|Vintage Pulp||Apr 25 2017|
Author Igor B. Maslowski was born in 1914 in Smolensk, Russia, which his parents left to settle in Poland, where Maslowski grew up. After studying French in Warsaw, he went to Paris to study law, and in 1935 he became a reporter for French radio. Later he became a film and theater critic, and from there he moved into writing fiction under his own name and the pseudonym Renée Gaudin. Above you see a very nice cover for his mystery Le jury avait soif, with unattributed art. The book was published by Éditions le Bruyère for its Collection la Cagoule in 1950, and the title in English means “the jury was thirsty.” However, the type of jury here is not a judicial one, but a literary one, convened to select the winner of a prize, a pursuit that's disrupted when one of the panel turns up dead. Pretty soon someone else is dead, and someone else, which in a way isn't a surprise, because the world of literature is actually pretty cutthroat. Aspiring novelists beware. Below, as a bonus, you see a cover of the same novel from Éditions du Chardon's Collection le Carillon, 1954.
|Femmes Fatales||Apr 25 2017|
This 1974 shot of the Japanese AV model Mimi came from an issue of Heibon Punch we bought a while back. It's pretty much impossible to isolate any information on her, because Mimi is actually a very popular name in Japan, as well as the name of a clothing line, a porn star, a movie, and some other things, but we thought we'd share the photo anyway. Apparently Mimi plays basketball, since her shirt says “Nice Sports Basketball.” Shirts against skins, anyone?
|Vintage Pulp||Apr 24 2017|
We ran across this West German poster for Solange ein herz schlaegt, aka Mildred Pierce, and realized we had a substantial gap in our film noir résumé. So we watched the movie, and what struck us about it immediately is that it opens with a shooting. Not a lead-in to a shooting, but the shooting itself—fade in, bang bang, guy falls dead. These days most thrillers bludgeon audiences with big openings like that, but back in the day such action beats typically came mid- and late-film. So we were surprised by that. What we weren't surprised by was that Mildred Pierce is good. It's based on a James M. Cain novel, is directed by Michael Curtiz, and is headlined by Joan Crawford. These were top talents in writing, directing, and acting, which means the acclaim associated with the movie is deserved.
While Mildred Pierce is a mystery thriller it's also a family drama revolving around a twice-married woman's dysfunctional relationship with her gold-digging elder daughter, whose desperation to escape her working class roots leads her to make some very bad decisions. Her mother, trying to make her daughter happy, makes even worse decisions. The movie isn't perfect—for one, the daughter's feverish obsession with money seems extreme considering family financial circumstances continuously improve; and as in many movies of the period, the only black character is used as cringingly unkind comic relief. But those blemishes aside, this one is enjoyable, even if the central mystery isn't really much of a mystery. Solange ein herz schlaegt, aka Mildred Pierce opened in West Germany today in 1950.
|Vintage Pulp||Apr 23 2017|
|Vintage Pulp||Apr 22 2017|
Mid-century sexploitation fiction left no profession untapped for tawdry thrills. You can put Naked Angels in the airline sleaze bin, along with the classic Bronson's 19 Year Old Stewardess and others. The story here actually follows a specific naked angel, and the twists and turns of her love life both in air and on the ground in various cities and countries. We may put together a small collection of covers from this genre sometime. 1959 on this one, with uncredited art.
|Vintage Pulp||Apr 21 2017|
Above is a Japanese poster for the 1972 blaxploitation film Come Back Charleston Blue, starring Godfrey Cambridge and Raymond St. Jacques as the Harlem detectives Gravedigger Jones and Coffin Ed Johnson. It was the sequel to the highly successful Cotton Comes to Harlem. The plot deals with the return of a legendary vigilante named Charleston Blue, who killed with a blue steel straight razor and is believed by some to be responsible for a series of recent slayings aimed at the local drug trade. He's supposed to be dead, but his casket is empty and his collection of razors has gone missing. Is he really back from beyond? You'll have to watch the movie to find out. Reviews were mixed, but there are some thrills and laughs, there's good location filming around Harlem and environs pre-gentrification, and the soundtrack by Quincy Jones and Donny Hathaway is a nice bonus. All-in-all, a middling effort, but certainly not a waste of time. Come Back Charleston Blue first played in Japan today in 1973.
|The Naked City||Apr 21 2017|
|Femmes Fatales||Apr 21 2017|
|Vintage Pulp||Apr 19 2017|
Pornodelirio was originally made in France as Les grandes jouisseuses and premiered today in 1978. The title literally means “the great enjoyers,” but Pornodelirio is a lot snappier, don't you think? As usual with these Italian smut posters, the names are all pseudonyms made especially for the movie's run in Italy. We don't know why, but if if any of the stars ever needed to go there at least their hotels weren't overrun by adoring, pornodelirious fans.
In any case, Annick Fougery, Anne Sand, Michele Perelo, and Pierre Forget are actually Brigitte Lahaie, Ursula White, Jean-Louis Vattier, and Dominique Aveline. It's weird that two of the pseudonyms are Fougery like “forgery” and Forget. And it's even weirder that Annick Fougery and Pierre Forget were actual French stars. But they certainly weren't in this movie. Did they ever know their names had been borrowed? Did Europe have trademark infringement laws in 1978? When they checked into hotels were they beseiged by pornodelirious fans?
This is all a bit of a mystery, but the only name in which we're really interested is Mafé. He or she painted the promo poster you see above and it's another example of his/her great work on an x-rated promo, along with this, these, and these, one of which you'll notice is an alternate poster for Pornodelirio. We still have no idea who Mafé is/was, but as always, we'll keep up the research. Soon as our delirium subsides. You wanna watch the film? The English dubbed version (with correct credits) is online right here.
|Vintage Pulp||Apr 19 2017|
Above, a beautiful black dust jacket for James Hadley Chase's thriller Believed Violent, 1968, from British publisher Robert Hale Limited. Chase gets right into this one with an adulterous sex scene on the opening page, and serious repercussions resulting from the subsequent murder. The book evolves to become an espionage caper, with Russians willing to pay a fortune for the secret formula behind the manufacture of a revolutionary new metal. Against that backdrop you get the broken man behind the formula, a sadistic professional killer, a one-eyed henchman, a sex slave heroin addict whose eventual rebellion has pivotal consequences, and Chase's franchise character Frank Terrell. The art here, which is what we really wanted to show you, is from Barbara Walton. We've mentioned her only briefly but as you can see she was a top talent. We're going to get back to her a little later.