A few weeks ago the newest issue of Cinema Retro arrived in my mailbox and I finally had the opportunity to read it last night. The magazine features a lengthy in-depth look at the 1971 film Vanishing Point as well as an interview with the movie’s director Richard C. Sarafian. Car films from the ’70s like Two-Lane Blacktop and Vanishing Point seem to be getting a lot of attention lately and I suspect that it’s primarily due to interest in Quentin Tarantino’s 2007 grindhouse effort Death Proof. I haven’t seen Death Proof myself, but after looking at the previews and reading a few reviews of the film, it seems that Tarantino’s movie references these films a lot. If you’re a fans of ’70s car films or just curious about one of the movies that influenced Tarantino’s Death Proof, you won’t want to miss the latest issue of Cinema Retro.
The new issue also contains interesting articles on the James Bond spy spoof Operation Kid Brother that starred Neil Connery (Sean Connery’s younger brother), a detailed overview of the films of British comedic actor Frankie Howard, ongoing interviews with director Joe Dante and Man From U.N.C.L.E. stars David McCallum and Robert Vaughn, as well as information about the recent Goldfinger reunion that reunited many of the film’s crew and stars; plus a brief look at actor Roger Moore’s associations with Britain’s Pinewood Studios.
My favorite piece in the new issue of Cinema Retro is John Exhsaw’s fascinating look at Don Sharp’s 1975 thriller Hennessy. I’m a fan of many of Don Sharp’s early horror films such as The Kiss of the Vampire (1963), Curse of the Fly (1965), Rasputin: The Mad Monk (1966) and Psychomania (1973) but I hadn’t heard of Hennessy before. According to the article the film stars the great Rod Stieger as an Irishman named Niall Hennessy with connections to the IRA. After Hennessy’s family is killed in a violent skirmish between Belfast citizens and British troops, he begins to plot his revenge and makes plans to blow-up Parliament and kill the Queen of England. The movie also features Richard Johnson (love him!), Lee Remick, Trevor Howard and Patrick Stewart in his first film role. When the movie was released in Britian in 1975 it caused quite a controversy. And when the film finally debuted in America critics apparently didn’t care for it and Hennessy quickly disappeared from theaters. Currently Hennessy only seems available on video but hopefully John Exhsaw’s informative article about the film will encourage people like myself to seek it out. Hennessy seems extremely topical and I suspect that if the movie was released on DVD today it would find a large audience.
The latest issue of Cinema Retro can be purchased directly from the magazine’s official site.