Saturday, August 21, 2010

'Questar' magazine October 1980

Although it bore a cover date of October 1980, this issue of 'Questar' was on the stands in late Summer 1980. The striking cover is by the late Frank Frazetta, who was the topic of a portfolio in the interior of the magazine.

The film reviews in this issue make for a strange sort of nostalgia.'The Empire Strikes Back' was of course the main film event of the Summer and gets a deservedly laudatory review. But there is also coverage of a Cheech and Chong SF movie (??!!) that must have sunk without a trace. 

And somehow the disco-themed movie 'Xanadu', featuring Olivia Newton-John and Michael Beck (who appeared in 'The Warriors') gets a review, however tenuous its relevance to a fantasy - SF theme.

Along with the bigger-budgeted studio releases, the magazine previews two low-budget horror films that are obviously hoping to cash in on the buzz of the previous year's 'Alien' movie.

One, 'Scared of the Dark', was supposed to star musician Rick Springfield ?!

The other, 'Alien on Earth' (aka 'Contamination'), was an Italian-made 'spaghetti Alien' film. It was labeled as a 'video nasty' in the UK.

Finally, there's a blurb about the animated film 'The Return of the King', produced by Rankin Bass. In the medieval days before CGI was even a dream, the only way a concept like that presented in the Tolkein novels could be envisioned as a feature film, was through animation.

The best feature in this issue of 'Questar' was a retrospective of 'Night of the Living Dead', featuring a great painting (artist unknown) of the zombie little girl, Karen Cooper (played by  Kyra Schon).

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