Author: Craig Zablo

“Rogue Hostage” Starring Tyrese Gibson & John Malkovich. The Trailer is Here!

The Rogue Hostage trailer is here.  Tyrese Gibson and John Malkovich star in Die Hard in a hardware store.  I’ll check it out when it comes to a streaming service I get.

PLOT: Rogue Hostage follows single father and former Marine Kyle Snowden (Tyrese Gibson), who is struggling to adjust to life with PTSD. On a routine stop for his job in Child Protective Services, Kyle finds himself and a group of innocent customers trapped inside his stepfather’s store during a hostile take-over by militant maniac Eagan Raize. Disturbing details emerge about Eagan’s violent vendetta against Kyle’s stepfather, Congressman Sam Nelson (John Malkovich), threatening the lives of everyone inside, including the Congressman and Kyle’s young daughter. In a race against time, Kyle must battle against the terrorists as well as his personal demons to secure the store and save everyone. #RogerHostage​

CAST: Tyrese Gibson, John Malkovich, Holly Taylor

Release Date: 6/11/21

Recasting “Escape from New York”

Art by Paul Shippper

A little over eight years ago there was talk that Joel Silver was working with StudioCanal to remake John Carpenter’s Escape from New York along with two other films featuring Snake Plissken.  I was excited for the news and began to think about who would play each part.  Below are my original cast suggestions as well as who I would cast now. 

So… let’s take a look at who should fill the roles in Escape from New York Remake:

  • Snake Plissken was originally played by Kurt Russell.  Then I suggested Guy Pearce.  Now I would cast Wyatt Russell.  I know Wyatt has said he wouldn’t play Snake, but man, that would be perfect casting.

  • Hauk was originally played by Lee Van Cleef.  Then I suggested Stephen Lang.  Now I would still go with Lang.

  • Cabbie was originally played by Ernest Borgnine.  Then I suggested Brian Cox.  Now I would cast Ma Dong-seok (Train to Busan).

  • The President was originally played by Donald Pleasence.  Then I suggested James Gandolfini.  Now I would cast James Spader.

  • The Duke was originally played by Isaac Hayes.  Then I suggested Terry Crews Now I would still go with Terry Crews.

  • Brain was originally played by Harry Dean Stanton.  Then I suggested Michael EmersonNow I would still go with Michael Emerson.

  • Maggie was originally played by Adrienne Barbeau.  Then I suggested Rosario DawsonNow I would still go with Rosario Dawson.

  • Romero was originally played by Frank Doubleday.  Then I suggested Walton Goggins Now I would still go with Walton Goggins.

  • Slag was originally played by Ox Baker.  Then I suggested Ryan HurstNow I would still go with Ryan Hurst.

So, what do you think?  Inspired casting or did I miss the mark?



RIP: Billie Hayes

Billie Hayes who performed on Broadway, in movies and on television died on April 29th at the age of 96.  Her death from natural causes was announced today by her family.

Mrs. Hayes first Broadway appearance was in Leonard Sillman’s New Faces in 1956. She was then cast as Mammy Yokum in the Broadway version of Li’l Abner.  When Li’l Abner was turned into a feature film, Hayes reprised her role as Mammy Yokum.

Billy Hayes first television role was on The Monkees.  Her next television role was the one she became best known for, as Witchiepoo on HR Pufnstuff (tv series) and in the Pufnstuff movie.  After that series ended Hayes appeared once again as Mammy Yokum in the Li’l Abner tv movie.  Hayes went on to make guest appearances on Bewitched, Lidsville (as a series co-star), Donny and Marie, Murder She Wrote, General Hospital and many other shows.  In 1981, Hayes also began doing voice work (on shows such as The Flintstone Comedy Show, The New Scooby-Doo Mysteries, Darkwing Duck, Talespin to name just a few).  She continued doing voice work until she retired in 2016.

Not many performers have a career as long as Billie Hayes.  She was able to successfully transition between stage, feature films and television.  I, like many of her fans, knew her best from her role as Witchiepoo.  I was ten when the series premiered.  My brother and I got into trouble for calling my youngest sister, Witchiepoo.  It’s funny the things you remember.

Our thoughts and prayers go out to Billie Hayes’ family, friends and fans.

“Occupation Rainfall” – The Poster and Trailer are Here!

Occupation Rainfall is what I call a drive-in movie.  Since we don’t have drive-ins (at least near where I live), Occupation Rainfall will be watched on a night of streaming when there’s nothing more pressing to watch.

US Release Date: June 11, 2021
Starring: Dan Ewing, Jason Isaacs, Temuera Morrison
Directed By: Luke Sparke
Synopsis: Two years after aliens land on Earth, survivors from Sydney, Australia, fight in a desperate war as the number of casualties continue to grow.

Did You Hear What Eddie Gein Done? by Eric Powell and Harold Schechter is Coming!

It seems that everyone has heard of Charles Manson, The Boston Strangler, Jack the Ripper, Ted Bundy, The BTK Killer, and other infamous psychos.  Not as many folks have heard of Ed Gein.  Gein is a true life wacko who inspired Psycho (the book and film), The Texas Chainsaw Massacre and even The Silence of the Lambs (book and film).  Eric Powell is teaming with Harold Schechter to tell Ed Gein’s story.  Here’s the synopsis from Amazon:

One of the greats in the field of true crime literature, Harold Schechter (Deviant, The Serial Killer Files, Hell’s Princess), teams with five-time Eisner Award-winning graphic novelist Eric Powell (The Goon, Big Man Plans, Hillbilly) to bring you the tale of one of the most notoriously deranged serial killers in American history, Ed Gein.

Did You Hear What Eddie Gein Done? is an in-depth exploration of the Gein family and what led to the creation of the necrophile who haunted the dreams of 1950s America and inspired such films as Psycho, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre and The Silence of the Lambs.

Painstakingly researched and illustrated, Schechter and Powell’s true crime graphic novel takes the Gein story out of the realms of exploitation and gives the reader a fact-based dramatization of these tragic, psychotic and heartbreaking events. Because, in this case, the truth needs no embellishment to be horrifying.

If this sounds like something you’d like, you can use this link to pre-order Did You Hear What Eddie Gein Done?

Here’s an interview with Eric Powell on the killer behind the monster in DID YOU HEAR WHAT EDDIE GEIN DONE?

RIP: Johnny Crawford

Johnny Crawford, best known as one of the original Mouseketeers and for his role on The Rifleman, died yesterday at the age of 75.  Mr. Crawford had been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s, COVID-19 and pneumonia, but his cause of death was not specified.

Crawford first rose to fame as one of Walt Disney’s original Mouseketeers.  He would then go on to play roles on The Lone Ranger, The Frank Sinatra Show, Have Gun – Will Travel, The Danny Thomas Show, Wagon Train and many other popular television shows before getting his co-starring role on The Rifleman with Chuck Connors.  At the age of 13, Johnny Crawford was nominated for a Prime Time Emmy for his portrayal of Mark McCain, on The Rifleman.  Crawford and Connors developed a friendship that would continue throughout their lives.  When The Rifleman ended, Crawford appeared on an episode of Connor’s follow-up series, Branded.  Johnny Crawford even spoke at Chuck Connors’ funeral decades later.

Johnny Crawford had a brief career as a singing star.  He had four top forty Billboard hits on Del-FI records.  Throughout his life Crawford acted in television and feature film roles, and in 1992, he formed the JCO (Johnny Crawford Orchestra) which performed at festivals and special events.  Johnny Crawford was an extremely talented individual with a career that spanned over 60 years of performances on stage, television and silver screen.

Our thoughts and prayers go out to Johnny Crawford’s family, fans and friends.

“Stowaway” (2021) / Z-View

Stowaway (2021)

Director: Joe Penna

Screenplay: Joe Penna, Ryan Morrison

Stars:  Anna Kendrick, Daniel Dae Kim, Shamier Anderson.

The Pitch: “Let’s update Lifeboat, but do it in space!”

Tagline: Millions of miles from home, survival comes with sacrifice.

The Overview:  Beware of Spoilers…

About 12 hours into (and past the point of no return of) a two year mission to Mars, the three person astronaut team discovers a man unconscious and badly bleeding.  The accidental stowaway is a launch support engineer who was making last minute preflight checks before liftoff when he was injured.  In order to make the journey to Mars, the ship was equipped with just the essentials to ensure the safety of the three astronauts.  Now with four on board, the question of survival of all comes into play.

Shamier Anderson is excellent as Michael Anderson, the accidental stowaway.  His realization that he is the odd man out on a journey he hasn’t been trained for, nor wanted plays out beautifully though his facial expressions and body language.  Toni Collette plays Marina Barnett, the ship’s Captain who will have to make the ultimate decisions about who lives or dies.  Daniel Dae Kim is the team’s biologist, David Kim and most pragmatic/logical of the team.  Anna Kendrick plays Zoe Levenson, the ship’s doctor and medical researcher.

Initially, they believe that by rationing and conservation of supplies, the trip can be made by four instead of three.  Then they discover that their carbon dioxide scrubber isn’t working. They will be pushing it to have enough oxygen for three.  Now, faced with decisions that will effect not only the mission, but the lives of every person on board, the four must come to grips with the reality of the situation.  Not everyone will survive the journey and as things worsen, the question becomes not of who will survive, but will any of them survive.

Stowaway is well acted and contains excellent special effects.  The tension mounts as the movie progresses and presents itself as more of a morality drama then action/adventure.  As for me, I liked it and rate it 3 out of 5 stars.