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Craig Zablo Posts

George A. Romero Presents: Road of the Dead

Posted in Celebs, and Horror

George Romero and zombie movie fans might be happy to hear that a new “…of the Dead” movie is being prepped.

George A. Romero Presents: Road of the Dead will be co-written by Romero and Matt Birman who will also direct.  Birman has served as second unit director on Romero’s last three “… of the Dead” movies.

Sounds good so far, right?

Here’s where it literally goes off the tracks for me.

The story is set on an island where zombie prisoners race cars in a modern-day Coliseum for the entertainment of wealthy humans. Birman describes the project as “Road Warrior” meets “Rollerball” at a Nascar race, with significant inspiration from “Ben-Hur.”

Sounds more like Death Race 2000 meets Dawn of the Dead.  I can’t imagine this being more than a Netflix viewing for me.  Or maybe instead I’ll just rewatch Romero’s classic Night of the Living Dead.  You can never go wrong with NOTLD.

Source: IndieWire.

“Star Trek”: 15 Things You Never Knew About The Vulcans

Posted in Celebs, Trivia, and TV

Scott Baird and ScreenRant present Star Trek: 15 Things You Never Knew About The Vulcans.  Here are three of my favorites…

15. LEONARD NIMOY INVENTED MAJOR PARTS OF VULCAN LORE
The fans of Star Trek were introduced to the Vulcan culture through Mr. Spock, who was played by Leonard Nimoy. Whilst Nimoy was often overly associated with the character (to the point of being typecast), he was also proud of Spock’s cultural impact, which was partly due to his performance and his additions to Vulcan lore.

In the episode “Amok Time”, we first see the Vulcan hand gesture. This was pitched by Nimoy, as he felt that the Vulcan’s needed a special greeting. The hand gesture comes from Judaism, as a Rabbi performs a similar move with their hands during prayer. Nimoy saw this as a child and it stuck with him, which is why he used it in Star Trek.

The other major aspect of the Vulcans that was invented by Nimoy was the Vulcan nerve pinch. Spock was originally supposed to knock out an opponent in “The Enemy Within”, but Nimoy felt that this wasn’t something that he would do. Instead, he came up with a takedown move, where he could use telepathic abilities to knock his opponent out. (It was more of a nerve pinch that telepathic powers. – Craig)

11. VULCANS ARE SUPPOSED TO LOOK LIKE THE DEVIL
There have been fans of Star Trek who have accused the Vulcans of being nothing more than “Space Elves”. The most well-known feature of the Vulcans is their pointed ears, which is shared with the concept of Elves in fantasy fiction (like Lord of the Rings). This isn’t the case, however, as the pointed ears of the Vulcans were created due to budgetary reasons. Creating prosthetic ears was a cheap way of establishing that one of the cast members was an alien, without getting in the way of the actor’s performance.

According to Gene Roddenberry, he intended for the design of Spock to be similar to that of the Devil. The ears and curved eyebrows were intended to evoke the image of Lucifer, which was going to be “provocative” to women. This might seem like a silly idea, but Spock’s design did cause concern at NBC, as they felt it was too devilish. It got to the point where they airbrushed Spock’s ears in the promotional material for the show, in order to remove the points.

13. THE VULCAN TV SHOW
Star Trek: The Original Series ended with its third season. The show had performed poorly during its initial airing (or at least not well enough to justify its budget) and it was axed. It wasn’t until the show hit syndication that Star Trek: The Original Series became massively popular. Despite this, it took over a decade for the franchise to return, in the form of the movie series. There had been many attempts to revive the series before this, as both the fans and the people involved with the production were eager to see Star Trek return to television.

One of the many attempts to revive Star Trek involved a TV show that was set on Vulcan. After The Original Series was cancelled, Paramount approached Gene Roddenberry with the idea of a show that was centered on Spock. The show would depict Spock’s life after leaving the Enterprise, as he returns to Vulcan to live among his own people. Gene Roddenberry refused to helm the project and it was shelved.

Ken Meyer Jr.’s Ink Stains 79: Zeck, Williamson & More!

Posted in Art, Comics, and Movies

If you’re a fan of fanzines, then you’ve got to check out Ken Meyer, Jr.’s monthly column Ink Stains.  Each month Ken (who is an amazing artist) posts… well, let’s let Ken explain…

I have a collection of over 200 fanzines from the 60’s-80’s that I plan to scan and talk about, one at a time. I hope to have some of the participants answer a few questions. Many of those participants are established comics professionals now, while some have gone on to other things. I will show a few snippets from each zine and give you a link to download a pdf of the whole thing, which I hope all of you will do!

For Ink Stains 79, Ken took a look at RBCC #134 (Part 1 and Part 2from March 1977 from Publisher and Editor: James Van Hise.

RBCC #134 features:

  • Flash Gordon cover by Stephen Fabian
  • Mike Zeck Flash Gordon contents page illo
  • Al Williamson Flash Gordon illo
  • Beautiful 4 Page Flash Gordon story written and illustrated by Mike Zeck
  • Art and article about Alex Raymond
  • Mike Zeck Flash Gordon full-pager
  • Buster Crabbe Interview
  • Zeck Full Page Illo
  • Ron Wilbur Flash Gordon parody comic story
  • Marc Hempel Spider-Man pinup
  • Articles, a letters page and more.

 

RBCC was a main stay of fanzine readers.  Mike Zeck appearances were fairly regular and always welcome.  Zeck’s Flash Gordon story in this issue is an all-time favorite — and I’m not much of a Flash Gordon fan.  Great memories!

Thanks to Ken Meyer, Jr. for making these available!

The Best TV Shows Ever

Posted in Trivia, and TV

Daniella Lucas and GamesRadar present The Best TV Shows Ever.  Using just their choices here are three of my favorites…

2. Breaking Bad
It’s funny thinking of Breaking Bad as an all-conquering franchise. For most of its run, it was barely watched at all. And then, somewhere around season four, the mainstream started to take notice. The story of Walter White – a genial high school chemistry teacher who starts cooking crystal meth following a terminal cancer diagnosis – is a bleak but hilarious crime epic. Walt epitomises Bad’s genius. As each season progresses you find yourself thinking, “Right, I’m done with this guy…” but Bryan Cranston’s remarkable performance means that even at his most despicable – and he gets pretty low – you can always see his lethally pragmatic point of view.

15. The Shield
The first episode of The Shield ends with anti-gang cop Vic Mackey shooting a colleague in the face, and his crimes just get worse from there. A twisted tale of police corruption in LA, it bagged awards by the score and was a clear influence on Breaking Bad. It’s also that rarest of things – a TV show that actually gets better with each season.

12. The Walking Dead
“The zombie story that never ends!” That was creator Robert Kirkman’s initial idea for his absurdly popular comic. It carried over into the TV adaptation which just wrapped up its sixth season, with a spin-off well into its second season. Beyond the scares and the gore and the zombies, it takes a long, hard look at humanity. What does living in a hostile world for so long do to civilised people, it asks. The results are rarely pretty.

Shows not making the list that might have changed my choices include: Justified; The Wild, Wild West and The Honeymooners.  What else?