Vintage Pulp Dec 28 2022
WET CONDITIONS
Slippery pavement ahead. High accident risk. Proceed in low gear.


Above is a poster for Sex rider: Nureta highway, or alternatively Sex Rider: Wet Highway, starring Mari Tanaka as a woman about to be married who succumbs to a case of cold feet and flees her impending nuptials. Her escape gets off to a bad start when she hits a guy with her car. He's not seriously hurt, but seeing a chance to possibly profit, pretends to be gravely injured. Tanaka, no doctor she, mistakes his fake unconsciousness for death and decides to dispose of the body. Reality gets a little bent from that point, as the film descends into a dreamlike state and we poor confused viewers aren't actually sure if the guy is dead. In any case, Tanaka dumps the body in a lake, but is seen doing it by a nearby hunter, and is sexually assaulted by this witness. At that point the dead/not dead man reappears to defend her, claiming, “I'm the ghost of the guy you hit.” Okay.

That's all we'll do on the plot. We want to note that Nikkatsu Studios, undeniably, had an obsession with rape. Their movies are very against the grain nowadays (and were back then too, we suspect, or at least hope), but we think there's value in looking at them objectively. Modern art is always a momentary endpoint and has to be understood with its evolution in mind. That's why we don't judge these sometimes disturbing films too harshly. The 1970s were a time of cinematic exploration and it was coupled with a new sexual freedom wherein merely to shock with nudity was usually considered a nudge toward more liberation. As we understand it, many feminists back then were pro-nudity. It was a flip-off to a patriarchy that had stifled women for centuries.

But when VHS and the porn explosion came along the winds shifted. Billions were made selling women's bodies and women made virtually nothing. Digital tech, which arrived to stick nudity and sex in the faces of people who hadn't even asked to see it, was the final straw. Today, many people see any female nudity as exploitative, and rail against any depiction of violence against women as implicit endorsement of the same. It's understandable. We all have our own red lines. Everybody's upsettable. Even the people who claim to be hard-as-nails free expression absolutists. Don't believe it? Tell one of them you think belief in a god is childish, or you're tired of veneration of the armed forces, and see how that goes. Everyone is upsettable.

Japan was a more patriarchal society than many leading up to the roman porno period, so the push toward sexualization was quite strong there. Though cinematic censorship against frontal nudity and sex acts was firm, such prohibitions merely made Japanese filmmakers creative. It's incredible how shocking a roman porno movie can be without showing a wisp of pubic hair. The rape obsession is just one example. There was also a focus on bodily functions, submission, and more. Despite those shocks, we feel like roman porno films differ only in number—rather than content—from what was being produced in the West during the same period. In the U.S., France, Italy, Spain, Sweden, et al, the 1970 to 1980 timeframe was likewise characterized by an exploration of themes that today are considered taboo.

We love foreign films, and upon exploring Japanese cinema, we progressed from post-war dramas, to samurai and martial arts epics, to counterculture pinky violence films, and thence to roman porno. Ultimately, poster art is one of the linchpins of our site, and roman porno films have great posters, which is the main reason we talk about them so much. We could just share the posters and stop there, but that usually feels inadequate for people who take film as seriously as we (and hopefully you) do. So we watch the movies, but sometimes wonder if we've learned all we can from the genre and maybe should call it quits and move on. But for now we'll keep exploring films such as Sex rider: Nureta highway. In the end, we have to give it credit—at least it tried to be different. But it also should have tried to be better. It premiered in Japan today in 1971.
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Vintage Pulp Jul 19 2022
YOGISHA BARE
These sisters do everything together—including men.


This unusual poster was made to promote the Nikkatsu Studios roman porno flick Yogisha no Onna, starring Mari Tanaka, one of hardest working women on Nikkatsu's roster. She made eighteen films from 1971 to ’73, streaking like a comet across the sexploitation firmament. In Yogisha no Onna she stars as an obviously disturbed woman living with her sister Keiko Tsuzuki in a big, Western style house with their invalid father. The sisters have a love-hate relationship. The love: they share baths. The hate: they share a man. The latter occurs after their father finds Tsuzuki what he thinks is a suitable fiancée, jealousy results, and Tanaka decides that what's good for the sis is good for the sibling. Where does it all lead? If you want the answer you'll have to find out for yourself. We'll just say that as a somewhat early film from the roman porno cycle, Yogisha no Onna is neither unbearably weird nor unconscionably misogynistic, though it's not exactly a portrait of normal social adjustment either. It's possible serious fans of the genre will find the movie too tame, but personally, considering where some of the subsequent roman pornos went, tame was just fine with us. Yogisha no Onna premiered in Japan today in 1972.

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Vintage Pulp Dec 27 2021
SEVEN THE HARD WAY
Tanaka and company roll the dice and all kinds of craps happen.


This poster was made to promote the samurai actioner Sengoku rokku hayate no onnatachi, known in English internationally as The Naked Seven, starring the wonderful Mari Tanaka, along with Michiyo Mako, Yuri Yamashina, and others. Tanaka plays Eno, leader of a gang of seven female bandits roaming the countryside of Edo era Japan ambushing and stealing to survive. Tanaka hooks up with a samurai and helps him rob 120 rifles from a powerful warlord, at which point she and her bandit cohort are blamed. Realizing they're in the very deepest shit, they head for the hills with the warlord's bad men—one of whom is indescribably worse than the rest—in hot pursuit. Tanaka has a sanctuary in mind, but ultimately she and her gang of deadlies may have to make a final stand with those rifles.

We assumed The Naked Seven was a samurai actioner, and it is, sort of, but genetically it's really a roman porno. The movie's alternate English title (which we didn't know until afterward) gives it away: Civil War Rock: Hurricane Girls! The Japanese word “sengoku,” from the film's official title, refers to the Sengoku Era in Japan, a time of violent upheaval also known as the Warring States Period, so the civil war reference in the alternate English title makes sense. Plus director Yasuharu Hasebe would make a string of roman porno flicks in the next several years, including Sukeban Deka: Dirty Mary and Maruhi honeymoon: Boko ressha, which, terrifyingly, is aka Secret Honeymoon: Rape Train. Even without knowing all that, the roman porno thought process behind The Naked Seven became clear as the pursuit unfolded in occasionally shocking fashion.

We thought we'd jettisoned roman pornos after the last effort we watched, but that Naked Seven title fooled us. It's obviously a play on The Magnificent Seven—but naked!—and yup, unclothed debauchery fit for a Game of Thrones episode abounds. There's also a sequence in which Tanaka's entire gang is waylaid bathing in a stream and have to flee bare-assed into the woods. They escape, though it's logistically unlikely. Similarly, roman porno chased us and caught us unawares, metaphorically naked in a streaming. Escape from our waylaying was as logistically easy as pressing stop, but we forged ahead until the end, and we did it for you. Here's the upshot. The period setting helps set the movie apart, so we consider it a passable effort from Nikkatsu Studios. Thankfully, it's not as shocking as some roman pornos, but proceed carefully—there are still scary things in the woods. Sengoku rokku hayate no onnatachi premiered in Japan today in 1972.

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Vintage Pulp Sep 27 2021
ABOUT TO EXPLODE
She's pure pinku power in a pint-sized package.


This fantastic poster was made to promote the roman porno movie Joshidaisei: Sexy Dynamite, which was known in English as Female Coed: Sexy Dynamite, and starred the amazing Mari Tanaka, one of our favorite pinku actresses. Just as a reminder for the uninitiated, pinku is a Japanese film genre roughly analogous to sexploitation, though the definition can be more exclusive depending on where you look. Also, the films are not explicit, but manage to imply plenty with camera angles, props, and physical acting. Sexy Dynamite isn't available to us, sad to say, but we had to show you the poster anyway because it's so unusual. If we ever track down the film we'll update this entry. In the meantime, as consolation, check out the promo image of Tanaka below. Want to see more of her? Click her keywords below and start scrolling. Joshidaisei: Sexy Dynamite premiered in Japan today in 1972.
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Modern Pulp Jun 2 2021
TANAKA BREAK
A classic story of koi meets girl.


As we've mentioned before, we rarely share boxcover art, but sometimes we make exceptions. This image is the DVD cover of the 1973 roman porno film Koi no karyudo yokubo, aka Love Hunter: Lust, but in poster form with all the informational text and logos removed. Mari Tanaka is the star, and we have plenty of her in the website, including in amazing images like these two. We'll have more from her later, as well. Koi no karyudo yokubo premiered today in 1973.

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Intl. Notebook Mar 29 2021
A MOMENT TO REFLECT
Tanaka takes a turn in front of the mirror.


We're interested in all things Mari Tanaka, so we had to share this promo image featuring her striking a nice over the shoulder pose. This was made for her movie Rabu Hantâ: Atsui hada, aka Love Hunter: Hot Skin, which premiered in Japan today in 1972. You can see a couple of other interesting promos at our write-up on the film here.

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Vintage Pulp Sep 6 2020
A HOLE IN HER LIFE
Tanaka is crazy like a fox in diamond hunting caper.


Nikkatsu Studios goes cute on this fun poster for the pinku comedy Kôshoku kazoku: Kitsune to tanuki, known in English as Amorous Family: Like a Fox and a Raccoon. This starred the iconic Mari Tanaka, along with Mikiko Sakai and Michiko Komori, and the story revolves around several horny sisters and the search for a missing cache of diamonds worth 200 million yen. There's the usual sex and perversion, plus a typically pinku ending steeped in irony. We also managed to track down a promo image from the same shoot that spawned the poster. Looks like it was a fun session. We'll get back to Tanaka a bit later. Kôshoku kazoku: Kitsune to tanuki premiered in Japan today in 1972.

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Vintage Pulp May 5 2020
COLLEGE EMISSIONS
The most important entrance requirements are proper positioning and good lubrication.


Roman porno filmmakers used every possible Japanese social niche and professional realm for sexploitation fodder, so there's no chance they would overlook a milieu as ripe as higher education. Above are two pretty posters for Joshidaisei: sex hōteishiki, aka College Girls: Sex Equation, with roman porno goddesses Mari Tanaka and Hitomi Kozue. It premiered in Japan today in 1973. Basically, they're attending university but decide to do some nude modeling as a side hustle and things go weird in that roman porno sort of way. We looked around for a copy of it with no success, so we'll have to hope we see it later.
 
Want some bonus images? Alrightee, we are always happy to comply. Below you see Tanaka reacting with embarrassment after getting busted raiding the fridge when she's supposed to studying for her poli-sci exam. Meanwhile Kozue's study session has been so intense she doesn't even have the strength to make it to the kitchen. This is more or less how we've felt the last few weeks of this lockdown thing, but there's light at the end of the tunnel, or so we're being told. We shall see. Plenty more Tanaka and Kozue in the website. Just cllick their keywords below.

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Sex Files May 3 2017
DEAR DIARY
You can also write in it, in theory at least.

Nice diary, right? Well, don't worry about using it to set down your innermost thoughts—they're already in there, because this little baby is filled with pure smut. Way back we shared some scans from a couple of true oddities we acquired—porn from Malaysia disguised as mini diaries. The first one was stamped with the logo of Syarikat Great Wall Advertising, and the second was tucked inside a cover from the Tan Liat Seng Tea Company. When we posted the Tan Liat Seng diary we mentioned that we had a third example and promised to post it soon. Well, soon is relative, especially on Pulp Intl. But we're finally getting around to keeping that promise five years later.

Above you see the cover of diary three, which is logoless save for the year—1977. Below are assorted scans from inside. Japanese actress Mari Tanaka appeared in the Tan Liat Seng diary, and she pops up in this one too. Some of the other women may be celebrities, but we can't place them. When we shared the first of these we thought they were all printed by the same company, but now we wonder if these were more like Tijuana bibles, printed by numerous companies and sold on the sly. We may never know the answer, but in any case these diaries are priceless treasures, at least to us.

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Vintage Pulp Mar 29 2017
MISS LONELY HEART
A few moments of joy—an entire lifetime worth of regrets.

Here you see a promo poster for the roman porno flick Rabu Hantâ: Atsui hada, aka Love Hunter: Hot Skin, starring Pulp Intl. fave Mari Tanaka. In this one she plays a rich man's wife who indulges in an extramarital liaison, hooking up with her lover in a parked car, which thanks to some vigorous rocking generated by its occupants, goes down a hill. The lover is killed, and Tanaka suffers non-lethal injuries, though is trapped in the wreck. Thus immobilized she is victimized when a man shoots photos of the whole naked fiasco. Later he uses these photos for nefarious purposes—either Tanaka extracts blackmail cash from her husband or the photographer will show him the photos. It's really amazing the scrapes these roman porno actresses get into.

In addition to the poster above we also have a nice promo image of Tanaka below, probably her most provocative, at least that we've seen. The last image we shared of her was one we scanned that hadn't been seen online before. For that matter so was the first one we ever shared of her. But the below shot can be found on many sites, and for that reason we can't credit the original uploader because it's not possible to know who it was. But he or she did the cyberworld a service when they uploaded this one. Rabu Hantâ: Atsui hada is well worth seeing, but good luck finding it anywhere in the English speaking world. It premiered in Japan today in 1972.

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History Rewind
The headlines that mattered yesteryear.
May 25
1938—Alicante Is Bombed
During the Spanish Civil War, a squadron of Italian bombers sent by fascist dictator Benito Mussolini to support the insurgent Spanish Nationalists, bombs the town of Alicante, killing more than three-hundred people. Although less remembered internationally than the infamous Nazi bombing of Guernica the previous year, the death toll in Alicante is similar, if not higher.
1977—Star Wars Opens
George Lucas's sci-fi epic Star Wars premiers in the Unites States to rave reviews and packed movie houses. Produced on a budget of $11 million, the film goes on to earn $460 million in the U.S. and $337 million overseas, while spawning a franchise that would eventually earn billions and make Lucas a Hollywood icon.
May 24
1930—Amy Johnson Flies from England to Australia
English aviatrix Amy Johnson lands in Darwin, Northern Territory, becoming the first woman to fly from England to Australia. She had departed from Croydon on May 5 and flown 11,000 miles to complete the feat. Her storied career ends in January 1941 when, while flying a secret mission for Britain, she either bails out into the Thames estuary and drowns, or is mistakenly shot down by British fighter planes. The facts of her death remain clouded today.
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