Modern Pulp Apr 29 2009
HOTEL HELL
Hello, desk? There’s some sort of loud disturbance next door in room 666.


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.

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Modern Pulp Apr 27 2009
RESIDENT EVIL
In real estate the key is location, location, location.


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. Oh, and we actually did watch the movie. Look here.

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History Rewind
The headlines that mattered yesteryear.
October 06
1966—LSD Declared Illegal in U.S.
LSD, which was originally synthesized by a Swiss doctor and was later secretly used by the CIA on military personnel, prostitutes, the mentally ill, and members of the general public in a project code named MKULTRA, is designated a controlled substance in the United States.
October 05
1945—Hollywood Black Friday
A six month strike by Hollywood set decorators becomes a riot at the gates of Warner Brothers Studios when strikers and replacement workers clash. The event helps bring about the passage of the Taft-Hartley Act, which, among other things, prohibits unions from contributing to political campaigns and requires union leaders to affirm they are not supporters of the Communist Party.
October 04
1957—Sputnik Circles Earth
The Soviet Union launches the satellite Sputnik I, which becomes the first artificial object to orbit the Earth. It orbits for two months and provides valuable information about the density of the upper atmosphere. It also panics the United States into a space race that eventually culminates in the U.S. moon landing.
1970—Janis Joplin Overdoses
American blues singer Janis Joplin is found dead on the floor of her motel room in Los Angeles. The cause of death is determined to be an overdose of heroin, possibly combined with the effects of alcohol.
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