Vintage Pulp Nov 14 2016
SHAGGY DOG STORY
After the apocalypse man's best friend is more important than ever.

This is a pretty unassuming poster considering A Boy and His Dog is one of the top cult films of the 1970s. It was painted by Robert Tanenbaum, a major talent in the realm of American cinema illustration. Based on a novella by Harlan Ellison, and starring a young Don Johnson as well as early Pulp Intl. femme fatale Susanne Benton (who you can see in all her glory here), A Boy and His Dog is a post-apocalyptic tale of desperate survivors wandering radioactive wastelands scratching out a hard fought existence. Mutations have done a number on living creatures, which is why Johnson's co-star is a shaggy telepathic dog named Blood. Man and dog have a symbiosis, with Johnson offering protection, the dog sniffing out food and women, and both profiting companionship. Sounds goofy, we know, but the telepathic dog bit really works. Blood is irascible, but funny, smart, and warm, while Johnson is a slave to his id and libido. Ultimately, circumstances offer a choice between a dangerous and unpredictable freedom on the wastelands, or a secure but tedious existence in an underground sanctuary. The final question becomes whether conventionality diminishes a man. Playing like a bizarro prequel to The Road Warrior, and ultimately revealing itself to be a barroom joke stretched out to feature length, this is a film we recommend, however be forewarned that Harlan Ellison's post-apocalypse is a tough place for women. A Boy and His Dog premiered in the U.S. today in 1975.

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Modern Pulp Jun 12 2012
DELINQUENT ACCOUNTS
Harlan Ellison collection of early street fiction hits bookstore shelves.

Good news for pulp fans. Norton Records, through its publishing arm Kick Books, is releasing a collection of post-pulp author Harlan Ellison’s early juvenile delinquent fiction. Ellison, many of you already know, made his rep writing some of the most out there sci-fi of the 1960s and 1970s, including 1969’s classic novella “A Boy and His Dog,” 1974’s award winner “The Deathbird,” and 1978’s collection Strange Wine. The new Kick Books collection, entitled Pulling a Train, brings together Ellison’s juvenile delinquent fiction, which he wrote during the late 1950s and early 1960s.

For those unfamiliar with his work, we could cite chapter and verse some of the astounding prose he’s set to paper (“Croatoan,” “All the Birds Come Home To Roost,” “I Have No Mouth, and I Must Scream”), but instead just consider this: one of his favorite activities over the years has been to sit in a bookstore window beginning at opening time, and by the end of the day have written a complete short story. On a typewriter. And to make the feat more challenging, the premise or first sentence of the story would be supplied to him by a stranger. Yet, at least one of these tales went on to win awards. You can learn a bit more about the unique Ellison and his new collection at the Norton Records/Kick Books website. 

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Femmes Fatales Dec 12 2008
BENTON PLEASURE
The girl with the sweet plump knees.


Above, American actress Susanne Benton, who appeared in numerous films during the late 1960s and into the 1970s, but is a cult favorite because of her turn as Quilla June Holmes in the post-apocalyptic classic A Boy and His Dog, seen here in 1970. The "sweet plump knees" subhead, by the way, comes from a well-known Thomas Dewey pulp novel.

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History Rewind
The headlines that mattered yesteryear.
August 14
1912—U.S. Invades Nicaragua
United States Marines invade Nicaragua to support the U.S.-backed government installed there after José Santos Zelaya had resigned three years earlier. American troops remain for eleven years.
1936—Last Public Execution in U.S.
Rainey Bethea, who had been convicted of rape and murder, is hanged in Owensboro, Kentucky in what is the last public execution performed in the United States.
August 13
1995—Mickey Mantle Dies
New York Yankees outfielder Mickey Mantle dies of complications from cancer, after receiving a liver transplant. He was one of the greatest baseball players ever, but he was also an alcoholic and played drunk, hungover, and unprepared. He once said about himself, "Sometimes I think if I had the same body and the same natural ability and someone else's brain, who knows how good a player I might have been."
August 12
1943—Philadelphia Experiment Allegedly Takes Place
The U.S. government is believed by some to have attempted to create a cloak of invisibility around the Navy ship USS Eldridge. The top secret event is known as the Philadelphia Experiment and, according to believers, ultimately leads to the accidental teleportation of an entire vessel.
1953—Soviets Detonate Deliverable Nuke
The Soviet Union detonates a nuclear weapon codenamed Reaktivnyi Dvigatel Stalina, aka Stalin's Jet Engine. In the U.S. the bomb is codenamed Joe 4. It is a small yield fission bomb rather than a multi-stage fusion weapon, but it makes up for its relative weakness by being fully deployable, meaning it can be dropped from a bomber.
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