These Mysterious, Privately-Produced Diana Rigg Short Films Are Crazy

Dame Diana Rigg is a great actress who has been thrilling audiences for a long time, from her beginnings on the stage through her run on the silly but fun AVENGERS TV series and on through her many excellent performances and now on GAME OF THRONES. In THE AVENGERS she played no-nonsense genius secret agent Emma Peel who was also an unstoppable judo-flipping machine when the chips were down. It made a pretty strong impression at the time and after she hung up the elastic jumpsuit for the last time a lot of people were sad about it.

That may account for these mysterious films, which appear to have been shot on small gauge film by an amateur or semi-pro unit. The two movies, MINIKILLERS, and the stylistically similar THE DIADEM, were sold on 8mm film. These are mysterious items indeed. They show Rigg going about some very Emma Peel-style maneuvers in beautiful locales. and in a variety of outfits.

There has been some speculation that these films were shot for Emma Peel fetishists (and according to Psychotronic's Michael Weldon, Avengers episodes were sold in bondage boutiques on Times Square), that may explain it, but these are pretty tame films and I would expect more overt content if that were the case. Maybe the most surprising part is that a noted, big-deal star did these cheap 8mm films. Whatever the explanation, they are a lot of fun. They are a bit like moving fashion-shoots, with plot logic that borders on the abstract. And of course they star the beautiful Miss Rigg, which is good enough to make them watchable despite their quality.

Here's a short version of DIADEM. It is cut but in color and not-awful quality, which is good:

Here it is, longer but in black and white:

Here's the other one, MINIKILLERS, in the worst quality of anything ever on earth:

h/t to Paul Gallagher of the excellent Dangerous Minds site, who also did an article about this, go figure.