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Good Pulp Movies to watch

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Noir always struck me as rather cynical at its core. Pulp adventure, on the other hand, is almost naively optimistic in its belief that righteousness always wins out.

but for a lot of Noir the righteous Do win out, it's just that the point of view is from the villain. :yes:

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In a mystery writing workshop I took, they described Noir (as opposed to other forms of mystery stories) this way:

Structure of Noir:

Noir is the most realistic of all subgenres of mystery.

1. Urban setting. And it is crime-ridden.

2. It's dark, gritty, sensory-filled and nasty.

3. Character-focused in relationship to the setting.

4. The ending: the crime gets resolved, but it's not pretty and it's rarely uplifting.

5. Voice is off the charts: deep, resonant, powerful, worth listening to. A riveting storyteller telling you a horrible, horrible story.


Other things about Noir (not necessarily the case):

1. Often the main character is a vigilante or someone outside the law.

2. It's the anti-cozy.

3. It rarely has a moral compass. Sometime the moral compass is broken. Morals don't exist at all in most noir stories. Morals are for people who have money, time, a "real life." They can afford it.

Annenberg's VoD Film Noir.


The whole course is worth a look.



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While it wasn't a pulp movie, 1979's Cliffhangers (a short-lived TV series which featured three different storylines)

did have pulp elements which ran through it, especially in the segments Stop Susan Williams -- about a female

investigative reporter who faced almost certain death at the end of each segment, only to be saved from it at the

beginning of the next -- and The Secret Empire, which was a nod to the "hidden city" story lines of the movies of

the '30s and '40s. The third segment was The Curse of Dracula, which featured Michael Nouri as the title charac-

ter (a Dracula who was existing in the 20th Century as a professor teaching night classes -- complete with access

to gorgeous co-eds -- while dodging a descendant of Van Helsing), and was the only segment of the three which

completed its storyline by the time NBC cancelled Cliffhangers.



Major Tom 2009 :cool:

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The Adventures of Buckaroo Bonzai


The Golden Child


Dark City(more noir than pulp)


L.A. Confidential(noir I guess, not really pulp)


The Mouth of Madness(Lovecraftian, perhaps more noir and horror than pulp, but, as far as I'm concerned, one of the few stories to come anywhere close to getting anything like the Lovecraft feel)

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IN THE MOUTH OF MADNESS is horror, but it is pulp horror, with the PI (a very good Sam Neill) tracking down a pulp horror writer a la Stephen King without the name who has ducked out of sight.


LA CONFIDNTIAL is straight up noir -- it has got a tv show within the movie showing you how different reality ("the movie") is, if you're are picking up what I am putting down.


SIN CITY plays off the same noir world of The Batman comics, but it is so over the top that it is pulp. Marv and Dwight are a bunch of low level supers.


ANGEL CITY BLUES is the name of a campaign I am planning that is me taking a spin at SIN CITY...

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