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The Spinning Image Newsletter #7


Love is in the air... welcome to the computer cult movie dating agency that is the seventh Spinning Image Newsletter.

Now that Spring has almost sprung upon us (depending on where you live), it's the time of year that the thoughts of all bright young things turn to one thing - sha - er, that is, love. So snuggle up with your partner and read on as we delve into movie love affairs. If you don't have a partner, then don't look to us for advice. What do you want? A miracle?!


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Let's take a look at those uplifting, life-affirming movies that everybody watches on Valentine's Day. Not the obvious ones, like Casablanca, Brief Encounter or Sleepless in Seattle, no, but the ones that have been unjustly overlooked in the stories of romance...

    Those two little words: "I know" are enough to send the most hard-hearted of fanboys choking back the tears.

    A couple on the run, their passion runs high, especially when they're shooting people. An inadvisable substitute for Viagra, it has to be said.

    A couple on the run, and every comic book geek's dream - a girlfriend who goes to see Sonny Chiba movies with you. Obviously the "being threatened with extreme physical violence" part isn't quite as attractive.

    A couple on the, er, run, and apparently Sailor and Lula are supposed to be Elvis and Marilyn Monroe - if you don't look at them and don't listen to them, the resemblance is indeed uncanny.

    A couple on the... yeah, anyway, this goes to show that everyone has that special someone somewhere. Hope for homcidal fraudsters everywhere.

    On the other hand, you could meet someone who was made for you, only for it all to go horribly wrong on that disastrous first date when she starts screaming in your general direction.

    Or it could go horribly right - a match made in heaven. Well, a match made in Hell, anyway, but at least there's that tender love scene that should have won prizes for sheer weirdness.

    What's this? Count Dracula - pussy-whipped? Getting all lovey dovey instead of all bloody messy? Mind you, Winona gives Keanu a run for his money in the "worst accent" department.

    Let's have a bit of culture. The story of closet homosexual composer Tchaikovsky and his mentally unstable wife which culminates in Mrs T squatting over a grating beneath which some lunatic asylum inmates, erm, right, moving on...

    Ah, the doomed love affair. It all could have gone so perfectly if he hadn't had a tendency to turn into a murderous beast and was gunned down by the army. But if he hadn't been a werewolf, they'd never have met. So poignant.

    Doomed love affair #2. You all know the story, but what did the great ape expect to happen when he got her back to Chez Kong for a candlelit dinner? Where did he expect to end up? Quite worrying when you think about it.

    They say unrequited love is the only love that lasts. But be sure the murderous object of your affection isn't going to get you imprisoned for a long stretch - it's not worth the effort. Have a cold shower or something.

    The touching, moving story of a man and his girlfriend who happens to be, er, dead. OK, that's not particularly touching. That's disgusting. Let's change the subject. Next!

    The touching, moving story of a woman and her - hey, no, that's not appropriate... [That's enough romantic movies. Ed]


How are romantic movies represented on the world wide web? Let's see what we can find...

Ah, some classic pairings here: Eli Wallach and Carrol Baker! Gerald Mohr and Mamie Van Doren! Lizabeth Scott and lots of people! Not all at once of course. No, we can do better than that.

How about this? Some top five lists of swooning romance such as Now Voyager, Out of Sight, er, American Pie? Showgirls?! What, the swimming pool bit?! That can't be right!

Let us travel to the Isle of Lesbos, that's what we want to see, eh, lads? Wahey! What do we find? http://pages.emerson.edu/organizations/fas/latent_image/issues/1991-09/feminine.htm
Erm, OK maybe not.

Here's another list, how do we get on?
Hm, it's more romantic sex scenes than love scenes... Basic Instinct, 9½ Weeks, Deliverance - Deliverance?! Right, forget it, let's end the topic.


As you probably know, Bee Gee Maurice Gibb died in January, and as you may remember, the Bee Gees starred in a film of an album, in this case Sergeant Pepper's Lonely Heart's Club Band. So what other albums could benefit from the silver screen treatment as the Beatles benefited from that 1970s atrocity?

  • THE EMINEM SHOW - Eminem
    A sequel to 8 Mile, starring the man himself, making his way to huge success - sort of a rap Stardust, using Eminem's music. But what price fame?

  • OXYGENE - Jean Michel Jarre
    An epic of space exploration, in the mould of 2001, with the French beepster's tones providing the backdrop for the silence of the ships hurtling through the cosmos...

  • SURF'S UP - The Beach Boys
    An ecology drama featuring Philip Seymour Hoffman as a pontificating, hardline naturalist. The ending should be made completely incomprehensible to tie in with the title track.

  • THE BEGINNING STAGES OF - The Polyphonic Spree
    This mixture of uplifting songs and slightly creepy atmosphere could be the soundtrack to a film of a joyous suicide cult's final adventures in consciousness-expansion. Let's cast Crispin Glover as the guru.

  • HOT BUTTERED SOUL - Isaac Hayes
    One night in the life of a notorious Romeo, played by Isaac himself, in cartoon form. Yeah, OK, it would be Chef - The Movie. The man and the character are inseperable now.

  • AUTOBAHN - Kraftwerk
    You know that bit in the original Solaris where the hero takes a long drive down a motorway? How about an experimental film of a three-hour car journey accompanied by the music of the German electro-music pioneers?

  • THE TRANSFORMED MAN - William Shatner
    It would be the greatest concert movie ever filmed - Shatner sits alone on a barstool, smoking a cigarette as he reels off his musical journey into the Beatles and Shakespeare. The audience is captivated - there's still time to make this!

  • THE WALL - Pink Floyd
    The concept album of the miserable life of millionaire rock star Roger Waters could be fashioned into an epic tale of a life, from World War Two childhood through to music stardom. Get someone great to play the hero, like, er, Bob Geldof?! Here, wait a minute...

Any more suggestions? Let us know...


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.


Brad Dexter, the member of The Magnificent Seven who everyone forgets, died aged 85 in December. His other films included The Asphalt Jungle, House of Bamboo, The George Raft Story, Von Ryan's Express (with his friend Frank Sinatra), Shampoo and Winter Kills. He also produced Lady Sings the Blues and was briefly married to Peggy Lee.

Joe Strummer, legendary front man of The Clash, died of a heart attack aged 50 in December. The Clash appeared in Rude Boy and D.O.A., and Strummer had small roles in Ladies and Gentlemen The Fabulous Stains, Straight To Hell, Walker (for which he composed the music) and Mystery Train.

James Ferman, head of the British Board of Film Classification for 24 years, died aged 72 on Christmas Eve. As far as censorship went, he believed education was the way forward, but this didn't stop many controversial cuts by the board under his supervision.

Red-haired supporting actor Kenneth Tobey had around a hundred small roles, but is probably best remembered for starring in The Thing From Another World. Other films included Beast From 20,000 Fathoms, It Came From Beneath The Sea, Gunfight at the OK Corral, Cry Terror, Walking Tall, Dirty Mary Crazy Larry, The Howling and Gremlins, and he starred in his own TV series, Whirlybirds. He died aged 83 in December.

Director George Roy Hill died aged 81 in December. His films could be huge hits or quirky cult movies, and included The World of Henry Orient, Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, Slaughterhouse Five, The Sting, The Great Waldo Pepper, Slap Shot, A Little Romance and The World According to Garp.

Cinematographer Conrad Hall died aged 76 in January. He said he entered the movie business to meet stars; early work on the Outer Limits TV series led to The Professionals, In Cold Blood, Hell in the Pacific, Fat City, Electra Glide in Blue, Smile, Day of the Locust, Marathon Man and Road To Perdition. He won Oscars for Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid and American Beauty, and was once married to Katharine Ross.

Composer Ron Goodwin died aged 77 in January; his film work included Village of the Damned and its sequel, Day of the Triffids, the Margaret Rutherford Miss Marple series (catchy!), 633 Squadron, Where Eagles Dare, Battle of Britain, Frenzy and One of Our Dinosaurs Is Missing.

As one of the Bee Gees, Maurice Gibb was jointly responsible for the music of Saturday Night Fever, the biggest-selling soundtrack album of all time until The Bodyguard arrived. On the other hand, the Bee Gees also starred alongside Peter Frampton in Sergeant Pepper's Lonely Heart's Club Band, a notorious flop of the 70s. Maurice was once married to Lulu. He died aged 53 in January.

Japanese director Kinji Fukasaku died in January aged 72. His long career took in science fiction such as The Green Slime, Message From Space, Virus and Battle Royale and gangster movies such as Yakuza Graveyard and Graveyard of Honour. He also co-directed Tora! Tora! Tora!

French director Maurice Pialat died in January aged 77. A difficult man by most accounts, he will probably be best remembered for his 1980s films like Loulou, Police and Sous le Soleil du Satan, which won the Palme D'Or at Cannes.

Paul Monash produced Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, Slaughterhouse Five, The Friends of Eddie Coyle, Carrie and Big Trouble in Little China, among others. He also worked in TV, producing Peyton Place and writing miniseries like Salem's Lot and V. He died aged 85 in January.

Richard Crenna died in January aged 75 after a long acting career in film and television. Among his films are The Sand Pebbles, Wait Until Dark, Jonathan Livingston Seagull, Body Heat and the Rambo movies.

Norman Panama was a writer, director and producer, sometimes all on the same movie, and often with his collaborator Melvin Frank. Films he was involved with included The Road to Utopia, Mr Blandings Builds His Dream House, Knock on Wood, White Christmas, The Court Jester and The Maltese Bippy. He died aged 88 in January.

Actor Anthony Eisley acted mostly on television, starring in Hawaiian Eye, but also made films such as The Wasp Woman, The Naked Kiss, The Navy Vs The Night Monsters, Dracula Vs Frankenstein and The Doll Squad. He died aged 78 in January.

Lana Clarkson appeared in low budget films like Deathstalker and Barbarian Queen and also had small roles in Amazon Women on the Moon and Scarface. She was shot dead aged 41 in February; legendary music producer Phil Spector has been charged with her murder.


New reviews on the site include:

The Fog
The Great Escape
Almost Famous
Carlito's Way
Paris, Texas
The Fall of the House of Usher
Blind Beast
The Sword and the Sorcerer


So we reach the end of another heart-warming Spinning Image newsletter. Now it's time to dim the lights and get out the Vaseline - for smearing on the camera lens, of course - as you collapse into your partner's arms for a soft focus embrace... and as the camera pans tastefully up towards the Venetian blinds, we bid you goodnight.

Until next time, send us a Valentine via the little box at the Spinning Image site.





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Last Updated: 1 November, 2004