Avast, me Hearties! Films Ahoy! Shiver me timbers!
This is the second newsletter from The
Spinning Image, and you're welcome to it.
What a tremendous response we had to the first newsletter. Here, for
example, is a message from May Dupname: "when r u gonna review titanic???
it rocks!!!! :) :)"
Rest assured, May, we'll review it next time it's on TV. Now, to business...
As a member you can send
your own news items for inclusion in future issues. These can be interesting
anecdotes, snippets you've heard or picked up off the net, ideas for future
newsletters or anything you think might interest other readers.
In repsonse the previous newsletter, here's Darrell Buxton's choice
of films that just don't get the respect he thinks they deserve:
- HONKY TONK FREEWAY - how can anyone resist an hilarious, wacky
road movie starring Bill Devane and featuring a pink elephant on water
skis? [It also features the immortal line: "Cash the check, turkeytits!"
- BODY DOUBLE - Brian De Palma’s masterpiece, hack actor Craig
Wasson finds himself trapped in a combined remake of Rear Window
and Vertigo while the world of hardcore pornography conspires
- THE LAST PAGE - the great Diana Dors in a cheap, little-known
Hammer thriller directed by Terence Fisher. Despite being largely set
inside a dingy London bookshop, it's packed with intrigue and even climaxes
with a traditional Fisher conflagration.
- CRIMINALLY INSANE - the debut of Crazy Fat Ethel in a deranged
psycho movie which would even give John Waters nightmares.
- TOP SECRET! - forget Airplane!, this is the best of
the Zucker/Abrahams/Zucker comedies, somehow combining rock music with
wartime resistance fighters and a cow in wellington boots (in exactly
what year is this movie set!?). Peter Cushing and Omar Sharif make surreal
cameo appearances and the ending is the greatest, addest Wizard Of
Oz homage of all time.
- RAISING CAIN – more classic De Palma, with John Lithgow playing
about 17 different loopy personalities. If this film was European it
would be celebrated as a work of maverick genius.
- CONFESSIONS OF A POP PERFORMER - Anthony Booth and Robin Askwith
enter the music business. Featuring the legendary Peter Cleall as lead
singer of Kipper, stars of the 1975 Royal Variety Performance. Also
on the bill – The Climax Sisters...
- KILLER’S MOON - 4 escaped mental patients, undergoing drug-fuelled
dream therapy, encounter a bus-load of stranded 14-year-old schoolgirls
in the Lake District. A three-legged dog, a tail-less cat, and dotty
Hilda Braid add to the fun in this insane British shocker.
- THREE HATS FOR LISA - Joe Brown and Una Stubbs help a French
tourist collect an assortment of unusual headgear during a trip to 60s
London. Sid James sings the unforgettable ditty 'Bermondsey'!
- I DRINK YOUR BLOOD - hippies invade a quiet little town but
are unwittingly fed with rabies- infected meat pies. Energetic and gory,
this crazy 70s horror movie deserves to be much better-known.
- SUDDENLY LAST SUMMER - a cast of major award-winning stars
in a film about lobotomies, homosexuality and cannibalism?
THE DUDE ABIDES
How about entering the right-on world of Jeff Bridges? Here's the link:
You're greeted with an, er, animated squiggle and and the site is distinctively
written out in Jeff's barely legible handwriting.
The main menu lists various pages, such as the latest news from Jeff,
a filmography (why isn't Winter Kills on DVD?) or a page about
his new album (and how to buy it, naturally). Jeff's a keen shutterbug,
so there are some of his (wide) photos on display, mostly from the filming
In common with many movie stars it seems, Jeff has interests in charitable
causes, in particular the End Hunger Network which he helped to set up.
You'll find out about it here, and even buy the cookbook if you're so
The "Stuff" section has links to a Tron game and Jeff's dear old
mother's poetry website. Check out the "Doodles" part for an unusual interpretation
of the Dude. You can also find out how to draw a labyrinth - always a
All in all, a website as likeable as the man himself. And if you don't
agree, well, that's just like, your opinion, man.
RUINING MOVIES WITH MUSIC
You know, a carefully placed, inappropriate song could very well ruin
For example, Hank Mizell's "Jungle Rock" could be played during the scene
in the cave near the end of The English Patient.
Ray Stevens' "The Streak" could be played just as Darth Vader says, "I
am your father" in The Empire Strikes Back.
Captain Beefheart's "Diddy Wah Diddy" could be played at the bouncing
ball scene in The Changeling. The theme from The Banana Splits
could be played during Michael Douglas and Sharon Stone's first sex scene
together in Basic Instinct.
The Sex Pistols' "Liar" could be played during any scene with Hugh Grant
in Sense and Sensibility.
Kylie Minogue's "I Should Be So Lucky" could be played so loudly at the
end of Braveheart that Mel's last line "Freedom" would be barely
You could go even further by replacing all the oldies on the soundtrack
of The Big Chill with tracks from Lou Reed's Metal Machine Music
Any other suggestions?
Udo Kier was recently spotted at the ICA in London being interviewed
by Alan Jones. This was followed by a screening of his new British horror
film Revelation. Revelation hasn't been getting great reviews,
so it might be best to wait until it's on video or DVD before you see
it, but congratulations to the film makers on getting the movie into cinemas
in the first place. And it has Terence Stamp in it. Terence and Udo...
together at last.
Any other sightings of Udo - let us know.
Looking for something to read? Why not try:
They are short and cheap paperback books (around 100 pages at £3.99)
on a variety of topics, including Philip K. Dick, U.F.O.s, Alan Moore,
The Hitch Hiker's Guide to the Galaxy, Conspiracy Theories, Doctor Who
or Sherlock Holmes.
But if it's films you're interested in (and you are) there's plenty to
choose from. For directors, there are books on Terry Gilliam, Alfred Hitchcock,
The Coen brothers, Sam Peckinpah, David Cronenberg, Tim Burton, David
Lynch, Orson Welles, Michael Mann and many others. The Mike Hodges one
is the first ever book on the director of Get Carter and Flash
For stars, there's Steve McQueen, Jackie Chan, Marilyn Monroe, Laurel
and Hardy and Bruce Lee.
They also cover genres like Horror Movies, Spaghetti Westerns, Hong
Kong Action, Slasher Movies and Blaxploitation films.
The only problem is their tendency to give away the endings of the films
they review, so if you haven't seen the films then you're better off avoiding
the synopsis. But overall, they are informative and feature "stimulating"
opinions, and there are more on the way.
As a member you can send
your own articles for inclusion on the site. These can be on any cult
movie related subject - although you might like to email me before embarking
on a massive project which is then deemed unsuitable. On the whole though,
if you think it might interest other readers it's good enough for us.
REST IN PEACE
Musician, comedian and actor Dudley Moore died in March aged 62. Part
of the pioneering Beyond the Fringe comedy team, he was frequently the
comedy partner of Peter Cook in films such as Bedazzled, The
Bed Sitting Room, The Great Race and The Wrong Box.
On his own, he starred in Foul Play, Arthur and 10.
We hope he's enjoying a sandwich in Heaven.
Comedian Milton Berle was perhaps the original television superstar
in America, and he also appeared in films like It's a Mad Mad Mad Mad
World and Who's Minding The Mint? Mostly he took small roles
in comedies including The Muppet Movie, The Loved One and
Broadway Danny Rose. He died aged 93 at the end of March.
Writer, director and producer Billy Wilder was a cinematic genius with
a host of classics to his name. He died aged 95 at the end of March; some
of his cult movies are Sunset Boulevard, Some Like It Hot,
Ace in the Hole, Kiss Me, Stupid, The Private Life of Sherlock
Holmes and The Apartment.
Tonino Cervi, Italian producer, writer and director, died at the end
of March aged 72. He produced films by Fellini, Bertolucci and Antonioni.
Other films he was involved with included Dairy of a Cloistered Nun
and The Spider Labyrinth.
John Agar died in April aged 81. He gained fame as Shirley Temple's
first husband and appeared in some John Wayne movies, but he became a
leading man in low budget fantasy films like The Brain from Planet
Arous, Revenge of the Creature, The Mole People, Tarantula
and Journey to the Seventh Planet. He also appeared in Miracle
Robert Urich died aged 55 in April. Best known for TV work in shows
like Spencer For Hire and Vega$, his rare film appearances
included Ice Pirates, Turk 182 and Endangered Species.
Explorer and adventurer Thor Heyerdahl died in April aged 87. He won
an Oscar for his film of the Kon-Tiki expedition, where he and
his crew sailed a balsa wood raft across the Pacific to prove a point.
A follow up film was Ra, concerning a similar expedition across
New reviews on the site include:
Superstar: The Karen Carpenter Story
The Tenth Victim and an alternate review!
A Bullet for the General
Well, that'll do for now. Any comments, type them into the little box
on The Spinnning Image site. It's time to set sail... into the movieland