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The Spinning Image Newsletter #3

Set phasers to stunning!

Set phasers to stunning!

Yes, it's the third mindblowing Spinning Image Newsletter!

Did you lose your heart to a Starship Trooper? Flashing light in hyperspace? Fighting for the Federation? Hand in hand did you conquer space? Well, you've arrived in the right place...

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.


Well, we all know what the greatest robot in the movies is: it's the one from Rocky IV. But what about the greatest spaceship? Ah, that's another matter isn't it? So here are five films that feature a spaceship you wouldn't be ashamed to be seen in - or would you?

  • First up, yer basic space rocket courtesy of the Flash Gordon serials. You can make your own by sticking a sparkler in the end of a washing up liquid bottle. If you think these rockets are long, sleek and, let's face it, phallic, then perhaps you'd like one of the rockets from Flesh Gordon instead. Sure to impress the ladies.
  • Talking of the ladies, how about Barbarella's chic transport? Looks a bit like a toaster with windows, but is fur lined for comfort and has an extensive wardrobe. Plus a computer who's even more polite than HAL 9000, but which tends to break down like Zen off Blake's Seven. Love!
  • Now for the daddy of spaceship movies - Starcrash! No, wait, I mean Star Wars, which contains a huge array of hardware. I don't know about you, but I prefer the models in the original trilogy to the new CGI efforts, and the favourite has to be the Millenium Falcon for all your intergalactic business. But if you're after something smaller, then you have to decide on the boring X-Wings or joining the Dark Side with those manoueverable TIE Fighters. I know what I'd choose - the one that makes the coolest noise.
  • If its aesthetics you look for in your transport, can I recommend the brightly lit flying saucers from Close Encounters of the Third Kind? They come in various sizes, from the cheeky little runabout (for popping down to the shops in) to the giant chandelier-like mothership (for those longer journeys). The mothership also has a hell of a stereo system. You're never alone with these!
  • Lastly, if you want to blow things up real good, then Independence Day is the movie for you. These giant sized saucers contain their own army and a superduper death ray for levelling cultural landmarks. Only problem is that they're compatible with Earth software, and prone to bugs 'n' hackers. I bet they didn't mention that when you bought it.

Any other spaceships you would like to be seen in? Let us know...

MEXICAN MAYHEM [From Steve Langton...]

Vampires, wrestling women, medical deviates, giant rubber bats..... just a few inhabitants of the wonderful world of Mexican horror cinema. Thanks to film producer K. Gordon Murray, American tv viewers were treated to English language versions of 30 very odd films, following meticulous re-dubbing at Chirabusco Azteca studio and, latterly, Murray's very own Soundlab.

Many of these films were released on DVD by the now defunct Beverly Wilshire Filmworks and although they aren't easy to track down, the likes of Spiritism, Curse of the Crying Woman, The Brainiac and Samson in the Wax Museum can be found on ebay. To get the lowdown on these films check out the excellent K.Gordon Murray site. Also look out for reviews on The Spinning Image.


Just a quick note to say that the first series of Lars von Trier's The Kingdom is out on DVD now - Udo plays a small but important role. It also features THAT Udo-tastic cliffhanger at the end.


Steve Langton has some owning up to do... here are the films he's a little guilty about enjoying:

  • Mad Dog Murderer. A nasty piece of Euro sleaze where foxy Marisa Mel spends mucho screen time in various states of undress, thanks to Helmut Berger.
  • The Firm. Gary Oldman and his team of top boys bring terror to the terraces en-route to a soccer hooligans 'Battle Royale'. From the days when lads were lads and the police were nowhere to be seen.
  • Massacre In Dinosaur Valley. Don't even ask!
  • Don't Ride on Late Night Trains. Aah, Macha "Deep Red" Meril and co wreak havoc on Midland Mainline. Not quite, but such a concept would certainly transform those boring train journeys. Seriously nasty.

Any more suggestions? Let us know.


The Internet is, of course, the natural home for all things Star Wars. And to prove it, here are a few sites on a Star Wars theme. Strong, the Force is in them.

Pride of place goes to Asciimation Wars, which depicts Episode IV in a pure text version. Well, most of it, anyway. My favourite bit: "Vader, release him!" Peter Cushing in ASCII - this is what the Internet was designed for.

Take your pick from an abundance of Star Wars animations and spoofs.

This site creates various Lego figures, from your own good self to superheroes and Star Trek personnel. But it's the Star Wars characters we're interested in, so go forth and replicate Darth Vader, a stormtrooper or Boba Fett.

Speak of the devil, here's the fan club of Mr Robert A. Fett himself. Life's nothing if you aren't obsessed, and here's the site to prove it. They will certainly be impressed with Episode II - not only is Boba in it, he's brought his dad, too. Strange how the Jeremy Bulloch biography doesn't mention his superb starring role in Can You Keep It Up For A Week?

For someone who's purported to be a big fan of the Internet, Carrie Fisher's homepage is, sadly, rubbish. With the barest minimum of info, and lots of "Coming Soon" notices, the site hasn't been updated since 1999. The only link on the "Links" page is one to her mother's much better site: http://www.debbiereynolds.com/ - which is far more tasteful than this: http://princess-leia.andschultehavesex.com/ (what the hell is it on about? - Ed!)

Never mind the X-Wings, where can you find a decent Y-Wing? This bloke has many of these oft-neglected Rebel starfighters up for sale second hand - but he won't rip you off.

A quick article on the legendary Turkish, er, "adaptation" of Star Wars.


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.


Ex-porn superstar Linda Lovelace died in April aged 53 from injuries sustained in a car crash. Her most infamous film was Deep Throat, a phenomenon in the 1970's, but she later claimed she had been forced into her porn career and became an anti-porn campaigner. Her few other films included Linda Lovelace for President.

Stage actor Michael Bryant died aged 74 at the end of April. He made appearances in Torture Garden, The Ruling Class, Hamlet (the Branagh version), Nicholas and Alexandra and Ghandi but is probably best known for starring in The Stone Tape on TV.

Director George Sidney died in May aged 85. Some of his many films included Ziegfeld Follies, The Three Musketeers (the Gene Kelly version), Annie Get Your Gun, Kiss Me Kate (in 3D), Viva Las Vegas, The Swinger and Half A Sixpence.

Illustrator and writer Bill Peet died in May aged 97. He worked on many of Disney's most famous films, including Dumbo, Fantasia, Cinderella and One Hundred and One Dalmations. He supposedly based the design of Captain Hook in Peter Pan on Walt Disney after one of their many rows.

Comedienne Pat Coombs made mostly TV appearances, but she had small roles in films like Carry On Doctor, Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, Dad's Army, Ooh You Are Awful and Adolf Hitler: My Part in his Downfall. She died at the end of May aged 71.

Musician Dee Dee Ramone died of drugs-related causes at the start of June aged 49. On film, the Ramones are best remembered for providing the soundtrack to Rock 'n' Roll High School, but also appeared in the documentary 1991: The Year That Punk Broke. Dee Dee was also in the G.G. Allin film Hated and wrote the theme song for Pet Sematary.

Producer and writer Herman Cohen died of cancer in June, aged 74. He became successful producing low budget horrors like I Was A Teenage Werewolf and I Was A Teenage Frankenstein, and went on to write and produce Horrors of the Black Museum, Konga and Trog, among others.


New reviews on the site include:

The Long Good Friday
Nosferatu the Vampyre
Dead or Alive
The Sadistic Baron Von Klaus
Monty Python's The Meaning of Life
The Rise and Rise of Michael Rimmer
The Blob
Baron Blood
Brotherhood of the Wolf
Female Vampire


Any comments? Type them into the little box on the Spinning Image site.

And now we have to strap ourselves into our second hand TIE Fighter and bid you farewell as we hurtle into the void. But we'll be back! Oh, yes, we'll be back all right! Just like Emperor Ming the Merciless! Yeah! What?


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Last Updated: 1 November, 2004