Friday, November 19, 2010

Anne Francis "Starlog" Interview

Jan 3rd update: Anne Francis Passes
I am saddened to hear, and post on this earlier entry, that Miss Francis is no longer with us. (Click here to read the article.) She passed away on Sunday, Jan 2nd due to complications of pancreatic cancer at a retirement home in Santa Barbara. She was 80.
The good captain of the C57-D, co-star Leslie Nielson left this world just weeks ahead of her. Both will be missed, and remembered for their wonderful parts in Forbidden Planet. Little did I know when posting this article that it would be the last tribute I made to her while she was alive. Anne, you lightly tread on barefoot toes into the hearts of many a young sci-fi fan.

Altaira, as portrayed by the lovely and enchanting Anne Francis, was one of three sci-fi sirens that captured my heart as a pre-teen; the other two were Yvette Mimieaux as Weena in George Pal's "The Time Machine," and the other was Vina, from Star Trek's "The Menagerie" played by Susan Oliver. This time we look at an article about, and interview with, the lovely Anne Francis from Starlog issue #186, published Janurary 1993.

(Click on images to enlarge.)

The above ad for "individuals wanted for secret time travel experiment" was placed by me just yesterday. I have found no takers from that year as of yet.

For more images of the impish Altaira, visit the Forbidden Planet pages over on the "tags" section of the sidebar.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Superboy TV show ad

From a 1991 cable TV trade magazine comes this large format ad for the third season of "The Adventures of Superboy" TV series, starring Gerard Christopher who replaced John Haymes Newton in season two. Sadly, the second and third seasons have not been officially released on DVD, and considering the ongoing legal battles over the character, are not likely to in the near future.
(Click on image to enlarge.)

Sunday, October 24, 2010

1982 Behind-The-Scenes Article on Return of the Jedi

Back when filming was still going on of "Return of the Jedi," this one-page article with some behind-the-scenes shots was published in the August 1982 edition of Starlog.
(Click on images to enlarge.)
Below, a February 20th, 1994 Sunday strip of Calvin and Hobbes, in a particularly amusing sci-fi themed entry.

Monday, September 27, 2010

1976 "Logan's Run" article

"Logan's Run" was one of the last of the big-budget science fiction films before Star Wars hit the scene and changed everything. Coming during that time when sci-fi films were not produced often, I was really captured by the world of "Logan's Run" (and Jessica's sideless dress), and collected the novelization, the score LP, and (best of all) a set of large-format lobbycards (which I'll feature in a future post). This time we're looking at an article on the film from issue #2 of Starlog (see cover here) published in November of 1976.
(Click on images to enlarge.)

I managed to see the movie twice when it was first released; once in the theater in Ft. Lauderdale, FL and a few months later in a drive-in in Macon, GA (we moved VERY often), where I taped the sound on my little Radio Shack tape deck. I probably still have the cassettes somewhere in a box. This was one of the first movies I went to see as a teen that show a little skin, which was a bonus at the time!

One thing I noticed was a Star Trek fan extra who snuck in the Vulcan salute at the end! Have you ever seen it? Watch at the end when the young people are reaching for the old man... right in the foreground, one of the raised hands briefly makes the Vulcan hand sign, and it made it in the movie! See my screen capture of the moment below...

My sneaky Trekker friend, whoever you are, I applaud you!
UPDATE: I have heard from the person owning the hand in the above scene! I received an email from Adam Wyse, who wrote this:

Thought you might be interested to learn that I was the Vulcan Hand Salute kid in Logan's Run.  My mother was a talent agent in Dallas after we moved here from L.A. in 1970.  I had done many national commercials through an agent there and my mom decided to open an agency in the new film frontier of Dallas.  As a result, she always sent me on extra calls for films made in Dallas at the time like Logan's Run, Phantom of the Paradise, Semi-Tough and others.  I remember working weeks on end on LR culminating to the big finale of filming the destruction of "Dome City" filmed at the Ft. Worth Water Gardens.  We were directed to wait on the far side of a wall for the explosions and then came over to gather around the first old person we'd ever seen, played by the late Peter Ustinov.  I also remember a girl from our agency was selected to be the one to touch the old man's face.  Rumor has it this required a "special audition", but who really knows. Anyway, I was simply wanting to find a way to locate myself in the crowd and didn't do it long, I thought.  I feared it would get noticed and end up on the cutting room floor, but as you mentioned, made the final print.  I had forgotten about this until a friend of mine from back then called me and said the salute had made the Internet.  So, there it is and thanks for the applaud.
Isn't that cool? Thanks, Adam, for sharing your story! It is neat finding out all these years later who that was that made their mark for Star Trek fans in a sci-fi movie!

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

The Wonderful Flight To The Mushroom Planet

(Click on images to view full size-scans.)

Written by Eleanor Cameron in 1954, this charming children's book is one that holds good memories for me. The cover art above is scanned from my copy, still intact but a little dog-eared after all these years. I was about nine years old, in 1969, when I bought this through the Scholastic book program at school, and re-read it many times. The story of two boy's journey through outer space in a homemade space ship to another planet really captured my young imagination. The idea of a trip to meet aliens in an self-made (but alien technology-enhanced) ship was echoed in the film "Explorers," which I enjoyed many years later.

I remember reading some of this book while tucked in one of my own cardboard box spaceships, which made it even more fun. Of course, my parents worried how I could spend hours on end in a cardboard box, but little did they know my mind was soaring off on amazing adventures. With my canteen full of Goofy Grape soft drink, a peanut butter sandwich, and a good book, I would be ensconced for hours in my make-believe space capsule. Now that I have a five-year-old grandson, I will be reading it to him very soon!

Monday, August 2, 2010

1978 TV Sci-Fi Schedule

From the collection cabinet comes an article from the first issue of the low-class magazine "Space Trek," one of many genre exploitation rags ground out by publishing mogul Myron Fass. It's significant that this magazine, along with all the other generically-named versions (which cropped up overnight and expired just as quickly) all occupy the bottom shelf of my cabinet. The paper was the lowest-grade pulp, one step below the toilet paper at the corner service station, and the photos were washed out and spotty. But, sometimes these mags, too, offer up interesting articles, like this one with serves as a snapshot of the sci-fi/fantasy programs coming up that fall and winter of 1978. If you were a kid or teen during that time, reading about all these shows when they were new will bring back some (hopefully fond) memories. The article concentrates on the biggest, "Battlestar Galactica," but features info on many others you will remember, and some you might have missed. Nanu, nanu!

(Click on images to enlarge.)

Friday, July 23, 2010

Forbidden Planet: Entry Two

Part 2 of the "Forbidden Planet" posts, imported from my other blog "My Monster Memories."

Here's a special bonus for you... "Forbidden Planet" painted by Vincent Di Fate as featured in Cinefantastique in 1979. Makes a great wallpaper!
(Click for Monster-Sized version!)

More lobby card photos of the alluring Altaira, Robby the Robot, Commander Adams and the C-57D.

More to come next time!

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Forbidden Planet: Entry One

(Reader take note: this entry was originally posted on my other blog "My Monster Memories," but now that I am also doing one on Sci-Fi, it fits here even better. Hence, the re-post!)-Fred

I'm kicking things off with some images from my all-time favorite Sci-Fi movie, "Forbidden Planet." You might enjoy seeing these images if you haven't before, which highlight the sexy, impish Altaira, played by the lovely Anne Francis. One envies Robby, as Jerry Farnam said! This is only the first entry on the subject, there will be others with more photos and behind the scenes extras!

As a kid and teen I was keenly aware of Forbidden Planet through the monster movie mags and such, but it was one of those seemingly unattainable goals to see it. Finally, when I lived in Ft. Lauderdale FL as a teen, around 1978 I went to a showing at a nearby public library. I took along my Radio Shack flat tape recorder and sat near the projector, taping the whole thing. I was like a dream come true to finally see it! I listened to the tapes of it many time later, projector noise and all. Now I can take out my Special Edition DVD and watch it on the big plasma screen any time I want to. Who would have imagined that, back then? It would have seemed like a science fiction fantasy to me at the time.

Come back soon for more pictures!

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

1979 article on "The Star Wars Holiday Special"

From issue #19 of Starlog Magazine, published in February of 1979, comes this cover article on one of the darkest chapters in Star Wars history... the legendarily-bad "Star Wars Holiday Special." (See an earlier post on it here from another of my blogs.) Many might want to forget it, but as Master Po said to Grasshopper, "We do not learn by forgetting."
(Click on images to enlarge if you are a glutton for punishment.)
Bea Arthur is easily the scariest of any of the denizens in the cantina.

"Yes, son, we are your father Chewbacca's dirty little secret. Never forget that."

Whenever the pain of contemplating "The Phantom Menace" threatens to overwhelm you, recall this and you will be comforted.