Feb 29

A 'Penguin Modern Classic' indeed

Good Show Sir Comments: A tribute to the Willy’s Chocolate Experience of Glasgow. What do you expect from an event run by the House of Illuminati?

Published 2014

Actually, that cover IS a classical work of art!I would touch it without protective gloves.I've seen worse. Far, far, worse.Interesting, but I would still read it in public.Middlng: Neither awful nor awfully goodWould not like to be seen reading that!Awful... just awful...That belongs in a gold-lame picture frame!Gah... my eyes are burning! Feels so good!Good Show Sir! (Average: 8.00 out of 10)

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28 Responses to “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory”

  1. Cornelius Says:

    “Gottle of geer.”

  2. MaxBathroom Says:

    After Robert DeNiro shot his testicles off and rescued Jodie Foster, Harvey Keitel was forced to change his image before he started looking for a replacement child prostitute…

  3. fred Says:

    If you haven’t seen it, the Willy Wonka Experience in Glasgow.

  4. Bibliomancer Says:

    The House of Illuminati is a dummy corporation run by Penguin Books and the Unknown Artist Institute.

    Wake up sheeple!

  5. Tor Mented Says:

    That looks too much like JonBenet Ramsey for comfort.

  6. Tor Mented Says:

    And it just got creepier. What, precisely, are those three things protruding from between her legs?

  7. Emster Says:

    Possible ‘splanations:
    a) Publisher’s spoiled child wants to be on a book cover, luckily she reminds staff of that one character…
    b) In a financial slump, Penguin throws a costume party for staff and their kids and uses the photo booth photos for as many book covers as possible.

    I always found Dahl’s writings and Blake’s artwork cool/odd in a way a nerdy kid could appreciate.
    Who(m)ever was put in charge of this cover clearly did not read/understand the book.

    @Tor – ew – yep, and every little kid forced by their ridiculous parents into those kiddie “talent” competitions.

  8. Francis Boyle Says:

    Someone was either trying too hard here or not hard enough. Either way, eew.

  9. fred Says:

    Veruca Salt looks like she just realized if she is chosen her nickname may become ‘White Chocolate’.

  10. Bruce A Munro Says:

    Artist instruction, scribbled on a stained scrap of paper: “Try to match or surpass the 2005 movie’s creepyness level, but without giving away anything about the actual contents.”

  11. GSS ex-noob Says:

    I don’t recall the confectionary factory having a dedicated perv-attracting department. Maybe it was Mr. Wonka’s attempt to get all the creepazoids who prey on kids out of the community and into an Oompa Loompa-run prison.

    Kind of like the people in the sad Glasgow scam, which has been all over the news around the world this week. The sad Oompa Loompa girl we’ve all seen on the news is the prison warden and boy, is she in a mood to torture.

    @Tor: At the time, my brother lived near there (in the nearby non-super-rich area), and walked past it back and forth to work every day. He knew just by looking at the outside of the house that she was dead and someone one in the family killed her. All their close neighbors were sure of it too. They were a very creepy family so no one was surprised. The parents didn’t let their kids play over there, ever.

  12. The Real Zarth Arn Says:

    Lolita and the Chocolate Factory.

  13. Hammy Says:

    WTF did they give that child before she posed for that cover? Whatever it was, she’s giving me the creeps.

    Oh, and the lighting! The shadow behind the models is that of the adult woman, so the light is way off to the side and high. Even as a know-nothing ex college-photo-staffer from multiple decades ago, I would move the light more to the left (the center of the picture) and use a softbox or a diffusing reflector to soften the too-crisp outlines of the shadow.

  14. Tor Mented Says:

    @The Real Zarth Arn: I know that name. Is that you, Joe Spinell? 😉

  15. MaxBathroom Says:

    “I would move the light more to the left (the center of the picture) and use a softbox or a diffusing reflector to soften the too-crisp outlines of the shadow.”
    I’d just punch the photographer in the face, myself…

  16. Tat Wood Says:

    @Hammy, Max: if they’d done anything else, the text would have been illegible. Dahl’s estate might have liked that. A font the same colour as the backdrop is a relatively minor problem among all the others here but – astonishingly – this could have been worse.

  17. GSS ex-noob Says:

    What’s with the little girl’s fingers down at the bottom? Why is her hand there? Is she attempting sign language to say “Help, I’m trapped with a model and a creepy photographer!”

    And what a model and an adultified girl have to do with a book that’s mostly about an eccentric grumpy factory owner and a poor boy?!?

    @Hammy: It’s like she’s got an invisible Ludovico machine on her eyes. Maybe a paralytic which only adds to her existential terror. Studio of an alumnus of the Unknown Photographer.

    @Max: Same here. Then I’d call the cops, then have the poor girl clean off all the makeup, put her in a t-shirt and jeans and get her to a child psychologist.

    @ Evil Count Zarth: GSS! Perfection.

    I too know the name (sadly) but remember very little of the story, having only seen a too-copied 80’s VHS of it in the wee small hours of the morning while moderately drunk. Which I think was the proper way.

  18. The Real Zarth Arn Says:

    @Tor Mented: Joe Spinell played a character called Zarth Arn in the cheesy film “Starcrash”, but the movie borrowed the name from Edmond Hamilton’s classic space opera “The Star Kings”.

  19. Bruce A Munro Says:

    @The Real Zarth Ann: also known as “Beyond the Moon”

    Original Amazing stories cover:

  20. Tor Mented Says:

    @Zarth and Bruce: Wow, I didn’t know. And here I thought “Starcrash” was ripping off “Star Wars.” I feel I owe an apology to writer/director Luigi Cozzi. 😉

  21. MaxBathroom Says:

    @Tor Mented
    The late Brian Aldiss tells a lovely story in Trillion Year Spree about being approached as an expert witness by Glen A Larson when he was being sued by George Lucas over Battlestar Galactica being a blatant rip off of Star Wars. Larson’s legal team asked Aldiss what his feelings were on seeing SW for the first time, and were quite pleased when he said “The thrill of recognition.”
    (Though to be honest, I always though Lucas was ripping off Frank Herbert and Jack Kirby, and maybe a bit of EE Smith rather than Edmund Hamilton…)

  22. Tor Mented Says:

    @Max: Very interesting. I never thought that Starcrash was a direct ripoff of Star Wars. Sure, the light swords were ripped off, and there’s a weapon the size of a planet. And Starcrash doubtlessly got made because Star Wars was such a hit. But Starcrash has a very episodic story, just like the many novel-length stories that were serialized in the early pulps. Luigi Cozzi was a lifelong sci-fi fan, not someone who was jumping on the bandwagon. You might notice that a spaceship early in Starcrash is called the Murray Leinster.

  23. MaxBathroom Says:

    It’s a very long time since I’ve seen Starcrash, but what I remember of it, it was very pulpy indeed, which adds to the fun IMO. And you have to love a film that has a giant robot done with really bad stop motion effects and a Galactic Emperor who’s finally driven to stop the flow of time…

    (I think Aldiss’ point was that the original SW was the first time anybody had managed to do a space opera on film and make it look right. It’s full of battered star ships and robots that are overdue an MOT, swordfights, ultimate weapons and aliens, just like the stuff Smith, Williamson and Hamilton used to write back in the twenties and thirties. It doesn’t tick all of the boxes, but it managed a lot more of them than anything else had ever managed back before ’77.)

  24. GSS ex-noob Says:

    @Max: The impact of Star Wars can’t be overstated.

    For instance, between the time of announcing the finalists for the Hugo in 1977, and the presentation of the awards in September, it had so completely overtaken everything before it that there was No Award that year in Best Dramatic Presentation. Meaning all the movies of 1976 had been retroactively de-awesomed. None of them had the overwhelming goshwow that SW did.

    For the record, they were Carrie, Logan’s Run, The Man Who Fell to Earth, and Futureworld. Not a shabby bunch, but nothing that had blown anyone’s mind like SW.

    I suspect Logan’s Run might have won but for that; cool sets and Jenny Agutter and Michael York in their youth. Either that or Carrie for being so Grand Guignol and based on a very popular novel; I met Stephen King at a Worldcon about 5 years later, so he was definitely One Of Us.

    Carrie’s influence certainly was vast, no one cares about LR now, Man Who Fell is a recognized cult classic, but not well-known to the general public, and nobody remembers Futureworld except vaguely, since it wasn’t a patch on Westworld.

    But when the folks who live and breathe this skiffy stuff looked at some pretty darn good movies (and one clunker) and went “eh”, you know SW was a new thing. That it’s still going on nearly 50 years later, well!

  25. The Real Zarth Arn Says:

    @Gss ex-noob @MaxBathroom @Tor Mented I recall reading somewhere that Luigi Cozzi said his main influence for “Starcrash” was “Jason and the Argonauts”. Christopher Plummer plays the Galactic Emperor and David Hasselhoff (!) is his son. You know it’s a strange film when Hasselhoff gives a more committed performance than Christopher Plummer. Plummer admitted he just did it for a free trip to Rome. “Give me Rome any day. I’ll do porno in Rome, as long as I can get to Rome”. The film has a good score by John Barry, though.

    George Lucas admitted one of his influences for “Star Wars” was Kurosawa’s “The Hidden Fortress” about two bickering farmers who come across a general trying to help a deposed princess regain her throne. The running joke is that the farmers don’t have any idea what’s going on until the end.

  26. GSS ex-noob Says:

    @Count Zarth: I saw “Hidden Fortress” in an art theater in the early 80’s. Yep, really obvious where the droids came from in particular. Also, young Toshiro Mifune was HOT.

    The Hoff was trying really hard to move up in the biz, so he was acting as best he could. Plummer was just there for la dolce vita.

  27. MaxBathroom Says:

    Lucas started coming out with that line when he was promoting the second film a couple of years later. Prior to that he was talking about pulps, Buck Rogers and the like. Not saying he’s lying, but I do wonder about that.

    The thing about those films is that apart from Futureworld, SW is the only one that isn’t based on a novel.

  28. A. R. Yngve Says:

    “Tonight on To Catch a Predator… can we spot the criminals by using book covers as lures? Our team planted these in several shops across London.”

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