a bit about it here. Yasagure anego den premiered in Japan today in 1973. 

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Vintage Pulp Apr 21 2012
SMOKIN' CHIBA

Above, two Japanese posters for Sonny Chiba’s crime thriller Yakuza deka, aka The Assassin, aka Gangster Cop, 1970. 

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Vintage Pulp Jun 7 2010
CUTTING IT CLOSE
What's the quickest way to a man's heart? Through the chest with a very sharp sword.

Less than five minutes into Yasagure anego den: sôkatsu rinchi, aka Female Yakuza Tale: Inquisition and Torture, Reiko Ike is already hanging nude by her wrists being, well, queried and tortured. But as the poster makes clear, her tormentors pay for their indiscretions at the point of her sword. The plot here concerns Reiko being framed for a crotch-gouge murder (self-explanatory, no?), and the featured set pieces include one in which a man throws bullets almost as effectively as if he’d shot them from a gun, and another in which a gang of about thirty nude women get into a melee against various hapless Yakuza. Naturally, Reiko strips down as well, once during a reprise of her nude sword fight from the classic prequel to this film, and once to prove she isn’t hiding something up her sleeve during a card game. She is hiding something, but a little misdirection goes a long way—when she whips off her kimono to expose her tattooed body she also flings the evidence away undetected. The gangster who accused her must pay with three fingers and Reiko—always a friend to other women—spares the middle one because every man needs that one to keep his girl satisfied. Yep, it’s that kind of film. Filled with slapped faces, avulsed digits, and invaded body cavities, Yasagure anego den: sôkatsu rinchi is pretty much everything we expect from pinky violence, and more. It opened in Japan today in 1973. 

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History Rewind
The headlines that mattered yesteryear.
October 17
1933—Capone Sentenced to Prison
Chicago organized crime boss Al Capone is convicted of income tax evasion after all other attempts to tie him to an assortment of crimes, from the mass murder of the St. Valentine's Day Massacre to widespread violations of the Volstead Act, fail. He is sentenced to eleven years in federal prison and, cut off from the outside world while on Alcatraz Island, his power is finally broken.
October 16
1964—China Detonates Nuke
At the Lop Nur test site located between the Taklamakan and Kuruktag deserts, the People's Republic of China detonates its first nuclear weapon, codenamed 596 after the month of June 1959, which is when the program was initiated.
1996—Handgun Ban in the UK
In response to a mass shooting in Dunblane, Scotland that kills 16 children, the British Conservative government announces a law to ban all handguns, with the exception .22 caliber target pistols. When Labor takes power several months later, they extend the ban to all handguns.
October 15
1945—Laval Executed
Pierre Laval, who was the premier of Vichy, France, which had collaborated with the Nazis during World War II, is shot by a firing squad for treason. In subsequent years it emerges that Laval may have considered himself a patriot whose goal was to publicly submit to the Germans while doing everything possible behind the scenes to thwart them. In at least one respect he may have succeeded: fifty percent of French Jews survived the war, whereas in other territories about ninety percent perished.
1966—Black Panthers Form
In the U.S., in Oakland, California, Huey P. Newton and Bobby Seale form the Black Panther political party. The Panthers are active in American politics throughout the 1960s and 1970s, but eventually legal troubles combined with a schism over the direction of the party lead to its dissolution.
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