Saturday, 24 September 2016

Film Review, December 1978 Issue

Once again we are pushing through the heavy curtains behind the door to the cinema auditorium, late because the lights have already gone down and we try to hurry, heading down past the icky slurping noises coming from the back row to a spot about two thirds way down the rows of seats. Shuffling sideways in the darkness we sit briefly on someone's knee, shooting up in embarrassment at their gasp of outrage and finally sit down in an empty seat, having trodden on four feet, spilled two drinks and a carton of popcorn on our way. We shrink down into our seat and watch the Pearl & Dean adverts...

Once again the Box Office has sold us the latest copy of Film Review magazine which today means it's the December 1978 issue. John Travolta appears on the cover four times so we'll ignore him on the inside for this time. Meanwhile Robert Shaw and Harrison Ford prepare for derring do in a follow up to The Guns of Navarone and Burt Reynolds puts on a cowboy hat only to find that there's already one there - there's always one there...

Inside the front cover a German U-Boat has inconveniently surfaced from the depths of a young lady's swimming pool, just as she was enjoying her Smirnoff...

A couple of pages in we find actress Maia Danziger reading a back issue of this very magazine on the set of The Magician which stars Alan Arkin. She plays the magician's glamorous sidekick, which may go some way to explaining the strange designs drawn on her cheeks!

Here, Robert Shaw socks the lovely Barbara Bach around the chops in Force Ten From Navarone a wartime tale set in Yugoslavia. Made some eighteen years after The Guns of Navarone, producer Oliver A. Unger tells us "Wheras Gun was told in deadly earnest, Force Ten has a sense of humour." I'm not sure Barbara would agree with you there Olli...

Playing her part behind a camera is Faye Dunaway playing the title role in The Eyes of Laura Mars a high-end fashion photographer who starts having disturbing visions of friends being murdered.

Here she is, in the foreground, taking shots of models posing again the backdrop of a car crash. Well, if you insist on driving in your undies, girls...

Joan Collins is interviewed following the success of her film The Stud and announces she is to play the role of Fontaine Khaled again in the follow-up The Bitch, for which they are keeping their eyes open for a few new er... studs...

Following on the heels of Jaws come a rather less believable tale of military gene modification to breed piranha fish that can live in either salt or fresh water. So far so bad. But of course, the little nasties break from from their compound and have a hankering to eat nubile young flesh at a nearby lake holiday resort. Not only that, but one of those nubiles is Heather Menzies - Louisa von Trapp! Now, those fishes are not one of her favourite things!!!

Emma Samms makes her screen debut aged 18 as Princess Zuleira in Arabian Adventure. She is the step-daughter of the evil Caliph (he must be evil - he's played by Christopher Lee) She also falls in love with the handsome Prince Hassan, unaware and far too innocent to know that he is a bit a stud - The Stud in fact - in the form of Oliver Tobias.

Vladivar Vodka makes it's first appearance on this blog. The TV adverts in the 1980s were the brand's most memorable ads. Made at the time in Warrington, the ads ended with a heavy Russian accent announcing "Vladivar Wodka from Varrington".

Meanwhile the smoke from cigarettes is still stampeding the horses...

Coma was a rather strange film, but not without its suspense and nightmare elements. In a private clinic a higher than average number of patients fall into a coma during surgery. It becomes apparent that this is being done deliberately in order to harvest body parts for a lucrative black market.

Genevieve Bujold plays the junior doctor who finds her own life in danger as she tries to bring the issue to light. Michael Douglas plays her love interest, a fellow doctor who initially supports her until he realises his own job may be in jeopardy. Not recommended for people about to undergo an operation...

An excuse for lots of stunts and explosions with the addition of Burt Reynolds' grin and cowboy hat - there's always a cowboy hat...

Candy Clark plays the role of the nympho daughter in the Robert Mitchum version of The Big Sleep. I have to admit I hadn't heard of her, but a quick check on Internet Movie Database reveals she has 68 credits there so far with two films and an appearance in the forthcoming TV series of Twin Peaks all in post-production. A busy girl!

In the last issue I mentioned the start of a new series of articles celebrating 75 Years of Hollywood. The article in this issue covers the years 1928-1953 and includes the musicals of Busby Berkeley with their wonderful geometric if somewhat improbable dance routines. There are now lots of high quality photographs of these routines to be found by searching on the Internet and I still enjoy watching the films which are usually very witty and sometimes surprisingly naughty!

Well that brings 1978 to a close and before we move on I must make another trip up into the attic to do battle with spiders and who knows what else in order to find the next bound folder of Film Review magazine... Stand by your projection booths!

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