Femmes Fatales Mar 16 2024
ALL ABOUT EVE
The exact opposite of buttoned up tight.


Eve Meyer, who was Eve Turner before marrying filmmaker Russ Meyer, is seen here in a photo made when she was a Playboy centerfold in 1955. A black and white version of the photo was included in that layout. After a few years modeling, Meyer appeared in several films, then produced fifteen movies, including Cherry, Harry & Raquel, Motorpsycho, and Beyond the Valley of the Dolls, all of which are schlock classics. We think this shot of her is classic too.

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Vintage Pulp Feb 27 2024
ZINSATIONAL
A new twist on a classic art form.


The two items above serve as interesting examples of how long Technicolor lithographs were manufactured in the U.S. We've seen and shared examples from as far back as 1952, but the two above feature Pamela Zinszer, who modeled and acted during the early 1970s and was a Playboy centerfold in March 1974. We've gotten used to calling these Technicolor lithos because of the printing process, but we can't be sure ones as late as these used that method. We'll stick with the terminology, though. See plenty more Technicolor lithos by clicking the keywords just below.

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Femmes Fatales Dec 29 2023
ALL THAT GLITTERS
No, she's not gold. She's something far better.


This Christmas themed image of Algerian born Italian star Edwige Fenech was made in 1976 while she was filming the comedy Cattivi pensieri, known in English as Evil Thoughts. She actually does in the film exactly what you see here, posing and dancing on a table while covered in holiday glitter, before being whisked off to bed by co-star Luc Merenda for some hazy focus softcore sex. Don't let that entice you into watching the movie, though. Fenech is a wonder, but she's done far better stuff.

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Femmes Fatales Nov 25 2023
CAUGHT IN HER NETS
If she was fishing for compliments she probably got them.


Danish actress Kirsten Lindholm strikes an interesting pose in this promo image made around 1970. Acting under her own name and as Kirsten Betts, she had small roles in seven movies, including The Love Factor, Crescendo, Twins of Evil, The Vampire Lovers, and Lust for a Vampire. Four of those were horror flicks made by Hammer Studios, which is why she's remembered by cult movie fans as a “Hammer horror babe,” which is like being a James Bond girl but with more blood and screaming. She was also a model, and turned up at one point in Playboy, which made occasional use of this pose, as we've seen previously with Dolores Donlon. We've not yet screened a Lindholm/Betts movie during our long pulp project, but that's probably inevitable. Expect to see her again.

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Femmes Fatales Nov 12 2023
A VERY HOT TUB
The most eco-friendly way to boil water.


The above photo and those below show the lovely U.S. model and singer Colleen Farrington, who we saw on a paperback cover not long ago. There are many frames from this session floating around online, and over time we developed a narrative about them. In our heads Farrington was a little nervous at first, and was like, “Maybe a drink and a smoke will relax me.” Ten minutes later: “Let's show it all!” She even went so far as to give a glimpse of what was most assuredly a massive bush. Farrington became Playboy's October 1957 centerfold—which was around the time these images were made—and about eight years later brought into the world Diane Lane, whose movie The Big Town we discussed last year.

Publishing nude actresses brings criticism our way occasionally. We received such an e-mail a while back when we mentioned feminist themes in Leslie Ford's fiction and posted a Reiko Ike nude on the same day, a juxtaposition which we admit invites scrutiny. The e-mail, which actually was mostly positive, suggested that female nudity is exploitative unless, perhaps, shot by other women. We disagree with that perspective, but it at least tacitly acknowledges the validity of erotic photography. There are some out there who see female nudity as exploitative no matter who shoots it, and believe that the concept of artistic nudity is just a fig leaf for the same old gender repression. But as we've said before, when artful nudity becomes taboo, control over what constitutes normal sex is ceded to the porn industry. How's that working out?

We think whether a nude female image is exploitative depends on myriad considerations: who made it and when; who financed it and what was paid, if anything; who appeared in it and why; whether they appeared willingly (even if it was only for money); what the art was trying to depict or say; the context in which it was disseminated or displayed;and whether it succeeded purely as a discrete piece of art. With all those factors in play, it's easier to just condemn everything. The final consideration, though, is key: the successful execution of the piece. Good art, as long as it was never intended to harm or subjugate, immediately or eventually sheds cultural criticisms like a duck sheds water.

Sexual desire is encoded in our DNA. Erotic art will rebound from the new puritanism and will always exist, but with the inclusion of fresh points of view. Arguably, it's already happening. Art is an appropriate realm for exploring sexual ideas. Erotic photography is pulp-related due to the sexual subtext of so much pulp literature and film noir, the evolution of men's adventure magazines into nudie mags, and the popularity of cheesecake pin-ups. The relationship between sexual subtext and a nude is exactly the same as the relationship between a word, and a definition of that word. We offer some definitions here at Pulp Intl. and will continue making the connection between what is hinted at versus what can shown, even if for the time being sharing nudes means we're swimming upstream.

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Femmes Fatales Oct 25 2023
AN ARCHER'S FORM
She shot an arrow into the air, it fell to Earth— Well, nobody knows where because they weren't watching the arrow.


Japanese actress Maria Mari poses with a fancy Nishizawa recurved archery bow, which like the arrow she shot nobody is bothering to pay an iota of attention to. It's understandable. Mari looks quite beautiful and slender here in this photo from 1980. The image is part of a series of seven published in Weekly Playboy featuring different actresses posed with sports and recreation gear. You'll be seeing the other shots as the months roll onward. In the meantime you can see a bit more Mari here and here

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Femmes Fatales Oct 7 2023
SLEIGHT OF HANDS
Abracadabra! Bim-skala-bim! Wherever my clothes were sent, return them from where they went!


This photo from an issue of Weekly Playboy features Japanese model Yuko Sugiyama looking a bit witchy, which fits for this time of year, if you happen to celebrate Halloween. Normally we only feature shots of actresses, which she never was as far as we know, but we like the image so much we thought we'd use it anyway. It's from 1968.

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Vintage Pulp Sep 18 2023
FARRINGTON ENOUGH
Horwitz Publications perfectly red the paperback market.


For a while we were tracking the possibly unlicensed usage by Australian imprint Horwitz Publications of celebrities on its paperback covers. We fell down on the job a bit. The last one we looked at was two years ago.
 
The red-haired model used above on Carter Brown's thriller No Halo for Hedy is Playboy centerfold and nightclub performer Colleen Farrington, who was the mother of actress Diane Lane. The book originally appeared in 1956, and the above reprint came in 1959. This photo used for the cover is rare. We've seen no other shot of Farrington in these capri pants. Presumably, at one point multiple frames from the session existed, but time disposes of such items. However, it can't diminish the beauty of this cover. You can see all of our Horwitz celeb covers by clicking here.

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Femmes Fatales May 10 2023
QUITE A BIT AT STAKE
She always wanted people to think of her as sizzling hot.

You don't see many photos like these. They were published in Playboy Italy in 1980, and feature Italian actress Maria Rosaria Omaggio, who appeared in such films as Roma a mano armata, aka The Tough Ones, and Squadra antiscippo, aka The Cop in Blue Jeans. These images are yet more imaginativeness from famed photographer Angelo Frontoni. This time he took his cue from Omaggio when she said she collected writings on witches and the occult. Playboy shared an example: The candelabrum: go at night to the place reputed to hide a treasure, carefully watching the oscillations of the flame. When the flame goes out, it will be a sign that you have the coveted treasure under your feet. Groovy.

The text goes on to note that during the Italian Renaissance, and later during the Counter-Reformation, contraception, birth control, and infertility came to be defined as witchcraft. So the eclectic Frontoni, in collaboration with Omaggio, took all that info onboard came up with this immolative concept. Don't forget, this was during an era when photographers and models generally saw nudity as an expression of freedom and power. In other words, Frontoni and Omaggio, by using nude-witch-at-the-stake imagery, were saying, “Strip away all the excuses and this is what many men really hate and fear most: women.” Heavy handed? Maybe. But very much on target, we think.
 
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Vintage Pulp Feb 15 2023
DEBT AND DEATH
One way or another someone has to pay.


This unusual poster was made for the gritty John Cassavetes drama The Killing of a Chinese Bookie, and features co-star and Playboy model Azizi Johari. It's an alternate promo that was never used in cinemas, however it appeared at auction several years ago, and thence onto the internet. We noticed it because of the lovely Johari, who we've highlighted before, but we also knew the movie, which is one of Cassavetes' more discussed efforts. It's about a cabaret owner, played by Ben Gazzara, who has a serious gambling problem. After making the last payment of a loan shark debt he's been whittling down for seven years, he goes right out accompanied by Johari and two of his club's dancers, loses big again, and must sign over his club as collateral on the debt. Later, as the film's title suggests, his creditors demand—none too politely—that he kill someone.

Gazzara is one cool cucumber. His aplomb makes you wonder whether he's self-contained or just stupid. But really, how smart can you be to fall right back into a hole it took seven years to climb out of? Now it's called gambling addiction, but we think of it as merely being a mark. We wondered whether his cabaret Crazy Horse West, which features amazingly mediocre acts, was meant to embody his generally poor judgment. In any case, his bill will come due. Cassavetes puts all this together in his trademark patchwork style, with small moments stitched together to create the main character's life, and what a crazy quilt it is. The style may be off-putting to some, and the movie is marred by substandard acting from a couple of minor castmembers, but overall The Killing of a Chinese Bookie shows why Cassavetes was such a respected director. It premiered today in 1976.
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Next Page
History Rewind
The headlines that mattered yesteryear.
April 25
1939—Batman Debuts
In Detective Comics #27, DC Comics publishes its second major superhero, Batman, who becomes one of the most popular comic book characters of all time, and then a popular camp television series starring Adam West, and lastly a multi-million dollar movie franchise starring Michael Keaton, then George Clooney, and finally Christian Bale.
1953—Crick and Watson Publish DNA Results
British scientists James D Watson and Francis Crick publish an article detailing their discovery of the existence and structure of deoxyribonucleic acid, or DNA, in Nature magazine. Their findings answer one of the oldest and most fundamental questions of biology, that of how living things reproduce themselves.
April 24
1967—First Space Program Casualty Occurs
Soviet cosmonaut Vladimir Komarov dies in Soyuz 1 when, during re-entry into Earth's atmosphere after more than ten successful orbits, the capsule's main parachute fails to deploy properly, and the backup chute becomes entangled in the first. The capsule's descent is slowed, but it still hits the ground at about 90 mph, at which point it bursts into flames. Komarov is the first human to die during a space mission.
April 23
1986—Otto Preminger Dies
Austro–Hungarian film director Otto Preminger, who directed such eternal classics as Laura, Anatomy of a Murder, Carmen Jones, The Man with the Golden Arm, and Stalag 17, and for his efforts earned a star on Hollywood's Walk of Fame, dies in New York City, aged 80, from cancer and Alzheimer's disease.
1998—James Earl Ray Dies
The convicted assassin of American civil rights leader Martin Luther King, Jr., petty criminal James Earl Ray, dies in prison of hepatitis aged 70, protesting his innocence as he had for decades. Members of the King family who supported Ray's fight to clear his name believed the U.S. Government had been involved in Dr. King's killing, but with Ray's death such questions became moot.
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