Here is the updated cover for the book I have edited with my friend, Iain McIntyre, Girl Gangs, Biker Boys & Real Cool Cats: Pulp Fiction & Youth Culture, 1950-1980. This beauty will be out through PM Press in October.
It is available for pre-order here.
Long terms readers of Pulp Curry may remember this book was originally scheduled to appear, with a different publisher and under a slightly different name, in late 2016. But the publisher concerned experienced finance problems which resulted in the book being pulled from their schedule.
Thanks to PM Press that project is a going concern again.
The book is the first comprehensive account of how the rise of postwar youth culture was depicted in mass-market pulp fiction. As the young created new styles in music, fashion, and culture, pulp fiction shadowed their every move, hyping and exploiting their behaviour, dress, and language for mass consumption and cheap thrills. From the juvenile delinquent gangs of the early 1950s through the beats and hippies, on to bikers, skinheads, and punks, pulp fiction left no trend untouched. With their lurid covers and wild, action-packed plots, these books reveal as much about society’s deepest desires and fears as they do about the subcultures themselves.
Girl Gangs features approximately 400 full-colour covers, many of them never reprinted before.… Read more
I am partial to a good paperback movie tie-in and this week’s Pulp Curry features a beauty, Patrick, which I found in an excellent second hand book shop during recent travels in rural Victoria.
Published by Sun Books in 1978, the novel is based on the original screenplay by Everett de Roche of the influential Ozploitation film of the same name about man in a coma after murdering his mother and her lover by electrocuting them in a bath. The man, Patrick (Robert Thomspon), who strange psychokinetic powers, falls in love with his nurse, Kathy (Susan Penhaligon) communicating with her via an electric typewriter. He also uses his powers to ward off other potential male suiters in Kathy’s life and battle the hospital staff, particularly the Nurse Ratched-like Matron, Cassidy (Julia Blake).
The book was written Australian writer Keith Hetherington, who we have featured previously on this site. Hetherington, who was born in 1929 and I believe is still alive, had a long career, including writing Westerns and Larry Kent crime thrillers for Cleveland Publishing, fiction for Man and Pocket Man magazine, radio plays, television scripts, and various stand alone thrillers and a paperback tie ins for films such as Snapshot (1979) and The Chain Reaction (1980).
I love the cover for this paperback tie in, Robert Thompson aka Patrick’s creepy, penetrating eyes, although the copy I have, from which the front and back cover scan is taken, is slightly askew, the product of a printing fault.… Read more
Posted in Australian popular culture, Australian pulp fiction, Horror, Ozsploitation, Pulp fiction, Pulp fiction in the 70s and 80s, Pulp Friday, Science fiction and fantasy
Tagged Julia Blake, Keith Hetherington, Man, Patrick (1978), Pocket Man, Robert Thomspon, Snapshot (1979), Sun Books, Susan Penhaligon, The Chain Reaction (1980
Anyone with a knowledge of the history of pulp and popular fiction publishing will know that publishers, particularly small publishers, come and go.
They appear on the scene, often amid a flash of initial excitement and publicity, prosper and become bigger. Or they may do well for a while until economic problems, changes in the publishing industry or the fortunes of the, often few, individuals running them, cause them to falter and close shop. The latter was the unfortunately fate of 280 Steps, the publisher of my second novel, Gunshine State, and the work of many other fine crime writers.
I don’t want to dwell on the reasons behind 280 Steps closure, which took effect at the end of April, except to say that when I signed with them in 2015, they appeared to be very going concern. They had a good business model, had their publicity act together, produced terrific cover art, and where putting together an excellent roster of existing and up and coming crime writers I was happy to number among.
The upshot of the 280 Steps closure is that, for the time being, Gunshine State will no longer be available to purchase either digitally or in hard copy. I say ‘for the time being’ because Gunshine State will be re-released in February 2018 by the US crime publisher Down and Out Books.… Read more
Okay, I’m calling it. Sexy Beast is the last good British gangster film.
I was reminded of just how good a film Sexy Beast is – and how anaemic and derivative just about every single Brit gangster film made since is in comparison – after re-watching it on the weekend.
Gary ‘Gal’ Dove (Ray Winstone) is a retired safecracker now living the good life with his illegal proceeds in a Spanish villa with his ex-porn star wife, Deedee (Amanda Dove). Gal wants to do nothing more than sit in the sun with Deedee, and fellow London underworld refugees, Aitch (Cavan Kendall) and Aitch’s wife, Jackie (Julianne White).
Their peaceful life is thrown into complete chaos with the arrival of former underworld associate, Don Logan (a stellar turn by Ben Kingsley), a foul mouthed, psychotic gangster, who has come on behalf London crime lord Teddy Bass (Ian McShane), to recruit Gal to help pull a heist Bass is planning.
Gal wants no part in the job, setting the scene for a gradually escalating series of confrontations between he and Logan, who simply will not take no for an answer. Logan’s attempts to bully Gal to take part in the job start humourlessly enough but soon escalate, first in a wave of expletive laden threats, then rehashing the sordid underworld pasts of Deedee and Jackie.… Read more
Posted in British crime cinema, Heist films, Joseph Losey, Michael Caine, Stanley Baker
Tagged Amanda Dove, Ben Kingsley, Bob Hoskins, Brighton Rock (1947), Cavan Kendall, Croupier (1998), Gangster No 1 (2000), Get Carter (1971), Guy Ritchie, Ian McShane, Jonathan Glazer, Joseph Losey, Julianne White, Layer Cake (2004), Lock, Lock. Stock and Two Smoking Barrels (1998), McVicar (1980), Mona Lisa (1986), Peter Yates, Ray Donovan, Robbery (1967), Sexy Beast (2000), Snatch (2000), The Criminal (1967), The Long Good Friday (1980), Villain (1971)
I have a lot of time for anyone who makes the effort to preserve and curate popular (and unpopular) culture of pretty much any kind. The latest example of this kind of work to cross my radar is a book which shares the same title as the hit seventies Australian soap opera that is its subject, Number 96.
In the book’s introduction, Nigel Giles says he was eight years old when he started watching Number 96, two years after it made it sensational debut on ATVO (now known as Channel 10). I was the same age but, regrettably, my parents were not so permissive and deemed me too young to be allowed to watch the show. Nonetheless, it still registered on my pre-teen brain because of Abigail Rogan or ‘Abigail’ as she was universally referred to, who briefly played the show’s sultry blond bombshell, Bev Houghton. Thanks to the success of Number 96, Abigail would become one of Australia’s first sex symbols, starring in a raft of TV shows and movies.
Number 96 depicted the lives of the residents of a fictitious block of inner Sydney flats. It was the brainchild of two producers, expat American Bill Harmon and Don Cash, who was English born but had worked in the US.… Read more
Posted in Australian popular culture, Australian pulp fiction, Australian television history
Tagged Abigail, Bill Harmon, Chantal Contouri, Don Cash, Nigel Giles, Number 96, Squeeze A Flower (1970), The Rovers, The Unisexers, Wake In Fright (171)