Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Pulps, the Grindhouse era, and Society as we know it.

I was in a bookstore browsing the racks, when I came across two items that someone considered, but then thought against it. A reprint replica of Doc Savage, a classic pulp from the 30's, and a DVD copy of Foxy Brown, considered a staple during the Grindhouse era of filmmaking.

It was then that it hit me: It's funny how the Pulps of the 30's & 40's are similar to the Grindhouse films of the 70's & early80's... Cheaply made escapes that, though the quality of the material was as bad as the pulpy paper & Z-grade filmprint, held an endearing quality in light of the times they were made. Think about it: The Pulps were lurid, superviolent pot-boilers that gave in to the frustrations and fantasies of a Post Depression/Pre-war America. The Grindhouse era were full-tilt genre exploitation flicks that served the same purpose for a generation steeped in Vietnam and a near debilitating energy crisis .

Now, I'm not suggesting to creators to flood the markets with trash ( Look around, I REALLY don't have to.), nor do I have to remind anyone of the times now ( Hell, I was only browsing--- I needed my money for gas!) . Life imitating art imitating life.

Past Forward...

Anyway, as I make my way through the store, I catch sight of a DVD sales rack--- No Country for Old Men are huddled up alongside Black Snake Moan and Hustle & Flow double features. Planet Terror and Death Proof, maxim examples of the grindhouse era, sitting along the bottom row. Beside this rack, are the new paperback releases, where the main selection happened to be Paul Malmont's The Chinatown Death Cloud Peril dispalys proudly with it's pulp painted cover. In our Present-depression/ conflict/energy crisis times, it's nice to see that our frustrations can still bear interesting fruit.

How's that for irony?

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