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The Spinning Image Newsletter #15

JINGLE BELLS, JINGLE BALLS

JINGLE BELLS, JINGLE BALLS

Welcome to the bumper sized, fifteenth Spinning Image Newsletter and what do you know, it's Christmas once more. Seems to turn up every blimmin' year nowadays, how about we skip it next year?

A quick mention of this lot 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 continue to keep the forum 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.

YO HO HO AND A BOTTLE OF COOKING SHERRY

It's around about the 24th of December that we let a strange man into our homes to leave presents, because Christmas is, of course, Santa's birthday! Good old Satan, erm, Santa!

With this in mind, let us cast a weary eye over the best of the movie Santas - who has been the best Old Nick, erm, that is, Saint Nick?

  • The Santa Clause
    Fast becoming a holiday favourite, this sees Tim Allen accidentally killing Santa - see, you're laughing already - and becoming pregnant with his successor. Remember the scene in the delivery room where the doctor shouts, "It's a Santa!"? Beautifully done.

  • Babes in Toyland
    Take a trip back to your youth and all those nursery rhymes with none other than Laurel and Hardy. They are Santa's helpers in this one, and the most heartwarming scene is where Father Christmas stomps on the squirmy little Mickey Mouse. Who needs Mickey's Christmas Carol?

  • Santa Claus Conquers the Martians
    An unusual entry into the Christmas genre with Santa conquering the Martians and leading the green-skinned hordes in an all out assault on planet Earth.

  • Bad Santa
    Billy Bob Thornton brings a lump to the eye and a tear to the throat as a Father Christmas who discovers the real meaning of the festive season when he saves a tiny puppy from committing suicide and showing him what the world would have been like without him.

  • The Nightmare Before Christmas
    An all animated spectacular from Joel Schumacher, which sees Santa battling against the forces of Halloween with his trusty sidekick Robolph. The inclusion of nipples on Santa's suit stirred up no end of controversy.

  • Miracle on 24th Street
    Two Santas to choose from here, as Edmund Gwenn and Sir Richard Attenborough star as rival Kris Kringles and have to decide who is the best with a gut-barging contest. And who can forget the moving scene where the little girl tells the sweaty, panting old men she believes in them after all?

  • Santa Claus The Movie
    David Huddleston stars in the title role as Santa is kidnapped by an evil toymaker and Dudley Moore has to stand in for him. No, wait, that actually is what happens.

  • Silent Night Deadly Night
    Now what kind of idea is this for a Christmas movie? In this sick example of the worst kind of exploitation, David Huddleston stars in the title role as Santa is kidnapped by an evil toymaker and Dudley Moore has to stand in for him.

  • Trading Places
    Most unlikely Santa has to be Dan Aykroyd, whose life goes to pieces when his millionaire existence is swapped with a poor person. Fortunately he discovers the true spirit of Christmas when Jamie Lee Curtis flashes at him. Eh?

  • Resident Evil
    In the most memorable scene in this computer game adaptation, Santa Claus is revealed to be the one, the only, Michelle Rodriguez! She doesn't bother with chimneys, she just boots down the door! And your gift? A big bunch of fives!

Well, you should all be feeling suitably Christmassy by now. Watch a seasonal film this Christmas, and not one of those crappy TV movies that fill up the schedules, either, watch a proper one.


REST IN PEACE

And now a few people who won't be celebrating Christmas...

Strapping, booming voiced Howard Keel will be best remembered for starring in 1950s musicals such as Annie Get Your Gun, Show Boat, Calamity Jane, Kiss Me Kate, Seven Brides for Seven Brothers and Jupiter's Darling. In later years he appeared in Day of the Triffids, The War Wagon and famed TV soap Dallas. He died aged 85 in November.

Composer Michel Colombier died aged 65 in November. His scores included Colossus The Forbin Project, Against All Odds, Purple Rain, New Jack City and Deep Cover.

Stage and screen actor Helmut Griem died aged 72 in November. His most celebrated role was as Maximilian in Cabaret, and he also appeared in The Damned, The Mackenzie Break, Ludwig and Voyage of the Damned. On TV, he appeared in Berlin Alexanderplatz.

Director Philippe De Broca was best known for his cult sixties movies Cartouche, That Man from Rio and King of Hearts, but he continued working up until his death in November, aged 71. Other films included Tendre Poulet and Le Bossu.

Now best known for being Drew Barrymore's father and his torrid private life, John Drew Barrymore was the son of the legendary John Barrymore. His films included While the City Sleeps, High School Confidential (probably his most famous role) and a handful of forgotten exploitation movies. He died aged 72 in November.

Director Larry Buchanan gained a reputation as one of the worst of all time, a feat he was not unproud of. This infamy rests on various TV movies he made in the sixties such as Zontar The Thing from Venus, Mars Needs Women and In the Year 2889. Theatrical films included Free White and 21 (which got his career started with A.I.P.), The Trial of Lee Harvey Oswald, Bullet for a Pretty Boy, Goodbye Norma Jean, The Loch Ness Horror and rock conspiracy movie Beyond the Doors. He died aged 81 in December.


NEW REVIEWS

New reviews on the site include:

Die, Monster, Die
Haute Tension
Alexander
Carry On Nurse
Beyond the Darkness
Deep River Savages
Bless This House
Bulletproof Monk
8 Femmes
The Wraith
The Pawnbroker
Mad Max 2
Stir Crazy
Richard Pryor Live in Concert
Death Weekend
The Ice Storm
Catwoman
Dark City
The Butterfly Effect
The Rocking Horse Winner
The Isle


SANTA'S ON HIS WAY

...and he knows if you've been bad or good, somehow or other. Well, he has nothing to fear from Spinning Image readers, we've all been bad. No, I mean good. Here's hoping Santa's good to you. Till next year...

 

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Last Updated: 1 November, 2004