Sunday, August 7, 2011

Favorites :: Pulp Covers :: Monarch Books Brings the Purple Sauce Most Savagely.

Monarch Books was a subsidiary branch of the Connecticut based Charlton Publishing. Known more for their comics and magazines, Charlton briefly branched out with a series of full length pulp novels, most notably a string of film adaptations that were destined for infamy. Infamy that had nothing to do with their inspirational monsters or their individual reigns of terror but for the consistent addition of saucy and salacious passages and implicit sex scenes -- and being taken by a "savage lance of manhood" doesn't even begin to scratch the surface of the prose gone purple found, in great abundance, inside (and under) the covers, stirring up some non-Comic Code approved biological urges in many a unsuspecting reader. Don't believe me? Then read an excerpt from Dean Owen's liberal take on Konga:

"She ran a zipper down and the dress became a heap of limp black material on the floor. She pulled off a half slip, tore the strap of her bra in her anxiety to rid herself of these trappings of civilization. She ripped the panties and garter belt, peeling off her stockings, ignoring the fact that she tore them to shreds.

"Decker was aware that the chattering of Konga had ceased. He turned, giving the little animal a thoughtful stare. Konga was watching the white-fleshed woman…. "

"Later, on the familiar bed with its rose-colored spread, Decker possessed Margaret with a violence that frightened her and, at the same time, aroused her to a frenzy of passion such as she had never known. His hands and mouth roved her naked, perfumed flesh, stirring hidden fires within her and she clutched him to her, arching her body wantonly to take the savage spear of his long-starved need.

"'Don’t give this to anyone else,' Margaret said when the tumult and frenzy of their love-making had subsided and they lay quietly together, their senses lulled and content, their bodies sated."
Anyone else remember this scene from the movie? Yeah, me neither. Believe it or not, things get even saucier with Carson Bingham's, uhm, dramatic liberties taken in Gorgo:

"I was conscious only of the fact that the shreds of the shirt had parted over her breasts, and that one of them lay completely exposed, its white softness before my eyes. Then I touched her breast with my hand, and she closed her eyes, moaned softly and turned her head from me. The flaming red hair moved against my nose, tickling it. I held her to me, trying to forget what a slob and bastard I was to get her into a situation like this. But she would have none of my excuses.

'Take me, Somhairle,' she whispered, 'I demand to be taken.' She clutched my hand in her and I pressed her body, warm and quivering, to mine. Somehow I found the buttons to the dungarees she wore, and unbuttoned them, and slipped the clothes off her trembling flesh until there was nothing between us but the warmth of our bodies.

"She strained and twisted and clutched at me in the ecstasy of her stabbing, tearing pain, and with the unfeigned sincerity of innocence, she abandoned herself to me. And for me it was like dying and being reborn. It was a dizzying climb to a cloud of ecstasy such as I’d never experienced before.

"When the tumult and madness between us finally subsided, we lay there, breathless and sated and content, surrounded by the essence and magic of our love."
Bingham was a pseudonym of Bruce Cassiday, who, at the time, was serving as a copy editor for Argosy magazine, so, obviously, some of the lewd and lascivious nature of the Men's Magazines and Sweats of the day were leeching over into these adaptions. And even if that explains the how, it doesn't really explain the why for its inclusion in something clearly targeted at tweeners -- not that they were complaining, I'm sure. This was the story of a young boy discovering and befriending his pet lizard after all -- and the wrath of dear sweet mama when he tries to play with it. Yeah, I'm reaching there. And so was Cassiday, who wasn't done embellishing Gorgo yet:

"I felt her soft flaming hair pressing against my face, and I felt the warm soft curves of her body warm against mine, and I forgot all about the reason I had come to Nara. I kissed her again, and she closed her eyes, holding me to her with her arms twined about my neck. It was warm in the sand, and I gently slipped off her dungarees and unbuttoned her shirt so that her breasts fell free and gleamed in the starlight above us.

"She lay there naked on the sand, a study of voluptuous curves and gentle planes, and her moist lips gleamed. She touched my belt with her hand and released its clasp, and then her hands were around my waist, clawing at my back, crushing me close. We struggled against one another, moving our bodies into the age-old position of duality and completeness, and her lips tasted of salt and tears and I touched the taut nipples of her breasts and she cried out in the night and dug her head into the sand, arching her back to me. She seemed to reach outward with every fiber of her being, and surround me, and then she twined her legs about me in one terrible last shudder of emotion and the world whirled about us and the sea pounded on the beach and the skies opened and we seemed to be in the middle of space somewhere, with absolutely nothing else in the universe but us, our two bodies, and the one love that held everything, universe, planet, and us, together forever.

"Spent, we lay there naked in the sand, staring up at the clear night and the stars twinkling there, and we touched each other without a word, and let our sated, bruised, glowing bodies drink in the nourishment of our remembered pleasure."
Sure, I remember that part. That was right before the big Gorgo Jr. parade, right? Yeah, well, that ain't nothing compared to what happens in the novelization of Reptilicus. I mean, if you thought the monster was patently ridiculous, wait until you read about what was happening in between sock-puppet attacks -- according to Owen, that is:

"Then, hands on the gentle slope of her hips, she turned and faced him, her dark head tilted to one side. He stared open-mouthed at the rose-tipped breasts, the flat stomach, the perfectly formed thighs.

"He flung down the blanket and dumped her on top of it. She giggled, drew up her knees and bit his ear, pretending to fight him desperately.

You — you’re the most delightful female I ever met,' he panted.

"She squirmed away and he forced her back, his desperate hands on her knees. All the time she laughed shrilly.

"Suddenly she drew his face to her breasts, reveling in the touch of his lips. His mouth could not get enough of those hard, firm breasts and his fingers trailed all over her satin-smooth flesh, seeking and caressing, until desire was a hot blade in her insides and she pulled him closer.

"Expertly she guided him, her body accommodating itself to the savage lance of his manhood while the world spun around them in a riot of sensation. After a long blissful moment, she whispered in his ear, 'Have you ever been loved by a gypsy?'"


Then it’s a new experience.' Her body slammed furiously against his, arching and straining, alive with passion, sweeping them both into a vortex of renewed feeling."

Author Owen, one of the many alter egos of Dudley Dean McGaughy, who had a rather prolific career in the western pulps but also dabbled in lurid crime fiction, with titles like Three for Passion, Deuce for Death, and No Empty Bed for Her. And Owen's over-heated take on the only Danish kaiju-eiga was a large part of producer Sidney Pink's counter-suit against American International's breach of contract claims over the complete lack of watchability of Pink's film as completed. Want more evidence? Okay...

"He put his face between her breasts. 'We don’t know how long it will be before Reptilicus is sighted over Copenhagen, but until he is, let’s make every moment count.'

"She was stroking his back. For only a moment did she playfully resist, then she brought him close, hugging him to her, reveling in the riotous sweep of his hands on her naked flesh, instinctively shifting and moving her body to accommodate him.

"It was as if he had touched something electric deep within her. For now her whole body seemed to come alive. He felt himself completely enveloped and from his mind fled all thoughts of Reptilicus, of danger, of everything save this woman who was all female, all savage wanting, bringing him to a fruition of pleasurable feeling such as he’d never known."
There's more, believe me, with Grayson, Svend, Karen and Lise all happily boinking away, making one wonder which *ahem* spitting lizard was more dangerous, here. And for my sanity, and yours, I think I'll skip the not one, but two, attempted rape scenes during the battle for Copenhagen.

So ... Was it good for you, too?

Credit where credit is due: Many thanks to Steve Bissette, namely his blog, where most of the quotes for this tribute were cobbled from. And for more on the history of this sordid chapter of B-Movie-dom, click on over and read his exhaustive 8-part take on the same.

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