Tuesday, June 29, 2010

The Starlog Project: Starlog #132, July 1988: Everything Old Is New Again

Once again, Starlog breaks its (unwritten?) rule and plasters the same movie on its cover for two consecutive issues. Willow, which last month was featured on the cover with an image of its villian, retains the cover spot this month by featuring its hero. (A different movie will camp out on the cover for the next two issues.)

This is the magazine’s 12th anniversary issue, though as an issue, it’s not really different from the 100-page issue two months earlier. The sole exception would seem to be Kerry O’Quinn’s extra-lengthy special anniversary editorial. It is, however, a nice mix of classic genre fare (with a number of articles recounting what it was like to work with the legendary producer George Pal) and the new (did we mention WILLOW is playing?).

This issue also includes the first ad for Starlog’s officially licensed movie publications for Willow: A movie magazine, a poster magazine, and a theater program. Order all three for $9.70 plus postage!

Starlog #132
100 pages (including covers)
Cover price: $3.95

Classified ad of the month: “HORSEMEN RIDING THROUGH THE CITY! Banshee crawling through the hills, shewolves dancing in the forest, Hellhounds baying to the moon! ‘Wulffangel,’ drama/music sound effects ... casette & booklet – Send $9.95 to ...”

My favorite photo caption this issue: “Thorburn and Young never really got to act alongside Russ Tamblyn. Instead, they played to his doll stand-in.”

The rundown: Val Kilmer, rumored to be one of the more difficult actors to work with, is on the cover as Willow’s Madmartigan. Kerry O’Quinn’s From the Bridge anniversary editorial is an extended defense of people who are into science fiction, illustrated with photographs of SF-themed signs (store names, etc.). Communications letters include J. Michael Straczynski, story editor of The Twilight Zone, complaining about an article on his series in issue #127 (with an also-lengthy response/defense from the editors), while other readers write in with further thoughts on Star Trek novels; David McDonnell’s Medialog roundup of news includes news that a TV series based on Invasion of the Body Snatchers is under development.

Tom Weaver interviews Psycho star Janet Leigh, who tells him about the death threats she received after the release of that landmark Hitchcock film; Bill Warren interviews George Pal pal Alan Young about  thom thumb, The Time Machine, and even Mr. Ed; the George Pal remembrance-fest continues with Tim Ferrante and Tom Weaver’s interview with actor Les Tremayne (War of the Worlds, The Angry Red Planet); and Steve Swires talks with actor Russ Tamblyn, another veteran of Pal’s tom thumb.

The magazine’s British correspondent, Adam Pirani, interviews director Ron Howard about his new film Willow; Jean Airey and Laurie Haldeman talk with actor Colin Baker, “the shortest-lived Time Lord”; the Other Voices guest column is written by legendary author Jack Williamson, who explains “How not to Write a Novel”; David McDonnell previews Who Framed Roger Rabbit; David Hutchison looks at the special effects of Star Trek: The Next Generation; Kathryn M. Drennan profiles “Dr. Science”; and Marc Shapiro interviews Beetlejuice actor Jeffrey Jones.

In another exploration of the implications of a major movie, Michael Wolff (who writes in the tradition of Bruce Gordon's famous article on “The Other Marty McFly” in #108) examines the world of RoboCop, illustrated by cartoons by George Kochell; Evelyn Mayfield interviews veteran novelist Octavia Butler; the Fan Network pages answer reader questions (including “Could you please tell me what other movies besides Re-Animator, From Beyond and Chopping Mall the lovely actress Barbara Crampton has appeared in?”), feature a short item by Jean Airey on a touring Elvis Presley play starring actor Paul Darrow from Blake’s 7, and more; Brazil and Soap actress Katherine Helmond is interviewed by Kim Howard Johnson; David Hutchison’s Videolog reports on the latest genre releases, including the final 18 episodes of the original Star Trek; Eric Niderost looks at the special effects in Date with an Angel; in a two-page “The Guests of Trek” section, Bill Florence profiles Katherine Woodville, and Kathleen M. Gooch profiles Eddie Paskey; and David McDonnell’s Liner Notes column shares his Willow fascination.
“If I can’t pronounce [characters’ names], I don't write them. They’ve been up on my wall for a while. I make all sorts of notes I hang in front of myself to remind myself to do the right thing with this or that character or the story in general or with this part. If I don’t, I tend to stray. I wander off and find myself doing one page a day and it gets harder and harder and it’s impossible to work.”
–Octavia E. Butler, novelist, interviewed by Evelyn Mayfield: “Patterns of Her Mind”
To read 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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