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The Spinning Image Newsletter #1

Films are great, aren't they?

Welcome to the first newsletter from The Spinning Image.


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.

So here are a few things to get us started...


GUILTY PLEASURES

Here's a topic to begin with: guilty pleasures. You know, those films that you're slightly embarrassed about liking. Films you don't think anyone else likes but you. They're not great, but you can't help liking them.

A few examples:

  • Flash Gordon - the 1980 version. Camp as a row of tents, and top entertainment.
    Check out Ornella Muti's webpage. It probably doesn't lose much in translation.

  • Konga - "Help! Put me down!"
  • Naked Tango - there's only one word for this. No, not "shite" - "torrid".
  • House of Whipcord - it shouldn't really work, but...
  • Morons From Outer Space - yes, I actually think this is funny.
  • Godzilla - the American 1998 version. It's no stupider than some of the Toho originals, I tell you.
  • Basic Instinct - Maybe Sharon should have left her knickers on and Michael should have left that V-neck jumper off.
  • Lair of the White Worm - the phrase "beautifully understated" just doesn't seem to apply here.

Any other suggestions? Let us know.


ENTER MELANIE'S MAGIC DOOR

Now this is a proper movie star website.
Here you can find details of Mrs Banderas' body of work, the charities she supports and many defensive messages about how she and her husband have been misrepresented in the press. Melanie isn't reticent about sharing her problems with you, and she even offers some helpful advice for troubled fans.
The best part of the site is Avalon, where you can meditate on World Peace and other pressing issues. You also get to to hear Melanie's distinctive voice introduce each section.
Marvellous. Isn't it irritating when people call her "Melanie Griffiths"?

UDOWATCH

Where have you spotted the great Udo Kier recently?
Was that really him in the Eve and Gwen Stefani video of last year?
Having taped Prince Valiant on TV over the Christmas period I was alarmed to see Udo featured in it, playing an evil Viking, and wearing a leather miniskirt, no less.
And on the recent Channel 4 Andy Warhol documentary, Udo was interviewed about Warhol and his Frankenstein and Dracula films. They made Udo fade in and out so that he appeared otherworldly. Which, perhaps, he is.
Udo's official site is at: http://www.udokier.de ..but it's all in German. Worth seeing for Udo's welcome, though.

Any other recent sightings of Udo? Let us know.

JUST DON'T CALL THEM WHEN YOU'RE IN TROUBLE

We've all laughed long and hard at the Police Academy movies, haven't we? Haven't we? But the question remains - who's the real star? Steve Guttenberg? Bubba Smith? Of course not! It's the bloke who does the funny noises!
He's been in every movie, not like that quitter Steve who bailed out after the fourth one! Michael Winslow is the man's name, and here's his site: http://www.michaelwinslow.com
Here you can read Michael's rags-to-riches story, listen to audio clips of a whip and a plane flying over, and watch his Jimi Hendrix impersonation. Pride of place goes to a phone prank featuring the world's most gullible woman and Michael pretending to be a monkey.

ARTICLES

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

"Little" Edie Bouvier Beale, star of Grey Gardens, was found dead in January. She was 84. Apparently her body lay undiscovered for a few days; she had died of a heart attack or a stroke. After her mother died in 1977, she had moved to Florida.

Stratford Johns died in January aged 76 from a heart condition. He was probably best known for appearing in Z Cars, but the made a few films as well, notably two Ken Russell ones: Lair of the White Worm and Salome's Last Dance. Other TV series he appeared in included I, Claudius and Brond.

George Nader died in February aged 80. He'll chiefly be remembered for starring in the deeply unimpressive Robot Monster, but made many other low budget films in Europe, such as The Human Duplicators.

Barry Foster was best known for playing the TV detective Van der Valk, but his best film role was as the murderous Bob Rusk in Alfred Hitchcock's Frenzy. His other films included The Wild Geese, Robbery, The Sweeney movie and Twisted Nerve.

John Thaw died of cancer aged 60 in February. Most famous for his TV work in The Sweeney and Inspector Morse, he made a few films such as Cry Freedom, Chaplin, two movies based on The Sweeney and Dr Phibes Rises Again with Vincent Price.

Animator Chuck Jones died in February aged 89. His work with cartoon characters like Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck, and Wile E. Coyote is legendary. His classic cartoon Duck Dodgers in the 24½ Century is featured in Close Encounters of the Third Kind.

Ground-breaking comedian Spike Milligan died at the end of February aged 83. He rose to fame on radio with The Goon Show, wrote many books and made TV series like Q. He also appeared in films, usually in small roles in movies like Life of Brian, The Three Musketeers and Digby, the Biggest Dog in the World. Cult classic The Bedsitting Room was based on his play. What are we going to do now?

Lawrence Tierney made his name playing tough guys in films like Dillinger, The Devil Thumbs a Ride and Born to Kill. A tough guy in real life, too, he went on to appear in cult movies such as Female Jungle, Andy Warhol's Bad, Midnight and Reservoir Dogs. He died, aged 82, at the end of February.

NEW REVIEWS

New reviews on the site include:

The Green Slime
Chopper
The Lord of the Rings
The Swimmer
F*cking Amal
Heavy Metal
Police Academy

THAT'S ALL FOR NOW

So there you go, the first newsletter. Any comments? Write them in the little box on the Newsletter section of The Spinning Image
site. Till next time...

 

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Last Updated: 1 November, 2004