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Craig Zablo Posts

Dark Shadows

Posted in Horror, and TV

When I was a kid, there weren’t many things that I enjoyed more than a good scary movie. In fact, most of my friends felt the same. We’d look forward to the weekend to stay up late, turn off all of the lights in the house, and watch Sammy Terry’s Nightmare Theater. What could be better than a weekly fix to satisfy our horror craving?

How about a five days a week fix??

Dark Shadows was the first and only soap opera I’ve ever watched on a regular basis (if you don’t count professional wrestling). It told the tale of the Collins family… what a mess they were. Vampires, werewolves, ghosts…. whew! And we ate it up!

Dark Shadows was the must see show of it’s time. It spawned a series of novelizations, trading cards, and more. There’re annual Dark Shadows conventions that continue to this day!

A new collector’s series of Dark Shadows DVDs are going to be released shortly. The price is right, so get your friends together and turn down the lights!

Wow! Bill Black!

Posted in Comics

Wow!

I’ve known “Wild” Bill Black for over 25 years and that’s the first word that comes to mind when I think of him. Bill is one of those rare individuals who has a real enthusiasm for the things in life that he likes. And Bill likes a lot of things. Good Girl Art, Comics, Horror Movies, Old Time Westerns, Old Time Science Fiction Movies, and more. You know, the really cool things in life.

Not only does Bill enjoy all of these things but he takes an active part in them as well. Bill has made horror movies, worked as an artist for Charlton, Warren and Marvel, run conventions for the subjects he loves and more. But Bill is best known as the founder of AC Comics, the longest running “Independent Comic” company going today. AC Comics focuses on good girl art and westerns but that’s not all that they do.

I just spent over an hour previewing the CD-ROM pictured to the left. It’s packed with hours of material (over 1,000 “pages” and around 6,000 pictures)! I’ve known Bill for over 25 years and was learning stuff I never knew! If you enjoy the stuff that Bill does (and who doesn’t?), then check out the CD! After you get a look at it I know that you’ll say:

“Wow!”

Bruno Bows Out

Posted in Pro Wrestling

I never saw Bruno Sammartino wrestle. Still I agree that he is, perhaps, the greatest star from the golden age of pro wrestling.

Bruno will be among the first 13 inducted into the Pro Wrestling Hall of Fame this weekend. They’ll have to have the ceremony without him. Bruno refuses to attend.

“Wrestling is how I made my living and supported my family, but it’s over. I don’t want anything to do with it anymore,” Bruno was quoted as saying earlier this week.

Despite a long reign as world champion, selling out Madison Square Garden over 200 times (the most ever) and his immense popularity, Bruno was blackballed from wrestling when he spoke out about, “Drugs, steroids, all the sexual stuff, bizarre things” that he saw going on in wrestling in the 80’s. Click here for the full story.

I never saw Bruno wrestle. That’s sad for me. No one will see Bruno at the ceremony as he’s inducted into the Hall of Fame. That’s sad for all fans of the sport.

Sahara Worth the Trip

Posted in Books

I just finished reading my second “Dirk Pitt” adventure by Clive Cussler. Sahara is being considered for a major motion picture… can you say franchise?

Excerpts from Simon and Schuster:
1996.. a disease is driving thousands of North Africans into madness, cannibalism, and death. The suspected cause of the raging epidemic is vast, unprecedented pollution that threatens to extinguish all life… Racing to save the world from environmental catastrophe, Pitt and his team… run a gauntlet between a billionaire industrialist and a bloodthirsty West African tyrant. In the scorching desert, Pitt finds a gold mine manned by slaves and uncovers the truth behind two enduring mysteries — the fate of a Civil War ironclad and its secret connection with Lincoln‘s assassination, and the last flight of a long-lost female pilot….Now, amidst the blazing, shifting sands of the Sahara, DIRK PITT will make a desperate stand — in a battle the world cannot afford to lose!

Hellboy Goes Green

Posted in Comics, Movies, and TV

Ain’t It Cool News has reported that the Hellboy movie based on Mike Mignola‘s fan favorite character, Hellboy, has been greenlit. Guillermo Del Toro (“Blade II“) is set to direct. Despite earlier reports that Vin Diesel might play Hellboy, it appears that Ron Pearlman will get the role instead. This is cool for a number of reasons, the first two being that 1) Pearlman was the first choice of both Mignola and Del Toro and 2) Pearlman is so right for the role! Filming begins this winter in Prague! You can get full details here.

Hellboy is one of the few comics that I buy EVERY time it comes out. Mignola never disappoints. Here are a couple of trade paperbacks that could help you get up to speed if you’ve missed out…

Hellboy: Seeds of Destruction

Hellboy: Conqueror Worm

Hellboy: Odd Jobs

I’m really excited about the prospects for the movie Hellboy. Del Toro is a fan of the comic, Mignola is working closely with him and Pearlman completes the trio. This could be really cool. I’ll keep ya posted!

Bad Ending for Blake

Posted in Celebs, and Crime

Police went to the home of actor Robert Blake on April 18, 2002 and CNN reported that they were there to arrest him in the death of his wife, who was gunned down outside a Los Angeles restaurant a year ago. Blake is shown in this 1985 publicity photograph from the television program “Hell Town.”

We had just finished watching “Survivor” and I was heading in to check my e-mail when I got a call. “Turn on CNN. They’re getting ready to arrest Robert Blake for the murder of his wife.”

I can’t say that I’m shocked or surprised. Although I wouldn’t be willing to say that he’s guilty, it doesn’t look good. I read quite a bit about the murder (how could you avoid it at the time?) and none of his explanations ever seemed to really make sense.

I’ve always liked Robert Blake‘s acting. “Baretta” was an enjoyable series and he’s been in several very good movies. It’s too bad that this doesn’t look to have a happy ending.

RIP – Robert Urich

Posted in Celebs, and RIP

Robert Urich passed away at 4:25 this morning after a long bout with cancer. I knew that he had been diagnosed with cancer several years ago, but I was under the impression that he had beaten it.

Although Mr. Urich appeared on many television shows, he was probably best known for his role as Spenser on the series “Spenser for Hire” based on the popular series of novels by Robert B. Parker.

Robert Urich also appeared in other television series including “Soap,” “Vega$,””The Lazerus Man,” and “Lonesome Dove.”

He was extremely active in supporting cancer research. With his wife he created the Heather and Robert Urich Fund for Sarcoma Research. He is survived by his wife; three children; two brothers; a sister; and his mother. A memorial service is scheduled for Friday in Los Angeles.

The Men Who Killed Kennedy

Posted in Crime

Where were you when it happened? If someone asks that question now, we instinctively think of 9-11. There was a time, for many of us, when that question meant one thing… “Where were you when President Kennedy was killed?”

I was barely five years old and yet the memory of that day is burned in my mind. I remember everyone being glued to their television sets for the latest news. The nation seemed to breathe a sigh of releif when the lone gunman was captured… but did he act alone?

I’ve always been intrigued by the various conspiracy theories. In high school I read the Warren Commission report and followed the latest findings. There have been hundreds of books written on the subject, several movies, and many documentaries. “The Men Who Killed Kennedy” is one of the best summaries of the different theories that abound. Chock full of interviews, photos, film and speculation, even if you don’t buy into any of it, you’ll still be impressed by the sincerity of those that do.

Mackey & The Shield: Bad is Good

Posted in Crime, and TV

Michael Chiklis plays Detective Vic Mackey in FX’s acclaimed new show, The Shield. If you haven’t seen The Shield, odds are you’ve heard of it since the pilot was the highest-rated original series premiere in basic cable television history.

I’ve watched The Shield since its premiere and it immediately went to my must see list. Chiklis is, without a doubt, the main draw. He’s an exceptional actor playing a complex role as the leader of a “strike force” of cops dealing with the worst in society. Mackey is as bad as the criminals he takes down… yet he has a code of ethics to “take care of his own” and he does. I’ve never had such mixed emotions about a character before. I want him to get caught and yet I don’t. The rest of the cast and the storylines are excellent as well.
With all of that said, I can’t recommend the show to everyone. It pushes the limits in every way possible (language, violence, sexual situations). But if you like gritty hard-boiled cop shows, then this show is the one for you!

UC Goes Way Undercover

Posted in Crime, and TV

I read today that it is unlikely that UC: Undercover will be brought back next season and that’s really too bad. If you never happened to catch the show, then you really missed a good and potentially great series. UC: Undercover was created by Shane Salerno. Oded Fehr, Jon Seda, Vera Farmiga, Bruklin Harris, and Jarrad Paul made up the cast. Guest stars such as William Forsythe, Ving Rhames and Steven Bauer were regularly featured! If the series isn’t renewed, I hope that we’ll get an occasional tv movie.

Training Day Lives Up to Hype

Posted in Crime, Movies, and Z-View

I finally got an opportunity to see “Training Day” — what a powerful movie. No doubt, if you’re a movie fan, you’ve heard the hype. This is one movie that lives up to it.

Denzel Washington turns in a truly Oscar-worthy performance (his best yet, in my humble opinion). Ethan Hawke is excellent as well. While this movie isn’t for everyone, it is for my money one of the best movies that I’ve seen in months.

If you’ve seen it, I’d love to hear your thoughts… if you haven’t, consider it on your next trip to the video store. As for me, this baby is gonna end up in my personal collection!

“Training Day” rates an A+

Killer Inside Coming to Big Screen

Posted in Books, Crime, and Movies

Earlier this week Variety reported that Dominic Sena (“Gone in 60 Seconds”) will direct the 1952 pulp fiction classic “The Killer Inside Me” by Jim Thompson. While I didn’t care much for “Gone in 60 Seconds” because of the story, I am fairly excited about the prospects for “The Killer Inside Me.” First of all, it’s an excellent book, considered by many to be Jim Thompson‘s best. Stanley Kubrick called it “the most chilling and believeable first-person story of a criminally warped mind that I have ever encountered.” I agree. But who to play the main character, Lou Ford, a sheriff’s deputy with a psychopathic side? My vote would be for someone totally unexpected… someone like Sylvester Stallone! Fans have been wanting to see him play a bad guy… well, this could be the role. Whoever is chosen should be playing totally against character… someone that everyone would NEVER suspect is a pschopathic murderer… if not Sly then maybe Harrison Ford? At any rate… check out the book!

Assault on Precinct 13

Posted in Crime, and Movies

I’ve been going through some old files lately and came across the picture to the left. It’s from a movie, directed by John Carpenter, called “Assault on Precinct 13.” Although a real low-bugeted film, it is one of Carpenter‘s best. The story concerns a small group of cops, office workers and convicts fighting for their lives in an abandoned police station under siege by a street gang.

The picture to the left is of Darwin Johnston who played a real hard case named Napoleon Wilson. I was surprised that Johnston didn’t do more of these types of roles. Tony Burton from the “Rocky” movies co-starred. The movie is worth a look if you enjoy action/adventure.

Hellboy Next for Del Toro

Posted in Comics, Horror, and Movies

Countingdown posted an item from director Guillermo Del Toro who said “I hope Hellboy is my next movie… It’s difficult for me to get a $60 million dollar movie financed with Ron Perlman as the star, but I’m not giving up, since Mike Mignola and I think he is perfect for the part. If you want to know what the movie will look like, just go get the comic book. I will be as faithful as I can…Abe Sapien is such a characteristic figure, that we will basically have to do him completely artificial through puppetry and CG, to make him *exactly* as Mignola drew him. But I think his voice could either go the Kevin Spacey way or the Steve Buscemi way. Two total opposites that would nevertheless make the character interesting”. Thanks also to Dark Horizons.

Although there was some speculation early on that Vin Diesel would get the role of Hellboy, I think that Pearlman is also an excellent choice. He won’t bring in the inital crowd that Diesel. would, but if the movie rocks, the audience will find it!

Blackjack Mulligan

Posted in Pro Wrestling, and TV

I received word from an old buddy that I hadn’t heard from in nearly 30 years… back when I was 8th grade in Terre Haute, Indiana. [He found me through classmates.com.] At any rate, as we fondly remembered the “good old days,” we began to talk about tv wrestling.

My favorite wrestler was a huge Texan named Blackjack Mulligan. Yeah, that’s him pictured to the left. He was usually teamed with Blackjack Lanza [they held the “world title” on a couple of occassions and were managed by Bobby Heenan]. I used to watch pro wrestling on tv several times a week, and would go to see it live when it came to town or when my dad would take us to Indianapolis to see the “big” matches. I was a die hard wrestling fan until 9th grade. As I grew older I would occasionally catch it on the tube… later, as my sons grew older I found myself watching it more often as they enjoyed it. Still, the Rock, Stone Cold Steve Austin and the rest of today’s “Superstars” would have had their hands full facing Mulligan and Lanza managed by “Pretty Boy” Bobby Heenan!