My Favorite Pulp & Pulp-Influenced Movies

200px-Indiana_Jones_in_Raiders_of_the_Lost_ArkThere’s a lot of great pulp-influenced movies out there — here’s a quick rundown of some of my favorites. Check ’em out if you haven’t already!

First up is, of course, Raiders of the Lost Ark. All the Indiana Jones films are great but you gotta start with the first (and best).

Next, we have The Shadow. I know a lot of people don’t care for the Alec Baldwin flick but I thought it was great fun, even if it took some liberties.

The first two Mummy movies are wonderful fun — in fact, The Rook’s wife Evelyn was inspired by the female lead in these films.

Lee Falk’s Phantom came to life in a fun-filed movie starring Billy Zane. Is it perfect? No. But it’s still wonderful — and my young son really enjoyed it.

And finally, The Rocketeer. Based on the Dave Stevens’ comic, this was a fun little film — and features the deliciously lovely Jennifer Connelly.

What are some of your faves?


  1. Being a long-time fan of straight adventure tales, I have a soft spot for the old Tom Selleck movie, High Road to China.
    Beautiful heiress, biplanes, the East, wild hills tribesmen, a race against time…
    Flawed, but still lots of fun, and the John Barry score is simply magnificent.
    It’s loosely based on a novel by Aussie author Jon Cleary, that’s actually quite good (and used to be somewhat easy to find second-hand).

  2. “The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai: Across the Eighth Dimension” and “Big Trouble in Little China” both owe a heck of a lot to the pulp style. Those two movies still make me grin like a madman whenever I see them.

  3. Seeing this list makes me happy. Of course Indy is a given, but all the others are great movies people seem to have forgotten about.

    I LOVED The Shadow. It came out when I was 11, I think. I’ve recently picked up the blu-ray from Shout Factory that has a little retrospective with the director, Alec Baldwin and Penelope Ann-Miller who talk about it with such loving terms. The soundtrack and score are amazing, too. I don’t understand how people could not like it.

    The Phantom…HELL YES! I was excited to see it on PPV when I was a kid but it wasn’t until I had a much greater knowledge of the character and pulp in general that I could really appreciate this movie. It’s fun on so many levels.

    The Rocketeer holds a special place in my heart because I got to see it with my dad and a family friend when it first came out. They thought it was quaint and fun but I loved the hell out of it.

    And THANK YOU for giving the first two Mummy films some appreciation. Those are always getting crap for no good reason. They’re very much adventure movies as well as horror. I loved the first one and I loved the first half of the second (I think after the museum sequence the movie is kind of hit and miss)

    I’ve tried to get all of those movies on Blu-Ray as some of them have amazing covers or are just hard to find…mission accomplished!

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