Monday, May 20, 2013

Men's Mag Roundup: Call-Girl Temples and Amazon Queens

This is another men’s mag story I’ve wanted to read for a while – “Hitler’s Call-Girl Temple” by Hans Felix Albrecht, originally published in 1962 in A-Ok For Men but reprinted in this January 1970 issue of Adventure For Men. (In fact I suspect that most of the stories in this issue are reprints.) This story is masterful pulp, the sort of “fake history” these men’s mags excelled at. We are informed that prior to the war years the Nazis set up a Temple of Aryan Motherhood in Berlin, a four-floor structure overseen by “The Hindu:” an incense-filled abode of gorgeous German women who willingly gave themselves to the men of the Third Reich, all to propagate the Aryan seed.

Once again though the story title and captions mislead: we’re told that none of these women were call-girls, as there were too many regular women who wanted to give themselves to the cause. So the floors were always filled with visitors and their women, but the most special chamber of all was The Grand Celestial Couch of Aryan Blessedness, where highest members of the Reich were treated. One day in 1937 the Temple received a very special guest – Hitler himself, who brought along his own bedmate: a gorgeous young thing whose father disagreed with Hitler’s political views.

Albrecht informs us that Hitler could only get off on abuse, and thus is sexually excited as the girl struggles against him. But when she wisens up and starts to act like she wants him, Hitler wilts. He stands there like a bufoon as the girl ridicules him, then finally he grabs from the Hindu “the dagger of honor,” which we’re told men would use to carve a swastika on the bosoms of women they’d just had on the Celestial Couch. Hitler uses it to slice up the girl, then orders his men to kill her. Albrecht then flashes back to an earlier point, where we’re told that Hitler once had a thing for a pretty young Jewish girl named Sarah, and wanted to ask her out(!).

The story approaches slapstick as Hitler’s pals urge him to ask Sarah on a date…and when later Hitler tries to sleep with her, she resists. He again gets excited during the struggle, but again wilts when Sarah turns the tables. After this Hitler once again calls in his blackshirts, forcing Sarah to perform “unnatural sex acts” on each of them while Hitler watches. Hitler then clubs the girl on the chin with the butt of a revolver…the end! My friends, this particular men’s mag is the first I’ve read that seems to have an intentional sense of humor, and the following stories are just further indication.

“African Harem Beauties Turned Free!” by Charles V. Nemo is a psuedo-factual article about 800 wives who are now free in the Congo, filled with photos probably stolen from National Geographic. Then there’s “All You Can Eat and Drink – For Free” by Loy Warwick, a “funny” how-to on crashing parties and whatnot; the story seems like it would’ve been more appropriate in The New Yorker. “The Colonel Who Made $600 Million Queer” by Carl Sifakis is another humorous piece, about a Russian counterfeiter hired by the Nazis to help destroy England’s economy with fake pounds sterling.

“Assert Your Masculinity” by Betsy Compton is another inentionally humorous piece (at least I hope it is), about how “if a girl’s a tease – slap her in the face!” It’s filled with anecdotes about how teasing girls just need some light smacking to learn that a man’s in charge! “A Look Through the Window” by James D. Lee is a first-person piece about a drunk college sophomore who panty-raids the girls dorm; he’s careful not to wake up “old maid Miss Huff,” the girls dorm monitor. He gets in a first-floor window and the gal inside is already awake, and tells him to get in bed with her; after having stolen the nameplate on the door and stumbling home he discovers he’s just slept with Miss Huff herself! “Lusty Mistresses of Stud Island” by Gus Farrell is about black magic women on Bay Island who ravish men, and the narrator went their once, got used, and now wants to go back – he ends the story by asking if anyone wants to go along with him!

Then there’s “I Sold Girls to the Arab Slave Traders” by Rene Plankin, a very misleadingly-titled story recounted by the fictional Plankin, who we learn is an investigator hired to find a missing French girl who apparently is being sold on the Arab slave market. The short tale is all suspense, with Plankin meeting up with slavetraders and discussing terms before he is found out and must fight his way to freedom. There’s no slave-girl scene or slavemarket scene, so again we have a writer not capitalizing on the story’s lurid potential. The longest tale here is “My 20 Years with Moscow’s Secret Police” by Mikhail Antonov, straight-up torture porn as Antonov recounts various sadistic means he’d use on prisoners; the author also insinuates that the Communists actually carried out the Holocaust and leaked the photos as a smear campaign against the Nazis. More intentional humor: the editors compare the importance of this story to the publication of Dr. Zhivago!

Now we’re back into quality (and long) men’s mag tales – the “Diamond” line was probably the highest-quality of these magazines, all of them edited by Noah Sarlat, who gave us Women With Guns. This first Male annual, from 1963, is massive, well over 100 pages and packed with long, fully-developed stories and great art. However I tracked it down for a story that isn’t even mentioned on the cover: “The Amazon Queen Who Ruled An Experimental Sex Outpost,” by Martin Faas. I mean, what a title!! I discovered this gem via the fantastic Lynn Munroe Books site, where a scan of the story’s splashpage is posted:

But here once again we have a story that doesn’t match (or live up to) its title or captions. It’s my sad duty to inform you that the “experimental sex outpost” angle isn’t even mentioned in Faas’s story, and the Amazon queen, Ilse Todt, is nowhere mentioned as once having been a “Nazi love camp doctor.” Indeed it is her brother Otto who was a doctor, in a concentration camp! Our hero is Harry Remick, an engineer exploring the Mato Grosso region of Brazil in 1947. He encounters Otto and Ilse Todt; Ilse comes to Remick’s bed that night and some good lovin’ ensues. Ilse is sort of a proto-hippie girl, very free-spirited and fun loving; she is in fact the exact opposite of the Nazi She-Devil I expected.

Otto however is a stone cold Nazi and, a few months later, Remick stumbles upon the kingdom he has erected deep in the Mato Grosso. It’s a full Nazi compound with giant swastika, concentration camps, and an army of Calapolo Indians, each of whom is armed with submachine guns and who have swastikas etched onto their metal armbands! (The bit about Ilse using them to “create a new master race” is another element that only exists in the captions and not the story itself.) Ilse is happy to see Remick, goofing around with her playful sense of humor and then later screwing him while a few native girls watch – Ilse wanting to show them how it’s really done.

But Remick is sickened by Otto, who apparently plans to use the Indians as live test subjects. Turns out Otto arranged for Ilse to sleep with Remick so as to ensnare him – Otto knew that eventually Remick would come down here looking for her, as he’d want her again. And so Remick has fallen into his trap: Otto needs Remick’s help to melt gold or something. Remick is kept imprisoned and is even given his own Calapolo bride – after Otto has had ceremonial sex with her in front of the congregation.

Once Remick discovers that the Indians had a ruler whom Otto kicked out, he tracks the man down and works it so that he can return in triumph to the people, who then turn on Otto and kill him. Ilse is spared, and the two part ways, Ilse returning to Germany – again, there’s no indication that she’s “evil” per se, other than going along with Otto’s whims. The story by the way is adorned with “actual photos” of Remick and Ilse – obviously misappropriated shots of random people. Sounds like the sort of thing you could get sued for these days.

The feature story is “Imprisoned For Six Months in Japan’s Secret Female Garrison” by Richard Gallagher, who gave us “Five Greek Girls to Istanbul” in Women With Guns, my favorite story in that anthology. And here too his writing is masterful and fun. This is an extra-long tale, longer even than the typical “true booklength” Male stories, and originally appeared in the June 1960 issue of Stag.

Lt. Amos Brennan crashes his one-man sub during a naval assault on Okinawa in April 1945, and washes up on Kori Shima island, which it turns out is home to the “secret female garrison” that is the Iwasaki women’s contingent. One of the women stabs Brennan in the arm with her bayonet, and she’s about to use him for further practice when her superior pulls her away. (Brennan later dubs the girl “Bayonet Betty,” as she’s always chomping at the bit to further slice him up.) Brennan discovers that the island is filled solely with women – and per men’s mag tradition, we are informed that they’re “ample-breasted for Japanese girls.”

In charge of the garrison is the beautiful Sergeant Homma, a refined type who speaks English and enjoys conversing with Brennan; we’re informed that she likes to wear boots, shorts, and “a tunic too tight and too open to be considered military.” She is somehow related to the General Homma who ordered the infamous Bataan Death March, but won’t elaborate. Gallagher treads the line between pulp and reality; Brennan’s life doesn’t become an orgiastic excess of one ample-breasted Japanese gal after another. Instead the women construct a cage for him, one that is hoisted up off the ground each night. During the day his allotted task is to saw wood while one of the women stands guard, her rifle trained on him.

Only gradually does the pulpier stuff come into play. As expected, Homma comes to Brennan one afternoon and tells him she wants him to wash her back. Homma is very military and professional and in the same matter-of-fact tones she then informs Brennan that she wants him to make love to her. Brennan, sensing that he is in a contest of wills with her, takes Homma roughly, which she appears to enjoy. After which she gives Brennan the rest of the day off! After that it’s back into Brennan’s human-sized birdcage, with the occasional run-in with one of the guards – Gallagher provides an entertaining fight between Brennan and Bayonet Betty, who basically beats the shit out of him with judo and akido.

Gallagher’s style is great, as is all of the writing I’ve so far read in the Diamond line of magazines. No POV-hopping, good characterization, good dialog, good action. When the Americans finally show up on Kori Shima Gallagher provides another entertaining action sequence, though as expected per men’s mag tradition the Japanese ladies can’t fight for a damn, some of them shooting in the wrong direction – but then, Homma informs Brennan that the Iwasaki contingent is made up of common women, not soldiers; a last-ditch Japanese attempt to bolster the army. Also, this is another story graced with photos of random people who are supposed to be our characters!

The other WWII stories in the mag are very air warfare-focused, which admittedly isn’t much my thing. There’s “Destroy Cologne at Midnight” by Len Guttridge, about the RAF strike on that German city, and also “Deadly Twins” by Martin Sol, about a pair of ace pilots who have a running bet on who can shoot down the most Germans. There’s also “The Strange Navy Flyer Who Carried His Gunner Across New Guinea,” by Frederic Wakeman, the unwiedly title of which aptly sums up the (very long) story – which in fact turns out to be an excerpt from Wakeman’s 1960 novel A Free Agent.

On a non-war angle there’s “Border Nymph” by Nick Quarry, the narrative of a private eye as he hunts down an elusive “Indian” girl; this one’s an excerpt from Quarry’s 1960 novel No Chance In Hell. Finally we have some various articles and cheesecake layouts; one of the articles is titled “Those Single Girls Who Like To Fool Around With Married Men,” another one whose title aptly sums up the article, which is filled with a psychologist’s comments on why certain girls go for married men…an informative article which unfortunately fails to answer one very important question: Where can these girls be found??


Walker Martin said...

In a prior comment, one of your readers mentioned how the covers are great but he wished the stories matched the covers. That also has been my problem. I have quite a few back issues of different titles but I've found them simply unreadable. I like them for the covers and sometimes the interior illustrations.

However, I do enjoy your posts about the fiction. I'm always hoping to be proven wrong about the stories!

James Reasoner said...

Nick Quarry was really the veteran, always dependable paperbacker Marvin Albert.