|Modern Pulp | Vintage Pulp||Oct 31 2009|
Above is a worldwide assortment of the creepiest posters we could find in honor of Halloween. Interestingly, Halloween is getting more popular internationally all the time. Where we live it was virtually ignored as recently as ten years ago, but nowadays it’s not a rarity to see both kids and adults dressed in costumes for the occasion. Trick-or-treating hasn’t quite taken hold, just because the layout of the communities don’t really allow for it, but adopting new personas or playing characters is something everyone seems to love, no matter where they live. Everyone likes a good scare, too, and these films do the job nicely. They are Halloween, Halloween again, Rosemary’s Baby, Zombie Holocaust, The Girl Who Knew Too Much, Squirm, Return of the Living Dead 2, The Shuttered Room, Evil Dead 2, Hellraiser, Suspiria, The Incredible Shrinking Man, Vampire Women, The Omen, The Thing, The Shining, Backwoods, Fright Night, and Seuseung-ui eunhye. Happy trick-or-treating.
|Modern Pulp||Aug 7 2009|
We featured French actress Anne Parillaud as a femme fatale recently and now this morning we spotted this kick-ass Thai promo poster for Nikita, aka La Femme Nikita. Parillaud plays a thief and murderess who, instead of being sent to prison for her crimes, is transformed by a shadowy government agency into an assassin. It was remade in the U.S. as Point of No Return in 1993 starring Bridget Fonda, and while that version has it merits—mainly the underrated Fonda in the lead role—the original directed by Luc Besson has a sublime coolness that’s hard to beat. We just watched this recently, and we're going to watch it again. Highly recommended.
|Vintage Pulp||May 29 2009|
We know what you’re thinking. You’re thinking she has a penis coming out of her armpit. But no, it isn’t a penis—it’s a stinger. However, like a penis, it isn’t much to look at until it gets excited and wants to play. The game it prefers is the one where it gives you a dose of rabies so advanced you turn into a frothing homicidal maniac. We showed you the American promo art for Rabid not long ago, but you didn’t get a cockpit shot in that one, so we figured we’d be completist and post this amazing Thai art. Also, we figured another tribute to the recently departed Marilyn Chambers was appropriate. She’s been eulogized mainly as a porn star, but the best film she ever made was this one, in which she pricks the boys and makes them die.
|Modern Pulp||Apr 29 2009|
A couple of days ago we were riffing on a movie called The Beyond, aka Spirit City of the Damned, aka Seven Doors of Death, and showed you the colorful Thai poster. By contrast, the sinister and almost monochromatic promo art you see above accompanied the film’s earlier Italian release as E tu vivrai nel terrore—L'aldilà. The story concerns a hotel perched atop an entrance to hell (hope that isn’t giving too much away), but of course when Catriona MacColl inherits the property she doesn’t know anything about that and thinks she’s actually getting a sweet deal. But the difficulties of maintaining a dead & breakfast soon prove overwhelming, not least because staff turnover in a place inhabited by demons can be pretty high (though heating bills are low). L'aldilà is a bit incoherent, truth told, and the fx are clunky even by 1981 standards, but it does possess unbridled exuberance thanks to the unflinching direction of Lucio Fulci. That’s all we’ll say about the film, except that there’s a character here named Joe the Plumber who meets a gory death, so depending on your political beliefs, this could be a must-see. L'aldilà premiered in Italy today in 1981.
|Modern Pulp||Apr 27 2009|
There’s almost nothing not to love about this Thai poster, with its rich colors, baroque text, and gory overload of evil. It’s for an Italian horror flick called E tu viviaine terrore—L’aldilà. If your Italian is rusty, that translates to something like And You Will Live in Terror—The Beyond, which was changed for the German release to Die Geisterstadt der Zombies, which means Spirit City of the Zombies. It hit the Netherlands next and the title was changed again, this time to Hotel der Verdoemden. When the film reached American shores, it was edited down a bit and called Seven Doors of Death. So an evil which once encompassed the entire beyond saw its grip reduced to one measly spirit city, then to just a lowly hotel, and finally to a suite of rooms, where it watched a lot of pay-per-view porn and rarely showered. But, like economies, evil always bounces back—it earned a release in Thailand, where it was re-titled The Beyond, and it rejoiced mightily at regaining its former stature. There's a clear lesson about perseverance in this saga, and as our global economic crisis continues, we suggest you follow evil's example. On a factual note, we have no idea exactly what date the film premiered in Thailand, but even without that info we were going to post something Thai today, mainly because someone mentioned lemongrass soup earlier. So there you go—a little glimpse inside the editorial process here.
|Intl. Notebook||Dec 22 2008|
Today in Thailand, Viktor Bout took the stand in his trial to fight extradition to the United States for conspiring to provide weaponry to Colombian FARC rebels. Bout, who is a Russian national, allegedly made an arms deal with men he thought were potential customers, but who were in reality American undercover agents. If Thai authorities decide to turn Bout over, he faces charges in America of conspiring to kill U.S. officers, employees and citizens, conspiring to provide material support to terrorists, and conspiring to acquire and use an anti-aircraft missile.
Bout said in court, when asked his profession, that he is a businessman involved in aviation and construction. However U.S. authorities, as well as the United Nations, claim he is an international arms dealer known as The Merchant of Death who has provided weaponry to warlords and dictators in Afghanistan and Africa, and is so well known that he was the subject of a book, and provided inspiration for Nicholas Cage’s character in the film Lord of War.
Among Bout’s alleged exploits are the hijacking of 200,000 assault rifles en route from Bosnia to Iraq, and the breaking of an arms embargo to Liberia. Bout said he traveled to Bangkok to relax and to meet with a Thai businessman about an airplane deal, and claimed he was arrested because he is a pawn in an American plot. He denied any wrongdoing, saying, “I did not commit any terrorist acts. The US is trying to use this to cover up its internal problems and prevent good relations between Thailand and Russia.” Bout faces a maximum penalty of life in prison if convicted.
|Politique Diabolique||Nov 20 2008|
Former Thai prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra announced today that he would not appeal his October conviction for facilitating crooked land deals. Thaksin was found guilty of corruption and sentenced to two years in jail for helping his then-wife Pojaman illegally purchase state-owned land. Thaksin’s résumé also includes suppressing news of a bird flu outbreak, causing more than 2,500 deaths during a crackdown on illegal drugs, and failing to declare all of his considerable wealth.
In 2006 his family sold shares in the Thai telecom group Shin Corp and netted a cool €1.9 billion. It angered many Thais that he sold a national resource to interests in Singapore, and the populace were also well aware that he had avoided paying taxes. As a result, protests erupted, prompting Thaksin to call a snap general election, which opposition parties boycotted. Faced with the threat of nationwide turmoil, he stepped down, then unretired a few weeks later. In May 2006 he was definitively re-retired—by coup d’etat.
Being stripped of power hasn’t exactly left Thaksin incapacitated with shame in a spider hole. He possesses a multi-billion euro fortune, which would tend to cushion most any blow. And he also owns English Premier League side Manchester City. Yet Thaksin still craves power, which means he isn’t about to let a coup and a criminal conviction derail him. He recently announced from Dubai, where he lives in exile, that he plans to launch a political comeback.