1001 nights is not nearly enough time with Ayako Meki, Erina Miyai, and Izumi Shima.
A few years ago we shared an ultra rare tateken promo for the 1001 Nights inspired roman porno flick Tokyo eros senya ichiya. That poster was a follow-up to a standard poster we'd shared back in 2017. In both cases the movie was unavailable for us to watch. Well, above you see a magazine page featuring the movie's co-star Ayako Meki. This isn't directly a promo for the film, but she's dressed in character. The text says “because you look 21,” which is weird, and goes on to describe her as “an exciting new power.” We're showing this to you because the movie premiered today in 1979, and this time we did have a copy to watch.
Known in English as Eros Nights in Tokyo, the story here involves lonely young Kiyoyasu Adachi and three women in his life—Izumi Shima, Ayako Meki, and Erina Miyai. We can't fault the guy's taste, but we do take exception to his methods. He succumbs to creepy urges such as spying on Shima (who's his stepmother), attempting to force a kiss upon Meki (which devolves into a full-scale perv attack), and looking up the skirt of Miyai (who's mentally disabled). Later he grows a bit more subtle in his attempts to indulge his urges, such as when he convinces Shima to accept a personalized wash, full body massage, and more. After that nipply nuru session, his stepmom is fully on board with further advances.
By now it's clear to the viewer that fantasy has overtaken reality for Adachi. We've seen this line crossed in numerous films, and it's usually a subtle trip across the border. When did it happen here? It's hard to be sure, but probably sometime after Adachi was chased by a policeman that somehow multiplied into an entire Keystone Kops style squad, and sometime before he was showered with a fortune in gold coins from a fountain.
All this stuff is mostly played for laughs, and indeed there are some legitimately funny moments, though not nearly as many as the filmmakers intended. We're talking about a Nikkatsu Studios roman porno production, which means that even as comedy it has the usual trappings of that genre, and those trappings just aren't humorous. For example, there's an attempted gang rape, which Adachi foils in full gangster mode, as the entire situation morphs into a set piece right out of American grindhouse cinema. Funny? No. Creative. For sure.
As we've mentioned before, by 1979 Nikkatsu was trying new ideas for its roman porno line, and Tokyo eros senya ichiya certainly qualifies. It's hard to judge such an outrageous flick objectively, so we won't try except to say that it's well made, as these films always are. We will mention, though, that we were disappointed none of the stars wore a harem costume. It turns out that 1001 Nights was a more oblique inspiration than we assumed. Have a look at the other posters here and here and you'll see what we expected. Do we recommend the film? Yes, of course. It has Izumi Shima. Full stop.
For her taking risks is just feline nature.
This poster was made for Toba no mesu neko: Suhada no tsubo furi, known in English as Cat Girls Gamblers: Naked Flesh Paid into the Pot, the second of three Cat Girls films. We shared a poster for the first back in 2014 before we could access the movies, but now we have them, so we screened part two last night. The lead in this and the other installments is Yumiko Nogawa, who plays a wandering gambler whose murdered father was a famous maker of rigged dice. After Nogawa's lover is killed in a dice game she swears never to play again, takes a job working at a Turkish bath, and seems to be dedicated to living a quiet existence.
But her idyll is turned upside down when she shelters a recently paroled criminal who wants to gain control of a yakuza territory he'd been promised before going to prison. The crime boss currently running the territory has no intention of giving it up, and Nogawa seems likely to be dragged into the middle of the conflict. As it turns out, she's working in the Turkish bath only as a means to find her father's killer. Since her interests and those of her new friend are aligned, they hatch a plot that just might give them both what they want.
This is a solid effort from Nikkatsu Studios, before the front office bigwigs had their roman porno revelation and leaned hard into sexploitation for the entire 1970s and beyond. Shot in black and white, the feel is arthouse, with a police subplot giving it shadings of an American detective drama. Nogawa, a movie veteran who began her career with 1964's famed Nikutai no mon, is self-assured as the headliner, and the entire supporting cast is good. A climactic fight perhaps won't seem convincingly choreographed to modern viewers, but we recommend taking a chance on this gambling drama anyway. Toba no mesu neko: Suhada no tsubo furi premiered in Japan today in 1965.
This place is so unspoiled. It'd be perfect for an ecolodge with Mayan saunas and an infinity pool.
Once upon a time, when headshops were the rage, some sold posters for the entertainment and edification of young male customers, as we discussed not long ago. This one was printed in 1972 by Platt Poster Co. of Los Angeles, and is titled “Lady Barbara.” Actually, though, the model is Swedish beauty Annika Salmonsson, who usually posed under the name Anita Hemmings, and appeared in scores of magazines. She's previously appeared in Pulp Intl. too, inside a 1977 issue of the Aussie men's magazine Adam. Though the poster is faded from hanging on some horndog's wall for years, it's not so damaged that Salmonsson's marvelous beauty doesn't shine through. We'll bring her back in a bit. Until then, see her in that Adam here, and on a paperback cover here.
How can you think about sex when as we stand here quantum gravity won't fit into the standard model of quarks and leptons?
Above is an alternate poster made for Joshi daisei: Sex kaki seminar, which was also known as Joshidaisei: Sex kaki zeminaaru, and premiered today in 1973. It starred Masumi Jun, Isao Hayashi, and Setsuko Ôyama, who portray three collegians who sign up for a seminar that gets weird. It had no Western release, therefore no English title, but the Japanese would translate to something like “female college student sex summer seminar.” See another poster and learn a bit more about the film here.
If you use your imagination you can picture people getting royally screwed.
There are a lot of late-stage sleaze novels from Midwood Books, which went out of business around 1980 (Wikipedia says 1968, but it's wrong). We chose to read Will Rudd's 1978 romp Joy Ride for one reason—the cover features Swedish model Anita Hemmings, aka Annika Salmonsson, who we have upcoming on a rare headshop poster from 1972. Sadly, the book is a poorly written, overly long, raunchy but heatless story about a chump named Pollack whose cross country trip takes many strange turns.
But there is one point of interest: the cast of characters includes a couple named Harry and Meg. Harry is fair-skinned, while Meg is a “little lighter than her hair,” which is “tan and long.” Weird, right? They don't otherwise bear any resemblance to the royal couple, but still, you get unprompted visuals to accompany moments like: Meg, who'd opened her eyes and was beholding the world through semen-smeared glasses, felt Harry's cock swell gallantly in her mouth. It was worth a chuckle, but don't let it lure you. The book is really, really horrible.
Just because she's high class doesn't mean she can't get down.
This lovely poster was made for the roman porno movie Yamanote fujin: Seiai no hibi, known in English as Uptown Lady: Days of Eros, and the star is the incomparable Izumi Shima, centerpiece of at least three dozen films for Nikkatsu Studios in a mere four years from 1977 to 1981. Here she plays the young wife of an old, blind classical dance teacher, and becomes the focus of romantic feelings from her husband's son from an earlier marriage. The two are around the same age, which is probably one reason Shima begins to have feelings too, though it's oh so very wrong. Would it be incest to boink your son-in-law? We don't know the legal ramifications, but it would certainly be a case of bad judgment. This exact type of bad judgment is of course standard territory for Nikkatsu, but under the direction of Masaru Konuma Seiai no hibi is gentler and more poetic than the usual fare. After seeing Shima receive forced enemas in other roman pornos this was a nice change.
Shima eventually gives in to her son-in-law in a hot and sweaty/oily sequence. The encounter features a sixty-nine and some pretty concentrated nipple licking by Shima that sent a ripple through our innards. Some guys don't like their nipples licked, but we think they're crazy. In our view, the nipples are a required pitstop on any excursion along the body, whatever the ultimate destination. Shima and her son-in-law have a second encounter, also of the wet and shiny variety, this time in a red-lit room, and once more it's a well shot and stimulating scene. But it's here that we must issue our standard warning to novices that roman porno is not porno—the appellation stands for “romantic porno,” and the movies are softcore, with no genitalia displayed. In order to find them stimulating, you have to use your imagination. That might be a problem for anyone under age thirty.
Anyway, for Shima's husband to not know something's going on he'd have to be blind—doh! rimshot! Read the premise again. He's a blind dance teacher. You know that cliché about the blind compensating with their other senses to the extent that they don't miss their vision at all? This movie hews to that concept. However, Shima's hubby is circumspect in marriage, if domineering as a teacher, so he doesn't let on that he knows—at first. Since Shima is not just his wife but also his star student, she has her career as a future natori to consider, and he knows that. How it eventually concludes we'll leave for you to discover on your own. We can tell you that serious roman porno enthusiasts tend to find this movie too sedate, but the less bizarre approach worked great for us. Of course, anything with Shima works great for us. Yamanote fujin: Seiai no hibi premiered in Japan today in 1980.
The fundamental things apply whenever Hitomi comes by.
Yes, we just saw Hitomi Kozue last week, and here she's popped up again in the 1974 sexploitation flick Zoku tameiki, which translates as “continuous sigh,” but was called in English Sigh 2. And indeed, the movie is positioned as follow-up to 1973's Tameiki, aka Sigh, though that film starred Yumiko Tateno. In this one, Hitomi plays an office worker who's willing but frightened to lose her virginity and manages to get tangled up with her mother's ex-lover. It's Nikkatsu Studios once again exploring unlikely sexual dilemmas, with the usual array of pervs, stalkers, and aggressors dragging down the film's erotic aspirations. That doesn't mean there aren't a few stirring scenes. We rather enjoyed when Hitomi checked out her pieces-parts with a hand mirror.
Some reviews of Zoku tameiki say it's about intergenerational issues. Well, sure, they're in there. Issues will arise when daughter and mother bed the same guy, and there are suggestions of daddy issues in Hitomi's fears about embarking upon sexual life, but we're not buying this as any kind of deep rumination, intergenerational or otherwise. What it is, when you boil it down, is a standard roman porno flick that makes less-than-adequate use of Hitomi Kozue's presence. As always, she does fine in her role, is amazingly beautiful, and is convincing as a shy girl, but we were unmoved by the script and nonplussed by several comic interludes. The movie isn't bad. It's merely that its only true asset is the radiant Kozue. For some viewers, us included, that's enough, but the filmmakers should have done a bit better. Zoku tameiki premiered in Japan today in 1974.
You'll love this. It's called a body shot and it makes American girls squeal with delight.
Some things never go out of style. We don't mean body shots. We mean covers by the French artist Jacques Thibésart, aka Nik. He painted the above example for the 1953 crime comic Cette fille est sans pitié! No author is listed on the front, but it was written by George Maxwell, aka Georges Esposito, for Presses Mondiales and its series Les grands romans dessinés. We have a fair amount of Thibésart in the website. Two of his better efforts are here and here.
Hitomi hits the coast for a private holiday.
Here during the depths of winter (for those of you that experience winter) we thought we'd give you the hottest images we could find to stir your blood. Above are a few looks at Japanese actress Hitomi Kozue, who, according to a bit of accompanying text we didn't bother to show, is enjoying a rare sunny day during the 1974 tsuya, or East Asian rainy season. Hitomi is the star of such films as Sukeban Deka: Dirty Mary, Sex-Crime Coast: School of Piranha, True Story of a Woman Condemned, and its sequel, and you may remember we promised we'd return to her after sharing an image last year from this same photo session.
Based on what we've seen Hitomi seems to have been the boldest Japanese cinema star of the ’70s when it came to her promo images. These are nicely conceived and composed, tasteful, yet audacious and visceral. Some cultures, including the U.S., have regressed to the point where almost any nudity is now shocking, but eroticism has always been a valid art form, and it will thrive again once people remember that bodies forced under wraps are exactly what previous generations fought so hard against in order to wrest free expression from external control. Hitomi is uncontrollably beautiful.
The headlines that mattered yesteryear.
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.
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.
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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