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The Spinning Image Newsletter #12

Ho, Ho, Ho, Merry Christmas!

So sayeth Santa, and so sayeth us at the Spinning Image, in this bumper, extra-special, small-sized issue number twelve, just in time for the festive season.

Let's get the usual business out of the way first...

  • Forums - At last we've introduced a real forum to the site. Now you can do all the usual things you'd expect from a forum. We've created loads of new headings for you to post under, whether it's Questions and Answers (idea for anyone wanting a copy of this film, or which version is better of that film) to Classified Ads (sell you DVDs and anything else), there are Wanted columns (again for DVDs, general and even would-be actors and directors can advertise here). If you can post and help get the new forum up and running we'd really appeciate it.

  • News Pages - The homepage has updated film news with relevant links. Only the 10 most recent are displayed, but all news items are held in the archive for reference. Don't forget you can also send in your own news items via the Newsletter link.

  • Ratings - There's a 10 star rating system on all reviews on the site. If you'd like to give a rating to a film you've seen then just scroll to the bottom of the review - select your score and click 'Rate Film' to see how your rating affects the films overall score.

  • Comments - All reviews can accept your comments. If you want to add a snippet of info to a film, trivia, comment on the review or anything relevant then feel free. The reviewer will be informed of your comment and so may reply with additional comments. Consider comments as a forum of the film you're posting them to.

  • Login! - To use any of the above features you must be a member (and you are aren't you?!) and you must be logged in! Also, please don't forget, to enter the competitions you must be a member and you must be logged in.

  • Competitions - Christmas came early for the lucky people below. They successfully answered the set questions to our December competitions. D Warwick from Essex must be especially happy, for they are now the proud owner of the 9 disc Alien Quadrilogy boxed set . Thanks to all those who entered (and this was an amazing response) and don't forget if you weren't a winner this time, have a go at our new competitions which are on-line now. Winners of other competitions which have been drawn since the last newsletter are also listed below.

    • Alien Quadrilogy [answer: Jones or Jonesy]
      D. Warwick (Hornchurch, Essex)

      The Fifth Element Special Edition [answer: Major -Corbin is ex Army and no, rank wasn't some Taxi joke!)
      Geoff Leone (Arbroath, Scotland)
      Wayne Rowlinson (Witham, Essex)
      P. James (Oxford)

      The Tin Drum [answer: Gunter Grass]
      Wayne Howell (Brentford, Middlesex)
      Paul Burton (Doncaster)

      Shock Corridor/The Naked Kiss [answer: White Dog]
      Rebecca Hobbs (Castle Donington, Derby)
      Rosemary Peet (Wigan, Lancs)
      David Guile (London)

      Halloween 25th Anniversary Edition [answer: Norman Bates]
      Steve Morley (Saltash, Cornwall)
      Jane Redding (Trowbridge)

      Expiration [answer: Nessun Dorma]
      Mark Goldberg (Gravesend, Kent)
      Heather Muirhead (Halewood, Liverpool)
      Sally Murphey (Hull)
      Michelle Needham (Chesterfield)
      Michael O'Sullivan (Hanwell, London)

      Cabin Fever Goodie Bags [answer: David Lynch]
      David Bernard (Egham, Surrey)
      Adam Cruickshank (Thetford, Norfolk)
      Emma Hobson (Poole, Dorset)
      Stephen James (Tamworth, Staffs)
      Susan Rush (Whitefield, Manchester)

XMAS-RATED


Now, I'm sure you'll agree, nothing says Christmas more than Divine stomping her presents on Yuletide morning in Female Trouble. So here are a few movies that you can watch on TV over Christmas, chosen by our illustrious editor. Bow your head!

  • Chitty Chitty Bang Bang: Was it me, or was that children catcher really scary? I dunno, I think maybe this really could ruin a small kids Christmas (myself included) - so make them watch it and suffer like we all did.

  • Digby the Biggest Dog in the World: About time they started showing this one again. It used to be a firm favourite when I was a kid, especially that big dog - all before CGI... now it's all Power Rangers Christmas Punchup. Makes you go bleary-eyed doesn't it.

  • Scrooge vs Oliver: featuring Albert Finney, Ron Moody, Oliver Reed, Mark Lester... and erm Eliza Dolittle. The two films in the new Directors cut with them battling it out DJ-style - a 6 hour non-stop Christmas day megamix (interrupted by Queens Speech).

  • Nightmare Before Christmas: This'll be on - trust me, they usually slip on at some godawful hour but it's well worth a viewing - especially for the "What's This?" song. I'm still not sure whether Jack Skellington was just misunderstood or really was an evil criminal bastard.

  • Jason and the Argonauts: which C5 seem to get paid for showing, Seems they currently roll it out to celebrate Saturday.

  • The Wizard of Oz: Dorothy goes to the land of Oz and meets various characters along the way... "no dearest, water wouldn't really kill a witch and of course they exist - sweet dreams!" - revenge - it's what evil kids films are for!

  • Love Story: Plonky plonk piano music added to young love being torn apart makes for great Chistmas viewing - pass the chestnuts.

  • Halloween: cos C5 really are that short on films.

  • The Great Escape: What a wonderful film... for added fun, why not scoff a cherry brandy everytime you spot a dead actor (this year you'll be under the table before they start tunneling). For the more sensitive amongst you, pop a cherry brandy when you spot a live one.

To those I will add some other Christmassy favourites to get you in the mood for eating too much and feigning pleasure at your new gifts...

Silent Night Deadly Night or Silent Night Bloody Night? Decisions, decisions... let's go for a double bill of Gremlins and Black Christmas, you can't say no to that. Well, they can't be any more violent than Home Alone. Not Christmassy enough? How about Eyes Wide Shut? No? You're hard to please. I know, Comfort and Joy, there's nothing like an ice cream cone during the festive season. Maybe Die Hard and Die Hard II? Or Batman Returns? Anything but Santa Claus Conquers the Martians or Santa Claus: The Movie. Fair enough, we'll settle on It's a Wonderful Life, Scrooge with Alistair Sim, Meet Me In St Louis, Miracle on 34th Street (the original), White Christmas and Santa with Muscles all over again. Let's be traditional.


REST IN PEACE

Keiko the 27 year old killer whale and star of Free Willy died in December of pneumonia. The whale was buried in a 30ft grave on-shore rather than being buried (sunk?) at sea which seems the final insult to the poor thing which spent all its life in captivity, rather ironically.

Guy Rolfe, an actor of stage and screen, appeared in Stranglers of Bombay, King of Kings, Mr Sardonicus, The Fall of the Roman Empire, And Now the Screaming Starts, The Bride and the Puppet Master series. He died aged 91 in October.

Composer Michael Kamen died aged 55 in November, after a career that took in soundtracks to Between the Lines, Polyester, The Dead Zone, Mona Lisa, Brazil, Highlander, The Adventures of Baron Munchausen, the Lethal Weapon movies, the Die Hard movies, Last Action Hero, Event Horizon, The Iron Giant, X-Men and many more.

Gene Anthony Ray will be best known for starring and dancing as Leroy Johnson in Fame, both the film and TV series. Other films included Eddie. He died aged 41 in November.

Jonathan Brandis acted since childhood in films such as Stepfather II, Neverending Story 2, Ride with the Devil and Hart's War. On television he acted in miniseries It and Seaquest DSV. He committed suicide aged 27 in November.

Actor Bob Grant was best remembered as Jack the bus conductor in TV sitcom On The Buses. He was also in the highly popular big screen versions, On The Buses, Mutiny On The Buses and Holiday On The Buses. Other non bus related films were Sparrows Can't Sing and Till Death Us Do Part. Having suffered depression for many years, he committed suicide aged 71 in November.

Edmund Hartmann was a screenwriter from the thirties to the sixties, writing for the Sherlock Holmes series (Sherlock Holmes and the Secret Weapon, The Scarlet Claw), Abbott and Costello (In Society, The Naughty Nineties) and Bob Hope (The Paleface, Fancy Pants). He died aged 92 in November.

David Hemmings, who became a star with the cult classic Blowup, died from a heart attack on the set of his latest film in December, aged 62. After his celebrated turn as the fashion photographer who may or may not uncover a murder in Antonioni's film, he appeared in other cult favourites such as Barbarella, Unman Wittering and Zigo, Juggernaut, Deep Red and Murder By Decree. He also became a director with Just a Gigolo and The Survivor, and many American TV episodes. Recently he appeared in Gladiator, Last Orders, Equilibrium, Gangs of New York and The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen.

Actress Ellen Drew starred in many forties movies, including Buck Benny Rides Again, Preston Sturges' Christmas in July, The Monster and the Girl, Isle of the Dead and Sam Fuller's The Baron of Arizona in the 50s. She died aged 88 in December.

Actress Jeanne Crain became a star in the forties, and appeared in Leave Her To Heaven, Pinky, A Letter to Three Wives, Cheaper By The Dozen, People Will Talk, The Night God Screamed and Skyjacked. She died aged 78 in December.

Stage and screen actress Hope Lange died aged 72 in December. She made an impact in the 1950s in Bus Stop, The True Story of Jesse James, The Young Lions and, most memorably, Peyton Place, but carried on in supporting roles thereafter, in Wild in the Country, Death Wish, Blue Velvet and Clear and Present Danger. She also won Emmys playing the lead in the Ghost and Mrs Muir TV show.

NEW REVIEWS

New reviews on the site include:

Communion
Go
Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King
Jaws The Revenge
CQ
Bio-Dome
The Nightmare Before Christmas
Die Hard
Ski Party
Silent Night Deadly Night
The Time Machine
A Chinese Ghost Story
Interstella 5555
Black Christmas
Hitch Hike To Hell
The Wizard of Oz
Bodysong
Asylum
Sextette
The Fifth Element
Spun

HO, HO, HOUARGH! With that time-honoured sound, it just remains for us to wish you all the best over Christmas, and remember, if you're one of the millions of people who don't celebrate Christmas, simply pretend that you do and you'll get the presents anyway! God rest ye, merry gentlemen! And ladies!

 

 

 

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Last Updated: 1 November, 2004