More about ZAAT: Ron Kivett on Ed Tucker

The April 2001 issue of Scary Monsters magazine and the ZAAT 2-disc combo DVD set

The April 2001 issue of Scary Monsters magazine and the ZAAT 2-disc combo DVD set

Ed Tucker is an aficionado of classic and vintage science fiction & horror films and memorabilia. He wrote the liner notes for the ZAAT 2-disc combo DVD. The official ZAAT website features an excerpt from an interview with Ed Tucker that first appeared in the April 2001 issue of Scary Monsters Magazine. Tucker begins:

I suppose being born in Ocala, Florida in the 1960’s in some way predestined me to my love and appreciation of motion pictures. The small town of Silver Springs is located so close to Ocala that, today, it is almost considered a suburb of it, but in the 1950’s and 60’s, it was a booming conglomeration of widely varied tourist attractions. Chief among these was Silver Springs itself, with its glass bottom boats, jungle cruises, and wildlife exhibitions. Hollywood often utilized the spring’s clear waters and jungle-like settings for every manner of production. From installments in the Tarzan film series to episodes of Sea Hunt and I Spy. But in my mind it will always be remembered for the underwater footage filmed for the 1957 3-D horror icon, Creature from the Black Lagoon.

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Back In the USSR

Above: Poster and scenes from the movie Cosmic Voyage (1936, Mosfilm); lower right: Russian Cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin, the first man in outer space

From the Austin Film Society, a fascinating article about the 1936 Russian film, Cosmic Voyage:

Despite its impressive accuracy in several aspects of space travel, the Soviet sci-fi film COSMIC VOYAGE (1936) was scarcely known to exist until recently. Fritz Lang’s German sci-fi film WOMAN IN THE MOON (1929) received much wider distribution and exhibition and is still a delight to watch, even if it is less technically accurate than COSMIC VOYAGE . . . In 1932 Komsomol, the Communist youth organization in Stalin’s Soviet Union, insisted that filmmakers create works that would appeal to young people . . . Constantin Tsiolkovski (78 years old at that time) , a professor, scientist, and author . . . offered his services as a consultant. While understanding that the cinematic form and dramatic content would necessitate some bending of scientific probability, Tsiolkovski did insist that six elements must appear in the film:

1. The rocket would be launched from a ramp rather than vertically because of its huge size
2. Individual voyager’s cabins would fill with water during take off to ease the effects of extreme pressure on the human body
3. Stars in space would not flicker once earth’s atmosphere was left behind
4. Voyagers would experience weightlessness during the coasting phase of the flight
5. The voyagers would be able to jump about the moon surface “like sparrows” on earth
6. Return of the space cabin to earth would be accomplished by parachute once the earth’s atmosphere had been entered

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It’s All Good

Writing for The Internet Review of Science Fiction, Steven Utley says, “An ideal mix for me is one brow-furrowing title, e.g., William JamesVarieties of Religious Experience or whatever volume of Proust’s gigantic work I’m up to, an issue of Famous Fantastic Mysteries or Argosy or the like, and some comics. (My tastes even out; I’m approximately middle-brow.)

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