I’ll Be: Prince Edward Meets Arnold Schwazenegger
PANIC over. Prince Edward is alive and as well as can be expected.
As the Sun reports Eddie the TWIT (The Weed in Tweed) has been to an awards do.
Eddie has been handing out medals to teenagers who have completed the Duke of Edinburgh Award, Young Americans Challenge.
Details of the scheme are not given. But, as the official website tells us, the aim is for the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award “to be universally recognised and widely adopted as the best programme for the personal development of young people”.
To those American tuning in, the scheme is not dissimilar to those boot camps peopled by renegade American children. One key difference is that in this British version the nippers do not have to be stoned, drunk or massively overweight. They remain an option but not compulsory.
Other than it is all about so much team building and bonding and learning to be a better person. And getting to meet Eddie.
A highlight indeed.
It’s not everyone who gets to see the elusive royal. And we are not shocked to see that Eddie’s presence has attracted Arnold Schwarzenegger.
Arnie and Eddie look quite the team as they hand our awards in Calabasas, California.
There’s Arnie, who pretended to be soldier. And there’s Eddie, who… Well, let’s just say he joined up and failed to be back.
Posted: 15th, May 2007 | In: Tabloids Comments (4) | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0
You Don’t Dare Kill It: The 5 Best Alien (1979) Knock-Offs of the 1980s
RIDLEY Scott’s Alien (1979) dramatically altered the template for horror films set in outer space. For example, the blockbuster film was among the first (after Dark Star  to suggest that travel in the final frontier would be the purview of “work-a-day” space truckers rather than noble explorers or adventurous astronauts.
And instead of intrepid space travelers fighting men-in-rubber suits inside idealized white-on-white space station environs (as was the case in The Green Slime ) Alien suggested a technological space age marked by endless industrial corridors and aliens of constantly shifting dimension.
The Scott film’s central alien — a bio-mechanoid horror created by H.R. Giger — could also gestate inside a living human host, and this fact ushered in a new era of cinematic “body horror.”
As with any genre blockbuster, Alien almost immediately spawned a host of knock-offs, some terrible and some quite good. These films found much material to imitate and emulate, from the diverse make-up of Alien’s victim pool, to bloody variations on Alien’s famous chest-burster birth scene. Many Alien knock-off films also involved long forgotten derelicts or other structures on alien planetary surfaces, for instance. Inevitably, human crews would discover these Lovecraftian edifices and wake up age-old horrors.
Among the Alien knock-offs of the 1980s were Scared to Death (1981), Forbidden World (1982), The Beast Within (1982), Parasite (1982), The Being (1983), and Biohazard (1985), to name just a handful.
The list below represents five of the best — or at least the most memorable– of the Alien knock-off breed. As is often the case regarding knock-offs, the best such films are invariably those that re-purpose not merely the clichés from one source – in this case — Alien — but also from other literary or cinematic works as well.
Saturn 3 (1980)
The story of a psychotic mad scientist, Captain Benson (Harvey Keitel) who travels to the Experimental Food Research Station on a moon of Saturn during a twenty-two day eclipse and communications black-out called “Shadow Lock,” the much-reviled Saturn 3 might actually be considered, first-and-foremost, a child of the Frankenstein story.
On remote Saturn 3, Benson assists two scientists working to alleviate a famine on overpopulated planet Earth. Major Adam (Kirk Douglas) and his romantic partner, the beautiful and innocent Alex (Farrah Fawcett) are wary, however, of Benson’s form of help: a colossal humanoid robot named Hector, the first of the “Demi God” series. Hector boasts human intelligence, not to mention human tissue. And echoing his creator’s madness, he soon begins lusting mightily after Alex.
Outside the space-age Frankenstein monster tropes, Saturn 3, like Alien, is set in a location where aid and assistance from the authorities is not available. Similarly, Earth in both films is depicted as a used-up dystopia. In Alien, “the company” controls everything on Earth, and in Saturn 3, humans have polluted the planet and resorted to rampant drug use because of the planet’s inhospitable nature.
Hector stands in for the titular alien, as well, and hunts down the film’s Adam and Eve-styled protagonists in the facility’s twisting factory-like corridors.
Finally, in Scott’s film, the Alien is almost entirely a creature of instinct, driven by impulses to reproduce and survive. In Saturn 3, by contrast, the monster is a machine that experiences something “human” beyond programming: psychosis and lust. Hector is ultimately beaten, however, because as a machine he can’t understand the human concept of self-sacrifice.
Galaxy of Terror (1981)
Aliens (1986) director James Cameron served as a production designer on this knock-off from Roger Corman’s New World Studios, and in the process created a universe that is very reminiscent of the Scott film, at least from a visual stand-point. Like Alien, Galaxy of Terror is set in a “lived in” universe (unlike, say the white-on-white minimalism of 2001: A Space Odyssey  or Space: 1999 [1975 - 1977].)
In Galaxy of Terror, a rescue ship, The Quest, heads to the mysterious planet called Morganthus to discover the fate of the Remus, another ship which crashed there. Once on the surface of dark Morganthus, however, the Quest crew discovers a strange alien pyramid. Soon, the crew — including characters played by Robert Englund, Sid Haig, Grace Zabriskie, and Erin Moran — begins to experience their worst fears made manifest.
In this case — if the plot summary hasn’t given it away already — Galaxy of Terror draws inspiration not only from Alien, but from Forbidden Planet (1956), a film in which another rescue mission (to Altair-4) runs afoul of a “Monster from the Id,” actually the human subconscious. That’s pretty much the case here, only with slimy monsters, doppelgangers, and a scene involving a rape by a giant alien worm.
The alien pyramid in Galaxy of Terror looks like it could have been constructed on Alien’s LV-426, and the slate gray sky above it even looks eerily similar. More trenchantly, perhaps, Galaxy of Terror’s rape scene also reflects the violent sexuality seen in Alien, the harsh re-purposing of the human body for unwholesome breeding purposes.
Also known as Horror Planet, Inseminoid is probably the schlockiest film on this list. The film stars Judy Geeson, Stephanie Beacham and Victoria Tennant as astronaut scientists, and involves the discovery of an ancient alien tomb on a far distant planet.
Before long, one astronaut, Sandy (Geeson), is impregnated by the last living alien in the tomb, and becomes the protective expectant mother of two ghastly alien twins. Her maternal instinct is re-purposed to serve an interloper’s biological imperative.
And just as Kane in Alien gives birth to the chest-burster, here Geeson gives birth to two monstrous tykes who — naturally — nurse on human blood.
Inseminoid’s central conceit is that everything on this distant alien world is “doubled.” The planet orbits twin stars, and the alien mythology is obsessed with twins, and so forth.
Although lacking tact (especially in the flashbacks to Sandy’s impregnation), Inseminoid occasionally features a beautifully composed shot, such as one on the purple surface of the distant planet during a funeral. There was also a funeral (for Kane) in Alien, but this shot of an alien vista grants the hororr film a nice sense of scope and also a visceral sense of place.
Like Alien, Inseminoid also concerns an alien species that co-opts the human race for its own reproductive requirements. Here, the aliens suckle on the (open) wounds of dead humans, and Sandy herself becomes a bit blood-thirsty as her biology is altered to play host to most unwelcome invaders.
A corporate spaceship, the Shenandoah, sets down on Titan to investigate an ancient alien archaeological site. The Shenandoah’s mission is imperiled, however, by the arrival of a ship from a competing corporation, Richter Dynamics, and the presence of its freakazoid captain, played by a scenery-chewing Klaus Kinski.
Before long, the rival crews learn that the archaeological site was actually something akin to an alien zoo or laboratory: a collection of diverse aliens from all over the universe. Unfortunately, one managed to break free from its captivity and is now attacking and brainwashing human beings…
Creature — while ripping off Alien lock, stock and barrel — also offers a number of notable fan touches. The film’s Ripley equivalent is Beth Sladen (Wendy Schaal), and her name seems like a nod to Elisabeth Sladen, who accompanied Tom Baker’s Fourth Doctor in Doctor Who on several dangerous adventures in space in TV serials such as “Ark in Space” and “Planet of Evil.” The film also quotes dialogue directly from — again – Forbidden Planet.
Additionally, the key to destroying the unleashed zoo specimen in Creature is Sladen’s knowledge of Howard Hawks’ The Thing (1951). She remembers that — in the movie’s last act — the imperiled humans electrocuted an invading alien.
These and other tributes assure that Creature can be contextualized as more than mere Alien knock-off.
Finally, Creature also revives the “corporate” culture social critique underlying the Scott film. In this case, the rival spaceships are involved in what the film’s dialogue calls “a fierce race for commercial supremacy.”
Even in space — with drooling, brainwashing aliens out and about — the ultimate enemy is…big business.
John McTiernan’s 1987 adventure/horror movie is actually part-Rambo (1985) and part-Aliens (1986), and is the best film on this list, by far. Still, much of its energy seems derived from the Alien aesthetic.
Here, we get the remote location (a jungle in Central America instead of outer space), an alien — with a similarly distinctive jaw-line — that cuts down one human at a time, and is a kind of alpha or apex predator.
The alien in Scott’s film was the ultimate survivor, able to breed and survive in any setting. The alien, by contrast, in Predator is the universe’s greatest hunter, a characterization that sets up a conflict with planet Earth’s greatest warrior, Dutch, played by Arnold Schwarzenegger.
But the real commonality between Alien and Predator arises in a mid-story surprise and revelation of conspiracy. In Alien, the Nostromo’s science officer, Ash (Ian Holm), protects the alien all along, and considers the rest of the human crew “expendable,” on secret orders from the Company.
In Predator, Dillon (Carl Weathers), an ambitious military officer, uses the cover of a rescue mission to get Dutch’s men into a position where they can acquire important documents about “the enemy.” As in Alien, the soldiers serving under Dutch are thus considered “expendable.”
Neither Ripley nor Dutch respond well when they expose the secret conspiracy, and the conspirator. In Predator, however, Dillon gets a shot at redemption, and Ash gets…decapitated.
John Kenneth Muir
Posted: 7th, June 2014 | In: Film, Flashback, Key Posts Comments (2) | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0
The 20 Best Photos Of Politicians Being Egged
YOU know you’re a politician when you’ve been egged. And it can hurt. Get one in the head like Ruth Kelly, and kapow! Hard boil them, and the egg becomes a potentially lethal missile. But, then, it lacks the punchline. You know, the yolk. (‘Ouch’ – ed):
UKIP leader Nigel Farage is hit by an egg as he gets out of his car in Nottingham city centre.
Picture date: Thursday May 1, 2014.
Eggs near the Royal car. The remains of an egg lies splattered on the ground as it was thrown at Queen Elizabeth II as she arrived with the Duke of Edinburgh at the Kreuzkirche in Dresden, Germany, for a service of reconciliation.
A small group of neo-Nazis try to shield themselves from a barrage of rocks, eggs, tomatoes and other missiles thrown by part of a crowd of several thousand who turned up to protest a rally held by the Nazis in an Evanston Park, Ill., on Oct. 18, 1980. The Nazis stood their ground for five minutes before retreating under police escort.
The Prime Minister’s car after three eggs were thrown when Mrs Margaret Thatcher arrived at a reception for party workers. Police arrested three men and were booed by a crowd of jeering protesters as they led them away.
An unidentified aide removes an egg from Arnold Schwarzenegger’s coat after it was thrown at him as he arrived at a campaign rally at the campus of California State University, Long Beach, Wednesday, Sept. 3, 2003. Schwarzenegger came to talk about the importance of young people in the political process as he takes his campaign for governor of California.
BNP councillor Luke Smith takes cover when eggs where thrown as he arrived at the first meeting of the council in Burnley Lancs, since his election.
Education Secretary Ruth Kelly recovers after being hit by an egg outside Salford Magistrates Court, Monday February 6, 2006, where Fathers for Justice protester Simon Coverdale is on trial over an alleged incident in which eggs were thrown at the minister while she addressed an audience in Bolton last year.
A man gets soiled with mud and raw eggs thrown by protesters as arrives at the Federal Electoral Tribunal, TRIFE as president-elect Felipe Calderon arrives for a symbolic ceremony to mark his designation in Mexico City, on Wednesday Sept. 6, 2006. A day before, the TRIFE had declared that the July 2 elections were valid and that Felipe Calderon had won the presidential race.
Head of the Czech Republic Social Democratic Party’s election campaign Jaroslav Tvrdik, after being hit with eggs thrown by onlookers during a rally for the European Parliament elections in Prague, Czech Republic, Wednesday, May 27, 2009. More than 40,000 people joined the ‘Eggs for Paroubek in every town’ campaign, opposing the Social Democratic Chairman Jiri Paroubek, on social networking website Facebook, and have disrupted with eggs, a number of Social Democratic rallies across the country. The European parliament is facing elections across the bloc’s 27 members in early June.
Chairman of the Social Democrats Jiri Paroubek is hit with an egg thrown by onlookers during a rally for the European Parliament elections in Prague, Czech Republic, Wednesday, May 27, 2009. More than 40000 people joined ‘Eggs for Paroubek in every town’ campaign on social networking website Facebook and had disrupted with eggs a number of Social Democratic rallies across the country. The European parliament is facing elections across the bloc’s 27 members in early June.
Videograbbed image of Conservative Party leader David Cameron (obscured) having an egg thrown at him by a youth (grey hooded top) during a visit to Cornwall College Saltash in Cornwall.
Picture date: Wednesday April 21 2010.
Guards cover parliament speaker Volodymr Lytvyn with an umbrella from eggs thrown by opposition lawmakers during ratification of the Black Sea Fleet deal with Russia, in parliament in Kiev, Ukraine, Tuesday, April 27, 2010. Ukraine’s parliament has voted to extend Russia’s lease of a Crimean naval port for the Black Sea Fleet in a chaotic session during which eggs and smoke bombs were thrown. The countries’ presidents agreed last week to extend the Russian navy’s use of the Sevastopol port for another 25 years after the old lease expires in 2017. (AP Photo/Efrem Lukatsky)
A poster of JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon is covered with eggs thrown by protesters, outside the gate of JP Morgan Chase annual stockholders meeting, Tuesday, May 15, 2012, in Tampa, Fla. JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon will speak to shareholders five days after disclosing a $2 billion trading loss.
Eggs thrown by anti-government protesters hit a portrait of TaiwanÂs President Ma Ying-jeou ahead of his inauguration ceremony, in Taipei, Taiwan, Sunday, March 20, 2012. Participants said they were angry about Ma’s economic policies, including his decision – announced after his January re-election – to raise utility prices. Ma is to be inaugurated for his second four-year term Sunday.(AP Photo/Chiang Ying-ying)
File photo dated 05/05/03 of former Deputy Prime Minister John Prescott being hit by an egg while surrounded by protesters in the North Wales seaside resort of Rhyl
File photo dated 09/06/09 of a bodyguard rushing BNP leader Nick Griffin (centre, grey striped tie) to his car as he abandons a press conference outside the Houses of Parliament in London after protesters barracked him and threw egg
photo dated 30/03/12 of a supporter of George Galloway wiping his face after an egg was thrown towards him before an open top bus tour in Bradford
File photo dated 14/08/13 of Labour leader Ed Miliband after he was pelted with eggs during a campaign visit in East Street market in Walworth, south London
Posted: 6th, May 2014 | In: In Pictures, Politicians Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0
On This Day In Photos: The Hunt For Lord Lucan Begins
ON November 8, 1974: police began their hunt for Lord Lucan, aka Richard John Bingham. He’s still not been found. If he is ever found alive – or, more likely, if his bones are located in Solihull, New Zealand or Gabon, we hope he’s left a diary. A mystery needs an ending. Rumours have been full and fruity. One alleges a link to Arnold Schwarzenegger.
The Seventh Earl of Lucan, aged 39, had not been seen since the night before, when the body of Sandra Rivett, 29, (above) was found in the Lucan family home on London’s Lower Belgrave Street.
Rivett was nurse to Lord and Lady Lucan’s three children. Her body was tied up in a sack. She had been beaten to death.
Lord Lucan’s estranged wife, 35-year-old Lady Veronica Lucan (above), arrived at the home.
The killer attacked Lady Lucan, beating her around the head. She wriggled free and dashed to the the Plumbers’ Arms pub.
It is claimed:
* She told them that she had been watching television with her daughter that evening in the second-floor bedroom. Sandra had put the two younger children to bed earlier. As she and her daughter Frances watched television, Sandra knocked at the door. It was shortly before 9 p.m.
Sandra asked if they would like some tea, to which the Countess agreed. After about 15 minutes, Lady Lucan said she began to wonder what was keeping Sandra so long. She told investigators that she went downstairs to find the nanny and it was there, near the stairs on the ground floor, that she was brutally attacked. She discussed the struggle in great detail. She was certain that the assailant was her husband, Lord Lucan.
Lady Lucan said that after she grabbed his testicles, she and her husband fell to the ground in a state of exhaustion. According to Lady Lucan, her husband admitted to accidentally killing the nanny. She said that Lord Lucan had mistaken Sandra for his wife since Lady Lucan typically made the evening tea and Sandra usually had Thursday evenings off.
Dripping in blood she stood in the pub and spoke:
“Murder, murder, I think my neck has been broken – he tried to kill me. I think I am dying. Please look after my children, my children.”
Lord George Bingham, seven, Lady Frances Bingham, 10, and Lady Camilla Bingham, 4, had been made wards of court earlier in the year.
Lord Lucan had been living in Eaton Rd. Police broke in. They found nothing.
Phott: Det Chief Supt Roy Ranson, who is overall charge of the Sandra Rivett murder case, during the lunch adjournment today in the Westminster inquest on Mrs Rivett, where he was one of the day’s witnesses. Mrs Rivett, 29, Lucan family nanny, was found battered to death at the Belgravia home of Lord Lucan’s estranged wife. Date: 17/06/1975
Three days later, police found a car used by Lucan at Newhaven port.
Photo: Wing Commander Kenneth Wallis takes off from a headland near Newhaven in an autogyro fitted with infra-red cameras. The craft was able to take X-ray pictures up to 2,000 feet above the Sussex Downs, which scientists hope will enable them to spot clues to the disappearance of Lord Lucan. Date: 19/05/1975
Some said he had drowned in the English Channel. Others said he just fled.
The next year. Lord was fund guilty of murder.
But he was innocent. Well, so he told one Susan Maxwell-Davis before he disappeared. He was the hero who had broken up a fight between the murderous assailant and his wife.
Miss Susan Mayor, who runs the costume department at Christie’s, with Lord Lucan’s coronet and robes which come up for auction on May 27th. They are expected to fetch between 2-300 and the money will go towards paying the missing peer’s creditors. Date: 23/05/1976
Where did he go? Who helped him? Is he alive still?
Lucan was spotted everywhere. In 1974 Australian police arrested a man they believed to be Lucan but it turned out to be Labour MP John Stonehouse who had faked his own death a month before.
On November 16, 1974, Mr Justice Rees in the High Court ordered that his three children should be cared for by his wife.
A computer-generated image showing how Lord Lucan, missing since November 1974, could look now. Twenty years on channel 4 re-opens the case, with the original detective in charge of the case, in “True Stories: Dead Lucky”. Date: 01/08/1994
In July 1999, Lord Lucan’s son, George Bingham asked to take his father’s seat in the House of Lords. The Lord Chancellor refused. WS his father dead? It would have to be proven. And so on October 1999, Master Lucan and his family were finally granted probate.
The Dowager Lady Lucan, as she likes to be called, described her son, George Bingham, as wicked yesterday after he broke a long silence to assert that the family nanny, Sandra Rivett, was killed by a burglar when an insurance fraud, instigated by the earl, went wrong. Lady Lucan, who has been estranged from her three children for more than 20 years, also spoke of her anguish at growing old without family support.
Lady Lucan, 67, who refused to co-operate with the documetnary, said: “I think my son is an absolute disgrace. I don’t know why he is doing this.
“If my son had not done this, the anniversary might have passed off with barely a whimper. I have no idea what his motives are. Putting more stress on his still-living mother is not noble behaviour. I would have said that a son would have thought, ‘I must look after my mother and we will all get through this.’ ”
Lady Lucan, who is convinced that her husband took his own life soon after killing Miss Rivett on the night of November 7, 1974, at their home, in Belgravia, London, is also estranged from her daughters, Camilla, 34, and Frances, 39.
Where is Lord Lucan? Someone always knows. Someone always tells.
Posted: 8th, November 2013 | In: Flashback, In Pictures Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0