The availability of a vintage pulp magazine

Updated 12 Mar 2024

On Mastodon (as I had done on Twitter), I follow various pulp accounts that post old books and magazines (and less frequently, albums) that have covers of some interest, often grouped together in a theme. Vintage computer ads, Harlequin romance, ridiculous robots from 50s sci-fi, pin-ups, magazine illustration from mid-century, etc. Site’s like Pulp Covers and Pulp Artists are also good sources for such wonderful nonsense and from those I found the cover artists for many of the pulp sci-fi books I’ve read. The Mastodon accounts are a good way to break up your feed with something visually interesting, kindof like a pop culture museum exhibit.

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The magazines on display during a scene from the 1970 action movie Airport

Watching old movies, I often latch onto a scene that pulls me back to the year that the film was made with both a realization that the artifacts contained within the scene were of-the-time, and an amazement that they are easily find-able now with the Internet. I’d had almost-success finding a dive bar called The Moonfire Inn from MST3K’s riff on The Hellcats (1968), and even if the abandoned old building I found on Google Street View wasn’t it, I learned a lot about the the place’s cultural proximity to both a Paul Newman movie and the Manson Family. Since movies aren’t real, this fascination with old movie artifacts as historical documents can be a bit of a degraded version of the (more understandable) fascination with long-distant history as we walk through ancient ruins. Here though, as with the Hellcats biker bar, the artifacts are real and are not, say, the prop of a Maltese falcon.

A scene from the movie Airport (1970) @23:00
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Hotwax Trax, Asian exploitation cinema soundtracks

I ordered a copy of the movie Bad Girl Mako (Furyô shôjô Mako) (1971) [ IMDB ] from eBay and it came (as expected) as a DVD-R with a color printer cover using a low-res jpg of the movie poster. I’ve sourced most of the legit copies of pinky violence films I can find and just recently discovered fringe sites that sell copies of unavailable films ripped from who-knows-where. I’ve ordered several from a site called DVDLady which, considering the 30-45 day shipping estimate, seems to be non-US. The images from the site all look pretty pixellated too, so I’m expecting DVD-Rs when they arrive.

Junko Natsu as Bad Girl Mako
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The Hellcats (1968), MST3K, The Moonfire Inn

Early in the movie, the Army Sergeant hero going undercover ends up at The Moonfire Inn to infiltrate those rapscalious (?), brother-killing bikers in their local haunt. When watching bad 70s movies and I see a named restaurant or bar, or a phone number, I get obsessed with a search for any remnants of it that may still exist. Either to see a record that it once-had-been or to see it manifest in its current form. When I was reading S.T.A.R. Flight (1969), there was an insert for the DeVry Institute (yes, that one) that was to be mailed back to 4141 Belmont Ave. Chicago, IL 60641 and I had to screen cap the current street view. (When my dad no longer was, one artifact left behind that fascinated me was a jar of matchbooks from various restaurants and hotels he ate and stayed at as a salesman throughout the 70s and 80s. Since then, I wanted to create a blog with an entry for each matchbook and what could be discovered of its origin. Still a good idea (and TBD) but probably a manifestation rather than source of my obsession.)

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