Vintage Pulp Jan 4 2018
HARD CANDY
It's bad for you but impossible to resist.


When we saw the promo materials for Sweet Sugar we had to watch the movie, because women-in-prison flicks are one of the most reliable forms of guilty fun out there. This one premiered in January 1972, and stars the majestic Phyllis Davis as the archetypal uppity American woman laid low in a tropical hellhole prison. How she got there doesn't really matter. It's what goes on there that the film is built around—medical experiments, a cruel warden, sadistic guards, and not nearly enough clothing to go around. Davis wins over the other inmates and eventually leads them in a chaotic escape attempt. As a women-in-prison entry Sweet Sugaris pretty well regarded, but of course utterly ridiculous and impossibly cheap—the entire budget could probably fit in the rear pockets of Davis's short-shorts. She actually appeared in another tropical prison flick, by the way—1973's Terminal Island, which we talked about a few months ago. In that one she was part of the scenery. In this earlier effort she's asked to carry the film and manages to lug it for ninety steaming minutes without once breaking down in tears and placing a furious call to her agent. Now that you know what you're going to get with Sweet Sugar don't place a furious call to us. We warned you.

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Femmes Fatales Dec 16 2017
ON DANCER, ON PRANCER
Vera to the right, Vera to the left, Vera all over the place.


You often see U.S. born Vera-Ellen's name spelled without the hyphen, but it needs to be there. She was born Vera-Ellen Westmeier Rohe. She had another hyphen too—she was an actress-dancer, working both on Broadway and in Hollywood. Some of her films: On the Town, Let's Be Happy, The Kid from Brooklyn and Carnival in Costa Rica. The above photo was made for 1954's White Christmas, and just for fun there are more below. If you weren't already in the holiday spirit, we hope you are now.



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The Naked City | Vintage Pulp Nov 23 2010
WAITING FOR LEPKE
Sing-Sing the body electric.


This True Detective from November 1939 features a cover painting of mobster Louis “Lepke” Buchalter, whose flight from authorities had taken him from the U.S. to Mexico, and then to Costa Rica, Puerto Rico and Cuba, and across the ocean to England, France and Germany. Buchalter had begun his career in organized crime by shaking down pushcart operators in Brooklyn, and had risen through the ranks of the criminal-controlled fur industry by doing every type of dirt imaginable, from issuing threatening phone calls to garment union activists to throwing acid in a competitor’s face. Eventually he was running a criminal empire that stretched to both coasts, and was acting as head of the infamous assassination squad Murder, Inc.

In 1936 Buchalter went into hiding after he became aware that criminal charges were being prepared against him. Not long after he dropped out of sight, he was indicted for smuggling an estimated $10 million in heroin into the U.S. from Hong Kong. The FBI printed a million posters and displayed them in every post office, police station, and federal building in America. All this attention was a problem for U.S. mob bosses, and so with characteristic unsentimentality, they decided Buchalter had to surrender. Convincing him was not difficult. While he undoubtedly had the flair and intelligence to dodge the feds indefinitely, living in another country away from the old neighborhood and away from the hundreds of underlings who respected him was not his style. Buchalter was a mobster through-and-through. To him, an anonymous existence, even in a tropical paradise or cosmopolitan foreign capitol, was little different from being in prison.

Buchalter’s associates got word to him that if he came back to the U.S. he would be able to surrender personally to J. Edgar Hoover. Surrendering to the Feds meant he would not face a more serious group of charges brought by Manhattan D.A. Thomas Dewey. But it was wishful thinking. The federal charges were rapidly followed by Dewey’s charges and Buchalter earned a fourteen-year jolt in the pen. His legal team hoped tohave the sentence reduced via appeals and procedural maneuvers, but when a snitch fingered Buchalter for ordering the murder of a candy store owner named Joe Rosen, he was tried for the killing, convicted, and sentenced to execution. By some estimates Buchalter had been responsible for a thousand murders as head of Murder, Inc., but all it took was one to seal his fate. Louis "Lepke" Buchalter was electrocuted in Sing-Sing prison's famous "Old Sparky" electric chair on March 4, 1944, perhaps while realizing life on a beach in Costa Rica hadn’t been so bad after all.

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Sportswire Sep 23 2009
BRADY'S BUNCH
Lawsuit alleges Tom Brady’s hired muscle shot at two photographers

From previous episodes pretty much everyone in the world knows that New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady is not one of those guys who enjoys the attention that comes with fame—unless the attention is coming from Brazilian models.

Two photographers found out firsthand just how camera shy Brady is, and the mess that resulted led to them suing Brady and his wife Gisele Bundchen yesterday. The court papers read like a chapter from an Ian Fleming novel, complete with the leafy tropical hideaway, menacing bodyguards, and lethal gunfire. The alleged incident occurred in Costa Rica in early April, when AFP photographer Yuri Cortez and colleague Rolando Aviles of the daily newspaper Al Dia tried to photograph Brady and Bundchen at a party being thrown on private property. The photogs had gotten permission to venture onto a neighboring property, from which they shot photographs of the party occurring next door. So far so good for the shutterbugs.

However, according to the court papers, when the two were returning to their rented SUV, bodyguards hired by Brady and Bundchen appeared, demanding their cameras and memory cards. Aviles immediately booked for the car, leaving Cortez to deal with the bruisers. Cortez claims one bodyguard twisted his arm behind his back and told him the Brady-Bundchen family wanted to have a chat. Aviles was still with the SUV at this point, and the confrontation moved in that direction. At some point the photographers claim they spotted a gun in the hands of one bodyguard and decided to drive away. That bodyguard or another then fired at the SUV, the bullet shattering the rear window and ricocheting off the windshield.

Asked for comment Brady’s lawyer said he had not seen the court papers yet, and Bundchen’s people said they had no comment. But we have a comment. If the charges are true, we wonder if the NFL’s zero tolerance conduct policy will apply to Brady. We doubt it. New York Giants receiver Plaxico Burress just got two years for accidentally shooting himself in the leg in a Manhattan nightclub and will face a league suspension even after he gets out of jail, but we think employing bodyguards who shoot at two fleeing men is equally disturbing. Just saying—and no we aren’t Jets fans.

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Mondo Bizarro May 27 2009
STATING THE OVNIOUS
Aliens are unimaginably advanced but haven’t figured out stealth technology.


Personally, we think if aliens were able to traverse the immense gulfs of space to visit Earth, by definition they’d be technologically advanced enough to prevent us from seeing them. But UFO believers are legion, and UFO websites continue to grow in popularity, particularly in France, where unidentified flying objects are known as Objets Volant Non-Identifié, or OVNIs. The images here are from the French website forum-ovni-ufologie.com. From top to bottom they were shot—or perhaps faked, depending on your beliefs—in Catalina, U.S.A. July 9, 1947, Bulawayo, Rhodesia 1953, Barra-da-Tijuca, Brazil 1952, Liege, Belgium 1990, Phoenix, U.S.A. 1997, Lac Chauvet, Puy de Dôme, France 1952, and above Lago di Cota, Costa Rica 1971.

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History Rewind
The headlines that mattered yesteryear.
November 13
1971—Mariner Orbits Mars
The NASA space probe Mariner 9 becomes the first spacecraft to orbit another planet successfully when it begins circling Mars. Among the images it transmits back to Earth are photos of Olympus Mons, a volcano three times taller than Mount Everest and so wide at its base that, due to curvature of the planet, its peak would be below the horizon to a person standing on its outer slope.
November 12
1912—Missing Explorer Robert Scott Found
British explorer Robert Falcon Scott and his men are found frozen to death on the Ross Ice Shelf in Antarctica, where they had been pinned down and immobilized by bad weather, hunger and fatigue. Scott's expedition, known as the Terra Nova expedition, had attempted to be the first to reach the South Pole only to be devastated upon finding that Norwegian explorer Roald Amundsen had beaten them there by five weeks. Scott wrote in his diary: "The worst has happened. All the day dreams must go. Great God! This is an awful place."
1933—Nessie Spotted for First Time
Hugh Gray takes the first known photos of the Loch Ness Monster while walking back from church along the shore of the Loch near the town of Foyers. Only one photo came out, but of all the images of the monster, this one is considered the most authentic.
1969—My Lai Massacre Revealed
Investigative journalist Seymour Hersh breaks the story of the My Lai massacre, which had occurred in Vietnam more than a year-and-a-half earlier but been covered up by military officials. That day, U.S. soldiers killed between 350 and 500 unarmed civilians, including women, the elderly, and infants. The event devastated America's image internationally and galvanized the U.S. anti-war effort. For Hersh's efforts he received a Pulitzer Prize.
November 11
1918—The Great War Ends
Germany signs an armistice agreement with the Allies in a railroad car outside of Compiègne in France, ending The Great War, later to be called World War I. About ten million people died, and many millions more were wounded. The conflict officially stops at 11:00 a.m., and today the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month is annually honored in some European nations with two minutes of silence.
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