Vintage Pulp Apr 18 2013
PRISON BREAK
Stuck in Abashiri Prison and time keeps draggin' on.

Above, a panel length poster for Teruo Ishii’s seminal yakuza thriller Abashiri Bangaichi, aka A Man from Abashiri Prison. It starred Ken Takakura in the story of a model prisoner handcuffed to a hardened criminal. When the bad prisoner escapes, the good prisoner is dragged along against his will. The movie was a huge hit for Toei Company, spawning nine sequels, which means we have plenty of opportunities to get into this subject later. Abashiri Bangaichi premiered today in 1965.

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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.
June 05
1963—John Profumo Resigns
British Secretary of State for War John Profumo resigns after the revelation that he had been sexually involved with a showgirl and sometime prostitute named Christine Keeler. Among Keeler's close acquaintances was a senior Soviet naval attaché, thus in addition to Profumo committing adultery then lying about it before the House of Commons, authorities pressed for his resignation because they also feared he had been plied for state secrets.
June 04
1939—Journey of the St. Louis
The German passenger liner MS St. Louis, carrying 963 Jewish refugees, is denied permission to land in Florida, United States, after already being turned away from Cuba. Forced to return to Europe, many of its passengers later die in Nazi concentration camps. The event becomes the subject of a 1974 book, Voyage of the Damned, by Gordon Thomas and Max Morgan-Witts, and is later adapted into a film with the same title, released in 1976.
June 03
1968—Andy Warhol Is Shot
Valerie Solanas, feminist author of an anti-male tract she called the S.C.U.M. Manifesto (Society for Cutting Up Men), attempts to assassinate artist Andy Warhol by shooting him with a handgun. Warhol survives but suffers health problems for the rest of his life. Solanas serves three years in prison and eventually dies of emphysema at San Francisco's Bristol Hotel in 1988.
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