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In the flesh: The voluptuous models who brought the famous female vampire Vampirella to life


Model Barbara Leigh as Vampirella on the cover of issue #78 (May, 1979.)
 
Comic book vampire/alien and femme fatale superhero Vampirella first crashed to Earth in her spaceship after departing her home planet of “Drakulon” (where instead of water the rivers ran full of blood) in the first issue of Vampirella magazine in 1969. The character was primarily created by Famous Monsters of Filmland magazine’s Forrest J. Ackerman—inspired by the formidable beauty of Italian actress Marisa Mell—and her look was designed by artist Trina Robbins. Robbins, a self-professed “school nerd” is also known for being the first woman to draw Wonder Woman. Originally put out by Warren Publishing in simple black and white, Warren would publish 112 issues of Vampirella before going under in 1983. From that point forward two other publishing houses, specifically, Harris Publications and Dynamite Entertainment would modify the character’s storyline, but not her look which consisted of a racy, costume-malfunction-waiting-to-happen blood-red monokini. You may not even be reading this right now because you’re still busy gawking the image of model Barbara Leigh at the top of this post wearing what amounts to a few yards of strategically placed cloth over her impossible body.

On that note, let’s get on with the task of checking out a few of the women who became the real-life character over the last few decades.
 

The very first living and breathing “Vampirella,” Kathy Bushman. This photo of Bushman was taken in 1969 at the World Science Fiction Convention in St. Louis where she caught the eye of Vampirella creator Forrest J. Ackerman (pictured to the left).

Apparently, the very first “live model” to wear the dangerous Vampirella costume was Kathy Bushman at The World Science Fiction Convention (known as Worldcon) in St. Louis in 1969. According to a fansite for the convention, Bushman made the costume herself by hand (since she didn’t have a sewing machine) and paired it with a short black cape and pair of pale blue kitten-heeled pumps. The costume won her an “Honorable Mention,” at the convention and she would go on to become an influential costume designer contributing prolifically to Worldcon for decades.

Barbara Leigh—a woman who probably guided her fair share of boys through puberty—was the first “real” girl to appear on the cover of the magazine starting sometime in 1975. The lucky Leigh would also sign on with Hammer Films to play the vampire vixen for at least six movies. Initially, the part had been offered to two Hammer girls—Caroline Munro and Valerie Leon who both turned the role down due to the nudity it required. Sadly the project never really got off the ground, Leigh decided to get hitched and promptly left show business.

In the 1990s there were a few notable IRL Vampirella’s—Penthouse Pet Julie Strain and Cathy Christian. The most famous 90s version of Vampirella is Talisa Soto. Soto starred in the 1996 film adaptation Vampirella (along with Roger Daltrey by the way) directed by Roger Corman protege, Jim Wynorski. Christian would be the first “official” Vampirella model to represent the legacy in the convention circuit in the early 90s, though she never appeared on the cover of Vampirella. She did, however, score a role as the model used by Topps for their very first Vampirella trading cards from 1995. Strain’s image, as well as illustrated versions of the bombshell, appeared widely in the magazine. Her portrayal of Vampirella was also used to create a small series of Vampirella-themed action figures put out in 2000 by Moore Action Collectables. The Images below are NSFW.
 

Kathy Bushman, 1969.
 

Barbara Leigh.
 

An illustration of Barbara Leigh as Vampirella by American artist Bob Larkin on the cover of issue #78, October, 1978.
 
More Vampy action after the jump…

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Posted by Cherrybomb
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07.21.2017
12:25 pm
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Vintage burlesque dancers and stripper portraits from the 1960s

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The Internet has a fair selection of vintage images of strippers and burlesque dancers from the nineteen-forties, the fifties, sixties, seventies, and so on. Many are strangely orphaned like most of the kazillions of images out there. Just think, every day there are more images merely uploaded than all of the pictures produced during the 19th century. That’s kind of staggering. Most of these pictures drift unanchored to any connecting narrative.

All of which reminds me of the old Hans Christian Andersen story “The Shadow,” which I’m sure you all know or have at least been told at some point in your childhood. Simply put, it’s the story of a man whose shadow escapes one night and starts living a life of its own. This shadow becomes more and more independent until it is the dominant figure and its original creator, the man himself, becomes utterly subservient. Old photographs are like that. They have their own life which becomes the shadow by which we know or identify the subject’s life. Like these photos of strippers culled from magazine spreads and publicity shots used to tout some gentertainment. We know little about the women who posed for these pictures—or the lives they lived—but we (for want of a better word) identify them by their shadow—which in this case is their photograph.

In a similar way, strippers put on a show that’s only meant to entertain, which sadly some dumb men think is real. As the legendary stripper Toni Elling once said, it’s all about entertainment:

“[T]he idea is to suggest what’s there, not throw off all your clothes and reveal everything. That’s why they call it strip-tease.”

While most of the following are of strippers from the 1960s, I have included a couple of respected burlesque dancers, whose work had considerable influence on both the exotic dancing and stripping worlds.
 
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More exotic dancers and strippers, after the jump…

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Posted by Paul Gallagher
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07.20.2017
11:01 am
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Wendy O. Williams’ PSA on how not to get venereal disease
07.20.2017
09:09 am
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What with super gonorrhea getting the Trump bump and billboards in my neighborhood warning of a “syphilis tsunami,” this sure feels like a good moment to remember Wendy O. Williams’ public service announcement about venereal disease. It would have been nice if she had mentioned condoms or dental dams instead of recommending better taste in partners, but let’s give her credit for raising the issue at all.

The PSA was taped for U68, a Newark UHF station that switched to a music video format during Reagan’s second term. Its brief lifespan dates the clip to ‘85 or ‘86. While I was a mere child, I don’t recall the blitz of safe-sex advertising beginning until some years later, though I distinctly remember that the President wouldn’t talk about AIDS.

Now, I didn’t know Ronald Reagan personally, but I suspect his life experience did not overlap much with Wendy O.‘s. Having come up in the Times Square sex show scene and acted in 1979’s Candy Goes to Hollywood, WOW would have considered VD a matter of professional interest, and one about which she was loath to moralize. (“Fuck That Booty,” the last track on Kommander of Kaos, is many things, but prudish?) Right and wrong, guilt and shame—none of that should enter into a simple matter of personal hygiene, unless it is wearing musk, which is a wrong and shameful habit.

Tl;dr
: don’t forget to remember not to get the heps, herps, HIVs, syphs, or claps. And when you get to the free clinic, tell ‘em Wendy O. sent you!
 
Watch it after the jump…

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Posted by Oliver Hall
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07.20.2017
09:09 am
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Ornate erotic pipes to help enhance your post-coital smoke
07.19.2017
01:34 pm
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An antique erotic Meerschaum pipe.
 
Many of the sensual pipes in this post are made of Meerschaum—or as it is known in the world of geology, sepiolite. The material is found in many locations including the Black Sea, Turkey, Tanzania, and Africa and became quickly coveted by smokers in the early 1700s due to its porous nature. Meerschaum is still used to make pipes, and there are many resources online that sell hand-carved pipes of every description. For this post, I’ve assembled some rather choice erotic Meerschaum pipes and a few others that fall into the “titillating” category of implements you can use to light up your favorite smokable materials.

If you have visited Dangerous Minds’ Facebook page, you may recall that there is an image of a man taking a drag from a pipe in the shape of a woman’s leg. And I’m happy to share with you that I was able to track a few additional leggy-pipes out there on the Internet which I’ve posted below.

I’ve also included a photo of a Meerschaum pipe that is alleged to have once been the possession of occultist Aleister Crowley. The pipe is now part of a large, private collection owned by Meerschaum pipe enthusiast, Roy Ricketts. Everything that follows is NSFW.
 

 

 
More erotic Meerschaum pipes, after the jump…

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Posted by Cherrybomb
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07.19.2017
01:34 pm
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An assortment of bizarre bed linens (and a peed on pillowcase) that probably won’t help you get laid
07.19.2017
09:47 am
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A BDSM-themed duvet from CafePress.
 
CafePress can be a weird place, man. Of course, it’s not like I didn’t know that already. I mean, all you have to do is visit the online retailer of novelty mugs and other merchandise and type in virtually any word, and CafePress will give you a litany of products to choose from on that very topic. Since my mind has taken up permanent residence in the gutter, I spent some time plugging in some of my favorite words into CafePress’ search field and the results were very enlightening.

Some of the words I gave a test drive (so you can play this fun game at home if you’d like) included the following: sex, porn, and erotica. Based on that trio, you can probably figure out some of the others on your own. While I expected to get some weird results, I honestly wasn’t prepared for all of what CafePress spit back at me. Such as a duvet cover that featured a huge color image of a penis that had been surgically cross-sectioned. I’m pretty sure even Jeffrey Dahmer would likely throw that abomination a huge nod of “NOPE.” But that was just the beginning of my travels through the underbelly of CafePress. Are you into “water sports?” And when I ask that question I mean the kinky kind that involves being peed on by your partner (or partners). Well, if you are (and I don’t judge and neither should you), then I’m thrilled to tell you that pillow cases that look like they have already been peed upon can now be yours!!

The nuttiest thing of all is that this smut isn’t cheap, and most of the duvet covers or comforters will run you over $150. I’ve always said that it costs a lot to look cheap, but now I have an actual dollar amount to attach to that saying. Everything that follows can be purchased at CafePress and is NSFW.
 

 

 
More after the jump…

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Posted by Cherrybomb
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07.19.2017
09:47 am
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Mondo mayhem: Sex, blood and horror, the art of Enzo Sciotti


An arresting image by artist Enzo Sciotti for the 1984 film ‘Heavenly Bodies’ (billed in Italy as ‘Scratch Dance’).
 
During the 1970s and 1980s, Italian artist Enzo Sciotti created hand-painted artwork associated with the films of many influential directors who hailed from his home country, such as Dario Argento, Lucio Fulci and Lamberto Bava, the son of the great Mario Bava. 

Born in Rome in 1944, Sciotti got started drawing professionally at a very young age—fifteen according to his online biography. Sciotti’s bio also states that he has been responsible for over three thousand movies posters. Sciotti has lent his talent to album artwork as well—specifically the cover of the stellar soundtrack for Phenomena, Dario Argento’s 1985 film starring Donald Pleasence and a fifteen-year-old Jennifer Connelly.

Most of what follows showcase blood and nudity, which means it’s NSFW.
 

The artwork for the 1986 film by Lamberto Bava, ‘Midnight Killer’ by Enzo Sciotti.
 

The album artwork for the soundtrack to ‘Phenomena.’
 
More after the jump…

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Posted by Cherrybomb
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07.18.2017
10:14 am
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Super cheesy photos of male Chippendales dancers from the 1980s
07.17.2017
12:14 pm
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A vintage shot of Chippendales dancers from the 1980s.
 
I’ve always found the phenomena of the Chippendales all-male striptease ensemble one of the weirdest 1980s things. And that’s saying a lot when you consider all that decade bestowed upon us—whether we wanted it or not. I mean, the music scene was pretty amazing—and if you want to arm-wrestle me over that fact, you will lose because it’s a fact. Prince put out Controversy and 1999 and Purple Rain. MTV played music videos and Larry Bird was named the MVP of the NBA Finals in 1986 after the Boston Celtics took town the Houston Rockets in Game Six. Okay, that last one is one of my favorite moments from the 80s, but it just proves my point that a lot of great things happened back then. And love them, hate them, or just plain don’t fucking get them, the dancers of Chippendales were everywhere. Just like shoulder pads and spandex.

Much like Gene Simmons and his devotion to slapping the word KISS on anything and everything, the Chippendales’ empire did the very same thing. From calendars to a board game and even a mini hand-held movie viewer so you could watch the beefy dancers in the privacy of your own home, there was something “Chippendales” for everybody. The calendars were incredibly popular items, and are nearly impossible to find now. I’ve included a few choice color photos from the calendars as well as some black and white print ads (which you can buy here) featuring individual dancers. Lastly, I included footage from a workout tape put out by Chippendales called Muscle Motion that is about as cornball as anything I’ve ever laid my eyes on. And trust me, these eyes have seen some cornball shit that you can never unsee. I hope you enjoy this gyrating trip down memory lane!
 

 

 

 

 
More totally 80s himbo action after the jump…

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Posted by Cherrybomb
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07.17.2017
12:14 pm
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When a glimpse of stocking was something shocking: Vintage erotic postcards of 1920’s flappers
07.17.2017
09:24 am
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Before the First World War, postcards were the Twitter of the day. They were used to share personal news, arrange appointments, or pass on messages of love—though thankfully, there was very little of the trolling we all have to endure today. There was also a small but highly profitable cottage industry for erotic postcards which increased dramatically during the War years. This was one way by which governments and generals thought they could keep the boys on the frontline happy by giving them some reason for fighting—saving the sexy young maidens of France from the hairy, uncouth hands of the Hun, and so forth. Millions of such cards were produced by the French during the War, which led to the moniker “French postcards” being applied to all erotic postcards whether they were made in France or not.

After the War, these naughty French postcard were still popular. This popularity offered some young women some independence and an easy way to make a quick franc or three. There is a genuine innocence about these photographs of young women flashing a white thigh above stocking top, or posing nude like a Greek goddesses, or playacting as a saucy French maid, which make them far more erotic than the bare-all, gynecological pictures of today’s cynical world of porn.
 
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More dirty French postcards, after the jump…

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Posted by Paul Gallagher
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07.17.2017
09:24 am
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Artists pay homage to the legendary artwork of Heavy Metal magazine
07.14.2017
03:07 pm
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‘Metal Head’ by artist Brian Viveros. One of over 80 pieces that you can see at the Heavy Metal 40th Anniversary show at the Copro Gallery in Santa Monica, California starting on Saturday
 
A show featuring works inspired by 40 years of artwork from Heavy Metal Magazine kicks off this Saturday, July 15th at the Copro Gallery in Santa Monica, California. The massive show features more than 80 artists and their collective takes on the mythical artwork that has graced the pages of the magical and legendary magazine which put out its very first issue in April of 1977.

In addition to art inspired by of Heavy Metal’s artistic contributors, such as Boris Vallejo, Luis Royo, H.R. Giger and Spanish illustrator Esteban Maroto, there will also be lots of other eye candy to ogle such as animated cells from the 1981 film Heavy Metal, assorted collectibles related to the magazine and live body painting. The show itself features contributions from a dazzling array of incredibly talented modern masters that include Brian Viveros, Chet Zar, Ron English, and Travis Louie, as well a few of their predecessors, most notably the great French artist and cartoonist Jean Henri Gaston Giraud, better known as Moebius. I’ll say this much—if I were anywhere near Santa Monica during this event, I would already be waiting outside with my face pressed against the door of the gallery in anticipation.

Below, an extensive selection of some pieces from the upcoming show below which are all for sale for those of us with deep enough pockets and a great appreciation for the foundational artwork that Heavy Metal helped put on the map. Like the magazine itself, much of what follows is NSFW.
 

“Bad Blood” by Matthew Bone.
 

“Heavy Metal Naga” by the great Shawn Barber.
 

“The Artist” by Ryan Brown.
 
More after the jump…

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Posted by Cherrybomb
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07.14.2017
03:07 pm
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Confessions of a Dirty Book Writer: The sexy, saucy paperback books of ‘Timothy Lea’ & ‘Rosie Dixon’
07.14.2017
10:31 am
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George Orwell is said to have kicked off the arena of pop culture analysis when he published his essay “The Art of Donald McGill” in 1941. Donald McGill was a graphic artist who excelled at a certain type of vulgar postcard with a saucy punchline that could be purchased at seaside resorts in England in the first decades of the twentieth century. Orwell, who had been a middle-class scholarship case at upper-crusty Eton, was fascinated by the peculiar and repressed relationship to sex that the postcards tended to reveal among the English masses who adored the cards.

Kate Fox, author of the 2004 book Watching the English, noted that in her hundreds of interviews of British citizens for the book, there was only one subject that made them truly uneasy, across the board. “Trying to interview people about sex” was difficult, she said. “The English simply cannot talk about it without making a joke of it. It seems to be a knee-jerk reaction.”

All of which brings us to the impressive novelistic oeuvre of Christopher Wood, a name that will likely not ring any bells. Wood as a British advertising executive who became a one-person publishing sensation in the 1970s when he pitched the idea of writing erotic comic novels to Sphere, a publisher of paperbacks. The first one was called Confessions of a Window Cleaner, and it set the template for many more, such as Confessions of a Milkman, Confessions of an Ice Cream Man, and Confessions of a Long-Distance Lorry Driver. He used the pen name “Timothy Lea.”

In 1973 Wood/Lea told Penthouse that each book took him about five weeks to complete. Using the Lea pseudonym, Wood wrote 19 books in the Confessions series. He also invented a female alter ago named “Rosie Dixon,” whose best-known book was Confessions of a Night Nurse.
 

 
1974 saw the start of the movie versions of some of the Confessions books, starring Robin Askwith. Confessions of a Window Cleaner was the first one, and it was followed by Confessions of a Pop Performer, Confessions of a Driving Instructor, and Confessions of a Summer Camp Councillor. In 1978 Rosie Dixon: Night Nurse came out, starring Debbie Ash in the title role. To say these movies were popular is putting it mildly: according to the Independent, Confessions of a Window Cleaner had the most profitable box office of any movie in the U.K. for 1974.

The prolific Wood also published novelizations of James Bond movies (many of which, obviously, started out as Ian Fleming novels). He co-wrote the script for The Spy Who Loved Me and wrote the screenplay for Moonraker.

The Confessions books have become collector’s items, and many are available as ebooks or used on Amazon.
 

 

 
Many more excellent book covers after the jump…...
 

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Posted by Martin Schneider
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07.14.2017
10:31 am
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