Spy Chasers (1955) / Z-View

Spy Chasers (1955)

Director: Edward Bernds

Screenplay: Jerome S. Gottler and Bert Lawrence 

Stars: Leo Gorcey, Huntz Hall, Bernard Gorcey and Leon Askin.

The Pitch: “Hey, what if the Bowery Boys found a magic lamp?”

Tagline: They’re in the Underground with a Beautiful Spy!… in a laffdaffy riot of cloak-and-dagger adventure!

The Overview:  Beware of Spoilers…

The Bowery Boys are recruited to help an European King regain his throne.

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The 15 Most Groundbreaking Covers of All Time

Michael Edward Taylor and ScreenRant present The 15 Most Groundbreaking Covers of All Time.

There are some excellent choices in there — Steranko’s Nick Fury [of course], the Iron Man alcohol cover, Neal Adams’ Green Lantern/Green Arrow drug abuse cover, even Shatter Special #1 with the first comic cover entirely created digitally.  Limiting the choices to just 15 makes it tough… otherwise we might have seen…

  • At least one cover from the Byrne/Austin X-Men run
  • some love for a Marshall Rogers’ Batman cover
  • a Chaykin American Flag cover
  • a Master of Kung Fu cover by Paul Gulacy
  • a Zeck cover for The Punisher
  • one of the Dark Knight Returns covers by Miller
  • a Sin City cover by Miller
  • any cover by Darwyn Cooke
  • any cover by Michael Golden
  • and so many more…

Sicario (2015) / Z-View

Sicario (2015)

Director: Denis Villeneuve

Screenplay: Taylor Sheridan

Stars: Emily Blunt, Josh Brolin, Benicio Del Toro, Victor Garber, Jon Bernthal and Daniel Kaluuya

The Pitch: “Hey, let’s make a movie about the drug war on the Mexican border.”

Tagline: The border is just another line to cross.

The Overview:  Beware of Spoilers…

Kate Macer [Blunt] is an FBI agent recruited to join a US task force fighting the war on drugs along the Mexican border.  After joining Kate learns things aren’t as they seem and lines are being crossed that bring into question her ethics and place her life in danger.

Sicario is one of the best movies I’ve seen in years.  Taylor Sheridan creates a smart screenplay with action, drama and a story that sticks with you.  Denis Villeneuve’s direction makes every scene interesting.  Everything in this movie works – the cinematography, the sound, and the actors are all perfectly cast.

Sicario gets my highest recommendation.

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Dave Wachter and Barney Ross

Dave Wachter is back and he brought his take on Sly from The Expendables with him. I met Dave several years ago and became an instant fan. I wasn’t the only one to discover Dave’s fantastic sketches! How can you not like a great guy who is a terrific artist?

It has become a HeroesCon tradition that I get  Dave to draw his take on Sly.  Somehow this one was never posted until now.

You can see more of Dave’s art at his site. – Craig

The Most Impressive Thing About All 50 States

Kathy Benjamin and Mental_Floss present The Most Impressive Thing About All 50 States.  Here are three of my favorites…

14. INDIANA

The home of the Indy 500, the Indianapolis Motor Speedway is the biggest sporting venue in the world by a good margin. It has permanent seating for 257,000 people, and temporary on-field seating brings that up to 400,000.

15. IOWA

Burlington is home to Snake Alley, what Ripley’s Believe It or Not called the “Crookedest Street in the World” (something the more famous Lombard Street in San Francisco also lays claim to). It was built in the 1800s to help horses get up a hill that was too steep for them to climb in a straight line.

16. KANSAS

Garden City, Kansas is home to a swimming pool so big it’s possible to waterski in it (which has happened a few times as a promotional stunt). Opened in 1922, The Big Pool was renovated in the early aughts and is now the world’s largest outdoor concrete municipal swimming pool. Bigger than a football field, it takes a full day to fill it to its 2.5-million-gallon capacity.

Bowery to Bagdad (1955) / Z-View

Bowery to Bagdad (1955)

Director: Edward Bernds

Screenplay: Elwood Ullman and Edward Bernds

Stars: Leo Gorcey, Huntz Hall and Bernard Gorcey.

The Pitch: “Hey, what if the Bowery Boys found a magic lamp?”

Tagline: YOU’LL LOVE THEM IN BAGDAD!…As those Ding-Dong Daddies Go Haren-Scarem via The Magic Carpet!

The Overview:  Beware of Spoilers…

The Bowery Boys find a magic lamp but before they can decide on their wishes, a group of mobsters discovers the genie and the battle for the lamp is on!

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Born to Kill (1947) / Z-View

Born to Kill (1947)

Director: Robert Wise

Screenplay: Eve Greene and Richard Macaulay based on the novel by James Gunn

Stars: Claire Trevor, Lawrence Tierney, Walter Slezak, Elisha Cook Jr., Isabel Jewell and Esther Howard

The Pitch: “Hey, let’s turn the novel Born to Kill into a movie!”

Tagline: THE COLDEST KILLER A WOMAN EVER LOVED!

The Overview:  Beware of Spoilers…

On the run from the coldblooded murder of a woman and her boyfriend, Sam [Tierney] meets two half-sisters.  Although attracted to Helen [Trevor], Sam puts the moves on Georgia since she has money.  She’s attracted to him and after a whirlwind romance they are married.

Sam still has eyes for Helen and she likes the idea of Georgia’s money.  A match made in hell, right?  Things become even more complicated when sleazy private eye, Arnett [Slezak] shows up.  Arnett knows Sam’s a murderer but is willing to take cash to go away.  More people are going to die when you’re dealing with a man who was born to kill.

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Detour (1945) / Z-View

Detour (1945)

Director: Edgar G. Ulmer

Screenplay: Martin Goldsmith

Stars: Tom Neal, Ann Savage, Claudia Drake and Edmund MacDonald.

The Pitch: “Hey, let’s make a low budget noir!”

Tagline: He went searching for love… but Fate forced a DETOUR to Revelry… Violence… Mystery!

The Overview:  Beware of Spoilers…

Al Roberts [Neal] decides to hitchhike to Hollywood to join his girl.  When Roberts gets a ride from Charles Haskell [MacDonald] it appears Roberts is in luck.  Haskell is going all the way to Hollywood.  They take turns driving and it’s easy going until late at night on a deserted stretch of road that Roberts starts feeling tired.  He decides to wake up Haskell and have him drive.

Only Haskell won’t wake up!  He apparently died in his sleep.  When Roberts opens the car door Haskell falls out and hits his head.  Roberts panics.  Afraid that the cops won’t believe his story and will pin a murder on him, Roberts hides the body.  With no money, Roberts decides to take Haskell’s cash (he’s carrying quite a bit!) and driver’s license.  They look enough alike that Roberts believes he’ll fool anyone who questions him.  Once in Hollywood, Roberts will ditch the car, throw away the driver’s license and put this mess behind him.

And Roberts plan might have worked had he not picked up a woman hitchhiker named Vera [Savage].  She knew Haskell and threatens to go to the police unless Roberts does exactly what she wants.  Roberts is trapped with no way out unless…

 

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Horror Express (1972) / Z-View

Horror Express (1972)

Director: Eugenio Martín (as Gene Martin)

Screenplay:  Arnaud d’Usseau and Julian Zimet 

Stars: Christopher Lee, Peter Cushing, Alberto de Mendoza and Telly Savalas.

The Pitch: “Hey, let’s remake ‘The Thing from Another World and set it on a train in 1906!”

Tagline: A nightmare of terror travelling aboard the Horror Express!

The Overview:  Beware of Spoilers…

The year is 1906.  An English scientist [Lee] is transporting a frozen prehistoric monster to England by train across the frozen Siberian wasteland.  What could possibly go wrong?

You guessed it.  The monster thaws and turns out to be an alien that can kill and take the shape of whoever it murders.  Will Christopher Lee, Peter Cushing and Telly Savalas be able to kill the creature before the train reaches civilization?  Stick around for the eye-popping finale and you’ll know!

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Night of the Living Dead (1990) / Z-View

Night of the Living Dead (1990)

Director: Tom Savini

Screenplay: George Romero based on The Night of the Living Dead original screenplay by John A. Russo and George Romero 

Stars: Tony Todd, Patricia Tallman, Tom Towles and Bill Cardille.

The Pitch: “Hey, let’s update (and copyright) a remake of ‘Night of the Living Dead’!”

Tagline: There IS a fate worse than death.

The Overview:  Beware of Spoilers…

Tom Savini takes the helm of an updated version of Night of the Living Dead.  All the key players and set pieces are in place but it’s like watching a historic event from a slightly different timeline.  There are little changes in character but none of them are for the better.

Barbara starts off the same — overcome with shock from the realization that the dead are rising to eat the living, but partway through the movie she is ready to pick up a gun and go Rambo on zombies or humans that tick her off.  Ben is now as much of a hot head as Harry Cooper.

And the zombies aren’t like the zombies we’ve grown used to.  They’re not as scary.  Of course part of THAT problem is that when the ONOTLD was made, the zombie genre was being invented.  We’re almost 50 years from that and zombie expectations are much different. (Only a true horror aficionado would understand that!)  Also being filmed in color doesn’t help either.

The movie was still fun and I think most fans would enjoy the ride.

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