Vintage Pulp Mar 5 2009
TO DYE FOR
Exploitation classic Black Shampoo is a must-see cavalcade of afros and bushes


We'll just get right to the point. Black Shampoo is a monument of gratuitous skin and gunplay almost unequaled in the annals of blaxploitation. The film was a take on the Warren Beatty flick Shampoo, but done on the cheap, with burly John Daniels in the lead as a womanizing hair salon proprietor who runs afoul of the mob. You get every stereotype in the book here, and they’re all good for a laugh. Even Tanya Boyd's copious nudity is pushed to an unintentionally comical extreme, as she is at one point forced to flee for her life wearing nothing but a man’s dress shirt fastened by a single button, making the whole long chase over the hills and through the woods a game of peek-a-bush. In another scene she stares down at her own naked body as if thinking, "My God, I am so hot even I have to look." No argument there. We just love this movie. Social relevance—uh, not really. Entertainment value—extremely high. Black Shampoo opened in the U.S. today in 1976.

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History Rewind
The headlines that mattered yesteryear.
August 16
1942—Blimp Crew Disappears without a Trace
The two-person crew of the U.S. naval blimp L-8 disappears on a routine patrol over the Pacific Ocean. The blimp drifts without her crew and crashes in Daly City, California. The mystery of the crew's disappearance is never solved.
1977—Elvis Presley Dies
Music icon Elvis Presley is found unresponsive by his fiancée on the floor of his Graceland bedroom suite. Attempts to revive him fail and he's pronounced dead soon afterward. The cause of death is often cited as drug overdose, but toxicology tests have never found evidence this was the case. More likely, years of drug abuse contributed to generally frail health and an overtaxed heart that suddenly failed.
August 15
1969—Woodstock Festival Begins
The Woodstock Music & Art Fair, which was billed as an Aquarian Exposition, takes place on a 600 acre dairy farm in Bethel, New York. It would run for three sometimes rainy days and feature thirty-two acts performing at all hours of the day and night. Today the festival is regarded as one of the greatest events in popular music history.
1977—Radio Signal Arrives from Deep Space
An unidentified radio signal, nicknamed the WOW Signal for the notation a scientist made on a computer readout, is briefly detected by the SETI (Search for Extra-Terrestrial Intelligence) project's Big Ear radio telescope. Despite a month of searching the same section of space, the signal is never found again.
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.
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