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What is known about The Mini-Killers/Diadem?
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Borgus Weems
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Joined: 03 Jan 2009
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 03, 2009 6:57 pm    Post subject: What is known about The Mini-Killers/Diadem? Reply with quote

Is this info on Dead Duck about as much as is known about these two films? I can't help but think that there is more to their production - why would a known actress make two super-8 films? If they were being made for something else, like a feature, then what happened during the filming?

Also - considering the vintage and low budget - could Jess Franco, the prolific Spanish filmmaker, have been involved?
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Timeless A-Peel
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 03, 2009 8:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

This old post from the old forum might answer your questions:

Hi everyone!

I´m new to this forum and I thought maybe the best way to introduce myself was to share
this piece of information with you:

Last Saturday, a German TV station (RTL) broadcast a show where they presented the 25 most
popular TV cult shows of all time in Germany. The Avengers featured as well (15th) but the
best part was that they also showed a clip of "Das Diadem".

And they had invited the man who was knocked out by Diana Rigg in the scene they showed.
He is a pensioner today and could reveal something about how "Das Diadem" and the other 2
short films came into existence. Here´s a summary of what was said:


- no one involved in the production was a professional,
all were amateurs who especially founded a film company for this project.

- the idea behind these films was that during the late 60s it was still common that people
remained sitting in their cars at the filling station, waiting for their fuel, having
their oil or tyre pressure checked etc. So the idea was to "entertain" them by showing
short (4-5min) films- which explains why there is no dialogue.

- however, they knew that to make this project successful (and in the end commercially
viable), they would first of all need a "big name", someone famous and popular to
promote it.

- while on the way home from London one of them accidentally met an old friend from school
on the train, who was working there as a journalist and could give him an address through
which they could contact Diana Rigg´s management.

- negotiations went back and forth and in the end she finally said yes and came over to
Germany and then to Spain. Shooting took 4-5 days and Diana Rigg received about
10,000 DM (whether for all or one of these films remained unclear)

- the film company did, however, not survive this courageous project Wink

- finally, the man was presented with a Video and DVD version of the films since he did
not own any of them himself!

- and when asked by the hostess (a huge fan of the show): "In the end I simply must ask
you how Diana Rigg was like. Was she cool?" , he replied: "Oh yes she was..."
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DiVicenzo
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 04, 2009 2:37 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for that - I do remember reading it on the old Forum.
I have just posted the message to MoR and Suburbia as I think that members there would be very interested.
Thanks again Timeless for keeping and posting it Very Happy
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Borgus Weems
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 04, 2009 5:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Excellent information! It makes sense that a project as unusual as this would have an unusual pedigree!
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Timeless A-Peel
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 04, 2009 9:04 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

DiVicenzo wrote:
Thanks for that - I do remember reading it on the old Forum.
I have just posted the message to MoR and Suburbia as I think that members there would be very interested.
Thanks again Timeless for keeping and posting it Very Happy


You're quite welcome. I hope the other communities get something out of it as well. Good to know that my habit of saving everything is actually useful! (I'm turning into my English grandma Wink ).
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Dandy Forsdyke
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 04, 2009 11:14 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Timeless A-Peel wrote:
English grandma


... that explains SO much! Wink
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DiVicenzo
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 04, 2009 11:17 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Timeless A-Peel wrote:
DiVicenzo wrote:
Thanks for that - I do remember reading it on the old Forum.
I have just posted the message to MoR and Suburbia as I think that members there would be very interested.
Thanks again Timeless for keeping and posting it Very Happy


You're quite welcome. I hope the other communities get something out of it as well. Good to know that my habit of saving everything is actually useful! (I'm turning into my English grandma Wink ).


Yes, they are all saying 'thanks' - so, thanks again Very Happy
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Timeless A-Peel
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 04, 2009 1:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Dandy Forsdyke wrote:
Timeless A-Peel wrote:
English grandma


... that explains SO much! Wink


I got all the genes. Wink I swear I'm genetically predisposed to love the Avengers, Roxy Music, and Hugh Laurie (I'm also Scots, so that makes me half British overall). Later in life I will probably be slightly dotty and collect newspaper clippings while prattling to the grandkids about Philip Glenister. Poor little guys. Laughing
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Borgus Weems
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 28, 2009 5:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

A thread started at Classic Horror Film Board has some cool info by poster Doctor Kiss:
Quote:
MINI-KILLERS was directed by Wolfgang von Chmielewski, who was a director on the permanent staff of German TV station WDR, based in Düsseldorf. While the majority of his output comprised news reports and news programs, he seems to have been given a 'free hand' at times... the latter due in no small part to the fact that his father, Christian von Chmielewski, had been overall director of the WDR station for many years. One of Wolfgang's junkets during these years was a trip to New York to shoot a 16mm black-and-white short financed by the station, "Pop Art USA" (1966)... artist Willoughby Sharp gives an interesting overview of his experiences during the rather haphazard production of the film at this link. (He also notes that Wolfgang later settled in Hollywood, taking extra work on productions including THE POSEIDON ADVENTURE [1972]?!!?)... While that doesn't explain on any level how MINI-KILLERS came about, it certainly presents von Chmielewski as a highly eccentric and unpredictable filmmaker at that point in time.

The other two recognizable 'names' in the cast-list, José Nieto and Jack Rocha, certainly have connections to the worlds of Spanish horror and exploitation movies; Nieto had just appeared in the Paul Naschy flick LA MARCA DEL HOMBRE LOBO (1968) when this was made, while Rocha would pop up in tiny rôles in Jess Franco's COUNT DRACULA (1970), THE DEVIL CAME FROM AKASAVA (1971), THE CORPSE PACKS HIS BAGS, and THE VENGEANCE OF DR. MABUSE (both 1972). With Franco's continued referencing of dolls in his movies over the years, it's easy to see why one might consider the possibility of his having been connected with this production in some way.

As for Diana Rigg 'traveling to Spain' to make MINI-KILLERS, it's possible she was there already. Indeed, one can't even help but wonder whether she had a hand in its production, as some kind of promo or screen-test, trying to attract financing for her own intended Spanish production at this time. From a December 1969 article by Harvey Pack:

Quote:
[Diana] purchased a small house on one of those still untouched by tourists islands off the coast of Spain, where she goes when she wants to be alone with her thoughts. 'It's actually impossible for my agent to reach me there,' she explained. 'I have no phone and although there is a telegraph office nobody volunteers to deliver messages. But the tourists are starting to creep in.' (...) This summer [i.e. 1970], (...) she intends to make a film but on her island, using her own property as the principal setting and with a company of her own so it will be fun. She has the script and hopes to have the financing before the first summer tourist reaches Spain.


(Harvey PACK, 'Desirable Diana Riggs [sic]: James Bond chooses wisely when he weds in new film,' Ogden Standard-Examiner (Utah), 24th December 1969, p.16)
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DiVicenzo
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 29, 2009 12:04 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for that Borgus!
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Borgus Weems
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 05, 2010 5:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

After seeing these bits from Minikillers and Diadem on Youtube:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JaRjdlVmZKY

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K7u-PsVml-M

It sure looks to me like Diana was doing all her own stunts!
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Dandy Forsdyke
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 05, 2010 7:09 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

She was, but the stunts weren't particularly Rigg-orous! Wink
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Borgus Weems
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 05, 2010 7:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Dandy Forsdyke wrote:
She was, but the stunts weren't particularly Rigg-orous! Wink


Maybe she wasn't up to the PUN-ishment! Shocked Laughing
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VA_Avenger
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 05, 2010 8:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Borgus Weems wrote:
Dandy Forsdyke wrote:
She was, but the stunts weren't particularly Rigg-orous! Wink


Maybe she wasn't up to the PUN-ishment! Shocked Laughing


I suspect she did her own stunts on porpoise . . .
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Jasper Groat
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 05, 2010 9:53 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Somebody sent me some information today about a soundtrack single. If I get the time I'll add it here.
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Borgus Weems
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 05, 2010 11:10 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Jasper Groat wrote:
Somebody sent me some information today about a soundtrack single. If I get the time I'll add it here.


Interesting! The obscurity that keeps giving obscurity!

D!
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Alan
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 07, 2010 4:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The Minikillers theme was released on a single and is now included on the Popshopping Vol 1 CD collection...
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mousemeat
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 08, 2010 2:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Timeless A-Peel wrote:
This old post from the old forum might answer your questions:

Hi everyone!

I´m new to this forum and I thought maybe the best way to introduce myself was to share
this piece of information with you:

Last Saturday, a German TV station (RTL) broadcast a show where they presented the 25 most
popular TV cult shows of all time in Germany. The Avengers featured as well (15th) but the
best part was that they also showed a clip of "Das Diadem".

And they had invited the man who was knocked out by Diana Rigg in the scene they showed.
He is a pensioner today and could reveal something about how "Das Diadem" and the other 2
short films came into existence. Here´s a summary of what was said:


- no one involved in the production was a professional,
all were amateurs who especially founded a film company for this project.

- the idea behind these films was that during the late 60s it was still common that people
remained sitting in their cars at the filling station, waiting for their fuel, having
their oil or tyre pressure checked etc. So the idea was to "entertain" them by showing
short (4-5min) films- which explains why there is no dialogue.

- however, they knew that to make this project successful (and in the end commercially
viable), they would first of all need a "big name", someone famous and popular to
promote it.

- while on the way home from London one of them accidentally met an old friend from school
on the train, who was working there as a journalist and could give him an address through
which they could contact Diana Rigg´s management.

- negotiations went back and forth and in the end she finally said yes and came over to
Germany and then to Spain. Shooting took 4-5 days and Diana Rigg received about
10,000 DM (whether for all or one of these films remained unclear)

- the film company did, however, not survive this courageous project Wink

- finally, the man was presented with a Video and DVD version of the films since he did
not own any of them himself!

- and when asked by the hostess (a huge fan of the show): "In the end I simply must ask
you how Diana Rigg was like. Was she cool?" , he replied: "Oh yes she was..."


he has great taste, eh ???

interesting story, about it...
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Dandy Forsdyke
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 20, 2010 9:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

These types of films seemed to be popular at the time. Perhaps there's a whole new genre waiting to be explored? Just not by me ...

Here's a version of 'Batman' someone posted on the Britmovie forum.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9IbhcrgqWbs

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4merBA520QA
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 24, 2010 9:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Timeless A-Peel wrote:
Dandy Forsdyke wrote:
Timeless A-Peel wrote:
English grandma


... that explains SO much! Wink


I got all the genes. Wink I swear I'm genetically predisposed to love the Avengers, Roxy Music, and Hugh Laurie (I'm also Scots, so that makes me half British overall). Later in life I will probably be slightly dotty and collect newspaper clippings while prattling to the grandkids about Philip Glenister. Poor little guys. Laughing


I bet olde Hugh wishes those 'Stuart' films he did ,would drop off the planet..

two films about a yuppie family who had a mouse as a 'son'..(LOL)

no wonder he ended up being a drug addict on House ! (LOL)
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