Category Archives: Pulp Fiction Thursday

Pulp Fiction Thursday: Our Flesh Was Cheap

The image is bog standard pulp, but the title made my skin crawl.

Pulp Fiction Thursday: Key Largo

This is a reprint of a post from 8/14/2014. It struck me as relevant as I just spent many days cooped up with Kitty Claire Trevor. Besides, Key Largo is the best hurricane movie ever. I give it 4 stars and an Adrastos Grade of A.


Key Largo is not really pulp fiction, but I felt like stretching the definition a bit today to honor Betty Bacall. [She died two days before this was posted.] It was based on a 1939 play by Maxwell Anderson and the war in question was the Spanish Civil War but it was also an allegory about Fascism. The adaptation by director John Huston and future director Richard Brooks nails the political aspects as well as how damn spooky tropical systems are.

What’s particularly scary about the Big Blow depicted in Key Largo is that information was so sketchy. There were no spaghetti maps , no tracking maps, no local weather pukes shitting in their pants or advising you to go to the attic with an ax if there’s flooding. Dr A and I watch this great film as a form of reassurance when there’s something gathering in the gulf. Besides, the acting is sensational.

It goes without saying that Bogie and Bacall lit up the screen together but Edward G Robinson is spectacular in a role that implicitly revisits his first big hit, Little Caesar. He went from Rico to Rocco if you catch my drift. Speaking of name changes, he goyed up his name by changing it from Emmanuel Goldenberg. Unlike Betty Bacall, he liked his goyish moniker and was known to all as Eddie.

Lionel Barrymore is supposed to be a sympathetic character as Bacall’s dead hubby’s father but he reverts to snarly Mr. Potter mode for much of the film. Nothing kosher about this big slice of ham. He was lucky Rocco didn’t roll him off the pier…

The best performance in the film is by Claire Trevor as a washed up alcoholic canary in love with Rocco. He mistreats her rather badly. Anyone shocked? I thought not. Trevor, always a personal favorite of mine, won an Oscar for this part. She played a long string of femme fatales and hookers with hearts of gold. Her character in John Ford’s Stagecoach was a template for all the goodhearted whores and madams to follow.

A last word about Betty Bacall. There are some good Bacall articles floating about the net, but there are some that do not mention director Howard Hawks. You cannot write about Betty Bacall without mentioning Hawks. He took a chance on an unknown model and gave her a juicy role playing opposite one of the biggest stars in the world in her first film. His gamble paid off big-time for all concerned.

I showed you a lobby card above, here’s the highly evocative poster

Poster - Key Largo_03

Finally, here’s the trailer:

Pulp Fiction Thursday: Killers Are My Meat

This book is NOT about cannibalism. It’s a part of the Chester Drum series, which is NOT about drums.


Pulp Fiction Thursday: The Monkees Go Mod

I realize this is pulp non-fiction but I could not resist these covers.

Pulp Fiction Thursday: No Bones About It

That is one scary looking pitchfork. I wouldn’t want it near my head.

Pulp Fiction Thursday: Dial 1119

Today is my birthday. I treated myself to a Film Noir collection. This was one of the movies. What’s not to love about a film with Sam Levene and William Conrad in the cast?

Pulp Fiction Thursday: The Curse Of Drink

This week’s entry is not pulp fiction per se. It’s a 1904 temperance propaganda novel based on an “ethical melodrama.” I am not making this up.

That lurid image screams out for a musical last word. It goes to The Kinks with a song about the demon you know what.

Pulp Fiction Thursday: Picture Snatcher

I thought I’d seen all of Jimmy Cagney’s movies. I saw Picture Snatcher for the first time recently on TCM. It’s not one of his better films but the poster is to die for. Smile for the Cagney Cam.

Pulp Fiction Thursday: Beat Not The Bones

This is a highly regarded book that I haven’t read. I picked it because of the title and bony bongo fingers on the cover.

Pulp Fiction Thursday: Magic

William Goldman was one of the best screenwriters of his era. And he had a lucrative sideline as a novelist.

Here’s a triptych of one of Goldman’s most successful books, Magic. It was a swell movie too.


Pulp Fiction Thursday: A Delivery Of Furies

Victor Canning was an English writer who was more or less the poor man’s Graham Greene.  A Delivery Of Furies is set during a rebellion in a Caribean country. Greene, of course, set several books in that part of the world.

Pulp Fiction Thursday: Space Cat

Can children’s books be pulpy? Sure, why not?

Ruthven Todd was a Scottish poet who moved to America to make a living as a writer. It paid off. His crime fiction pen name was RT Campbell. He wrote the Space Cat series for under his own name from 1952-1958.

Here are the books in chronological order.

Pulp Fiction Thursday: Dagger Of Flesh

Looks like a regular dagger to me but what do I know about femme fatales? The only one in my life is a cat named for an actress who played them.

Pulp Fiction Thursday: Bamboo Gods & Iron Men

I had Super Fly on my mind when I searched for an image for today. I came upon a Blaxploitation movie I’d neither heard of nor seen: Bamboo Gods & Iron Men.

Apparently, it’s a martial arts action flick that’s heavy on the comedy. Why haven’t the guys at RiffTrax done this movie yet?

Here’s the trailer for this fakakta film:

Pulp Fiction Thursday: The Headless Lady

For some reason this cover gives me a headache.

Pulp Fiction Thursday: The Better To Eat You

It’s Cannibal Clown day here at First Draft.


Pulp Fiction Thursday: The Con Man

This book by Evan Hunter DBA Ed McBain is NOT about the Impeached Insult Comedian. He didn’t merely poison individuals, he poisoned our political system. The poison still needs to be flushed out.