“Pulp” is a 1972 dark comedy reuniting writer/director Mike Hodges, producer Michael Klinger, and actor Michael Caine, who collaborated on the popular film “Get Carter” the previous year. Mickey Rooney and Lionel Stander costar with Caine in this sleazy story of corruption.
Mickey King (Caine) is a pulp fiction novelist drafted to pen the autobiography of a former actor (Rooney). He must travel from his home in Rome to the island of Malta to meet with the actor. While there things go awry and the actor is killed. Now King is in the position of some of his fictional characters as he tries to figure out what in the world is going on.
The fun in the film is the play on words and the double-entendres. And watching the wardrobe from the early 1970s definitely brings back memories to those of us who lived through that time.
The bonus features are actually as interesting as the film. There are several interviews that provide plenty of background to the time and the story. Mike Hodges explains about his confusion with the rise of fascism that was occurring in Italy while creating the story. This was only a few decades after World War II, and seeing this reemergence of fascism was disconcerting to him.
In an interview with assistant director John Glen, he reveals how he was hired and had to reedit the film from scratch. This was a time in Britain when there was much strife and black outs. He would cut a segment then the power would go out.
Other interviews include director of photography Ousama Rawi and Tony Klinger, son of the producer. All of the bonus features add background to the story and the actual production.
This stylish film also includes a mesmerizing score by George Martin. In the story the private eye novelist turns fiction into reality. The movie was shot on location in Malta and is rated PG. There is a lot of slapstick comedy woven throughout the movie. It won’t appeal to everyone but it does have its admirers.