Rod Serling’s Night Gallery: The Art of Darkness Book is Coming!

Fans of Rod Serling’s Night Gallery television series are going to be happy to hear about Rod Serling’s Night GalleryThe Art of Darkness by Scott Skelton and Jim Benson.  Every week Rod Serling would introduce each Night Gallery story by talking about a painting representing the tale to be presented.  The book will be a treasure trove for fans…

The nearly 300-page book is brimming with hundreds of rare, behind-the-scenes photos and artwork. It documents each of the paintings, and traces the complicated (and often twisted) tale of how these iconic masterpieces slowly disappeared from view — only to find their way back, lovingly displayed in two gallery exhibits for appreciative connoisseurs 50 years later.

For more details please check out Night Gallery Paintings Will Soon Be Showcased in a Special “Art Gallery” Book at the Shadows & Substance website.

“Demolition Man” Trivia!

Tim Buckler at ScreenRant posted Demolition Man: 10 Things You Didn’t Know About The Cult Classic.  My guess is that you will most, if not all, of the trivia items, but in case you don’t…

And here are my three favs as well a my thoughts on each…

Evil Chan – Wesley Snipes was not the first choice to play the villainous Simon Phoenix. Originally Stallone had his friend and co Planet Hollywood founder Jackie Chan in mind for the role. However, Jackie had never played a baddie before, he decided against the part in order not to alienate or confuse his fans.

Other rumors state that Steven Segal and Jean Claude Van Damme also turned down the part for similar reasons, although both would play villains a few decades later in Machete and The Expendables 2 respectively.

(Craig – Demolition Man would have been a very different movie had someone other than Wesley been selected.  I think with Jackie Chan it would have dipped more into comedy,  With Seagal or Van Damme it would have felt more disjointed unless it went for less comedy.)

Spartan’s Daughter – There is actually an entire subplot in the movie that was cut out of the finished feature. In the final wasteland battle, John is seen protecting a wasteland scrap named Kate. Kate is also seen at the end of the movie standing next to Edger Friendly when Associate Bob introduces himself.

Apparently, in a cut scene Spartan is introduced to Kate where he learns she is his daughter. This, plus other scenes that didn’t make it in the final film were cut because Warner Brothers wanted a much shorter run time.

(Craig – Deleted scenes are usually fun, but deleted for a good reason.  I’d like to see those scenes but don’t imagine they’d add a lot to the movie without slowing it down.)

A New Script – The movie, in its most basic terms, is about a cop and a criminal who fight each other, are frozen for almost 40 years, then keep fighting. However, in Demolition Man‘s original screenplay, the story was set to start straight away in 2032 with no glimpse of the past (which, at the time, was the near future, but nowadays is the past).

Fred Dekker is the man to take credit for changing things up, even though his re-write is uncredited. He gave the film a prologue that showed Spartan and Phoenix in their natural environment. “If you don’t show Kansas, Oz isn’t all that special.”

(Craig – I agree with Dekker.  I also wish that Demolition Man leaned more into the action and less into the comedy.  I thought the opening with Sly jumping from the copter to take down Simon and his crew set the right tone for an all out action fest.)

The MGM 31 Day Movie Challenge

I saw the MGM 31 Day Movie Challenge and thought it would be fun to play along.  Except for days that ask for a very specific movie I’m going to use favorite films that are great but less likely to be chosen.  Here we go…

  • Day 1:  Movie I’ve watched the most – Rocky.  No surprise there.  Also in the running would be some other Stallone films, Enter the Dragon with John Wick and World War Z offering some newer challenges to the throne of most watched.

  • Day 2: Movie that makes me cry – Saving Private Ryan.  When old man Ryan asks if he is a good man.

  • Day 3: Movie that make me laugh – Steamboat Bill, Jr.  Made over 90 years ago by the great Buster Keaton.  It’s a silent film that still resonates.

  • Day 4: Movie with a number in the title – District B13 (2004).  A little know action film with tons of parkour and fun.  

  • Day 5: Movie with a teacher – Rope directed by Alfred Hitchcock.  Two college men host a dinner party with their murder victim hidden in the same room. James Stewart plays their college professor. 

  • Day 6: Movie from the 90s – Last of the Mohicans.  I’ve been wanting to watch this again… now even more!

  • Day 7: Favorite musical – The Wizard of Oz!  Musicals aren’t my favorite genre, but The Wizard of Oz is one of my all-time favorite movies.

  • Day 8: Movie from the 80s – Nighthawks.  Sly Stallone is ahead of the curve with a buddy movie about terrorism in the United States.  At the time a lot of folks thought and said, “That could never happen here.”

  • Day 9: Movie with a person’s name in the title – Rambo.   Stallone returns to the character with one of the best films of the series.

  • Day 10: Movie that reminds you of your mom – Conan, the Barbarian.  My wife and I took my mom to see it and she spent the last half of the movie in the lobby.  She hated it. 

  • Day 11:  Movie with a color in the title – Black Rain.  Another under-rated film.

  •  Day 12: Your favorite Rom-Com – The Apartment.  I’m not a huge Jack Lemmon or Shirley MacLaine fan, but they are perfect in The Apartment.

  • Day 13: Movie from the year I was born – Elevator to the Gallows.  A man murders his boss who is also the husband of his mistress.  Unexpected events lead the police to his trail…

  • Day 14: Your favorite horror flick – Night of the Living Dead.  George Romero’s movie’s impact is felt to this day.

  • Day 15: A  movie from the 70s – Enter the Dragon.  The best Bruce Lee and martial arts movie of all-time.  Pure perfection.

  • Day 16: Your favorite movie to quote: Rocky Balboa.  “Life ain’t all sunshine and roses… It’s not how hard you can hit. It’s how hard you can be hit and…”

  • Day 17: Movie from the 60’s – Requiem for a Heavyweight.  One of the best boxing movies of all time.  Written by Rod Serling, directed by Ralph Nelson and starring Anthony Quinn, Jackie Gleason and Mickey Rooney.

  • Day 18: Film based on a book – To Kill a Mockingbird.  Classic book and classic movie.

  • Day 19: Favorite Action/Adventure movie: Since I’ve listed Enter the Dragon, Rocky and Rambo and because John Wick is an obvious choice, I’m going with The Adventures of Robin Hood directed by Michael Curtiz and starring Errol Flynn in his greatest role.

  • Day 20: Favorite comedy – The Great Race.  I’ve come to love this movie more with every viewing! (Maybe I’m more of a Jack Lemmon fan than I knew.)

  • Day 21: First movie I saw in a theater – It may have been Goldfinger, Help! or Mary Poppins.  

  • Day 22:  Movie that stars my favorite actor or actress – Cop Land.  Sly held his own with Deniro, Keitel and Liotta.

  • Day 23: Favorite cult classic – From Dusk Till Dawn.  I love this film!

  • Day 24: Favorite film series – Rocky.  No surprise there.

  • Day 25: Favorite remake – Dawn of the Dead directed by Zack Snyder.

  • Day 26: Favorite Holiday Movie – National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation. (Yeah, I love A Christmas Story, too.)

  • Day 27: Movie with the Best Soundtrack – Sharkey’s Machine directed and starring Burt Reynolds.  More folks should give that soundtrack a play. 

  • Day 28: Movie made by my Favorite Director – Paradise Alley directed by Sylvester Stallone.  His first directorial effort and it is under-rated.

  • Day 29: Favorite Animated movie – The Incredibles.

  • Day 30: Favorite Childhood movie – The original Planet of the Apes!

  • Day 31: Movie that starts with the first letter of your name: Cabin in the Sky.  Made in 1943 with an all black cast and it is amazing.  One of my all-time favorites.

“Legacy of Lies” Starring Scott Adkins – The Poster and Trailer are Here!

The poster and trailer to Legacy of Lies both have a real 80s action movie feel.  That’s not a bad thing.

Scott Adkins (The Expendables 2) stars in this pulse-pounding global spy thriller. A decade earlier, agent Martin quit MI6 after his wife’s tragic murder in an operation gone wrong. But when Sacha, a beautiful journalist, asks for help solving an old case, Martin finds himself in the crosshairs of both UK and Russian intelligence. Now, with his daughter held captive by the KGB, Martin has just 24 hours to deliver the secret case files—which means risking both Sacha’s life and his own.

Sly Stallone to Host “Rocky” Livestream for Charity!

Sylvester Stallone will be the first celebrity host for a new live Facebook series called Screening Room With The Stars.  Each week a livestream of a movie will be hosted by someone from the film with fans having the opportunity to interact with the star. The series will benefit organizations / communities impacted by the coronavirus.  The series starts tomorrow at 4pm on MGM Studios’ Facebook page.

For full details check out CAA Launches ‘Screening Room With The Stars’ Series For COVID-19 Charities; Sly Stallone & ‘Rocky’ Go First by Patrick Hipes at Deadline.

“The Last Days of American Crime” Trailer is Here! (Plus the 17 Year Journey to Make It)

Below we have the trailer to The Last Days of American Crime.  If the title sounds familiar it could be because I’ve been talking about The Last Days of American Crime for almost 17 years.  Yep, 17 years.  I’ll explain after the trailer.

As a final response to terrorism and crime, the U.S. government plans to broadcast a signal making it impossible for anyone to knowingly commit unlawful acts. Graham Bricke (Édgar Ramírez), a career criminal who was never able to hit the big score, teams up with famous gangster progeny Kevin Cash (Michael Pitt), and black market hacker Shelby Dupree (Anna Brewster), to commit the heist of the century and the last crime in American history before the signal goes off. Based on the Radical Publishing graphic novel created by Rick Remender and Greg Tocchini, The Last Days of American Crime is directed by Olivier Megaton, written by Karl Gajdusek, produced by Jesse Berger, p.g.a., Jason Michael Berman, p.g.a., and Barry Levine, with Sharlto Copley also co-starring.

Watch The Last Days of American Crime on Netflix June 5

Okay.  Let me tell you about those 17 years…

Way back in November of 2003, I posted Meet Rick Remender.  Rick was a comic writer and artist I met through my buddy, John Beatty.  John was inking Rick’s pencils on the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.  Rick also had an idea for a comic mini-series he called The Last Days of American Crime.  I loved the art, title and idea for the story.

In 2007, I met Rick at HeroesCon.  Not only did I get hang with him for a bit, Rick also did a Stallone sketch for my collection.  Rick said that The Last Days of American Crime was still in the works. Rick had so many projects going (Fear Agent, Sea of Red, and Strange Girl just to name three) that I had started to think that he’d never get to it.


In March of 2009, I posted the art above and the news that  “The Last Days of American Crime” would premiere later that year in a three issue [48 pages each] mini-series with art by Greg Tocchini.  Yea!  The wait was nearly over.  And how about Greg Tocchini’s art!

In April 2009, we got a look at Tocchini’s The Last Days of American Crime preview cover made for Comic-Con.

In August 2009, CBR.com ran a 17 page preview of The Last Days of American Crime.

In September 2009, CBR.com gave us another preview.  The anticipation was building…

In November 2009, the news was Sam Worthington had signed on to produce and star in a big screen adaptation of Rick Remender’s The Last Days of American Crime.  Wow!  We’d probably see The Last Days of American Crime movie in a year or so, right?

In December 2009, we got another preview of The Last Days of American Crime mini-series.

In September 2010, I posted The Not So Last Days of American Crime. Rick had announced that he had ideas for more tales set in the same The Last Days of American Crime universe!

And now nearly 17 years after that first post and almost ten years after my final post about The Last Days of American Crime we have a trailer for the movie.  How long until someone starts calling Rick Remender and Greg Tocchini overnight sensations?

“Paradise Alley” – Rare, Behind the Scenes Video!

I think a return trip to Paradise Alley is in order.  We could catch up with the Carboni brothers, Frankie the Thumper, Big Glory, Stitch, Mumbles and all the other mugs there.  Maybe we could swing over to the dance hall and see Annie and Bunchie and hear that smug dance hall crooner.  We could end the night with a rooftop race.  

Are you in?

Source:  Brian Stooss‎ ULTRA STALLONE FanPage
Rare : Behind the Scenes of Paradise Alley  Kudos : Joe Breen

“First Blood” Prequel, Anyone? (Updated)

Paolo Cubadda created the very cool art above.  I saw it at Sylvester Stallone’s Official Sly Stallone Shop on Instagram.  Here’s what they said about the art…

Amazing fan art of what a FIRST BLOOD prequel look like called Baker Team. Who would love to see the origins of John Rambo?

I think a First Blood prequel could work under the right conditions.  It would be easier as a novel but I would want to see David Morrell return to his creation.  A movie would be tougher since Sly Stallone is so associated with the character.  One thing I’ve learned over the years though is never say never.

Thanks to SZoner, Bruno Leon for providing Bruno’s name!

“The Grand Unified Theory of Howard Bloom” Poster and Trailer!

I really don’t care for the poster and the trailer makes Howard Bloom look like an eccentric kook, but I think I’d really enjoy the movie.  Check out the trailer and see what you think.

Howard Bloom spent much of the 1970s and 80s as the publicist for iconic musicians like Michael Jackson, Prince, Joan Jett, Run-DMC, and Aerosmith. When a rare disease left him housebound for 15 years, Bloom reinvented himself as an author, publishing several books on evolutionary psychology and humanity’s role in the cosmos. Now in his 70s, the eccentric philosopher readies an unfathomably long masterwork that will unify all of his unorthodox theories, and makes plans for his legacy.

“Big Trouble in Little China” by Rich Kelly!

Check out Rich Kelly’s poster for Big Trouble in Little China!

If you’re a fan of ole Jack Burton and his Porkchop Express, or you like John Carpenter’s cult classic or you just think that Rich Kelly’s poster is the bomb, have I got news for you?

Why, yes, I do!  You can see a bigger version or even buy a limited edition print of BIG TROUBLE IN LITTLE CHINA by Rich Kelly at Mondoshop.

Russell Crowe is “Unhinged” – We have the Trailer to Prove It!

Russell Crowe is Unhinged and we have the trailer to prove it!

Academy Award winner Russell Crowe stars in Unhinged, a timely psychological thriller that explores the fragile balance of a society pushed to the edge, taking something we’ve all experienced- road rage – to an unpredictable and terrifying conclusion. Rachel (Caren Pistorius) is running late to work when she has an altercation at a traffic light with a stranger (Crowe) whose life has left him feeling powerless and invisible. Soon, Rachel finds herself and everyone she loves the target of a man who decides to make one last mark upon the world by teaching her a series of deadly lessons. What follows is a dangerous game of cat and mouse that proves you never know just how close you are to someone who is about to become unhinged.

“Suzi Q” – The Poster and Trailer are Here!

Today we have the poster and trailer to Suzi Q.  I wonder how many folks here know who Suzi Quatro is?

I’m the right age to know, but all I really remember is that Suzi Quatro had a hit song (Stumblin’ In) in 1978 and appeared on Happy Days (as Leather Tuscadero), I think after it had “jumped the shark”.   From the looks of the trailer, there’s a lot I have to learn.

RIP: Jerry Stiller

Jerry Stiller died today from natural causes.  He was 92.  Most folks know Jerry Stiller as the father of either Ben Stiller, George Costanza .  Ben is, of course, Mr. Stiller’s real-life son and George was his son on Seinfeld.  Others may recognize Jerry Stiller as Arthur Spooner, Carrie Heffernan’s dad on The King of Queens.

I first knew Jerry Stiller as one half of the comedy team Stiller and Meara.  You’ve probably figured out that he made up the Stiller half of the duo, but did you know his wife, Ann Meara, made up the other 50%?  I can’t tell you how many times I saw them turn up on The Ed Sullivan Show and other variety series.  I enjoyed their humorous routines. It was (and still is) unusual to see a husband and wife comedy team.  Especially one that lasts over 60 years.

Mr. Stiller’s resume contains 115 acting credits but it was his roles on Seinfeld and The King of Queens that I’ll remember best.  Often Jerry Stiller got the biggest laughs and considering the talent involved that’s saying a lot.  From all accounts Jerry Stiller was a humble, giving man and one that made everything he appeared in better.

My thoughts and prayers go out to his family, friends and fans.