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Sunken treasures await your re-discovery: Blog 2016 / Blog 2017
"I always keep my word, I'll send him right where he told me to go ...HELL!"
April 2018
This Blog will be offering a colorful kaleidoscope of movie magic for cinema aficionados.
Crispy peanuts, thin-skinned baloons and thrilling sensations on celluloid.
See offbeat goodies and magic crumbs ...weekly!
The Reality behind the Fantasy! - The Story behind the Spectacle!
No inflated endlessly long stories, but short and crisp. 
'This is Helmet time!'
Photos beat content!
Welcome to the manege of madness! - Have a pleasant trip!

This Overture is one hot short movie!
What an amazing start into the swinging and groovy world of Fathom...
The camera gropes along the shapely body of Raquel Welch (3 screenshots).
A close-up body scan in search of birthmarks.
What a great idea, I love that!
That's the way a spy-romp flick with Raquel Welch should start.
And you really do not need a good script, ideas or a gripping concept if you have sexy Raquel on your side.
In addition to Miss Welch, all this becomes an unimportant minor matter
Kodak 2.25 transparency of the filming of the 'Fathom' Intro, 1967.
Nice Set Design on a Shepperton Studios stage with painted backing, artificial turf and plastic shrubs.
Raquel lolls around under spotlight ...like a red-flowered spring flower on an indoor golf course.
The movie is available on a pretty good blu-ray. A happy little fun!
Recently there were some colorful 'Fathom' transparencies on ebay.
The 35mm ones showing Raquel playing with an artificial bull's head (dry runs) went up fast and way out of my limits.
And of course you now find the common bad copies of the expansive slides on ebay. Do not buy such crap!
I was able to get the cute Kodak 2.25 transparency for a reasonable price, which shows the filming of the Studio Overture of 'Fathom'.
The nice 35mm Slides were probably made for a magazine story and actually have not that direct connection to the 
making of 'Fathom' like the 2.25 transparency.
Whenever Raquel welch was in Spain for a movie she was booked by photographers for some shots.
Sometimes the photographer even used the set or parts of it for his photos.
Here are a few photos of Raquel Welch on Set for the Tom Gries Western '100 Rifles': Villamanta.
Raquel Welch and Tony Franciosa on Set in Southern Spain for 'Fathom'.
See Raquel riding on a burro during a break in filming 'Fathom' here: Mijas.

One of the great inventive trailblazers in the field of Special makeup effects was John Chambers (Planet of the Apes).
During his time as dental technician in the army (second World War) and his several years in the 
'Hines Veterans Hospital' he learned a wide range of unique and unusual techniques for creating artificial flesh, 
in plastic and rubber, to be used in the construction of noses, ears and so on for returning war veterans.
He had a tremendous expertise in how to fashion prosthetic limbs and body parts for injured patients.
This incredible know-how made him a legend in the wide field of special makeup effects for the film industry.
Back in the late 60s and early 70s John Chambers designed two unique pieces of cinematic butchery for Western movies. 
He fashioned out a bloody makeup effect for John Wayne's Oscar winning film 'True Grit' and one for 'A Man Called Horse'.
One is well described ('A Man Called Horse'), the other barely known.
We have to look at that.
(John Chambers, on the left, and John Wayne during a break on Set for 'True Grit' - Ektachrome 35mm Slides).
'True Grit' - After the Cabin shoot-out with Dennis Hopper and Jeremy Slate.
Rooster Cogburn (John Wayne) wants to get information about the Pepper Gang from Emmett Quincy (Jeremy Slate) and 
Moon (Dennis Hopper).
Moon is bleeding heavily, he will talk ...showtime for a John Chambers makeup effect!
Moon wants to give up. Quincy must prevent that and chops off the fingers of Moon with a knife.
John Chambers developed an artificial hand which met a gruesome end in that controversial scene.
In an old interview from 1980, John Chambers recalls the scene:
"I coated the hand with urethane foam and had simulated bones and channels in there where the blood was 
fed in from a cylinder pressure gun.
The tubes went down into the fingers and the foam was a type which absorbed like a sponge 
so it absorbed the blood as you squirted it in. 
It stayed encapsulated through the hand because the skin on the outside was plastic.
They cut a lot of it out. I think the script Girl got sick or passed out when she saw the fingers flying 
because she didn't expect it or know it was going to happen that way. 
She didn't see them rigging the hand.
The hand worked very well but the scene was eliminated when the film was shown on television."
The spectacular effect scene was definitely shot, but then cut hard/deleted.
What a scene!
Is the material still available somewhere?
Based on comments by John Chambers, I think the cries of Mattie (Kim Darby) are probably absolutely real.
A gruesome Special Make-up effect - The flying fingers of Moon (Dennis Hopper).
A scary scene. Too scary to be shown in the cinema?
Have never seen the 69er premiere version of the movie. Is this the blu-ray version?
Here is a screenshot showing the hand of Moon with the missing fingertips.
For 'A Man Called Horse' makeup expert John Chambers designed and built a false chest for Richard Harris and 
his famous hanging scene.
Richard Harris, wearing the false chest, had hooks thrust through his pectorals and was then suspended in the air by cords attached 
to these hooks.
The perfectly fashioned artificial chest resembled real flesh. 
Hidden inside of the prosthetic piece was a special strap system for a realistic hanging effect.
A great work by John Chambers and in this case, the effect is wonderful recognizable in the finished film.
See more of John Chambers here: Bewitched.

Another Euro-Western filmed in the surroundings of the Spanish capital Madrid during the golden years of the Genre.
Director Nathan Juran (The 7th Voyage of Sinbad, Jack the Giant Killer, First Men in the Moon) and his Cinematographer, 
the British Wilkie Cooper, did a few films together.
They had an extensive Spanish crew at their side.
The Spanish secret weapon, Second Unit Director José López Rodero (The Fall of the Roman Empire), had an eye on the 
staging of the Action scenes.
The Spanish Stuntman Miguel Pedregosa (Catlow) provided the 'action'.
And the man behind the important Look of the picture was Art Director José Algueró (www.seven-in-alicante.com).
Good Look, nice locations, respectable Players, a decent score and all only laboriously held together by a confused and bumbling story.
What a waste!
The captain (Nathan Juran ) of the 'Land Raiders' steamer in an old Starlog Interview (1989):
"I always did pictures for the money, and for the creative challenges. 
I wasn't a born director. I was just a technician who could transfer the script from the page to the stage and could get 
it shot on schedule and on budget. I never became caught up in the "romance" of the movies."
What a great guy! 
There is no 'romance' in the business.
Even the smallest employee in the film business has only one thing in view, our money!
And you can decide to spend it here or there.
Not here!
Marcella Saint-Amant and George Maharis on Set in Spain for 'Land Raiders'.
You are in trouble when your promotion photos are better than your movie!
Kodak 2.25 transparency.
'Land Raiders' - Screenshot. 
An interesting filming location of the movie is the 'Fort Colmenar' built in the Dehesa de Navalvillar of Colmenar Viejo a 
few years before the filming of the movie.
As you can see, the Fort Set was no longer in the best condition but perfect for Nathan Juran and his Land Raiders.
Keep an eye on the water trough!
Comparison photo of the filming Location, 2009.
You can clearly see the foundation of the bricked water trough.
And with a little imagination you can guess the place where the soldiers have dug. 
Learn more about the movie history of the Fort Set here: Fort Colmenar.
Among the Players (Telly Savalas!) are Janet Landgard and Gustavo Rojo, pictured here on 35mm Kodachromes.
Why are all Players grinning on the photos?
Aah, I got it, damn it, they got my money for the blu-ray! Fool.
Remember the 80s hit of the Big Boys - WE GOT YOUR MONEY IN OUR HANDS! 
Probably not, too bad, the album 'Lullabies Help the Brain Grow' is a fine one.
The quality of the blu-ray is very good, just to make that clear.

Edgar, the cockroach, has stolen a Galaxy and is on the run with a flying saucer.
One of the saucer-shaped upper parts of the observation towers of the New York State Pavilion.
Eddy (Vincent D’Onofrio) thunders through the Unisphere with his UFO and makes a crash landing in the 
Flushing Meadows Park (New York).
Crash landing of the UFO ...but the guys stay cool.
The sequence is a well-done composite shot of an UFO miniature (sixth scale), that crashes into a miniature 
Flushing Meadows Park set, and a live-action scene with Jay and Kay.
Edgar whirls up a lot of dust.
But as 'Men in Black' you have to stay cool, the underpants you can change later.
Studio setup for the live-action scene with Will Smith (Jay) and Tommy Lee Jones (Kay) - Sony Pictures Studios.
For safety's sake, a thick black mat is ready in a good position.
Apparently, the Studio Crew is afraid that one of the two might be blown of the platform (?).
How did they simulate the dust that the crashed spaceship is causing?
Co2 cryo smoke cannons?
Will Smith is laughing, the countdown is on, something's about to happen.
Look at the 2 special effects technicians who are lying on the ground.
The cannons look selfmade. What 'ammo' did they take?
Might be Co2...
Can someone tell me something about it?
Smaller wind machines ensure a good distribution of the artificial mist (simulating dust).
The spaceship miniature / Flushing Meadow Set will be featured in another 'MIB' story.
The blog is a treasure trove for little MIB behind-the-scenes stories.
Here is one about toy cars: Queens Midtown Tunnel.

'It Takes a Thief' is a highly entertaining, pretty cool and groovy TV Show that was running from 1968 to 1970 for only 3 seasons.
Robert Wagner ('The Biggest Bundle of Them All') played Al Mundy, the coolest of the cool cat burglars, who is 'booked' by 
the U.S. government for special tasks.
Mundy travels all over the world performing daring acts of thievery in the name of Uncle Sam.
Robert Wagner did the Indy 500 racing film 'Winning', starring Paul Newman, for Director James Goldstone, 
after finishing the first season of his swinging TV adventure 'It Takes a Thief'.
Wagner and Newman took racing lessons to get into their roles.
They learned how to drive a racing car for 'Winning' in Bob Bondurants school of High Performance Driving at the 
Orange County Raceway. 
The school is still in business today and celebrates its 50th anniversary this year, 1968 - 2018.
Check out their website:
Robert Wagner: 'We had to learn to walk, talk and drive like racing drivers' (Winning: The Racing Life of Paul Newman).
This was the start for Paul Newman's passion for the whole Sport and the racing life.
Wagner could use his 'Winning' experience in the 'It Takes a Thief' racing car episode 'The Steal-Driving Man', 
aired 19 January 1970.
On his side the famous racing driver Mario Andretti (photo), who later drove for the Newman racing team.
The episode is a well staged mix of scenes filmed on location, studio scenes (Universal Studios) and 
stock footage from actual races.
Al Mundy has to learn how to drive a Formula I car to enter a Grand Prix as a rookie in order to 
provide cover to steal explosive documents.
Mario Andretti inspects a racing car used in the 'The Steal-Driving Man' episode.
The car is getting a number to match the scenes of the actual races (stock footage).
Racing professional Mario Andretti talks with Actor Robert Wagner during the filming of 'It Takes a Thief', 1969.
A few decades later Tim "The Tool Man" Taylor ('Home Improvement') competes in a 'turkey race' against Andretti.
Tim Taylor (Tim Allen) won the battle with a chainsaw!
Paul Stratford (Robert Wagner) in his car ready to drive a qualifying race.
P.K. Rhodes (Dick Smothers) and Wally Powers (Edward Binns) in the Stratford box. 
It starts to rain ...because it was raining during the 'stock footage' race.
Filming of the box scene with Dick Smothers and Edward Binns.
Close-ups of Dick Smothers and Edward Binns.
Robert Wagner watches the filming of the scene.
The episode was directed by TV tycoon Glen A. Larson (1937–2014).
Glen A. Larson was the man behind some of the world's best-known prime-time television series 
('Battlestar Galactica', 'Magnum, P.I.',...etc...etc).
He might be the guy next to the camera (?).
The rain was made in the old-school way, by a guy on a ladder 'armed' with a garden hose.
Soon more on 'It Takes a Thief'. 
The makeup work of Bud Westmore and other stories behind of the spectacle.

Your comments are always welcome!
Trust me, I know what I'm doing. Sometimes.

Holiday in Almeria - Part 1
Hollywood Legend Burt Lancaster was in Almeria in the early 70s for the Edwin Sherin Western 'Valdez' (1971).
His daughter Sighle (born in 1954) visited him during the shooting to spend a few days vacationing in sunny Andalusia.
Probably the whole Family Lancaster came for a visit.
Since the shooting did not take place in the summer, the temperatures were not necessarily optimal for a few days on the beach.
But Almeria is always worth a visit and offers different opportunities to enjoy a few great days.
You can do a little trip to the desert of Tabernas (Almeria) to the filming locations of 'Valdez'.
Here is a small, somewhat hidden location: Barranco Carrizalejo.
Holiday in Almeria - Part 2
Jack Palance is visited on the Set of "Chato's Land" by his daughter Brooke (born February 9, 1952).
Summer 1971 - Desierto de Tabernas - The Desert of Tabernas near Almeria (Spain), a dusty 'Chato' filming location.
Brooke Palance was offered a role of a townswoman. 
Her scenes (as background Extra) were planned for the 'Chato' scenes filmed in the 'Texas Hollywood' Western Town Set. 
On the first day costumed and made up she waited to be called but with rain and cloud most of the day little filming was 
done and she was told to report next day when it was supposed to be fine. 
She said acting wasn't for her and if it was fine tomorrow she'd be on the beach!
Well, nevertheless she started a small career and was active for about 10 years as an actress.
She did a 'Rockford' episode and worked for 'Mister Big', Bert I. Gordon, nicknamed both for his initials and for his 
many '50s giant creature movies.
Brooke got a small role in Bert Gordons infamous prop and effects trash 'Empire of the Ants' (1977).
Learn more about the numerous 'Valdez' and 'Chato' locations in Spain here:

Another Part of our 'behind-the-scenes' report about the first-rate 'Popcorn' thriller of the 90s, 'Con Air', 
directed by Simon West and produced by Jerry Bruckheimer.
A great thrill ride with a bit dark irony and a subtle sense of the absurd. Best Entertainment!
Look at the heated conversations between Marshal Vince Larkin (John Cusack) and the overzealous and arrogant D.E.A. Agent 
Malloy (Colm Meaney), a fine dash of humor.
Agent Malloy loves his 1967 Corvette Sting Ray convertible.
But the car was in the wrong place at the wrong time...
The smart story with the Corvette starts when Malloy ordered some Attack Choppers to catch the C-123.
"Fuck off, Marshal Larkin. Your job's finished. This flight is full."
Larkin needs a fast car to stay in the game... 
Close-ups filmed through the Heli.
What an effort!
The crew built a special platform on a dolly to shoot the scenes.
With Malloy's lovingly cared-for Corvette, Marshal Larkin has raced to Lerner Airfield.
Wendover Airport in Utah was the stand in for the fictional Lerner Airfield.
In some scenes 'Matte World Digital' created digital aircraft scrap (matte painting) to expand the Wendover set.
The temperatures in the middle of the large salt flats were brutal and unbearable.
Cast and Crew consumed 7000 bottles of water per week, 24 to 30 watermelons and about 200 Popsicles each day.
During the Wendover stay alone, craft services utilized over 35.000 pounds of ice.
A sad accident occurred in Wendover during the filming.
On August 29, 1996, Phillip Swartz, a welder employed by Special Effects Unlimited, a Los Angeles-based firm, 
was crushed to death at Wendover when a static model of the C-123 used in the film fell on him.
John Cusack talks with Director Simon West about the next scene, 1996.
When the C-123 starts again, she tows a tow cable behind her, which inadvertently snags the Corvette and pulls it aloft.
"Isn't that your car, Malloy?"
"Couldn't be. I left mine at the office."
Seconds later the shiny silver Corvette crashes through the Tower.
She booked the cheapest seat, landing sometimes feels a bit gruff there.
The Corvette scenes were accomplished with some digital trickery and a 3-D CG model.
But they also used full-size mock-ups and a real Vette. 
The mock-up Vette was hanging on a huge crane before she did the emergency landing.
The Actors (on the left) are waiting for the mock-up Vette, built by Paul Lombardi and his physical effects crew.
A crane navigates the Vette to the right position, where the mockup can be released on cue.
Parking position! Welcome to Lerner Airfield!
A great pic, we are in the middle of nowhere. - 35mm Kodachrome.
Colm Meaney plays it perfect. 
Unable to believe what he just saw, he stares into the void.
His beloved Corvette, just scrap.
"When this is over, so are you, you little prick!"
Almost every aspect of this truly monstrous production is cool and smart. 
A great roller-coaster ride with an amazing cast.
Pure Popcorn.
And of course you want more: 'Pinball' learns to fly ...the hard way.

The full-size mock-ups built at the Churubusco Studio complex for the rescue of the Spice Harvester Crew - Mexico City.
It is mainly a model miniature scene (distance shots). 
For the close-ups with Jürgen Prochnow and some Extras (Harvester Crew) they built a part of the Ornithopter of Duke Leto Atreides 
(Prochnow) and the massive lower part of a Spice Harvester with 2 huge wheels full-sized.
Here we see the work on the Scene with Duke Leto, who urges the Harvester Crew to hurry, because a sandworm is coming.
The scene is filmed by 2nd Unit Director Jimmy Devis ('The Heroes of Telemark', 'Return to Oz', 'Rob Roy'), 
a 'James Bond' veteran ('Moonraker', 'For your Eyes Only', 'Octopussy').
The retired British Cameraman started as clapper loader and focus puller before becoming a fully fledged cinematographer (DOP).
The entire 'DUNE' Crew is of the very best.
Director David Lynch and especially Producer Raffy De Laurentiis hand-picked the best creative supervision available.
A movie full of interesting tasks and stories.
35mm Kodachrome.
Close-up of Duke Leto Atreides (Jürgen Prochnow) - Ornithopter mock-up, Churubusco backlot.
35mm Kodachrome.
Great Kodachrome slide of the Spice Harvester Rescue scenery.
The curious wooden box on the right is the back of the ornithopter mock-up.
Above the harvester model on the scaffold/platform are numerous people.
These are the guys who let off dust and foam rubble on the fleeing Harvester Crew from tip-tanks.
A perfect Set.
The filming of the scene will be prepared accurately. 
Look at the tip-tanks, they are numbererd.
Number 4, give me some more stones!
Everything is ready to rumble.
Number 1, let the dust go!
The windmachines are running, the tip-tank crew throws all their talent into the scene to simulate the attack of a 
gigantic sandworm.
The poor Harvester guys (mexican Extras) do not have an easy job in the heat of Mexico City.
A convincing scene, shot on the Churubusco backlot.
Several 'Dune' reports are hidden in the depths of the moon-city-garbage blog.
Here is one: Hell of Samalayuca.
The physical effects of 'Dune' are masterminded by Kit West. 
Check out this for more informations: Robots & Needles.