Vintage Pulp Oct 18 2022
ANIMAL IN HEAT
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.
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Femmes Fatales Jan 14 2022
THE BEAUTIFUL SVAN
I was never an ugly duckling. That's why you shouldn't believe fairy tales.


This photo of Swedish actress Kirsten Svanholm, better known by her pseudonym Kitty Swan, was made when she was filming the Tarzan-style adventure Gungala la pantera nuda, aka Gungala the Black Panther Girl in 1968, the second of two Gungala movies she headlined. After those films she appeared in a couple of official Tarzan movies, 1969's Tarzán en la gruta del oro, aka Tarzan in the Golden Grotto, and 1972's Tarzán y el arco iris, aka Tarzan and the Brown Prince, so you could say she ended up typecast. But what a type. We watched one of the Gungala films and it was ridiculous. Will that stop us from watching the other one? Not on your life.

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Vintage Pulp May 31 2020
GUNGALA DIN
Jungle orphan grows from little duckling into beautiful Swan.


Above are four Italian posters for Gungala la pantera nuda, aka Gungala the Black Panther Girl, starring Swedish actress Kitty Swan, née Kirsten Svanholm. Four posters? This must be a good movie, right? Well, not really. But the lost world concept was incredibly popular in international cinema during the 1960s, and in landing Swan for the title role, Summa Cinematografica and director Roger Rockfeller (Ruggero Deodato) knew they had something special on their hands. Tasked with making the most of an exceptionally beautiful star, they dutifully take care of the nuda aspect in the opening credits, and keep Swan lightly clothed throughout a movie that's basically Tarzan re-gendered—i.e. a young heiress survives a plane crash in the jungle, is taught by tribespeople to survive in a hostile environment, but has her idyllic existence of running hither and yon in slow motion ruined when folk from the civilized world come searching for her. And when these modern interlopers bring greed, guns, interpersonal dysfunction, and inheritance law to Swan's paradise, it looks like perhaps it's they who are uncivilized, not the primitive panther girl... We've seen it all before, but at least this iteration has Swan to keep the yawning at bay. Gungala la pantera nuda premiered today in 1968.

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Femmes Fatales Sep 20 2019
NICE KITTY
I enjoy staring evilly, ignoring people, occasionally rubbing my ass on the furniture. The usual cat stuff.


She was born in Copenhagen, Denmark as Kirsten Svanholm but when she hit Hollywood she called herself Kitty Swan. Under her Americanized moniker she appeared in such films as Tarzan in the Golden Grotto, House of 1,000 Dolls, and Virgin of the Jungle, all of which sound like pure cinematic awesomeness. We're going to watch all those movies. We promise. But we're going to start with Gungala, the Black Panther Girl. That one sounds like the best of all. We can't wait. Seriously. This photo is from 1971.

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History Rewind
The headlines that mattered yesteryear.
February 02
1969—Boris Karloff Dies
After a long battle with arthritis and emphysema, English born actor Boris Karloff, who was best known for his film portrayals of Frankenstein's monster and the Mummy, contracts pneumonia and dies at King Edward VII Hospital, Midhurst, Sussex, England.
February 01
1920—Royal Canadian Mounted Police Forms
In Canada, The Royal Canadian Mounted Police, aka Gendarmerie royale du Canada, begins operations when the Royal Northwest Mounted Police, founded 1873, and the Dominion Police, founded 1868, merge. The force, colloquially known as Mounties, is one of the most recognized law enforcement groups of its kind in the world.
1968—Image of Vietnam Execution Shown in U.S.
The execution of Viet Cong officer Nguyen Van Lem by South Vietnamese National Police Chief Nguyen Ngoc Loan is videotaped and photographed by Eddie Adams. This image showed Van Lem being shot in the head, and helped build American public opposition to the Vietnam War.
January 31
1928—Soviets Exile Leon Trotsky
Leon Trotsky, a Bolshevik revolutionary, Marxist theorist, and co-leader of the Russian October Revolution, is exiled to Alma Ata, at the time part of the Soviet Union but now located in Kazakhstan. He is later expelled entirely from the Soviet Union to Turkey, accompanied by his wife Natalia Sedova and his son Lev Sedov.
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