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.
Stop resisting us! We're politicians! We know what's best for women!
Above is a July 1977 issue of Adam magazine with cover art illustrating Alex Tait's short story “Sweet Revenge.” Tait was popular with the editors. We've run into him previously here and here, and both times he got the cover. This one deals with a man who's nearly killed by a jealous husband and subsequently learns that he'd been chosen by the cheating wife with that exact outcome in mind. She'd been having a longtime affair with an acquaintance of her husband, but had no way to get free from her marriage and maintain her financial security. So she chose the protagonist for a little nookie because he resembled her lover, and she figured if she engineered it so he was caught in bed with her and killed, her husband would go to prison and she'd retain his fortune and be free to continue her affair with lover number 1 in peace. It's a clever plot idea, but it's actually a near-direct copy of the central twist in Day Keene's 1954 novel Joy House. The plan in “Sweet Revenge” fails because Tait's protagonist isn't killed. Once he realizes what was behind his terrifying fight for survival he takes revenge on the femme fatale. The payback is nothing too awful—after trapping her and her lover in her bedroom, he rigs her house to billow smoke so the fire brigade shows up and catches her en flagranti, the point being to expose her to her stuffy neighbors and ruin her reputation. The whole time the cheated-upon husband has been lurking, watching, and afterward approaches the protagonist, and it's seemingly the beginning of a beautiful friendship. Tait's fiction is a bit better than most you find in Adam, in our opinion. It's very visual, anyway. Elsewhere among the issue's one-hundred pages is a factual story about something called the Green Goddess. The name intrigued us. What in the world could the Green Goddess be? Why, it's Cannabis sativa/ruderalis/indica, maryjane, chronic, weed, smoke, indo, dope, etc. We should have guessed. The story is mainly an informative overview of the plant's origins, uses, and references in ancient literature. It made us want to get high. Adam later offers up popular glamour model Nicki Debuse in four photo pages, and Swedish beauty Anita Hemmings, aka Annika Salomonsson, in one. The Hemmings/Salomonsson shot is unrecognizable facially, but we knew it was her just from the shape of her lovely body. Note to Adam editors: smoke less, print better. Thirty-eight scans below.
You can attain enlightenment through years of mental discipline, rigid study, and incessant ritual. Or you can just get properly laid once.
Above you see a poster for Yakuza kannon: Iro Jingi, known in English as Yakuza Justice: Erotic Code of Honor, and to dive right into this one, the movie starts bizarrely when a fisherman hooks the corpse of a drowned woman. She died pregnant, and defying all scientific laws, the fisherman delivers the child, though a cadaver obviously can't produce the labor contractions needed to push a baby out. But perhaps there's something mystical at work.
The infant grows into handsome Jirô Okazaki, who has been indoctrinated into monkdom and lives and works on the grounds of a vast temple complex. Onto those grounds one day comes Nozomi Yasuda, who is the daughter of a yakuza boss, and is promised to another yakuza boss. But she's broken the engagement, and when her erstwhile fiancée sends men to kidnap her the attempted snatch happens right in front of Okazaki. Boy saves girl, and sparks fly.
Okazaki's days had been filled by the typical meditation and drudgery of monks, but dealing with the slick yakuza and getting some sweet, sweet Yasuda lovin' changes him to the point where he soon sees the world through a modern, violent, sexual lens. He says at one point (speaking about himself in third person, which we guess monks do): “Seigen has had a taste of earthly life—starting with the tip of his cock.” The eloquence of the man is stunning.
The tale then takes a circular route that explains how Okazaki's mother ended up dead in that river in the first place. It's a stretch, but when it comes to Japanese films from this era that was their stock-in-trade. Okazaki continues down a dark path and eventually risks losing himself. Or finding himself, if you believe this is always who he was under his monk's robes. Birth or rebirth—in either case, Yakuza kannon: Iro Jingi is a pretty interesting story of transformation. It premiered today in 1973.
You'll really believe a girl boss can fly.
Above: an alternate poster for Document porno: Shin sukeban, which is a roman porno flick from Nikkatsu Studios that in English was called Semi Documentary: Truly High School Girl Boss. It premiered in Japan today in 1973. The poster is worth sharing mainly because it features a different—and more modest—martial arts kick than on the tateken promo we showed you before. What do we mean by more modest? Look here and find out.
They mix just fine as far as we're concerned.
As summer and the endless possibilities of that time of year approach, a person's thoughts turn naturally to— Oh, screw it. Let's not intellectualize it. It's basically always summer where we live, so who are we bullshitting anyway? We just like nude images. Here's an excellent example featuring one of our favorite actresses, Hitomi Kozue, star of Sukeban Deka: Dirty Mary, New True Story of a Woman Condemned to Hell, Confessions of a Female Secretary: Juice from the Fruit, and other worthy efforts, and who, like Pam Grier, Christina Lindberg, Reiko Ike, and other stars of obscure ’70s b-movies, we're determined to document in her entirety. This image came from a 1974 issue of Heibon Punch and it's part of a series, the amazing remainder of which we'll show you later. Teaser: they're even slipperier.
You get the feeling he's not her biggest Fanfan.
Above: a well worn cover for André Héléna's Fanfan la douleur, for Éditions le Trotteur's Condor collection, 1953. The art is by Jacques Thibésart, aka Nik, and it caught our eye because it seems to have been inspired by the famous promo image from Gilda of Glenn Ford losing his temper and slapping Rita Hayworth. At least we think so. If that's the case Thibésart wasn't going for an exact duplicate, but it feels about the same. You can check for yourself at our collection of Hollywood stars—including men on men, women on men, and women on women—slapping each other. It's fourth in the set.
A classic case of accessory before the act.
We were enticed to watch the film Wakazuma ga nureru toki, aka When a Young Wife Gets Wet for two reasons: Izumi. Shima. We consider her to be among the most beautiful of stars from the late 1970s early 1980s, and we had to find out why she was on the above poster sporting a dimestore wig and grease pencil mole. We should have seen it coming, considering she features two distinct looks here, but what you get is Shima as a woman who lives a double life. In one she's a housewife and in the other—as if you couldn't guess—she's a prostitute.
The movie has a plot we suspect only male filmmakers could come up with. Shima suffers a rape before her marriage, though justice of a sort is later applied, and afterward she seems to lead a happily wedded life. But nobody knows that she also haunts the alleys of Yokohama's red light district to repeatedly relive her degradation. Obviously, she needs to keep this second life secret, and when threatened we find that she'll do anything to avoid exposure. We do mean anything.
The movie, which came from Nikkatsu Studios and is part of its roman porno cycle, is more atmospheric than most from the genre. It's quite dark in parts—visually we mean—with a nervous jazz score that brings to mind the 2014 hit Birdman. The nice accompaniment helps, but the plot treads the same old territory, with screenwriter Masayasu Ôebara exploring the madonna-whore complex on behalf of the audience. In the end Wakazuma ga nureru toki is memorable only because it stars the radiant Shima. It premiered in Japan today in 1978.
Of all the different types of queens, I had to be the damn queen of S&M.
Maybe Junko Mabuki wasn't the queen of Nikkatsu Pictures' roman porno cycle, but she was certainly one of its major figures, and oh, the ordeals she went through in her fifteen films. This poster that has her looking like she somehow got stuck inside Batman's mask was made for Dan Oniroku hakui nawa jigoku, known in English as White Uniform in Rope Hell and—unfortunately—All Women Are Whores. We couldn't locate the movie, which caused us to breathe a sigh of relief. But if you want to know what Mabuki was all about, cinematically speaking, the films of hers we have watched include (English titles only) Female Teacher: Rope Hell, Female Beautician Rope Discipline, Secretary Rope Discipline, and Blazing Bondage Lady. Those titles should answer any questions. We also watched her in Hell of Roses, which, while its title seems to suggest a thematic and tonal change from Mabuki's usual fare, is also about ropes. Dan Oniroku hakui nawa jigoku premiered in Japan today in 1980.
They call her Marii—Daati Marii.
Above is a promotional poster in tatekan size for Sukeban Deka: daati Marii, which premiered in Japan today in 1974 and was known in English as Sukeban Deka: Dirty Mary. Obviously, the character is based on Clint Eastwood's Dirty Harry, and the name is phonetically spelled to assist Japanese pronunciation. Way back when we first talked about this flick we were able to watch it free online, but that boat has since sailed over the horizon. Now you'll have to watch it on Amazon Japan, which probably doesn't do you much good unless you speak Japanese. We wish we'd taken a few screenshots from the movie back then, but we were in a hurry that day. It's certainly worth a watch, should the opportunity arise. You can read a bit more about it here. As a bonus, we have some Kozue promo images below. Typically, she made nude photos, and indeed, we've already posted many and have others that are flat-out unbelievable which we'll share later. But today we wanted to show her in casual mode. You see her below, hanging out in Tokyo's Omiya Park.
Something in Mimsy Farmer's creepy old apartment building definitely doesn't smell right.
It's been a year, so we're retruring to giallo cinema today with Il profumo della signora in nero, known in English as The Perfume of the Lady in Black. The waifish Mimsy Farmer plays a chemical engineer working in Italy who begins experiencing macabre visions or hallucinations. Are these hauntings due to emerging psychological trauma triggered by the suicide of her mother years earlier? Are they somehow related to her university professor friend Andy, an expert on African religious rituals? Or maybe they're being staged by her pervy neighbor, or dissatisfied boyfriend, or weirdo girlfriend Francesca. An eerie psychic reading set up by her friends certainly doesn't help Farmer's mental stability. Shortly after that fiasco a little girl shows up at her door. Is she a manifestation of Farmer's younger self? What the hell is going on?
Well, it's giallo, so you just can't know. The genre typically involves an intersection of horror and mystery sprinkled with visual non sequiturs, indecipherable clues, and incomprehensible behavior. Mixed in are the usual details: garish lighting, rain and thunder, a disconcerting music box, unexplained disappearances, random cats, bug-eyed strangers, discordant violins, and so forth. In addition, the endings of giallos are usually meant to surprise, and in most cases you'll say to yourself, “Wait—wasn't there an easier way to get all that accomplished?” This one, which has a big reveal in more ways than one, brings up that question. But don't think about it too deeply. It's giallo. We can't say this example is good, but we will say Mimsy Farmer is extremely appealing. You might even call her... appetizing. You'll see what we mean if you watch the film. Il profumo della signora in nero premiered in Italy today in 1974
The headlines that mattered yesteryear.
1963—Gang Pulls Off Great Train Robbery
A fifteen member gang robs a train of £2.6 million at Bridego Railway Bridge, Ledburn near Mentmore in Buckinghamshire, England. Thirteen of the fifteen are later caught, but some subsequently escape from prison, and one, Ronnie Biggs, is only recaptured in 2001 after voluntarily returning to England.
After two years of public outcry over the Watergate scandal, U.S. president Richard M. Nixon announces to a national television audience that he will resign, effective the next day. Vice President Gerald R. Ford completes the remainder of Nixon's term.
1947—Journey of the Kon-Tiki Ends
Norwegian adventurer Thor Heyerdahl's balsa wood raft the Kon-Tiki, smashes into a reef in the Tuamotu Islands after a 4300 mile (7000 kilomteter) journey from South America. Heyerdahl was attempting to prove—in rather circuitous fashion—that South American natives were descended from Pacific Islanders.
1945—First Nuclear Weapon Is Used on Hiroshima
Hiroshima is leveled
when the atomic bomb codenamed Little Boy is detonated over the city by the United States. Around 70,000 people are killed instantly, and tens of thousands more die in the months and years ahead due to burns and radiation poisoning.
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