The 15 Best Anti-Heroes in Comics

Kevin Childs and CBR.com took a look at The 15 Best Anti-Heroes in Comics and came up with a pretty good list.

Using just their list I’d say my top three were:

  1. Marv from Sin City
  2. The Punisher from Marvel
  3. Wolverine from Marvel

If I was making the list I’d add: Digger McCrae from Mills and Burchett, Black Cross from Chris Warner and Scout from Tim Truman.

Mr. Majestyk (1974) / Z-View

Mr. Majestyk (1974)

Director: Richard Fleischer

Screenplay: Elmore Leonard

Stars: Charles Bronson, Linda Cristal and Al Lettieri.

The Pitch: “Hey, Charles Bronson wants to be Mr. Majestyk!”

Tagline: He didn’t want to be hero… until the day they pushed him too far.

The Overview:  Beware of Spoilers…

Vince Majestyk [Bronson] just wants to get his watermelon crop harvested.  When a run-in with a local hood lands him jail, Majestyk stops a hitman’s escape.  Now the hitman and the mob are out to kill Majestyk.

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Paul Gulacy’s Cover for Americomics #4

This is Paul Gulacy’s cover for Americomics #4.  

I actually played a small role in this piece coming about.  At the time I was buying and selling original comic art.  Through my best buddy, John Beatty, I had met many comic artists.  Paul Gulacy was one.  Bill Black, the publisher of Americomics was another.  I put Bill in touch with Paul and the rest as they say is history.

Ah, the glory days…

Source: The Bristol Board.

Mission: Impossible: Rogue Nation (2015) / Z-View

Mission: Impossible: Rogue Nation (2015)

Director: Christopher McQuarrie

Screenplay: Christopher McQuarrie

Stars: Tom Cruise, Rebecca Ferguson, Jeremy Renner,  Simon Pegg,  Ving Rhames and Alec Baldwin.

The Pitch: “Hey, it’s time for another Mission Impossible!”

Tagline: Desperate Times. Desperate Measures.

The Overview:  Beware of Spoilers…

When a senate committee moves to disband the IMF, Ethan Hunt [Cruise] and his team go rogue in an effort to bring down a secret organization known as The Syndicate.

Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation has the right mix of action and humor.  Special props to Tom Cruise for the plane stunt.

 

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Dirty Grandpa (2016) / Z-View

Dirty Grandpa (2016)

Director: Dan Mazer

Screenplay:  John Phillips

Stars: Robert De Niro, Zac Efron, Zoey Deutch and Dermot Mulroney.

The Pitch: “Hey, Robert DeNiro wants to play the Dirty Grandpa!”

Tagline: This is Jason. He’s a little worried about his grandpa.

The Overview:  Beware of Spoilers…

A young, soon-to-be-married preppy agrees to drive his recently widowed grandfather to Florida.  Lowbrow vulgar humor that’s not very funny ensues.

 

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15 Hardboiled Facts About “Cool Hand Luke”

Roger Cormier and Mental_Floss present 15 Hardboiled Facts About Cool Hand Luke.  Here are three of my favorites…

1. IT WAS WRITTEN BY AN EX-CON.

While in the Merchant Marine, Donn Pearce was caught counterfeiting money and thrown in a French prison. He escaped, returned to the U.S., and became a safe-cracker. A waitress ratted him out and he spent two years on a prison road gang where he heard about a Luke Jackson—someone who was an excellent poker player, a banjo expert, and who had once eaten 50 boiled eggs for a bet. He wrote about him in his book Cool Hand Luke, which was published in 1965. Pearce sold the movie rights to Warner Bros. for $80,000, and got an additional $15,000 to write the screenplay.

But it was his first time trying to write a screenplay, and Frank Pierson was later hired to rework the draft. Pearce appeared in the movie as the convict Sailor and was the production’s technical adviser. He punched someone out on the final day on set and was not invited to the film premiere.

2. JACK LEMMON OR TELLY SAVALAS COULD HAVE PLAYED LUKE.

Jack Lemmon’s production company, Jalem Productions, produced the movie, so Lemmon had first dibs on playing the lead, but he recognized that he wasn’t right for the part. Telly Savalas was then cast as Luke, but he was in Europe filming The Dirty Dozen, and since he refused to fly, the production had to look elsewhere for the starring role to get started on time.

7. BETTE DAVIS WAS THE ORIGINAL CHOICE TO PLAY LUKE’S MOTHER.

Bette Davis turned down the chance to play Luke’s mother, Arletta, which was a one-scene role. It went to Jo Van Fleet (East of Eden) instead, even though she was only 11 years older than Newman. For her single day of shooting, Van Fleet sat on a tree stump, 200 yards from everyone else, looking over her lines. Harry Dean Stanton recalled that Van Fleet asked him to sing to her before her take, and it made her cry.

The Leopard Man (1943) / Z-View

The Leopard Man (1943)

Director: Jacques Tourneur

Screenplay: Ardel Wray and additional dialogue by Edward Dein based on the novel by Cornell Woolrich

Stars: Dennis O’Keefe, Margo and  Jean Brooks

The Pitch: “Hey, let’s get Jacques Tourneur to direct The Leopard Man!”

Tagline: A shriek in the night–another victim torn to pieces by claw and fang! Is it man-like beast or beast-like man that picks only beauty as prey–and why?.

The Overview:  Beware of Spoilers…

When a sideshow leopard escapes women begin turning up bitten and clawed to death… but evidence starts to suggest it might not be the leopard.

 

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Black Sabbath (1963) / Z-View

Black Sabbath (1963)

Director: Mario Bava

Screenplay: Mario Bava and Alberto Bevilacqua

Stars: Michèle Mercier, Lidia Alfonsi and Boris Karloff

The Pitch: “Hey, let’s have Mario Bava direct Boris Karloff!”

Tagline: This is the night of the nightmare…

The Overview:  Beware of Spoilers…

Boris Karloff introduces a trio of horror tales and stars in one.  In the first, a woman preparing a corpse for burial steals the dead woman’s ring… and comes to regret it.  In the second a young woman receives terrorizing phone calls from a man watching her.  In the third Boris Karloff plays an old man returning home from battle with vampire… but did he win?

 

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15 Intense Facts About “Cape Fear”

Roger Cormier and Mental_Floss present 15 Intense Facts About Cape Fear.  Here are three of my favorites…

1. STEVEN SPIELBERG TRADED THE MOVIE TO MARTIN SCORSESE FOR THE RIGHTS TO SCHINDLER’S LIST.

Martin Scorsese was apprehensive about making Schindler’s List after the controversy surrounding his previous two films, Goodfellas and The Last Temptation of Christ. Steven Spielberg, on the other hand, said he “wasn’t in the mood” to make a movie about a “maniac.” So, once Scorsese promised Spielberg that the Bowdens would survive in the end, they traded. Spielberg had Bill Murray in mind to play Max Cady. Scorsese had other ideas.

4. IT COULD HAVE STARRED HARRISON FORD AND ROBERT DE NIRO.

Scorsese asked De Niro to ask Harrison Ford to play Sam. Ford told De Niro he would only be interested in working on the film if he played Cady and De Niro played Sam. De Niro said no to that.

6. REESE WITHERSPOON BLEW HER AUDITION TO PLAY DANIELLE. SO DID DREW BARRYMORE.

“It was my second audition ever,” Witherspoon said in 1999. “My agent told me I’d be meeting Martin Scorsese. I said, ‘Who is he?’ Then he mentioned the name Robert De Niro. I said, ‘Never heard of him.’ When I walked in I did recognize De Niro, and I just lost it. My hand was shaking and I was a blubbering idiot.”

Drew Barrymore auditioned for the role, too, but believed she overacted for one of Scorsese’s assistants. In 2000, she called the audition “the biggest disaster” of her life and said that Scorsese thinks she’s “dog doo-doo” because of it.

Mark of the Vampire (1935) / Z-View

Mark of the Vampire (1935)

Director: Tod Browning

Screenplay:  Guy Endore and Bernard Schubert

Stars: Lionel Barrymore, Elizabeth Allan and Bela Lugosi

The Pitch: “Hey, Tod Browning wants to make Mark of the Vampire!”

Tagline: Undead…yet living on the Kisses of Youth!

The Overview:  Beware of Spoilers…

Mark of the Vampire had the potential to be a great vampire movie.  Tod Browning directing, Bela Lugosi as the vampire with Lionel Barrymore!  Mark of the Vampire has mood, setting and starts off with great promise.

Sir Karell Borotin is found dead drained of his blood.  All evidence points to a vampire or vampires that must be found and destroyed.  The film is off and running and it’s a great experience.  There’s a scene with Lugosi changing from a bat to human form and then running down a hall to catch and kill a victim and it’s terrifying!

Then in the last act the film changes gears and becomes a murder mystery with no real vampires!  Check out this trivia from IMDB:

The actors all played their roles as though they were in a conventional horror movie, unaware of the twist-ending until the last few days of shooting.Director Tod Browning deliberately kept them in the dark because he wanted authenticity.

When director Tod Browning revealed late in the filming process that the plot dictated that the vampires were really just actors pretending to be vampires, he met with much resistance from the cast and crew. Nobody was more incensed than Bela Lugosi, who pleaded with Browning to let him play a real vampire.

Mark of the Vampire is still worth watching but sadly isn’t near the movie it could have been.

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