Author: Craig

RIP: Peter Mark Richman

Peter Mark Richman died yesterday at the age of 93 from natural causes.  Richman was an accomplished actor who appeared in feature films, television and on Broadway, an author who wrote plays, short stories and novels, and an artist.  Talk about being a Renaissance Man.

I’d be willing to bet that you’ve seen Peter Mark Richman perform, even if you don’t recognize his name.  Richman has 159 credits on his IMDb resume.  I remember him best from the classic Twilight Zone episode The Fear, but that was one of well over 100 appearances Peter Mark Richman made on television.  In addition to Cain’s Hundred (which he starred in), you could see Richmond regularly show up on tv shows starting in the 1960s through the 1990s.  He had reoccurring roles on Longstreet, Three’s Company, Dynasty, Beverly Hills 90210, and guest appearances on just about every other major television show.  

 Richman’s features films include The Strange One, Black Orchid, Naked Gun 2 and Friday the 13th, Part 8, and Vic (a short film co-written and directed by Sage Stallone).  Starting the in the 1990s, Richman began doing voice work for Batman: The Animated Series, Spider-Man: The Animated Series and Superman: The Animated Series.  

Mr. Richman appeared on Broadway, had several of his one-act plays, novels and short stories published.  He also had 17 one-man exhibitions of his paintings.  

Peter Mark Richman was married to his wife, Helen for 67 and they have five children.  Our thoughts and prayers go out to Peter Mark Richman’s family, friends and fans.  What an amazing creative life he led.

“Payback” (2021) – The Poster and Trailer are Here

Ok, here we have the poster and trailer for Payback

The title Payback is a good one, but it has been used before and may not get the attention a new movie needs. 

The poster is generic at best.  The tagline, “He’s waited eight years to settle the score” doesn’t sound like whatever was done to him required/deserved immediate payback.  Since there’s nothing in the poster to indicate he’s been in prison, maybe it’s just that he’s lazy.

The trailer is where things pick up.  It’s not great but it did get me interested in seeing Payback.  Keep in mind, I love crime flicks, so your mileage may vary.

Mike Markovich, a young stockbroker at a Mob-controlled Wall Street firm, is betrayed and imprisoned for six years. When he is released, his deadly quest for vengeance begins.

Director: Joseph Mensch
Writers: Metin Aksoy and Joseph Mensch
Cast: Matt Levett, Anna Baryshnikov, Toby Leonard Moore
Distributor: Vertical Entertainment

“Adverse” – 2 Posters, 2 Trailers and 2 Different Vibes for the Same Film. Let’s Take a Look!

We have two posters and two trailers for Adverse.  Let’s take a look at each, because although they’re for the same movie, they give off a different vibe.

The first poster above has a pretty generic crime movie feel.  We have the heads of the stars photoshopped into the main figure.  The cast should be a selling point, but their names don’t really stand out due to the colors of the font and the poster’s background.

The poster above works much better.  Although you lose the headshots of Mickey Rourke and Penelope Ann Miller, the names of the cast (and their awards/nominations) show up much better and are more impressive.  The main shot of the guy with a crow bar is a medium shot with the city in the background, making him look less heroic and more like an “everyman”.  The photoshopped face of the young girl (his daughter) let’s us know what he is fighting for.  FInally, the film festival logos adds a bit of prestige to the movie.  This is my favorite of the two posters.

Let’s look at each trailer.

Trailer 1 above and 2 below

Okay.  Have you watched both?  If so, which did you prefer?

I liked the first one much better than the second.  The first had a good crime movie vibe.  The music was menacing and the pace of the trailer made it feel like the movie would move.  This is a film I want to see.

The second trailer’s vibe was more of a Lifetime movie.  I didn’t care for the music used or the way the trailer set up the film.  It left me feeling like it would be a movie I might watch if there was nothing else on.

Amazing how the same film can be sold two different ways.  I wonder which trailer best represents the final film.  I do like the cast and hope the movie aligns with the first trailer.  We shall see.

“Bliss” Staring Owen Wilson & Salma Hayek – The Poster and Trailer are Here!

The Bliss poster and trailer are here.  I like Wilson, Hayek and the Matrix vibe, so I’ll check out Bliss.

An unfulfilled man (Owen Wilson) and a mysterious woman (Salma Hayek) believe they are living in a simulated reality, but when their newfound ‘Bliss’ world begins to bleed into the ‘ugly’ world they must decide what’s real and where they truly belong.

TWO IN THE HEAD by Eric Beetner is Coming Soon!

Eric Beetner’s new book, Two in the Head, drops in less than a week.  Here’s the synopsis…

When Samantha awakes she is half buried in bricks and the smoke still swirls in the air. The car bomb didn’t killed her-small miracle. Her unfocused eyes see a figure coming nearer. A shape she recognizes somehow. As the person passes by the orange glow from the car fire’s light, she sees the face. Her face. But how?
The other Samantha stands over her and regards her twin. Something is off about this new face. It is her, sure, but harder somehow. The new Sam turns and walks away, back toward the building she came out of before her car exploded. Back to see the two drug kingpins in the top floor offices. And somehow Samantha knows-back to take the deal she just turned down.

Samantha Whelan is a DEA agent, and not always a straight and narrow one. She’s been taking bribes and doing favors for Calder and Rizzo-twin brothers and big players in narco traffic in southern California-for years. She turned down a deal that night, a deal to make her millions, but it meant killing her fiancé, an assistant district attorney building a case against Calder and Rizzo. And it meant betraying her DEA brethren more deeply than she had so far. It was too much. So Calder and Rizzo tried to blow her up.

What happened then…she split. Samantha became Samantha and Sam. Two halves of the same person. The good side and the bad side. The two opposing forces living within her for so long were now free to fight it out to see who will win control.

So begins a nightmarish rocket ride for Samantha to save her life and the lives of everyone she holds dear before Sam, her bad half, can burn it to the ground.

Praise for TWO IN THE HEAD:

“Two In the Head is a straight shot between the eyes. A gangbusters plot, punch-drunk pace, and gut-punch action propel this black hearted thriller from Eric Beetner.” -J. Todd Scott, author of The Far Empty and Lost River

Regular readers know that Eric Beetner is one of my must-read authors.  If Beetner isn’t for you,  you probably haven’t tried one of his tales.  Perhaps Two in the Head would be a good place to start.

“Cliffhanger” and Extreme Ghana Movie Poster Art!

I like this Cliffhanger poster art way more than I should.  For some reason it works for me despite Sly’s wonky left arm and hand, his right hand showing only three fingers and a thumb and the likeness being close, but no cigar.  Heck, they even made Cliffhanger into two words.  Yet, I still like the overall effect of the poster.

If you’re wondering, the poster was used to promote Cliffhanger in Ghana.  The posters were painted on cloth and, – well, let’s have Sly Stallone explain.  Before you click on the video of Sly, thanks to  “Bobby Klump” for the post on my StalloneZone forum of the Ghana Cliffhanger and other movie posters.  Thanks also to “Foodfather” (also a SZoner) for finding and sharing the Stallone video explaining the poster.  Finally, if you want to know more about Ghana movie posters – check out Extreme Canvas: Hand-Painted Movie Posters from Ghana.

RIP: Steve Carver

Steve Carver, best known for directing action films, died yesterday of a heart attack.  Mr. Carver was 75.

After graduating from college (BA from Cornell University and MFA from Washington University), Carver worked as a cameraman for the Wide World of Sports for the St. Louis Cardinals, taught at local colleges and made documentaries.  One of his documentaries earned him a spot in the American Film Institute.  Edgar Allan Poe’s The Tell-Tale Heart, one of the short films Carver created there, was well received and led to Carver meeting and working with Roger Corman.

Carver cut trailers for Corman’s New World pictures and began writing scripts.  Corman then gave Carver the opportunity to direct The Arena starring Pam Grier.  The success of that film led Corman to give Carter the helm of Big Bad Mama starring Angie Dickinson, William Shatner and Tom Skerritt.  The success of Big Bad Mama led to Carver directing CaponeCapone starred Ben Gazarra, Harry Guardino, Susan Blakely, Sylvester Stallone and John Cassavetes.

The success of these films made Carver the potential director for Billy Jack Goes to Washington.  That fell through when Tom Laughlin decided to direct it himself.  Carver was instead hired to replace director Burt Kennedy on Drum which starred Warren Oates, Ken Norton, Pam Grier and Yaphet Kotto.  Although the film was successful, Carver didn’t enjoy the experience.

Carver had ideas for a couple of films but they fell through. Instead Carver went on to direct David Carradine and Brenda Vaccaro in Fast Charlie… the Moonbeam Rider and Steel starring Lee Majors and Jennifer O’Neal.

In 1981, Carver directed Chuck Norris, Christopher Lee and Richard Roundtree in An Eye for an Eye.  Two years later, Carver reteamed with Chuck Norris for Lone Wolf McQuade (co-starring David Carradine, Barbara Carrera and Leon Isaac Kennedy).  Both of these films were highly successful, but Carver was becoming less enchanted with Hollywood and more interested in photography.  Carter made six more films, but in 1995 opened his own photography studio and left directing behind.

Thanks to Steve Carver for many hours of entertainment.  Our thoughts and prayers go out to his family, friends and fans.

Puck by Kalman Andrasofszky!

That’s Eugene Judd aka PuckPuck was created by John Byrne and first appeared in the comic Alpha Flight #1 in 1983.  What made Puck unique in the Marvel universe was that he was a dwarf and he had no super powers.  He was a great acrobat and a fighter who loved to scrap. I thought the character had a lot of potential.  

The drawing above is by Kalman Andrasofszky who absolutely gets Puck!  I’d love to see him illustrate a Puck mini-series or graphic novel.  Here’s what Kalman had to say about his drawing…

Eugene Milton Judd. The original Saskatchewan badass. In my head cannon this guy’s a bruiser who can really take punishment and kinda likes it. Some notes: toned paper is everything, I may never go back. Puck’s body hair is as much a part of his costume as anything. Would you draw Spider-man without webbing? No? No body hair, it’s not Puck.

If you’d like to see more of Kalman Andrasofszky’s art, you can at his Instagram.

The Girl Who Didn’t “Flinch” Trailer is Here!

Flinch looks good.  Of course I’m a sucker for crime films so your mileage may vary.  And how about Cathy Moriarty and Steven Bauer being in it?  I didn’t know Moriarty was still making movies.  Glad to see her and Bauer and hope Flinch is worthy.  

From director Cameron Van Hoy, starring Daniel Zovatto, Tilda Cobham-Hervey, Cathy Moriarty, Tom Segura, Buddy Duress, Steven Bauer, and David Proval. The girl who didn’t “FLINCH.”

RELEASE DATE: January 21, 2021
DIRECTOR: Cameron Van Hoy
CAST: Daniel Zovatto, Tilda Cobham-Hervey, Cathy Moriarty, Tom Segura, Buddy Duress, Steven Bauer, David Proval.
PRODUCERS: Cameron Eldred, Rod Hamilton, Justin Smith, Armen Aghaeian, Cameron Van Hoy
CINEMATOGRAPHER: Kai Saul
EDITOR: Justin Williams, Sam Bauer
PRODUCTION DESIGN: Matthew Ellis Siltala
ORIGINAL SCORE: Miami Nights 1984

Joe Doyle (Daniel Zovatto) is a young hitman following in his father’s footsteps. Quiet and reserved, he is observant and careful, making him very good at what he does. While studying his new target, city council member Ed Terzian (Tom Segura), Doyle develops a distant crush on the councilman’s assistant, Mia (Tilda Cobham-Hervey).
After she walks in on her boss’s assassination, Mia is caught by Doyle who must decide whether to let her go or to dispose of her for good. As Doyle aims the gun at her head, Mia doesn’t flinch, bringing him to a crossroads. Unsure of what to do, Doyle brings Mia to his home where he lives with his overbearing mother Gloria (Academy Award Nominee Cathy Moriarty), and holds her hostage until he can gain some clarity.
Doyle’s boss, Lee (David Proval) and his son, James (Buddy Duress), start questioning Doyle about the missing girl, and slowly he comes to find that Mia might not be entirely who he thinks she is. This brings Doyle to make the ultimate decision: does he kill the girl who didn’t flinch?

“Longstreet”, “The Immortal” & Other Classic TV Investigators

Keith Roysdon at CrimeReads.com posted A SHORT HISTORY OF CLASSIC TV’S MOST UNUSUAL INVESTIGATORS.  If you’re of a certain age, I’m sure you’ll remember some of these shows. Here are the shows (and my thoughts on each) that he covers…

  • Longstreet:  I was a fan of this show, mainly because of Bruce Lee.  Although Longstreet ran for just one year, the idea of a blind investigator was (and still would be) unique.  Sadly Bruce Lee didn’t appear in each episode, 

  • Coronet Blue:  I never remember even hearing of Coronet Blue.  The concept sounds like a cool one – a Russian sleeper agent is planted in the US, but wants to defect.  The agent’s true identity is a mystery and Russian agents are after him.  

  • The Immortal:  Of all the shows on this list, The Immortal was my favorite.  I was a regular viewer and disappointed when the series ended (after just 16 episodes).  I was the perfect age for a race car driver who is on the run from a billionaire and his many hired thugs because the driver has unique blood with properties that heal and prevent aging. (Wolverine, anyone?)  I haven’t seen any episodes in decades and wonder if it would still hold up.  It was must-see tv back in the day.

  • Nowhere Man:  This is the other show on the list that I never saw.  Nowhere Man sounds like a Twilight Zone plot but from the description Roysdon provides it was not as well executed.

  • Barnaby Jones:  I watched Barnaby Jones when I was visiting my grandparents… and remember it being okay.

  • Cannon:  Was another favorite of my grandparents.  Cannon was also okay.  Nothing special but not bad.

  • Ironside:  I remember seeing the pilot while on vacation with, you guessed it, my grandparents.  

Roysdon’s list is a good one and he provides info on each show in a concise manner. His piece is worth a read. Other shows I wish he would have covered include…

  • The Magician:  Bill Bixby as a rich, playboy magician who solved crime.  I used to watch this show regularly and really enjoyed it.  

  • Banacek:  George Peppard stared as an investigator who solved impossible crimes.  I really enjoyed this one.

  • A Man Called Sloane: Robert Conrad was an American secret agent.  I never saw an episode, but have heard good things about it and would like a chance to check it out someday.


“Walker” Teaser – “The Cowboy Way”

Here’s a teaser for Walker, the reboot of the Chuck Norris series.  I never watched Norris’ show, but for some reason plan to check out the new version.  I’m not expecting anything great, but hope that it is good.

Jared Padalecki is Cordell Walker, a widower and father of two with his own moral code, who returns home to Austin after being undercover for two years, only to discover there’s harder work to be done at home.