Author: Craig Zablo

CANARY by Scott Snyder and Dan Panosian is Coming!

The CANARY trade paperback by Scott Snyder and Dan Panosian is set to premiere on June 25th.  Here’s the synopsis…

In 1884 a mine collapsed into itself. What was the dark substance found 666 feet underground?

Blending modern horror, historical fact and Western lore, Scott Snyder and Dan Panosian have created a uniquely terrifying thriller with Canary.

During the final days of the Gold Rush, one mining company in Utah pulled up radioactive Uranium, and then the mine then collapsed in on itself. Legends sprung up about the mine being cursed or even haunted.

Now the Frontier is closed and the gold and silver mines have dried up. The country is becoming “civilized,” and yet, in one stretch of the Rocky Mountains, a terrifying, new kind of violence is suddenly emerging. Random killings. People going mad and murdering neighbors and classmates without real cause. When a schoolboy kills his teacher with a hatchet, a famous federal marshal named Azrael William Holt is called in to investigate the killings. What he and a brilliant young geologist uncover is stranger and more horrifying than anything they could have ever imagined.

“Tommy” (2017) / Z-View

Tommy (2017)

Directors:  Gentry Kirby, Erin Leyden

Tagline: His Toughest Fight Was Outside the Ring

The Plot…

Tommy Morrison rose from poverty and a broken home to co-star in Rocky V, and become a World Champion Boxer.  Morrison was on top, but his inability to control his addiction to drugs, partying and women led to his downfall.  Morrison made repeated comebacks, but sabotaged himself every time.  Finally he received news that ended his career and ultimately his life.

Thoughts (beware of spoilers)…

Tommy Morrison’s story is a sad one.  This is especially true since Morrison’s own behavior caused his downfall.  I give him credit for his initial press conference when he announced he had HIV.  Sadly, his behavior went south after that.  He had a doctor give him bicep implants, he claimed he no longer had HIV and he began getting in trouble with the law (DUIs, drugs and weapons convictions, etc.).  He continued to lie and cheat on the two women he truly loved him.

Tommy Morrison with better self-control could have had a career in boxing and maybe even movies or television.  I thought it was funny that Tommy’s boxing nickname was “The Duke” because John Wayne was a distant relative.  It’s funny because it wasn’t true and Morrison was surprised no one ever checked.

Tommy (2017) rates 5 of 5 stars.

BRUCE LEE: IN MY OWN PROCESS by Bruce Lee is Coming!

Bruce Lee fans are going to love this.  BRUCE LEE: IN MY OWN PROCESS by Bruce Lee is set to premiere on April 23rd.  Here’s the synopsis…

‘Many of you know that I am a martial artist by choice, an actor by profession, and, by daily actualizing my potentiality through soulful discoveries and daily exercising, I hope to become also an artist of life.’ – Bruce Lee

‘I venture that 95% of people have heard of Bruce Lee. They might not know everything about him, but they know his name. Isn’t that just incredible? And what excites me about this book is that it’s an opportunity for the reader to have a better understanding of why you continue to know his name.’ – Shannon Lee

‘Bruce draws you in with his martial strength and prowess, fascinates you with his aggression and superlative masculinity, and then you go deeper and learn about his philosophy, his depth as a thinker and a scientist, and that really hooks you.’ – Ang Lee

‘Bruce Lee exemplified discipline and finding your own path to success while committed to doing something you love.’ – Tony Hawk

‘Every time he spoke I would shudder because it was like poetry. He was like the first Asian rapper without a beat!’ – Steve Aoki

Bruce Lee’s blockbuster movies, pioneering martial arts practice and motivational philosophy continue to inspire millions worldwide. Published in the fiftieth year of his passing, In My Own Process celebrates Lee’s legacy as a martial artist, actor and philosopher, offering readers the definitive book of his spectacular career.

Collating rare photographs, drawings and writings, In My Own Process opens up the Bruce Lee family archives. A wealth of fascinating items are shared, including handwritten poems; personal affirmations and diary entries; movie scripts; workout regimes; teaching notes; martial arts drawings and philosophical observations. Hundreds of photographs reveal Bruce Lee in action, starring in classic movies such as Enter the Dragon, as well as during private moments away from the spotlight.

Reflecting on key areas of his life, in 1973 Bruce Lee wrote a series of letters titled ‘In My Own Process’. Lee’s writings introduce the chapters of his career, from developing his philosophy of Jeet Kune Do, to his first screen test, to his big Hollywood breakthrough.

Alongside an extensive commentary in Lee’s own words, contributions from today’s leading figures in music, film, and sport examine Lee’s work and legacy, including Oscar-winning movie director Ang Lee, prolific actor and martial artist Jackie Chan, world-renowned skateboarder Tony Hawk, basketball superstar Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and more. Exclusive interviews with Lee’s associates and family members, such as his close friend and training partner, Dan Inosanto, add further personal insight.

In partnership with the family of Bruce Lee, Genesis Publications is proud to present In My Own Process, the official book documenting the life and work of one of the most significant cultural icons of all time.

“The Day Hitler Died” (2016) / Z-View

The Day Hitler Died (2016)

Directors:  Craig Collinson

Writers: Craig Collinson

Tagline: None.

The Plot…

In 1948, U.S. Navy Captain and Nuremberg Judge, Michael Musmanno, filmed interviews with members of Adolph Hitler’s inner circle who were with him in his bunker in his final days.  These interviews provide a first hand look at Hitler’s spiraling mental health as he realizes all is lost.

Thoughts (beware of spoilers)…

These interviews were only rediscovered in 2013 and had not been seen by the public.

The Day Hitler Died (2016) rates 4 of 5 stars.

Alex Garland’s Second Trailer for “Civil War” is Here!

Below is the second trailer for Alex Garland’s Civil War.  I am looking forward to this.

From writer/director Alex Garland and starring Kirsten Dunst, Wagner Moura, Stephen McKinley Henderson, and Cailee Spaeny. CIVIL WAR – In Theaters April 12, 2024.

RELEASE DATE: April 12, 2024
DIRECTOR: Alex Garland
CAST: Kirsten Dunst, Wagner Moura, Stephen McKinley Henderson, and Cailee Spaeny

“Attack of the Hollywood Cliches!” (2021) hosted by Rob Lowe / Z-View

Attack of the Hollywood Cliches! (2021)

Directors:  Sean Doherty, Ricky Kelehar, Alice Mathias

Writers:  Dane Baptiste, Ben Caudell, Sean Doherty

Stars: Rob Lowe, Andie MacDowell

Tagline: None.

The Plot…

Rob Lowe hosts an exploration of movie cliches like the hero walking calmly away as something behind him explodes, one-man super-soldiers, kissing in the rain, a character coming from the grocery store always has a loaf of French bread sticking out of the bag and more.

Thoughts (beware of spoilers)…

A harmless way to spend an hour.

Attack of the Hollywood Cliches! (2021) rates 3 of 5 stars.

“Legend of Lead Belly” (2013) / Z-View

Legend of Lead Belly (2013)

Director:  Alan Ravenscroft

Stars: Huddie Ledbetter (aka Lead Belly), Bob Dylan

Tagline: None.

The Plot…

Huddie Ledbetter aka Lead Belly, despite being born in poverty, growing up in a time of extreme racism, and serving several jail/prison terms, became an accomplished musician whose influence spanned music genres and generations.  Although crowned the “King of the Twelve-String Guitar”, Lead Belly was an accomplished musician who could also play piano, mandolin, harmonica and violin.  His songs have been covered by Frank Sinatra to Nirvana.  His influence in music is still felt 75 years after his death.  Legend of Lead Belly provides an excellent overview of his life.

Thoughts (beware of spoilers)…

Lead Belly was serving time for murder.  He wrote and recorded a song asking for clemency from the Governor… and received it!

It’s interesting that late in life, Lead Belly wanted to play a movie singing cowboy.  Unfortunately he never achieved that goal.

If you know the name Lead Belly, but don’t know much about him, Legend of Lead Belly is a great starting point.

Legend of Lead Belly (2013) rates 4 of 5 stars.

“The Strain”: Season 4 (2017) / Z-View

The Strain: Season 4 (2017)

Created by:  Guillermo del Toro, Chuck Hogan

Directors:  J. Miles Dale (eps. 1 – 2, 10); Kevin Dowling (eps. 3 – 4); Norberto Barba (eps. 5 – 6); Thomas Carter (ep. 7); Paco Cabezas (ep. 8); Jennifer Lynch (ep. 9)

Screenplay: Carlton Cruse, Chuck Hogan (ep. 1, 10); Liz Phang (ep. 2, 8); David Weddle, Bradley Thompson (ep. 3, 9); Chuck Hogan (ep. 3); Mickey Fisher (ep. 4); Jeff Wadlow (ep. 5); Paul Keables (ep. 6); Andy Iser (ep. 7)

Stars: Corey Stoll, David Bradley, Jim Watson, Kevin Durand, Jonathan Hyde, Richard Sammel, Natalie Brown, Miguel Gomez, Max Charles, Ruta Gedmintas, Rupert Penry-Jones, Samantha Mathis, Joaquín Cosío, Adriana Barraza.

Tagline: None.

The Plot…

Nine months have passed since the bombs went off.  A nuclear winter envelopes the world.  The strigoi have formed a “partnership” with surviving humans.  Humans donate blood to feed the strigoi.  Despite people disappearing most humans feel the partnership is their only hope.

Setrakian, Fet, Mr. Quinlan, Gus and the others continue to work separately and together to find a way to kill the Master.  If they can do that, the strigoi will be mindless and easier to destroy.  When the group comes up with a suicide plan, there is little doubt that all will not survive… the real question is will the Master be killed.

Thoughts (beware of spoilers)…

Guillermo del Toro and Chuck Hogan have created a modern day vampire tale with a backstory that extends not just decades, but centuries.  The vampires aren’t the classic creatures of the night seen in countless movies.  And the stakes aren’t just a beautiful woman’s soul.  Here the fate of the world is at risk.

The writers should be commended for creating a huge cast of interesting characters with wonderful backstories.  In different episodes, different characters get the spotlight but viewers don’t get the feeling that it is by the numbers.  David Bradley as Professor Abraham Setrakian, Kevin Durand as Vasiliy Fet and Miguel Gomez as Augustin “Gus” Elizalde continue to shine.  Jonathan Hyde as Eldritch Palmer and Richard Sammel as Thomas Eichhorst, the Nazi vampire acolyte continue to be great villains.  Rupert Penry-Jones as Quinlan makes a great anti-hero.

Although Guillermo del Toro and Chuck Hogan wrote a Strain trilogy of novels, the series doesn’t follow them exactly.

The Strain: Season 4 (2017) earns 5 of 5 stars.

“Badland Hunters” (2024) starring Don Lee / Z-View

Badland Hunters (2024)

Director:  Heo Myeong Haeng

Screenplay: Kim Bo-tong, Kwak Jae-min

Stars: Ma Dong-seok (aka Don Lee), Lee Joon-young

Tagline: The world has come to an end, The world calls upon the hunter.

The Plot…

A series of earthquakes have turned Seoul into a wasteland.  Nam San (Lee) and his young sidekick, Choi ji-wan (Joon-young) are hunters who provide meat for their settlement.  When Dr. Yang Gi-su sends in a team promising the people of the settlement a better life, several families decide to leave.

Dr. Gi-su actually wants the young people for his mad experiments and the adults as slave labor.  He has the elders killed.  Gi-su’s experiments turn people into thinking zombie-like beings.  Nam San and Choi discover what has happened and go to free them.

Thoughts (beware of spoilers)…

I’m a Don Lee fan.  He deserved a better film.  So did his fans.  The story is weak and the effects are okay at best.  Still, there is plenty of action… and Don Lee.

Badland Hunters (2024) rates 2 of 5 stars.

SUGAR ON THE BONES, the 13th Hap & Leonard novel by Joe R. Lansdale, is Coming!

SUGAR ON THE BONES, the 13th Hap & Leonard novel by Joe R. Lansdale is coming!  Here’s what to expect…

PI Duo Hap & Leonard investigate the untimely death of a woman whose family stood much to gain from her passing. It’s a holy mess of a case for the “perpetual bad boy” (New York Times) sleuths in this beloved series.

Minnie Polson is dead. Burned to a crisp in a fire so big and bad it had to be deliberate. The only thing worse is that Hap and Leonard could have prevented it. Maybe. Minnie had a feeling she was being targeted, shaken down by some shadowy force. However, when she’d solicited Hap & Leonard, all it took was one off color joke to turn her sour and she’d called them off the investigation. Wracked with a guilty conscience, the two PIs—along with Hap’s fleet-footed wife, Brett—tuck in to the case. As they look closer, they dredge up troublesome facts: for one, Minnie’s daughter, Alice, has recently vanished. She’d been hard up after her pet grooming business went under and was in line to collect a whopping insurance sum should anything happen to her mother. The same was due to Minnie’s estranged husband, Al, whose kryptonite (beautiful, money-grubbing women) had left him with only a run-down mobile home. But did Minnie’s foolish, cash-strapped family really have it in them to commit a crime this grisly? Or is there a larger, far more sinister scheme at work?

Irreverent, wise-cracking, and full of atmosphere and bite, Sugar on the Bones is not to be missed.

SUGAR ON THE BONES drops July 16, 2024.

THE LAST FEW MILES OF ROAD: A CARTER MCCOY NOVEL by Eric Beetner is Coming Soon!

THE LAST FEW MILES OF ROAD: A CARTER MCCOY NOVEL by Eric Beetner will premiere on February 27th! Here’s the lowdown…

When Carter McCoy learns he hasn’t got long to live, it’s time to take care of something he has wanted to do for years–kill the man responsible for his daughter’s death. But Carter has no experience killing and isn’t even sure he can do it.

Breanna needs to escape her toxic home life or end up living a life of regret. When she happens upon the old man with a rifle, she sees a light at the end of her dark tunnel. Carter may be the answer to her problems, if he lives long enough to help her.

Carter is a man on borrowed time, and what he does with the rest of it could change who he has been his whole life. With the police closing in one step ahead of death, Carter has the opportunity to change Breanna’s life and give her the chance his daughter never had. With his trusty dog, Chester, at his side, Carter’s last act will be the one that defines who he is.