Modern Pulp Aug 29 2021
SERIOUSLY, GUY?
That sound you hear is a great author spinning in his grave.


Guy de Maupassant? Really? We had no idea the master of the short story form and leader of the Naturalist school also wrote smut. Shows what we know. When we looked around for Folli piaceri delle porno prigioniere we learned it was originally made in West Germany in 1980 as Gefangene Frauen, but known in English as Caged Women. And instead of the highbrow rumination we expected from a movie based on de Maupassant, what we got was director Edwin C. Dietrich pushing the far bounds of sexploitation in ways that are crude, stupid, and unrepentant. Perhaps as compensation or apology, he also offers up more nudity per screen minute than a Jesús Franco film—and that's saying something.

Karine Gambier and Brigitte Lahaie headline a cast of bare blonde women and just-as-bare hairy eurostuds, as plotwise, a tinpot dictator worried about a U.N. sex trafficking investigation into his country's brothels hides his trafficked European prosties in a godforsaken island prison. You get every trope of women in prison flicks, but stretched to the max. There are showers, medical exams, naked whippings, naked manual labor, naked skeet shooting, naked arena wrestling, a naked prison break (but with comfortable shoes), and more. Notice how that went from standard sexploitation fare to waaay out there? Is it satire? Edwin Dietrich doubtless would have claimed it was. But merely turning the volume up to eleven is the dumbest kind of satire.

And as far as Guy de Maupassant goes, it's more like Guy de wishful thinking. We found no evidence the acclaimed author influenced this production in any way, regardless of what its writer (also Edwin Dietrich) said. It wasn't the only time Dietrich claimed he was inspired by classic literature. No surprise—when you make something like forty of these flicks you intellectualize them any way you can. De Maupassant's influence, we suspect, was merely to lend a veneer of credibility to the promo poster. If you watch Folli piaceri delle porno prigioniere, don't be a pretender like Dietrich. Just embrace your inner horndog and admit you're watching it for the skin.
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Modern Pulp Aug 19 2021
THE HUNGRY COUNT
I vant to suck your jelly donut! The raspberry filling is irresistible!


This cool cover fronts the original Hebrew translation of Bram Stoker's Dracula. It looks vintage but it's actually from 1984. It was made from a promo image, as you see, with Bela Lugosi wearing a very hungry expression. Vampires crave blood, but this look must be for something even better, like one of those Israeli jelly donuts—sufganiyot they're called. They'd make anyone modify their diet. Luckily, Dracula wears a cape, which means he won't need a napkin to wipe the powdered sugar off his mouth. Pulp style art from Israel is hard to find, as you can probably imagine. Is this pulp style? We think so, kind of. Anyway, we've located a few things—for example, this cover for Psycho. We'll keep looking and share anything we find.

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Modern Pulp Aug 11 2021
DEAD MEN WALKING
Fulci goes full-on gruesome in Italian zombie epic.


We're still looking toward Italy today, specifically at vintage Italian horror cinema, and simply put, these didn't mess around. Regardless of quality they tended to be unusually foreboding and grim. And that's just the poster art. Above you see a promo for Paura nella città dei morti viventi, which was known in English as City of the Living Dead. Lucio Fulci, who directed and received a story credit for this one, was particularly enamored of zombies, churning out at least five films touching on the theme, including ...E tu vivrai nel terrore! L'aldilà, aka The Beyond, and Quella villa accanto al cimitero, aka The House by the Cemetery. In all of them he used his trademark tricks—extreme close-ups, death-white make-up effects, and gore, gore, gore.

Italian genre flicks usually had international casts performing in both English and Italian, with the babel smoothed out later with overdubs. City of the Living Dead follows that template. U.S. born Christopher George and Brit actress Catriona MacColl are in the leads, with support from Italians Carlo de Mejo, Giovanni Lombardo Radice, Daniela Doria, the truly lovely Antonella Interlenghi, and Swedish star Janet Agren. The movie is set in New York City and Dunwich, a mythical town conceived by H.P. Lovecraft for his Cthulhu Mythos, where a priest's suicide has somehow opened the gates of hell and allowed the dead to walk the Earth.

Obviously, the heroes want to close these gates, but that's pretty difficult when you have to fight through a storm of maggots. Yes, Fulci throws everything into this—the ancient Book of Enoch, the Salem witch trials, seances, drifting fog, people regurgitating their own intestines, and of course head-crushing zombies. The low tech nature of Fulci's obsessive gore-nography just makes it that much more disturbing. On the other claw, the low quality of some of the acting is a definite detriment. Even so, if you can get into a zombie frame of mind, the acting becomes less important than the mood, and in horror, mood is everything. Paura nella città dei morti viventi premiered in Italy today in 1980.
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Modern Pulp Jul 26 2021
THE HELL JAR
Keeping your problems bottled up is sometimes the best solution.


We had to watch this film. There was no choice. The poster removed all free will. When we first saw this art about ten years ago the movie wasn't available, but that's been fixed. This was painted for the roman porno drama Binzume jigoku, aka Hell in a Bottle, which premiered in Japan today in 1986. You may have noticed a similarity to this poster, and indeed it was painted by the same artist, who signed it at lower left but is still unknown to us. Looking at the art, you're probably thinking there's no way it can be literal, but you'd be wrong, as the screenshots below will show. We always wonder about the genesis of bizarro films like these. In this case: a 1928 story by author and Zen priest Yasumichi Sugiyama, who wrote as Yumeno Kyusaku.

The movie stars Chiyoko Ogura, Jun Numaoka, and the lovely Hitomi Kobayashi, who in addition to being an actress was popular as a photobook model, headlining at least ten. Plotwise, what you get here is a tale of forbidden attraction between siblings Numaoka and Ogura. They're on an isolated island along with Numaoka's girlfriend, played by Kobayashi, who is pretty much gobsmacked when she realizes the brother/sister attraction she's witnessing might actually come, so to speak, to fruition. She threatens her reckless boyfriend with a gun at one point, but nothing can stand the way of feverish incestuous fantasy, and eventually Numaoka and Ogura cast Kobayashi adrift in a bottle. That's a spoiler of course, but what are we to do when the poster art gives it away? If we told you she didn't end up in a bottle would you even bother to watch the movie? The good news is that imprisoning Kobayashi isn't the only use of bottles, so there's more to see than just her hallucinatory departure.

We're not sure what the point of the movie is. The plot is foreshadowed by another unfortunate incestuous love that took place in the past, ended in tragedy, and is described in an old diary, so the point could be that history repeats—particularly within families, since the previous diary was left by Numaoka's dead father. Does this original sin angle mean that Binzume jigoku is something more than just a piece of lowbrow exploitation? Sure, we guess. Is it recommendable? Are you kidding? Recommend a movie about unquenchable carnal desire between a brother and sister? Not a chance. This is roman porno, which generally leaves us adrift like Kobayashi in her bottle, even when it strives for deep metaphor. Watch the movie if you wish, but don't pretend you got the green light from us.

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Modern Pulp Jun 2 2021
TANAKA BREAK
A classic story of koi meets girl.


As we've mentioned before, we rarely share boxcover art, but sometimes we make exceptions. This image is the DVD cover of the 1973 roman porno film Koi no karyudo yokubo, aka Love Hunter: Lust, but in poster form with all the informational text and logos removed. Mari Tanaka is the star, and we have plenty of her in the website, including in amazing images like these two. We'll have more from her later, as well. Koi no karyudo yokubo premiered today in 1973.

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Modern Pulp May 31 2021
HOOKED ON PINKU
It takes a lot of guts to watch these sometimes.


A long while back we put together a collection of posters for bdsm themed Japanese pinku films. Why? Why not. But we hadn't seen the movies. One was called Shojo no harawata, aka Entrails of Virgin, aka Guts of a Virgin, and we came across it recently and figured let's watch this thing. The story concerns a slimy fashion photographer and his equally slimy buddies who take two models to a secluded cabin with the intent to take advantage of them, but are attacked by a hairy monster from the woods who has a massive boner. The film is part of Kazuo Komizu's, aka Gaira's, “splatter-eros” trilogy along with Bijo no harawata, aka Guts of a Beautiful Woman and Gômon kifujin, aka Female Inquisitor. A few of his other directorial credits include Violence porno: Jôkan and Violence porno: Nawa to bôkô. You get the idea.

We try not to make any cultural judgments when we watch these pinkus. There's a line from James M. Cain (you knew we'd work in a pulp author somehow) where one of his characters says of bullfights, “If it was my own country I'd be against it, but when it's somebody else's, I go.” That's how we feel. When something in a pinku flick confuses us or weirds us out, we generally shrug and go, “Not my place to criticize.” And now, of course, we'll criticize. In terms of Japanese erotica, the actresses make noises of pleasure that are indistinguishable—at least to our ears—from noises of pain. Not cool. It's sort of a whining, like this feels soooo good I'm on the verge of tears. That's one reason we don't generally get turned on by pinku movies. While the women are uniformly fantastic, their erotic acting is way off target for us.

The blurred line between pleasure and pain in this movie is liable to do a number on your head. And if it doesn't, the scene where a model masturbates with a severed arm while blowing the monster certainly will. Hope we didn't give too much away there. As far as the entrails aspect, well, the title is provocative, but while there's a virgin, we see no entrails. Thank fucking God. And because sex in pinku movies is mostly implied due to laws against the showing of pubic hair or sex organs, the sexualized violence is largely implied too. It's cleverly implied though. So be forewarned. We can't recommend this movie, but the poster art is so amazing we had to share it. It's signed—see just below—but we were not able to ascertain by whom. Too bad. There's real talent there. More so than in the film. Shojo no harawata premiered in Japan today in 1986.
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Modern Pulp May 14 2021
FUNNY HAHA
When they gave out maternal instincts Izumi Shima forgot to sign up for her dose.


In Japanese, “haha” means mother, and in Waisetsu kazoku: haha to musume, known in English as Indecent Family: Mother and Daughter, there's a mother who certainly qualifies as funny. Funny as in strange. Mommy dearest is none other than Izumi Shima, one of our favorite pinku actresses, as we've demonstrated numerous times, such as here and here. The idea of her having had a child in this movie defies credulity. She was twenty-nine in it, while Yōko Morimura, who plays her daughter, was at least eighteen. But whatever, it's Nikkatsu roman porno, so you have to go with it.
 
Plotwise, a middle-aged sad sack played by Akira Shioji makes a connection with Morimura while she's dancing at a strip bar called Mississippi Queen, and she comes to live with him. Never let a stripper move in with you. Every man knows that. But not Shioji, apparently. In short order Morimura's mother Shima moves in too. At first Shioji is pretty thrilled with this arrangement, but it isn't long before Shima decides to show him that mothers know things daughters don't. And that, of course, is the beginning of his problems. Since this is a roman porno, we don't have to detail all the things that go on—you know what to expect, and you know things don't often end well.
 
You also know there's usually a leftfield subplot, and in this case it has to do with Shioji's house being coveted by his nephew in order to sell it for hotel development. Or something like that. Doesn't matter, because the plot is just a framing device for nudity and cleverly simulated sex. As we've noted before, it's amazing how raunchy a film can be yet not show very much. Shioji and Morimura's sixty-nine session about halfway through is a case in point. You'll really believe he's getting up in her rump. All very fun, and we were especially happy there was no pee. It's a roman porno staple we can do without. For that reason alone we give Waisetsu kazoku: haha to musume a cautious thumbs up. It premiered in Japan today in 1982.
Mother, homemaker, community activist, and filthy freak. She does it all.

I have a hot young girlfriend for sex, and her mother to clean the house. Life doesn't get much better than this.

I feel like singing! Figaro!

And skipping! Wheeee!

Here, why don't you watch while I sensually undress my passed out mom.

Dang. I never noticed until seeing her half-naked, but she's a total milf.

...zzzzzzz...

Hah! I wasn't passed out at all! I was intentionally letting Shioji perv out.

Now that he realizes I'm hotter than the surface of the sun, I'm going to strip him down to the bone just like this spare rib. Sluuuuurp!

Mom! Quit sucking off that rib! You're embarrassing me!

No, my daughter, I don't believe I shall desist from fellating this juicy rib. I don't believe I shall desist at all.

If you think my foot is nice just wait until you experience the warmer and softer parts of my body.

That trip I took to Akiyoshido Cave last year was so cool. How weird that I should think of that now.

Yup. Fucked his brains right out of his skull. Now back to the rib.

You stole my unattractive and inappropriately old lover, mom. I'm not speaking to you.

Bonus material below: a couple of promo photos of Morimura and Shima.
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Modern Pulp Sep 12 2020
HAKUJITSUMU WRESTLING
Tetsuji Takechi comes out swinging hard in round two.


This poster was made for Hakujitsumu, aka Daydream, which premiered in Japan today in 1981. The movie is loosely based on a 1926 novel by Junichir Tanizaki, which director Tetsuji Takechi made into one of the first pinku films in 1964. The same director felt inspired to put together a porno remake and, blazing a trail once again, it was the first hardcore movie to be shown in Japanese cinemas. We wanted to see what Takechi did with his revision so we watched it, and it sets up pretty much the same way as the first movie, with Kyōko Aizome at her dentist's office, the dentist and his assistant administering gas, then both taking liberties once Aizome is helpless. The action is witnessed by another patient, who follows Aizome around town as she has a series of erotic interludes that spiral off into quasi reality designed to sow doubt concerning whether any of it really happened.

We can't say the hardcore action here is highly erotic, but certain non-sex sequences get there, including Aizome's nude hotel escape, and her naked lathering and rinse inside a car wash. Not that we're down on hardcore. It's just that we insist everything be made to look beautiful. In the sex scenes Takechi, seeking to prove that the action was indeed real, went anatomical. It's an understandable choice—if you can finally show it, why not show it, nutsacks, assholes, milky fluids and all? But even though we're from the generation that is supposed to reflexively love explicit hardcore, we're old souls, and particularly appreciate porn where we know it's real but don't see everything (maybe Aizome felt the same way—she directed her own remake in 2009). Regardless of the success or failure of Hakujitsumu, anytime we see the phrase “the first film that...” we're fully on board. Now we can say we saw the first Japanese film that went hardcore. That's something, at least. Below, Aizome inspires daydreams, and you can see more from her here.
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Modern Pulp Jun 22 2020
AULLIDO VISUAL PRESENTATION
Today our seminar for giant monsters will cover how to get human heads unstuck from your mouth.


How can you not love this? This startling poster that looks like someone has bitten off more than they can chew was made for Aullidos, a movie better known as The Howling. It was painted by Macario Gomez Quibus, an artist who also crafted promos for the horror movies The Fog and Murder Mansion, among others. After opening in the U.S. in 1981, Aullidos premiered in Spain today in 1982. Have you seen it? No? You might need to. Read about it here.

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Modern Pulp Jun 14 2020
YOU ARE WHAT YOU'RE EATEN BY
Obscure ’80s horror flick turns the idea of consumerism on its head.


Above you see a poster for Larry Cohen's The Stuff, an interesting piece of modern pulp cinema that premiered in the U.S. today in 1985. It's obviously a horror movie, and though it fails to be scary it succeeds as a wickedly clever anti-consumerist metaphor. Its underlying critique is that Americans will buy anything that's marketed with snazzy visuals and a good jingle, even things that are bad or even deadly for them. The Stuff takes that idea and runs with it, showing a nation addicted to a dessert that's actually a dangerous unknown organism. People eat it and it hollows them out physically and takes over their minds. While some victims succumb by snarfing the Stuff, others fall prey by being attacked by those infected. In this way entire towns are replaced, then the monsters move on to bodysnatch even more people.

Along the way Cohen's film takes swipes at regulatory capture by featuring FDA officials who approve the Stuff, at militias by casting a paramilitary group as the heroes, then exposing them as racist clowns, and at corporate greed by having the whole fiasco engineered by a shady cabal of one percenters. Yes, quite a lot of thought went into this baby. What didn't go into it was sufficient budget. And despite Cohen and company's obvious deeper intent, it's pretty safe to say most filmgoers didn't absorb the subtext. That fact can be confirmed by taking a glance at any of the numerous dayglow health killers on supermarket shelves today. So technically The Stuff flops both as a fright flick and a consumer warning. But it offers food for thought that remains relevant today, thirty-five years later, and it's certainly a movie unlike any other.

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History Rewind
The headlines that mattered yesteryear.
September 17
1908—First Airplane Fatality Occurs
The plane built by Wilbur and Orville Wright, The Wright Flyer, crashes with Lieutenant Thomas Selfridge aboard as a passenger. The accident kills Selfridge, and he becomes the first airplane fatality in history.
1983—First Black Miss America Crowned
Vanessa Williams becomes the first African American Miss America. She later loses her crown when lesbian-themed nude photographs of her are published by Penthouse magazine.
September 16
1920—Terrorists Bomb Wall Street
At 12:01 p.m. a bomb loaded into a horse-drawn wagon explodes in front of the J.P.Morgan building in New York City. 38 people are killed and 400 injured. Italian anarchists are thought to be the perpetrators, but after years of investigation no one is ever brought to justice.
September 15
1959—Khrushchev Visits U.S.
Nikita Khrushchev becomes the first Soviet leader to visit the United States. The two week stay includes talks with U.S. President Dwight Eisenhower, as well as a visit to a farm and a Hollywood movie set, and a tour of a "typical" American neighborhood, upper middle class Granada Hills, California.
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