East of Constantinople, West of Shanghai


Midnight in Palo Pango

It seemed like a good idea at the moment – sleepless in the dreary night of the Astigianistan Hills, I settled down with a steaming cup of tea and Isle of Destiny, a 1940 movie I had never seen or heard of (and I would soon learn why) but that promised adventure and thrills.
After all, the movie poster announced…

She was a sarong wearing – gun-toting – poisoned-dart shooting siren of the South Seas!

What could ever go wrong?


Let’s see… Continue reading

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Other People’s Pulps: The Adventures of the Seaspray

I’ll start the year with a chunk of personal nostalgia.

I mentioned already – ad nauseam – how my generation was brought up with a steady, solid, high quality diet of adventure… often, real life adventure.
I grew up with documentaries about the Apollo missions, about Thor Heyerdahl, about deep sea divers and explorers.
There was a lot of South Seas in my youth – mostly through the Folco Quilici documentaries, but also thanks to a TV series that hit the Italian screens in the early ’70s – when I was about six or seven years old.


It was an Australian serial, and it was called The Adventures of the Seaspray – but in Italy was presented as “A Sud dei Tropici” (South of the Tropics). Continue reading

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Cobra Woman (1944)

220px-CobrawomanThere’s no sand, in Cobra Woman, the 1944 Universal movie that brought Maria Montez, Jon Hall and Sabu back to the screens after the success of Arabian Nights… so this is an anomalous entry in the Tits & Sand series.
Cobra Woman is a South Seas movie – and yes, that’s another genre we’ll have to keep an eye on, because it’s a fun, pulp sort of entertainment.

Directed by Robert Siodmak, Cobra Woman also features Lon Chaney Jr.1 in a small but foundamental role.
And yes, there’s also a big plastic cobra – somewhat embarrassing – but we’ll get to that.
Continue reading