Category: Crime

“Storm Fear” (1955) starring Cornel Wilde, Jean Wallace & Dan Duryea / Z-View

Storm Fear (1955)

Director: Cornel Wilde

Writer: Horton Foote based on STORM FEAR by Clinton Seeley

Stars: Cornel Wilde, Jean Wallace, Dan Duryea, Lee Grant, David Stollery, Dennis Weaver, Steven Hill and Chet Huntley.


The Plot…

A bad winter storm is coming.  Fred Blake (Duryea), his wife Elizabeth (Wallace) and their son, David (Stollery) live in a remote mountainside farm house.  Fred is a sickly and unhappy man.  Just before the storm hits, Fred’s estranged brother, Charlie (Wilde) and two others show up.  Charlie has been shot in the leg.  The bullet is still lodged there.  His companions are Benji (Hill), a nervous, bully and Edna (Grant).  Obviously the three are on the run from the law.

As the storm hits, Fred learns that the three robbed a bank.  A police officer was killed in the process.  Charlie promises they will take off when the weather clears.  But as the night progresses, we learn secrets that had been long buried.  Worried that the family will become witnesses against them, Benji plans to kill them all, including Charlie.

It won’t be long until sunup…

Thoughts (beware of spoilers)…

Storm Fear marked Cornell Wilde’s feature film directorial debut.

Lee Grant had been nominated for a Best Supporting Actress Oscar for her role in 1951’s The Detective.  It was her first feature film.  Because of Joseph McCarthy’s red scare, Grant was blacklisted and didn’t get another feature film role until Cornell Wilde cast her in Storm Fear.  Grant would then go on to a long career as an actress, director and producer.  She was nominated three more times for a Best Supporting Actress Academy Award, winning in 1976 for her role in Shampoo.

I was surprised to learn that Eddie Muller is not a fan of Storm Fear.  I’m not one to argue with the Czar of Noir, but Storm Fear resonated with me.

“Fast Charlie” (2023) – “He’s a Pig” Clip – starring Pierce Brosnan & James Caan!

Here’s another clip from Fast Charlie is based on Victor Gishler’s novel GUN MONKEYS. This one features Pierce Brosnan and James Caan. Fast Charlie is shaping up to be on par with the book.  If so, we’re in for a treat.

Deal me in.

ComingSoon is debuting an exclusive Fast Charlie clip from the Pierce Brosnan-led upcoming action thriller. The film is set to debut in select theaters and through video-on-demand platforms on Friday, December 8.

“Charlie Swift, aka ‘Fast Charlie,’ is a fixer with a problem: the target he’s whacked is missing his head,” read the synopsis. “And he must prove it’s the intended target to the man who paid for the hit — New Orleans’ most prominent and most ruthless mobster, Beggar Mercado. Charlie enlists Marcie Kramer, the victim’s ex-wife and a woman with the backbone and skillset Charlie needs. Dragging Marcie back into a past she was determined to escape sends the two of them on a wild and unpredictable odyssey that’s unexpectedly amusing, action propelled, and ultimately heartfelt. Along the way, Charlie and Marcie fight to protect the legacy of Charlie’s best friend and mentor, Stan Mullen, while bringing down Beggar and his entire operation.”

Starring: Pierce Brosnan, Morena Baccarin, James Caan
Directed by: Phillip Noyce
Release Date: 12/8/23

“Fast Charlie” starring Pierce Brosnan, Morena Baccarin, & James Caan- Official Clip – “How Does That Sound?”

Fast Charlie is based on Victor Gishler’s novel GUN MONKEYS.  I read the books years ago.  If the movie is as good, we’re in for a treat.  The trailer looks like it might be.

Deal me in.

Charlie Swift is a fixer with a problem: the target he’s whacked is missing his head and the only way Charlie will be paid is if the body can be identified. Enter Marcie Kramer, the victim’s ex-wife and a woman with all the skills Charlie needs.

Starring: Pierce Brosnan, Morena Baccarin, James Caan
Directed by: Phillip Noyce
Release Date: 12/8/23



First sentence…

The cashier at the 7-11 on Water Street leaves to take a leak.

The Overview:  Beware of Spoilers…

Kraj is an expatriate Croat.  He makes his living as a bouncer and occasional enforcer for his boss Tricky Ricky Gutierrez.  It’s a job Kraj was built for.  Tricky Ricky sees potential in Kraj.  That makes Mikael, nervous.  Mikael manages the strip club that serves as the front for Tricky Ricky’s various “businesses”.   Kraj continues to prove his worth and gain more trust from Ricky.  With the trust comes more responsibility.  Kraj is making the right moves.  Now that Kraj’s new girlfriend has been promoted to manager at the McDonald’s things are looking up.  Of course the higher up, the farther the fall.

Rusty Barnes presents 14 Kraj The Enforcer short stories.  Each story is a complete tale.  Read together they form a bigger yarn.  Kraj isn’t your typical anti-hero.  While he has some of the characteristics you’d expect, his supporting characters ground him in a reality you’d get visiting most small Appalachian towns. Plus his origin is unique and makes him standout in his new adopted country.  I enjoyed KRAJ THE ENFORCER: STORIES.  I hope we see more.


“Strange Bargain” (1949) starring Jeffrey Lynn, Martha Scott & Henry Morgan / Z-View

Strange Bargain (1949)

Director: Will Price

Screenplay by: Lillie Hayward from a story by J.H. Wallis

Starring: Martha Scott, Jeffrey Lynn, Harry Morgan, Richard Gaines and Walter Sande.

Tagline: “$10,000 If You Make My Suicide Look Like MURDER!”

The Story:

On the day that Sam Wilson (Lynn) asks his boss, Malcolm Jarvis (Gaines) for a raise, Jarvis offers him a deal. Jarvis will give Sam $10,000.00 if Sam will make Jarvis’ suicide look like a murder!  Jarvis explains that the company is probably going to go out of business in a matter of weeks.  Jarvis is himself broke despite the fact that he lives in a big house and looks rich.  Jarvis plans to shoot himself that very evening while his wife and son are out.  Before he kills himself, he will mess up his home office to look like a robbery.  All Sam has to do is get rid of the gun.  Sam refuses and tries to talk Mr. Jarvis out of killing himself.  Jarvis says there is no other way to leave money for his family and he’s ready to die.

That evening Sam receives the call.  He heads over to talk sense into Mr. Jarvis.  When he arrives, Mr. Jarvis is lying dead from a gunshot.  There is an envelope with $10,000 in it addressed to Sam.  Realizing that he will soon be out of a job and Jarvis is beyond help, Sam takes the money.

The next day police begin to investigate.  Things aren’t adding up.  It doesn’t look like suicide.  Any guesses on who the main suspect is?

Thoughts (beware of spoilers) 

Strange Bargain runs a quick 68 minutes.  It’s got a likable cast. There’s a nice twist on the suicide.  If I were to pick any nits is that it all wraps up a bit too nicely.  But in this day and age, why complain about things that end up that way?

“The Accountant” (2016) starring Ben Affleck, Anna Kendrick, J.K. Simmons, Jon Bernthal & John Lithgow / Z-View

The Accountant (2016)

Director: Gavin O’Connor

Screenplay by: Bill Dubuque

Starring: Ben Affleck, Anna Kendrick, J.K. Simmons, Jon Bernthal, Jeffrey Tambor, Cynthia Addai-Robinson, John Lithgow, Alison Wright, Jason Davis, Robert C. Treveiler, Seth Lee, Ron Prather and Jean Smart.

Tagline: Calculate your choices.

The Story:

Christian Wolff (Affleck), a mathematics savant, was diagnosed as being on the Autism spectrum as a child.  His father, a military vet, forced Christian to deal with the things that triggered him.  Dad also provided martial arts and weapons training for Christian and his brother.

Now an adult, Wolff uses his math talents as an accountant to criminal enterprises.  He operates out of a small office that is a front.  Wolff also owns several businesses used to launder money.  Wolff is hired by Lamar Blackburn (Lithgow), the billionaire owner of Living Robotics, to check his books.  What Wolff discovers puts in motion a chain of events that result in several murders.  At the same time Wolff is dealing with this, he learns that the Treasury Department has been investigating him and are about to close in.

Thoughts (beware of spoilers) 

Ben Affleck is excellent as Christian Wolff.  He is supported by an amazing cast.  Standouts include Anna Kendrick, J.K. Simmons, Jeffrey Tambor and John Lithgow.  Kudos to the always excellent Jon Bernthal, who owns every scene he’s in.

The Accountant features a cool twist that I didn’t see coming.

I’d love for Affleck and Bernthal to return in a sequel.

Ray-Anthony Height Gets Carter (with an interesting story)

Today we have Sly Stallone as Jack Carter by Ray-Anthony Height.  It’s my third piece from Ray-Anthony and it has an interesting story.

My buddy, John Higashi was at a convention.  He saw this piece on display at Ray-Anthony’s table.  John told RAH that he had a buddy, Craig Zablo, who collected Stallone sketches.  RAH said that the art was originally for Craig, but that it got lost.  So he refunded Craig the money.  RAH later found the sketch and decided to see if it would sell at the convention.

And it did.

I’ve darkened the piece a bit for display here.

“Chrome and Hot Leather” (1971) starring William Smith / Z-View

Chrome and Hot Leather (1971)

Director: Lee Frost

Screenplay by: Michael Haynes & David Neibel and Don Tait from a story by Michael Haynes & David Neibel

Starring: William Smith, Tony Young, Michael Haynes, Peter Brown, Michael Stearns, Larry Bishop, Kathrine Baumann, Wes Bishop, Herb Jeffries, Bobby Pickett, Cheryl Ladd (aka Cherie Moor), Robert Ridgely, Erik Estrada, Dan Haggerty  and Marvin Gaye.

Tagline: A terrifying look at Motor Cycle Savagery – from the same studio that made “Born Losers”

The Story:

When a US Special Forces sergeant learns that his fiancé was killed by the member of a motorcycle gang, he recruits three of his service buddies to track down the murderer.  Four Viet Nam vets against an entire motorcycle gang?  Yeah, that sounds about right.

Thoughts (beware of spoilers)

William Smith and Peter Brown co-starred in the television series Laredo before working on this film.

Chrome and Hot Leather features some interesting cast member trivia…

  • Cheryl Ladd made her feature film debut billed as Cherie Moor.
  • Marvin Gaye, best known as a multi-Grammy award-winning singer, made his feature film debut as well.
  • Bobby Pickett, best known as the writer/singer of the classic The Monster Mash appears.
  • Herb Jeffries, a popular jazz singer and actor in films made for African-American audiences in the 1930s/1940s, shows up.
  • Erik Estrada can be seen in an uncredited role in only his second feature film.
  • Dan Haggerty also has an uncredited role.  He plays a bearded member of the biker gang.

Chrome and Hot Leather (1971) was made to cash in on the biker craze of the era.  It’s a low-budget drive-in film.  William Smith was built for biker films.  If he was a bit younger, he’d have been an action movie star of the 80s.  Still playing Conan’s dad is quite a notch on your resume.


ALFRED HITCHCOCK STORYBOARDS by Tony Lee Moral will appeal to Hitchcock fans and movie lovers.

A one-of-a-kind historical document and celebration of the artwork behind several of the Master of Suspense’s greatest films.

This stunning coffee table book focuses on the storyboards for nine of Alfred Hitchcock’s classic movies – Vertigo, The Birds, Psycho, North by Northwest, The 39 Steps, Torn Curtain, Marnie, Shadow of a Doubt and Spellbound. It includes never before-published images and incisive text putting the material in context and examining the role the pieces played in some of the most unforgettable scenes in cinema. Hitchcock author and aficionado Tony Lee Moral takes you through the last 100 years of cinema, with the Master of Suspense as your guide.