Vintage Pulp Jun 27 2015
PORTRAIT OF A LADY
Macario Gomez shows an ability to see the bigger wicker.

A couple of years ago we shared some posters by the Spanish artist Macario Gomez, including one rather creative effort for La mansion de la niebla, aka Murder Mansion. But commercial art isn’t always about creativity. This Gomez effort for Emmanuelle, which premiered yesterday in 1974 (and we meant to post it yesterday, except we got deeply involved in a deadly combo of beachy weather and white wine), is an almost exact reproduction of the photographed French promo poster, at right.

We say almost, because you can see that Gomez, whose distinctive signature appears at middle left on the poster, put actress Sylvia Kristel in a bigger wicker chair than in the photo. Or maybe it’s rattan. Whatever, they’re known as peacock chairs, and when they appear in promo art they’re reliable signifiers that what you’re going to get is softcore or sexploitation. They especially pop up during the 1970s and early 1980s. It might even be the same chair each time. In any case, we really like this poster from Gomez. It’s nothing more than a portrait made from a photo, true, but the final product is very nice, we think. As for the movie, we talked about it a bit way back in 2008. If you’re into romantic softcore, it’s pretty much mandatory.

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Modern Pulp May 3 2010
MADAME BUTTERFLY
Just exactly who’s Kitaen who here?

We recently stumbled upon across a full-sized version of a promo still of Tawny Kitaen we posted last year from her fantastically cheesy 1984 adventure The Perils of Gwendoline in the Land of the Yik Yak. These new images come from a website that seems to be missing in action now, so we can’t link to it, but thanks guys, wherever you are. For those who haven’t seen this movie, we aren’t going to sully our reputations by describing it as good. But it does have a certain, how shall we say, je ne sais quoi, an intangible wonderfulness that derives mainly from watching Tawny Kitaen transform from buttoned-up schoolmarm to mostly-naked warrior vixen. Also, it helps to be young, desperately horny virgins when you watch it. Actually, maybe that’s the only reason we liked it. In any case, this Raiders-style thriller about a woman chasing a mythical butterfly in the exotic wilds of China, ably directed by Emmanuelle auteur Just Jaeckin, is erotica at its most highbrow. Gwendoline is now considered a cult classic. Virgins and non-virgins alike should give it a whirl. 

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Modern Pulp Jun 6 2009
A STAR IS UNBORN
Was Dorothy Stratten really a superstar in the making? Her only film offers few clues.

The sole film foray by oft-eulogized Playboy model Dorothy Stratten, Galaxina is a low budget sci-fi farce that is to space operas what Steven Wright once was to stand-up comedy—which is to say, it presents the absurd with an utterly straight face. If not for Stratten it’s safe to say this film would be entirely forgotten by now. She plays the icy android caretaker of a deep space cruiser who reprograms herself so she can experience physical love. But this is no Just Jaeckin or Jesus Franco sex romp—director William Sachs plays it coy, and Stratten’s form-fitting jumpsuit stays firmly zipped throughout. Perhaps that is a sign of how seriously people took her talent—though she had already been nude for all the world to see, her handlers didn’t want to make the sexploitation flick everyone expected. How much of Stratten’s star potential is spun from thin air by Playboy’s aggressive self-promotional machine is difficult to say, because Galaxina is itself too thin to offer much evidence either way. But if we imagine for a moment that she had not been shotgunned to death and this film had been followed by a successful Hollywood career, Galaxina wouldn’t have been an embarrassment for Stratten to look back upon. Some of the greatest actors of all time can’t claim the same. Galaxina opened in the U.S. today in 1980.

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Vintage Pulp Dec 3 2008
KISS KISS, BANG BANG
X goes highbrow with the help of the French.

It’s hard to believe a film as artful as Emmanuelle, with its soft focus cinematography and ethereal music, was rated X when it was released, but then you reach the halfway point and see a stripper smoking a cigarette without using her mouth and you understand why. Based on a character created by author Emmanuelle Arsan—aka Marayat Bibidh aka Marayat Rollet-Andriane—the first Emmanuelle movie was produced unsuccessfully in Italy in 1969. But five years later a ravishing Dutch actress named Sylvia Kristel, below, brought the role to life with a mixture of smoldering sexuality and angelic innocence. She and director Just Jaeckin helped make Emmanuelle into a French franchise, and a role actresses lobbied for the honor of playing. Despite seemingly nine-hundred sequels that resulted—including a Cinemax stint inhabited by bombshell American actress Krista Allen—the original remains the best. It is one of the highest grossing films in French cinema history. The poster was designed by Steve Frankfurt, and the U.S. version of the film opened today in 1974.

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History Rewind
The headlines that mattered yesteryear.
December 05
1933—Prohibition Ends in United States
Utah becomes the 36th U.S. state to ratify the 21st Amendment to the United States Constitution, thus establishing the required 75% of states needed to overturn the 18th Amendment which had made the sale of alcohol illegal. But the criminal gangs that had gained power during Prohibition are now firmly established, and maintain an influence that continues unabated for decades.
1945—Flight 19 Vanishes without a Trace
During an overwater navigation training flight from Fort Lauderdale, five U.S. Navy TBM Avenger torpedo-bombers lose radio contact with their base and vanish. The disappearance takes place in what is popularly known as the Bermuda Triangle.
December 04
1918—Wilson Goes to Europe
U.S. President Woodrow Wilson sails to Europe for the World War I peace talks in Versailles, France, becoming the first U.S. president to travel to Europe while in office.
1921—Arbuckle Manslaughter Trial Ends
In the U.S., a manslaughter trial against actor/director Roscoe 'Fatty' Arbuckle ends with the jury deadlocked as to whether he had killed aspiring actress Virginia Rappe during rape and sodomy. Arbuckle was finally cleared of all wrongdoing after two more trials, but the scandal ruined his career and personal life.
December 03
1964—Mass Student Arrests in U.S.
In California, Police arrest over 800 students at the University of California, Berkeley, following their takeover and sit-in at the administration building in protest at the UC Regents' decision to forbid protests on university property.
1968—U.S. Unemployment Hits Low
Unemployment figures are released revealing that the U.S. unemployment rate has fallen to 3.3 percent, the lowest rate for almost fifteen years. Going forward all the way to the current day, the figure never reaches this low level again.
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