|Vintage Pulp||Oct 18 2022|
It's a different kind of jungle book.
When we saw this cover for Stan Shafer's Heat, we had to have the book, because that's Kitty Swan, Swedish b-movie actress from the 1960s, hanging on a vine and looking good doing it. The shot is an unretouched promo image from her 1968 lost world flick Gungala la pantera nuda. You can see the studio lights behind her and a guy's hand on the ropes at lower right, providing a step for her foot. If this had been used for the movie, the studio would have cleaned those elements off the final version, so we think of this as an outtake image, borrowed by Midwood Books. Because of the publisher, we figured Heat would be light sleaze, but we were wrong—it's pure triple-x raunch.
In short, a sexually precocious girl named Anna is taken from her father and sent to a nunnery, where her corrupting influence prompts her being shipped off to Brazil, a place where she presumably can do less harm. Unfortunately, her plane crashes (it's partly her fault, if you'd like to imagine how it happened) and she's lost in the jungle, there to be rescued by tribesmen who think her the earthly incarnation of a fabled sex goddess. She becomes a pawn in a power struggle between the tribe's leader and its head priest, as well as their sexual plaything, and that of a horny puma.
Most of the events in this bizarre tale take place during the 1930s, and are related via a contemporary frame that features an elderly Anna narrating her own extraordinary life story to a reporter—and you just know that's going to get weird too, because the reporter is beautiful and Anna remains hot, a youthfulness she attributes to daily orgasms. We'll stop there, except to mention that several early plot events situate this book waaaaay beyond the pale for the sleaze genre. In fact, if not for the ultra rare Swan photo we wouldn't write about it at all. Actually, that's not true. We considered not writing about it, but we don't self censor. So let's just say you've been warned.