Wednesday, June 16, 2010

The Starlog Project: Starlog #121, August 1987: Dennis Quaid's Innerspace Journey

This issue gives you a good sense of the films dominating the science fiction and fantasy world in the late 1980s. Innerspace, Spaceballs, Superman IV, Robocop, Harry & the Hendersons. It seems as if every two or three years, a new batch of films and TV programs don't just come out but, for better or worse, define an era (well, I guess two or three years is too short to be called an era, but let's just go with it here). I'd be blowing hot air if I said that I knew what these movies tell us about the late 1980s. One could guess that Robocop had something to say about the militarization of Reagan-era (that's an era) America, but then what about the gentle Harry & the Hendersons? Spaceballs?

Sometimes, a movie is just a movie.

Starlog #121
76 pages (including covers)
Cover price: $2.95

My favorite classified ad of the month: “How to become a movie critic: SASE for free information ...”

The rundown: The cover photo features the handsome mug of actor Dennis Quaid, star of Innerspace. Kerry O'Quinn's From the Bridge column is a post-mortem dedication to a young man who was the unnamed subject of O'Quinn's "Dreaming" editorial in issue #120; Communications letters include an update from the owner of the shuttle Galileo (of the original Star Trek), reaction to O'Quinn's editorial about religious censorship of textbooks, a Belgian reader criticizing amateur movie critics (they should check out the classifieds ...), memories of Trek pilot "The Cage," and more; Medialog includes John A. Gallagher's report on Stuart Gordon's Robojox, plus David McDonnell's roundup of genre news (such as David Cronenberg being slated to write and direct a Scanners TV series).

Someone had to do it: Brian Lowry got the enviable job of interviewing Mel Brooks, who sounds like he's a hell of a lot of fun to talk with, a mixture of brains, talent, and humor; in his fourth Generations column, David Gerrold explains the new Enterprise bridge and gives the backgrounds of the behind-the-scenes leaders of Star Trek: The Next Generation; William Rabkin interviews actor John Lithgow (Harry & the Hendersons, Buckaroo Banzai, even Santa Claus); Edward Gross profiles Joseph Sargent, director of Trek classic’s “The Corbomite Maneuver,” The Taking of Pelham One Two Three, Jaws: The Revenge, and more; Starman and Raiders of the Lost Ark star Karen Allen is interviewed by Irv Slifkin; Jessie Horsting interviews Joe Dante about Innerspace (with an entertaining sidebar on Amazon Women on the Moon); in a two-page “The Guests of Trek” section, Eric Niderost profiles Melvin and Caesar Belli (“And the Children Shall Lead”) and Mark Phillips profiles Roy Jensen (“The Omega Glory”); David Hutchison’s Videolog updates us on Solarbabies and the other genre video releases.

Kim Howard Johnson interviews Superman actor Christopher Reeve, who talks about the past couple Supes outings and notes that he’s preparing to direct; the Fan Network pages include some cartoons, a note on a writing workshop, and more; Eric Niderost talks to actor Peter Weller about Robocop; there are three obituaries for the Tribute pages, including John Sayer’s on Wizard of Oz actor Ray Bolger, Patrick Daniel O’Neill on Danny Kaye, and Will Murray on Gardner F. Fox; Jane Gael Rafferty interviews actor Lance Henriksen about Aliens, Near Dark, and more; Jean Airey and Laurie Haldeman talk with actress Jacqueline Pearce of Blake’s 7; Eddie Berganza previews the animated Adventures of the Galaxy Rangers; and editor David McDonnell’s Liner Notes shares some news on Starlog writers who make good.
"When I write a film, I audition it. I send it to a class at UCLA and I say, 'Mark it.' I sent a copy to my son, Nicky Brooks, who writes science fiction-horror things, and I say distribute this script among your friends and have them mark it. By 'mark it,' I mean if you like a joke, put a check. If you like a scene, write a note about it, and give me a one-page criticism of the whole script. You get 300 write-ins. Of course, you give away all your jokes, but you do get incredible input."
–Mel Brooks, writer/director, interviewed by Brian Lowry: Mel Brooks: Spaceballs – The Director"
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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