Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Retreat Through The Wet Wasteland

Although released by Nikkatsu and marketed as Roman Porno, it is, in fact, a crime thriller with a light sexual undercurrent and an obligatory rape scene in a church. Originally titled Retreat Through The Wasteland, the distributor added 'Wet' to attract an entirely different market after director Yukihiro Sawada took the project in a direction not originally envisaged by the financier. It then became Retreat Through The Wet Wasteland.

The art below is from the reasonably rare Geneon DVD, but the art above, which is sensational, is the original theatrical art. I love the foreground angle and the intense background biker action. I find this super-erotic and ultra-evocative. It constantly refreshes my love of cinema.

The film is a flawed but compelling gem.

America's Growth Industry

Sondra London, whose work is fascinating, opens this almighty tablet of surreal ugliness with an introduction titled 'Murder Road'.

"Murder is America's number one growth industry," she begins.

In this intro, she discusses the importance of these stories: "Today's killers all share one fate: some are regular Joes, some are charismatic psychos, but having crossed that line they become one of  'them',  and are shunned by 'us'. Their physical presence is no longer tolerated, and their ideas, feelings, and works are dismissed as well. Yet, isn't there a vital significance to their stories? Afterall, even on Death Row there is life."

I concur with London, and can never understand why anybody would want to dismiss, for example, the writings of a killer, the fantasies of a rapist, or the poetry of a dictator. What makes any human being fascinating, criminal or non-criminal, is his history. We can learn much from criminals and miscreants. They provide us with a perspective that is rare and impossible to acquire by any other means. To know hell, you must go there. Or, you must return and tell your story.

First hand stories provide a type of insight that the psychiatric profession never will. As all the stories in this book attest, there are reasons for everything, but those reasons fall into "acceptable" and "unacceptable" categories. It is difficult for most humans to accept that not all criminals were victims in a traditional sense, and not all victims are as innocent as they seem. To some extent, we all violate and have been violated. It's human to fuck and equally human to fuck up. To judge others too harshly is about the most hypocritical and pointless thing a human being can do.

A fascinating section of this book focuses on London's relationship with serial killer Gerard John Schaefer before and after he killed. She met him at a high school dance in 1964 and he flirted with her. Her parents approved of him, and they became lovers. They even made love amongst tombstones in an old cemetery (something I recommend you do at least once!) and parted amicably. When the newspapers announced that  her "baby-faced dream" had been arrested and charged with six murders, with twenty-eight possible, she reflected: "Did I lose my virginity to a real lady-killer?"

In every sense, this is an absorbing, insightful, funny, macabre, and confronting book. In addition to London's own essays, the writing by Schaeffer (technically the first killer to be defined as "serial") from his prison cell is extraordinary, as is London's piece on Otis Toole in which she quotes an unnamed serial killer: "You don't understand because you're not a killer. My statements are inconsistent... because the experience is inconsistent. It's like I'm throwing rocks at your window... and you're trying to figure out where the rocks are coming from... and you can't... because they're all different colors. But you see... they're different colors... because they're all coming... from different places."

Twenty years after the book was first published, it's interesting to note that the US murder rate has not consistently risen since its publication. What has risen is the amount of people imprisoned in the US. Private prisons are one of the few growth industries. Good for some, but not so good for most in a country where rights supposedly guaranteed by the Constitution have been eroded by syphilis-brained presidents of both political persuasions.   

If you can find Knockin' On Joe, you'll have a strange and compelling time with it.

The meaning behind the title, which I won't reveal here, is wonderful.

London mentions an upcoming title from Nemesis about Otis Toole. 
Based on interviews the killer did with the publisher, it is titled Devil's Child - The Story of Otis Toole.
I've never come across this book. Has anybody? Was it ever published?

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Mexican Magnificence

Enjoy these wonderful cover images.  

The Women of Sagawa's Psyche

Just as Playboy delights in showcasing the women of a particular institution or college ('The Women of Walmart', for example, or 'The Women of UCLA'), it seems fair to provide an album of women favored and adored by Issei Sagawa, Japan's Godfather of Cannibalism.

Recently, he admitted that his penchant for European women has finally been sated, and he's focusing his appetite on the creamy delights of his home country.  

Of the beautiful Aya Ueda (above), he said: "She is too good to eat."  I say: "Literally, perhaps, but..."

The gorgeous Kyoko Hasagawa (above) is another lass who has captured a cannibal's heart. "Her legs are beautiful," he said in Vice.com's 2010 documentary

Akiko Yada, another beauty from Okinawa, Sagawa's preferred destination for Nippon delicacies, has also earned a place on the flesh eater's bedroom wall. It's hard to argue that his tastes aren't impeccable.

Finally, Erika Toda, who appeared in the filmic adaptation of popular manga Death Note, is another favorite of Mr. Sagawa. When he beholds these dreamy ladies, he "feels an appetite".

Not entirely surprising.

Sagawa's Last Supper

This was Issei Sagawa's last supper, a carefully prepared meal of French female.

As is well documented, the infamous Japanese cannibal, sometimes referred to as 'The Godfather of Cannibalism', spent very little time in French prison, and was speedily returned to Japan for psychological assessment (finding: insane). Soon afterwards, he was released.

These scans are from a Japanese publication that, according to Sagawa himself, caused him a lot of trouble.

Although the book contains mostly Japanese text, there are 16 pages of truly grotesque crime scene photos, some of which I had never seen before.  

I find this photo of the suitcase Sagawa dumped in a park to be the most disturbing. Note the severed foot.

The cannibal's decision to leave this item in a public place resulted in his apprehension.

If you're an admirer of John McNaughton's Henry - Portrait of a Serial Killer, you will recall the final scene where Henry dumps a suitcase containing the dismembered body of his unofficial girlfriend Becky. Although the suitcase is sealed, we imagine its contents. The above photo comes close to what I imagined.

In a recent interview, Sagawa expressed his wish to be eaten by a beautiful woman. This raises some questions: Is this wish indicating a desire to be punished in kind for his crime? -- or is it an extension of his perversion? 

Sagawa also explained that he is no longer obsessed with European women. His "tastes" have changed. He has finally found several Japanese women whose thighs, in particular, appeal to him.

An admitted "pervert", he lives a lonely life writing, reflecting, and appearing occasionally in the media.  

When he was young, sex was "a taboo subject".   

Seems that approach to the birds and bees worked out well, didn't it?!

"By shooting a bullet as small as my fingertip, I have  hurt and changed many people"
-- from Issei Sagawa Part 1; h**p://vice.com

Thursday, January 19, 2012

More Mexican Masterpieces

As I am now collecting these myself, I have more to share... and I thought it was time I got into a little more detail.

I've heard Mexican culture critics describe these as trash while at the same time acknowledging their worth as trash.

Personally, I don't subscribe to back-handed compliments like this. It comes from a school of thought that bases its criteria more on subject matter than methodology;  a flawed, narrow approach. This is "trash" because it's sexual, violent, unashamedly lurid, and focuses on a strata of society that is grouped with rabid dogs and crack whores?

I reject the 'trash' label. These are works of art by extremely talented artists who deserve to be acknowledged for their brilliance.

They make you feel, think, and dream -- everything that the best art does.

Fuck the high and low.

This is simply damn good art. 

Deal with it. 

And lose the condescension.

It's Not Easy Being a Saucer-Man

Invasion of the Saucer Men has been part of my life since I was old enough to crawl. It's tattooed onto my psyche. And will remain there, I'm sure, until the day (or night) I die.

Like The Man From Planet X, these guys get my sympathy rather than my outrage.  Although they appear to be bent on invading the world and, more importantly, enslaving women, I was never convinced that they were fair dinkum about it. Not with looks like that. Even if they could get a woman into the sack, do you really think she'd juice up for them? -- for such puny, sickly looking jokers with faces full of veins and skin a permanent shade of jaundice? Not likely. If they were rich, maybe... but my sources assure me that these dudes don't have two dimes to rub together. 

Aliens like this can only be rapists, I suppose. They're destined to spend their nights applying lube to places they're not exactly welcome to enter, and employing bowie knives as instruments of foreplay. Even lube dries up eventually, and a guy's gotta get tired of constantly re-applying it. And what about chaffing? Pushing your extraterrestrial johnson into an earth woman's dry, unyielding vagina, lube or no lube, is going to take its toll eventually. When you insist on raping outside your species, you do pay a steep price. Ask any zoophile!


This great still has always been a favorite of mine. It tells us that these guys are no fans of human romance. They're no suckers for the Valentine's Day bullshit that every man dreads each year. In fact, when these intergalactic yahoos see examples of  it, they want to fuck it up. And who can blame them!? In this documentary image, it's hard to tell if that clawed hand with the pointy fingers is getting ready for a grope, or itching to strangle the stuffing out of the bloke because he's wearing a suit and tie at the drive-in (surely a hangable offense in anybody's book). Aliens are definitely jealous bastards. They can't stand it when earth men (in suits!) dare to snuggle with earth women (in next to nothing). It really gets their goat. Unleashes the Green-Eyed Monster. Come to think of it, the original Green-Eyed Monster was probably an alien, and that's where the expression came from.

This little green pervert is really taking his chances, though. What if he gropes the bloke instead of the dame? How can he see where that hand's going? Does it have its own set of built-in eyes? Well, yeah, it does, but I'm not so sure the view was clear. I reckon the guy's a gambler, and he knows his odds are even. He's getting off on not knowing whether he's about to become a fiend or a fag.

Speaking of fags...

I've always had my suspicions about the Liberace lookalike above -- he's wearing black lipstick by Crikey! He's very well dressed, too, and his Dracula hairstyle looks a little too camped for my liking. Sir Christopher Lee was never this poofy.

So why then is Saucer-Face strangling him? Do Saucer-Men hate fags? According to a certain Baptist church in the South, God hates fags, but is it fair to assume that because God hates them, aliens do, too? Is our tall, green friend strangling Liberace with the intention of killing him, or is he strangling the late, great piano player in order to help him achieve orgasm? If the latter is the case, aliens are clearly attuned to the needs of fags, and ought to be acknowledged for the contribution they're making to queer culture.

Finally, let's address the issue of the name 'Saucer-Men'. If you were an invader from space with a penchant for the orifices of both sexes, a homicidal contempt for romance, and a psychotic desire for the destruction of entire planets, would you be cool with being called a 'Saucer-Man'? It's not the most masculine name, is it? It doesn't grab you by the throat and make you shit your pants.

Saucer. Man. 

Oh, let's give the little green man his saucer and milk, children

Hey mom, look at that cute little flyer saucer and the funny green man inside it. 

Speaking for these aliens, I wouldn't be too happy with the name. It definitely demeans my ambitions. How can I be expected to instil fear in Earth women when my name makes them think of something you place a cup of tea on?

How can I rape with a mean spirit when my crib is a fucking saucer? A saucer!!! At least call it a spaceship. A spacecraft. A star destroyer! I like that one. Invasion of the Men From The Star Destroyer. Yes, that carries weight! It creates a picture of fearsome beings traveling with big guns.

Some alien invaders get the good names. Xtro, for example.  If an Earth woman were to receive an email telling her that "Xtro is Coming", she'd be locking the doors and windows and calling the police. On the other hand, if she got word that a visit from a Saucer-Man was imminent, she'd stay in her chair for a while, get up slowly, then open the window to let him in for a laugh. 

No woman (or man) calls 911 when a Saucer-Man's at the door.

If you do, however, you're a goddamned Saucer-Pussy (Yes, you, too, ladies!)

Monday, January 16, 2012

A Big Thank You To You All

This blog now has 536 'Followers'. I'm really grateful for that. Thank you, folks!

I started this blog to share the things I love -- movies, books, music, illustration, graphics, painting, and people whose take on the world is somewhat unique. Like AIDS, I like infecting humans with stuff they won't be able to shake so easily.

I'm not quite sure how often a 'Follower' of this blog drops in, but, since I'm a 'Follower' of a stack of blogs myself, I figure no answer to that question is going to fit all.

 I'm pleasantly surprised that I have a mix of male and female readers because, traditionally, much of the content I post has been considered male-oriented. It gives me optimism to see women (and men, of course, my 'Followers', not approaching pornographic material from a position of offended hysteria. Despite the truth that I derive some sexual stimulation from some of the sexual material I post, my primary reason for posting it is that I believe it has serious artistic merit. I believe that it deserves consideration, or debate, and I certainly believe that it contributes to a better understanding of our darkest, deepest selves.

It is the deep, dark self that I am most fascinated with. Since you're a casual reader and/or a 'Follower' of the blog, I'll confidently assume that you're also interested in the deep, dark self.

From childhood, our deep, dark self is a friend and an enemy. It gives us comfort, satisfaction, and euphoria, like a drug, but it also isolates us from others, and  when you're living in a world that is working hard to bump you onto the grid, the isolation can be painful.

I started to like horror and the bizarre because it took the edge off my loneliness.  It felt like a friend who'd somehow avoided the grid. It didn't attempt to lure me with lies and empty rhetoric, and it didn't molest me while smothering me with kisses. Horror movies, bizarre images, books of the fantastique, literature of dubious parentage, and what my parents called weird stuff, got me through the long night of childhood. These treasures were a warm hand to cling to, a suggestion that my life didn't have to be a carbon copy of lives endured by others. I had choices. I'd have to fight for them like a fucking pit bull, sure, and nothing would last, but at least there was something else on the horizon.

I hope this blog is a reliable haven of pulp for you, an organic forum for material that gets dismissed elsewhere, totally ignored, or stripped of its worth by mass media with big agendas. I hope it's also a place of truth, where you can proclaim your love for the most marginalized of diamonds, or your disgust for that which all others love.

Thank you for deeming this humble gallery of a thousand voices worthy of your time.

For reasons I can't explain, I feel obliged to provide metaphorical shelter to the cultural miscreant in you, and I take my obligations seriously.

So, be yourself while you still have time, and fuck the rest sideways.

"There's nothing to mourn about death any more than there is to mourn about the growing of a flower. What is terrible is not death but the lives people live or don't live up until their death. They don't honor their own lives, they piss on their lives. They shit them away. Dumb fuckers. They concentrate too much on fucking, movies, money, family, fucking. Their minds are full of cotton. They swallow God without thinking, they swallow country without thinking. Soon they forget how to think, they let others think for them. Their brains are stuffed with cotton. They look ugly, they talk ugly, they walk ugly. Play them the great music of the centuries and they can't hear it. Most people's deaths are a sham. There's nothing left to die."

--Charles Bukowski

The Captain Is Out to Lunch and the Sailors Have Taken Over the Ship, 1998