Tuesday, May 25, 2010

The Starlog Project: Starlog #103, February 1986: Let's Put on a Show!

The striking cover photo of actress Daryl Hannah's painted face from Clan of the Cave Bear might look rather familiar to genre magazine fans of a certain age, even if they never saw the movie. A similar cover (albeit with the photo flipped) appeared at the same time on the winter 1986 edition of Heavy Metal magazine. Considering how many magazines were covering the same films and TV shows, I suppose it's only surprising that such coincidences didn't happen more often.

Starlog #103
76 pages (including covers)
Cover price: $2.95

Starlog recently redesigned and updated the ad promoting its lucrative line of licensed movie magazines, and we see that the company produced not one, not two, but three official publications for Rocky IV: a magazine, a deluxe magazine, and a poster magazine. And they did one for John Travolta's Staying Alive? Huh. Wonder how that sold.

The rundown: In his From the Bridge column, publisher Kerry O'Quinn argues that information made all the difference in the death toll between two hurricanes, 47 years apart; Communications letters offer wide-ranging reactions to Explorers, The Goonies, Cocoon and The Black Cauldron, plus a defense of Sheena by her creator (S.M. Iger) and a reader who sees oedipal themes in Back to the Future and Fright Night; David Hutchison's Videolog announces some genre video releases, including the first Starlog-created video: Cinemagic – The Best of Science Fiction Lunacy; Medialog includes David McDonnell's roundup of genre news (such as Terry Gilliam being named to direct something called The Chocolate Project), and Robert Greenberger's very brief chat with animator Don Bluth.

The feature articles this month are packaged in a theme of How to Make a Science-Fiction Movie. William Rabkin talks with screenwriter Ed Kharma (Enemy Mine, Ladyhawke); Chris Henderson's Booklog column reviews Philip K. Dick's Radio Free Albemuth, and other books; Randy and Jean-Marc Lofficier interview producer Harve Bennett about Star Trek IV; in the Fan Network section, Forrest J. Ackerman announces the winner of his contest from issue #94, plus a producer urges readers to send him their resumes; the Future Life pages include David Hutchison on an underwater EPCOT feature (The Living Seas), Max Rottersman on tracking space debris, and Hutchison on a science-fiction group on the CompuServe online service; William Rabkin talks with director Wolfgang Peterson (The Neverending Story, Enemy Mine); Adam Pirani interviews production designer Norman Reynolds (Young Sherlock Holmes, Star Wars: Return of the Jedi, Raiders of the Lost Ark); Steve Swires profiles cinematographer Dean Cundey (John Carpenter's The Thing, Back to the Future, Big Trouble in Little China); Robert Greenberger interviews Clan of the Cave Bear star Daryl Hannah; Don McGregor interviews stunt coordinator Bob Simmons (James Bond films) – with a sidebar by Adam Pirani covering Bond stuntman Martin Grace; Rachel Long interviews actor Rutger Hauer (The Hitcher, Blade Runner); Anthony Timpone interviews editor Terry Rawlings (Alien, Blade Runner, Legend); David Hutchison covers special effects supervisor John Dykstra (Star Wars, Lifeforce, Battlestar Galactica); Hutchison also talks with sound designer Ben Burtt (Raiders of the Lost Ark, Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back); Brian Lowry interviews special makeup designer Rob Bottin (Explorers, Legend, The Thing), with a sidebar by Randy and Jean-Marc Lofficier talking with actress Leslie Rickert; Thom Clement interviews composer Elmer Bernstein (The Black Cauldron, American Werewolf in London); and editor David McDonnell's Liner Notes column focuses (oh, can we say fixates?) on Darby O'Gill and the Little People.
"Lifeforce was probably the worst patch-up job of timing in a movie I've ever seen in my life. Bad! Every print – the 70mms were worse. Bad! Terrible! There was stuff we had worked on a long time that came out looking awful because they didn't time right. OK? That's a real bitch! I don't intend to ever have somebody do that to me again. They paid good money for those effects, and they were damn good effects and it's wrong for them to be destroyed by somebody's lack of concern."
–John Dykstra, special effects wizard, interviewed by David Hutchison: "John Dykstra: Planning Science-Fiction Illusions"
To view previous Starlog issue descriptions, click on "Starlog Internet Archive Project" in the keywords below or visit the Starlog Project's permanent home.
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