“Rocky” Meat Locker Print by Guy Stauber!

Check out this cool Rocky print created by Guy Stauber.  Stauber is the creative genius behind Shogun Graphic Systems™ which provides digital illustration and graphic design services to a wide range of international clients.  Stauber’s clients include Sports Illustrated, The Wall Street Journal, DC, Marvel, Lucasfilm, Disney & Fox TV to name a few.

The Rocky print above comes in various sizes and is available through Guy Stauber’s store on his website.  Plan to spend some time checking out Stauber’s amazing art in his online portfolio.

“The Wolf of Snow Hollow” – Poster and Trailer are Here!

I’m always up for a good werewolf movie.  Whether we have one in The Wolf of Snow Hollow, only time (and a viewing) will tell.  We do have the poster and trailer for a taste to hold us over.  And the fact that Robert Forster is in it (in his final role) is a BIG plus!

Welcome to Snow Hollow. From acclaimed filmmaker Jim Cummings comes The Wolf of Snow Hollow, On Demand and in theaters October 9.

“Tar” – The Poster and Trailer are Here!

Here are the poster and trailer for Tar.  This is a rare case where I like the poster better than the trailer.  I wish we saw more painted posters.  Tar is definitely a drive-in movie and that may not be a bad thing.  Time and a viewing will tell.

For 40,000 years, a long forgotten wetland teemed with ancient creatures, but now all that’s left is a pit of hot, sticky tar surrounded by a vast urban landscape. For Barry Greenwood and his son Zach, there’s not much left of their family business either. With the city’s subway expanding under their feet and their office building slated for demolition, Barry, Zach and their employees are forced to shut down their shop and move out. But when something primal is awoken by the underground construction, a night of somber packing becomes a desperate fight for survival.

Starring Golden Globe nominee Timothy Bottoms (Last Picture Show, The Paper Chase, Johnny Got His Gun), Aaron Wolf (Guest House, Restoring Tomorrow), Oscar nominee Graham Greene (Dances With Wolves, The Green Mile, Maverick), and Max Perlich (Drugstore Cowboy, Blow, Justified).

COLUMBO: “Just One More Thing…”

Not quite two weeks ago I posted that my wife and I had been watching and enjoying Columbo.  We still are.  It seems that many of the folks who stop by here have a fondness for Columbo as well.  One of them, Papa Stas, even directed me to a site called The Columbophile: The blog for those who LOVE Lieutenant Columbo.

The Columbophile has everything that a Columbo fan would want including an episode guide, episode rankings, Columbo facts, links to resources including where you can view full episodes, gifts and more!  Before you click over, let me share three of the facts I learned while there…

  • Peter Falk won 4 Emmy Awards for his portrayal of Lieutenant Columbo in 1972, 1975, 1976 and 1990.
  • In 1997, Murder by the Book was ranked at No. 16 in TV Guide‘s ‘100 Greatest Episodes of All Time’ list. Two years later, the magazine ranked Lieutenant Columbo No. 7 on its ’50 Greatest TV Characters of All Time’ list.
  • Peter Falk had a sometimes fractious relationship with Universal. During the filming of Season 1, and believing the studio was trying to renege on an agreement to let him direct an episode, Falk was even barred from the set. Filming of Dead Weight and Lady in Waiting was affected.

“Freaky” Starring Vince Vaughn – The Trailer is Here!

The trailer for Freaky is here and hear me out before you click away.  Yes, the concept is stupid.  In fact I almost didn’t check out the trailer.

A “Jason-like, Friday the 13th-style killer and an unpopular high school girl magically trade bodies like in Freaky Friday, except with the, you know, killing.  But I like Vince Vaughn and decided to give it a look. The Freaky trailer was funny.  Check it out and see what your mileage is.

This November, on Friday the 13th, prepare to get Freaky with a twisted take on the body-swap movie when a teenage girl switches bodies with a relentless serial killer.

Seventeen-year-old Millie Kessler (Kathryn Newton, Blockers, HBO’s Big Little Lies) is just trying to survive the bloodthirsty halls of Blissfield High and the cruelty of the popular crowd. But when she becomes the newest target of The Butcher (Vince Vaughn), her town’s infamous serial killer, her senior year becomes the least of her worries.

When The Butcher’s mystical ancient dagger causes him and Millie to wake up in each other’s bodies, Millie learns that she has just 24 hours to get her body back before the switch becomes permanent and she’s trapped in the form of a middle-aged maniac forever. The only problem is she now looks like a towering psychopath who’s the target of a city-wide manhunt while The Butcher looks like her and has brought his appetite for carnage to Homecoming.

With some help from her friends—ultra-woke Nyla (Celeste O’Connor, Ghostbusters: Afterlife), ultra-fabulous Joshua (Misha Osherovich, The Goldfinch) and her crush Booker (Uriah Shelton, Enter the Warriors Gate)—Millie races against the clock to reverse the curse while The Butcher discovers that having a female teen body is the perfect cover for a little Homecoming killing spree.

The film also stars Alan Ruck (HBO’s Succession), Katie Finneran (TV’s Why Women Kill) and Dana Drori (Hulu’s High Fidelity).

From the deliciously debased mind of writer-director Christopher Landon (Happy Death Day, the Paranormal Activity franchise) comes a pitch-black horror-comedy about a slasher, a senior, and the brutal truth about high school.

Freaky is written by Christopher Landon and Michael Kennedy (Fox’s Bordertown) and is produced by Jason Blum (Halloween, The Invisible Man). The film is produced by Blumhouse Productions in association with Divide/Conquer. The executive producers are Couper Samuelson and Jeanette Volturno.

RIP: Ronald “Khalis” Bell (Kool & the Gang Co-Founder)

Ronald “Khalis” Bell, co-founder of Kool & the Gang, died yesterday of an undisclosed cause at the age of 68.  Bell was a singer, songwriter, producer and saxophonist.  Just a few of the songs Bell composed, produced and performed include Celebration, Get Down On It, Jungle Boogie, Cherish, Hollywood Swinging and Summer Madness.  Celebration is in the Grammy Song Hall of Fame and Bell is in the Songwriters Hall of Fame.

Kool & the Gang, which Bell co-founded with his brother, Robert in 1969 released their first album in 1970. Khalis and his brother remained in the band which underwent many group member changes over the years but still continued to produce music their fans loved.

Ronald “Khalis” Bell, along with Kool & the Gang, created music that brings back great memories.  I was in Junior High when Jungle Boogie and Hollywood Swinging broke big.  Both songs still bring a smile to my face.  When I was in high school and college they continued to be a part of fun times with songs like Ladies Night, Celebration and more.  Bell’s song Summer Madness was even featured in Rocky.   Their hits continued in the 80s with songs like Too Hot, Joanna, Cherish (a great love song), and Fresh.

Our thoughts and prayers go out to Ronald “Khalis” Bell’s family, friends and fans.

The Best Action Film for Each Year of the 1980s!

Ben Sherlock at ScreenRant decided to take on the task of determining The Best Action Movie From Each Year In The ’80s and then he ranked them.  Ben’s list is a good one and it got me thinking about the best action movie I’d choose for each year in the 80s.  So here we go…

  • 1980:  The Empire Strikes Back.  This one surprised me since I’m not a big Star Wars fan.  Truthfully, there wasn’t a lot of competition for the 1980 title and I ended up going with Ben’s choice.

  • 1981: The Road Warrior.  Ben selected Raiders of the Lost Ark.  1981, was for me, one of the toughest years of the decade because we had so many films in the running.  I considered Raiders, of course, but I also looked at Escape from New York and Nighthawks before deciding on The Road Warrior.  All of the others had merit and are great films, but for pure action, give me The Road Warrior.
  • 1982: First Blood.  Ben and I agreed again.  First Blood it is

  • 1983: Sudden Impact.  Again, Ben and I agree.  I was surprised because going in, I didn’t think that Sudden Impact would be my top action film for the year, but 1983 wasn’t a strong year for action films.  Sudden Impact is good, but not great, yet it still got out votes.

  • 1984: Terminator.  Again, Ben and I agree.  The only other contender in my view was Red Dawn and Terminator is so much better.

  • 1985: Rambo: First Blood, Part II.  Ben went with Jackie Chan’s Police Story.  I considered it as well as Commando and Runaway Train but ultimately went with Sly Stallone returning as John Rambo.

  • 1986: Aliens.  Ben and I are back on the same page.  Aliens was so amazing, how could any other film get the nod?

  • 1987: Lethal Weapon.  Ben went with Robocop.  I considered that and Predator.  1987 was a tough year with three great action films but ultimately I went with Lethal Weapon.

  • 1988: Die Hard.  Ben and I agreed that Die Hard was the best for 1988.

  • 1989: Lethal Weapon 2.  Again Ben and I were on the same page.

  So Ben and I agreed on 7 of the 10 films.  I’d be curious as to how many you agreed with and were there films you would have picked that I didn’t even consider?  Comments below!

Andrew Farago Takes on Jack Carter and John Wick!

I recently saw that several artists were doing commissions at reduced rates in support of The Cartoon Art Museum in San Francisco.  How could I pass on a chance to get a new commission for my Stallone-themed Sketch Collection AND support a good cause at the same time? 

I couldn’t.

I looked at the list and decided to go with Andrew Farago.  Andrew is not only an artist and author but also the Chairman of the Northern California chapter of the National Cartoonists Society and the curator of the Cartoon Art Museum! I asked for Jack Carter and John Wick and Andrew came through like a champ!  

If you’re a sketch collector, The Cartoon Museum’s Sketch-A-Thon gets my highest recommendation.  The prices are super reasonable, there are several artists to choose from and there is even a digital sketch option!

Thanks again to Andrew Farago for the cool sketch and super service!

Chris Peterson’s Stanley from “Lords of Flatbush”!

Christopher Peterson is a Shuster-nominated comic artist who has worked for Dark Horse, Boom Studios, Image, Black Mask, and other companies.

Back in 2016, I saw that Chris’ computer died and he was sketching to raise money to replace his work station.  I set up a commission with Chris and he sent me this cool digital rendition of his take on Sly from Lords of Flatbush.  You can check out more of Chris’ art here or follow him on Twitter.

“Yakuza” Starring Robert Mitchum

Rob Hunter at Film School Rejects presents 35 Things We Learned from Sydney Pollack’s The Yakuza Commentary.  I like the Yakuza and think it was ahead of its time as far as the subject matter.  Having a legend like Robert Mitchum as your star doesn’t hurt either.  Before you click over, here are three of my favorite comments…

He (Director Sydney Pollack) loved Brian Keith and describes him as a sadly underrated actor for most of his life.

(I 100% agree.  Growing up I just knew Brian Keith from the tv sitcom Family Affair where he played good old Uncle Bill.  It wasn’t until I became an adult and started seeing Keith in westerns and crime movies that I realized his talent.  – Craig)

He (Director Sydney Pollack) was concerned that American audiences “don’t really like to read subtitles,” and Warner Bros. was hoping he could avoid using them all together.

(I think that subtitles, so you can hear the natural dialogue, adds  depth to a film.  Would The Godfather or Godfather II lost something without them?  I think they would have.  – Craig)

“He was capable of a lot,” says Pollack about Mitchum, “but you had to push him.” He thinks the actor, who often referred to himself as “an actress,” didn’t consider himself to be all the good without being ridden hard. “He was a real mule. He would give you what you wanted, but you had to beat him.”

(Mitchum comes off as a tough guy in film and I think that was just a reflection of his true life persona.  I also think that he and guys like Bogart felt that acting wasn’t a manly profession, but it was their calling. – Craig)

Sly Stallone & John Herzfeld’s “Horses” Gets New Art by John Rivoli!

If the art from the print above looks familiar, it probably means you’re a long-time reader here or StalloneZone or you’re a fan of Sly Stallone.  Sly recently posted the art above on his personal Instagram site.

The painting was created by John Rivoli based on the movie poster created for Sly and John Herzfeld’s small budget student film, Horses, created in 1970!  You can learn more about the film Horses here.

“The Comeback Trail” Starring R. DeNiro, T.L. Jones & M. Freeman – The Poster and Trailer are Here!

The poster and trailer for The Comeback Trail are here.  Ignore the poster and check out the trailer.

Two movie producers who owe money to the mob set up their aging movie star for an insurance scam to try and save themselves. But they wind up getting more than they ever imagined.

Starring Academy Award winner Robert De Niro, Academy Award winner Tommy Lee Jones, Academy Award winner Morgan Freeman, Zach Braff, Emile Hirsch, Eddie Griffin & Kate Katzman.

Directed by George Gallo

John Woo’s “The Killer” Trivia!

I remember the first time I saw John Woo’s The Killer.  My mind was blown.  I called my best bud, John Beatty to talk about the amazing action movie I had just seen.  This cat Chow Yun Fat was just too cool and the director John Woo?  Forget about it.  This dude had guys shooting with two guns while doing crazy stunts, gun to gun stand-offs from guys close enough to touch each other, and just all out over the top action.  I still have my The Killer poster (the same as the one above and a gift from Mr. Beatty) hanging in my fortress of solitude (right behind me).

Rob Hunter at Film School Rejects reminded me of all this with his post, 26 Things We Learned from ‘The Killer’ Commentary.  Before you click over, here are three of my favorites…

Woo has previously acknowledged that the film was inspired by Jean-Pierre Melville’s Le Samurai (1967) which was in turn inspired by a novel titled The Ronin by Joan McLeod. Other inspirations mentioned include Martin Scorsese’s Mean Streets (1973), Francois Truffaut’s Jules and Jim (1962), and the films of Sam Peckinpah.

(I haven’t seen Le Samurai, but it does show up on TCM, so I will.  Jules and Jim is another I’ll have to watch for.  I’ve seen Mean Streets and of course many of the films of Sam Peckinpah. – Craig)

The commentary was recorded in 2002, and even back then there’s mention of rumored US remakes of the film. He mentions supposed remakes with Denzel Washington & Richard Gere and Michelle Yeoh & Sharon Stone. A Hollywood redo is still currently listed on IMDB.

(Sly Stallone was also attached to a US remake — he was working on the screenplay and it was titled Maggie’s Eyes. – Craig)

Fat turned down offers to star in Alien: Resurrection (1997) and as Morpheus in The Matrix (1999). He chose The Replacement Killers (1998) and The Corruptor (1999) instead.

(I always thought that Chow Yun Fat should/could have been a much bigger star in the US.  I actually would have preferred him in Alien Resurrection (which I really liked) or The Matrix (the first one I loved). – Craig)