Spacehunter: Adventures in the Forbidden Zone is an 80's film about a bounty hunter called Wolff, who goes on a mission to rescue three beautiful women who have made an emergency landing on a planet plagued with disease and ruled over by the evil dictator; Overdog. Along the way he meets Niki, the only Earthling left from a medical expedition and combining their talents, the two try to rescue the women.
Here are those three beautiful women in their very odd spacesuits.
This all looks a bit Barbarella, where as most of it is actually Mad Max via Star Wars. It's pure pulp done to a T but there is so much to enjoy about this film that it became something of a reoccurring favourite from the video rental store back in the day.
I was never happy with calling this a G-Suit, even if that's what the man who helped source it for the Cybermen costumes was calling it when I quoted him in The Doctor Who - Earthshock post because, quite frankly, it doesn't look like its up to the job.
A G-Suit, or the more accurately named anti-g suit, is a flight suit worn by aviators and astronauts who are subject to high levels of acceleration force (g). They are designed to prevent a black-out and g-LOC (g-induced loss of consciousness) caused by the blood pooling in the lower part of the body when under acceleration, thus depriving the brain of blood
Where as, with their thin material and their network of tubes, these suits actually looked more like they might be used solely for the purpose of cooling the wearer. I spent a bit of time searching for clues but failed to make inroads. So I did what I always do when I need help with a post, I ask for it. And that's where a blogger from Newtonphotographic.com stepped in to say those magic words;
They're actually 50s vintage Royal Air Force Air Ventilated Suits - as seen here about 2/3rd of the way down the page
and although it has long since sold, they too describe it thus...
a vintage 1950's RAF issue air ventilation suit. It is made of parachute material and has all kinds of hoses attached to it. It would make a great Halloween costume for somebody. These were made to be skin tight so this would probably be most suitable for someone around 5'7" or so who is quite slim. Then it would not be so tight. It is not in perfect condition since these is a rip along the edge of the slit at the back
And provided further images
including one of the label which tells you so much more about them including the manufacturers.
Once you have that, you begin to discover all sorts of interesting facts such as the history of the company;
and from the comments section of that website, these little snippets;
The air ventilated suits were worn inside pressure suits used by air crew flying at high altitude.
Often nicknamed the ‘Fairy’ suit, the air-ventilated suit was produced to give relief from discomfort of high cockpit temperatures by moving cool air to the wearer’s skin via some 144 PVC tubes, with one larger ‘inlet’ tube.
Now you just know the ethereal Kate Bush would have been delighted to know the ventilation suits by that particular name.
Not sure what else there is to say really except that I would bet my last Rolo that everyone of these...
is either the very same ventilation suit or at least a version from the same manufacturer.
I know that they're Cybermen not a spacemen but on this occasion there's a link. Bear with..
Now I've spent far longer than I thought I would have to researching what these suits are and it keeps coming back to them being known as G-Suits. I was looking for something more specific than that as 'G-suits' is a bit of general term covering a number of different types and styles. Rather than delay publishing any longer we'll adopt the general term for now and I promise to come back and revise the post if anyone offers me names, codes, dates etc. For now I'll share this with you from the doctorwhoconcordance.wikia.com
"The new Cybermen costumes for this story were created by Richard Gregory of Imagineering, in collaboration with costume designer Dinah Collin. Nine Cyberman costumes were made in total - eight full costumes plus the Cyberman seen fused to the door in Part Three. Previous Cyberman costumes had been designed around rubber diving suits, but Richard Gregory suggested basing the new design around G-suits. G-suits were designed for aircraft fighter pilots to help ease the rigours of flying at high speeds and encountering G-force. The suits had a network of connected pipes and tubes that could be supplied with pumped water to keep a pilot's body temperature steady and to press the skin inwards to retain the body's shape during periods of low gravity. More importantly, Gregory knew that his local army surplus store in Oxford sold G-suits. Another factor in the use of G-suits was that they looked slightly sophisticated and futuristic to begin with due to the in-built network of pipes and tubes and only needed spraying silver to complete the look."
I'm led to believe these suits are near impossible to get now and certainly not from the high-street. It's possible that the materials have perished over time or simply that hundreds of Doctor Who fans all wanted to make their own costumes.
We already had a quick sneaky-peaky at an image from The Dreaming video the other weekend but here are some more snaps of the divine Kate Bush and more importantly, for the purposes of this blog, that suit.
Is it a spacesuit? Well in this particular case that would depend on understanding the meaning of the video and the song and we probably shouldn't try to pin either down too specifically because the real answers probably lies somewhere between the artist's intent and our own interpretation. Suffice to say that the suit has at times been a space suit, or a spacesuit's undergarments, or a cybernetic skin, or served other equally none specific but suggestive roles. Follow the G-Suit link for what those are but until then ponder upon this.....
I'm not sure if we've looked at this particular film too many times before or if I've ever really expressed how good I think it is.
What I know for sure is that I've never really discussed what James Olson and Ori Levy wear beneath their spacesuits.
One of the earliest appearances of a G-Suit being used to look all futuristic and space-age. Nice to see all the colours of the different tubes adding to the techy'ness of it all. It's all just a little bit see-through as well, so I can understand why future users of this suit like to get them painted up. That said, and while neither Olson or Levy do it for me, it now strikes me that the makers of MZ2 missed a trick by not getting Catherine Schell to be seen wearing one of these.
Just a very brief image from what must be one of the finest 80's music videos by one of the most consistently inventive artists. I could write lots about this video and I may well do so at sometime and in some other place but for now think not of silver clowns, black skies and JCB's and consider what Major Tom is wearing.
We've been here a few times before but not necessarily to inspect the content of the spaceship Nostromo's lockers and cupboards. Ignore the bird in her undies gripping the big chopper and take a look at those emergency spacesuits.
That's the one on the right. Looks familiar doesn't it and on this occasion its actually being a proper spacesuit
This was originally the pilot episode of a TV show that never made it into full production but was later resurrected as a TV movie
Set in the future where the countries of Earth have established colonies to mine the Moon's resources. When a new life form is discovered, chaos erupts as various factions race to uncover and exploit its powerful secrets.
It's got some fairly harsh reviews however I think I might find the time to give it a watch as it's based on John Christopher’s 1969 young adults novel The Lotus Caves and I'm something of a fan of the author's work.
Anyone out there who has seen this and wishes to stop me wasting my time, speak up now.
However good it may not be, I do like the look of these orange suits and their force field / special effect visors. As well as a nod towards the 70's, there's something a bit Tintin about them
Waxwork II: Lost in Time is the 1992 horror/comedy film directed and written by Anthony Hickox and is a sequel to the 1988 film, Waxwork. I remember the first one quite fondly but had no idea it had spawned a sequel. The trailer, viewable online in the usual places, makes it look like fairly predictable nonsense and as such I'm going to make no effort to catch up with it. Therefore if anybody would like to offer a pocket review or even a passing opinion please do so in the comments below and I would be very grateful.
Galaxy Boy Troop is a Japanese children's TV series that combined marionettes with traditional animation.
It ran for two seasons from April 7, 1963 to April 1, 1965, for a total of 92 episodes. The series also aired in France as "Le Commando De La Voie Lactee" although I'm fairly certain we never had it over here.
In the first season, the eponymous Galaxy Boy Troop, headed by a boy named Rob, travels across the galaxy to find a material that can restart Earth's dying Sun. And in the second season, the Troop fights off an alien invasion of Earth.
As ever thanks to Tim for the heads up on this wonderfully obscure find.
Kate Bush is a creature of such rare beauty and talent that were I to have dedicated this entire blog to her instead of spacesuits, even after all these years, we would still not have done justice to her artistry and originality...
This is an image of Kate from her 1982 video for The Dreaming, the title track from her 4th studio album. I present it here as something of a teaser for what's to come. Yes that may well mean more pictures of Kate Bush. But it will also include David Bowie, Moon Zero Two, Alien and even a Cyberman or two. Who would have thunk it?