Author: Craig Zablo

“The Conjuring​: The Devil Made Me Do It” – The Poster and Trailer are Here!

Wow!  I like the poster and love the trailer for The Conjuring​: The Devil Made Me Do It.  The addition of the true crime (although I’ll have to look into how true the crime is) aspect works for me.  I like everything about this so far and it may end up being my favorite of The Conjuring films.

True horror returns. Based on the case files of Ed and Lorraine Warren. #TheConjuring​: The Devil Made Me Do It, in theaters and HBO Max June 4.

“The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It” reveals a chilling story of terror, murder and unknown evil that shocked even experienced real-life paranormal investigators Ed and Lorraine Warren. One of the most sensational cases from their files, it starts with a fight for the soul of a young boy, then takes them beyond anything they’d ever seen before, to mark the first time in U.S. history that a murder suspect would claim demonic possession as a defense.

Vera Farmiga and Patrick Wilson return to star as Lorraine and Ed Warren, under the direction of Michael Chaves (“The Curse of La Llorona”). The film also stars Ruairi O’Connor (Starz’ “The Spanish Princess”), Sarah Catherine Hook (Hulu’s “Monsterland”) and Julian Hilliard (the series “Penny Dreadful: city of Angels” and “The Haunting of Hill House”).

“The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It” was produced by James Wan and Peter Safran, who have collaborated on all the “Conjuring” Universe films. Chaves directed from a screenplay by David Leslie Johnson-McGoldrick (“The Conjuring 2,” “Aquaman”), story by James Wan & David Leslie Johnson-McGoldrick, based on characters created by Chad Hayes & Carey W. Hayes. Serving as executive producers were Richard Brener, Dave Neustadter, Victoria Palmeri, Michael Clear, Judson Scott and Michelle Morrissey.

The behind-the-scenes creative team reunited “Conjuring” Universe contributors, including director of photography Michael Burgess, production designer Jennifer Spence, costume designer Leah Butler and composer Joseph Bishara, along with the director’s editor from “The Curse of La Llorona,” Peter Gvozdas, and editor Christian Wagner (“Furious 7”).

“The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It” is the seventh film in the “Conjuring” Universe, the largest horror franchise in history, which has grossed more than $1.8 billion worldwide. It includes the first two “Conjuring” films, as well as “Annabelle” and “Annabelle: Creation,” “The Nun,” and “Annabelle Comes Home.”

New Line Cinema presents An Atomic Monster/A Peter Safran Production, “The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It.” It will be distributed by Warner Bros. Pictures. The film opens in theatres and IMAX nationwide on June 4, 2021 and will be available on HBO Max for 31 days from theatrical release. The film is rated R for terror, violence and some disturbing images.

The Art of “The Walking Dead” Universe is Coming to Get You, Barbara!

As The Walking Dead heads into its final expanded season, fans are going to want to get their hands on TWD collectibles.  The Art of the Walking Dead Universe is a 240 page 9×12 hardcover that will be on many TWD fan’s wish list.

Published by Skybound & produced by AMC Networks Publishing, discover the behind-the-scenes pre-production & production art for AMC’s THE WALKING DEAD shows: The Walking Dead, Fear the Walking Dead, and The Walking Dead: World Beyond, all in one incredible collection! Includes never-before-seen original sketches, concept art, storyboards, previs art, set concept and engineering art, promotional concept to completion key art, special product illustrations, in-world product art, and much more. Also includes a brand-new wraparound cover featuring over 50 characters from across all the shows. Features an introduction by Chief Content Officer, SCOTT M. GIMPLE, as well as other compelling anecdotes and fun facts from The Walking Dead creators and crew. A must-have for anyone who has ever shouted, “We are the Walking Dead!”

The Art of the Walking Dead Universe drops on October 5, 2021 and is available for pre-order now.

“Werewolves Within” – The Trailer is Here!

With the Werewolves Within trailer we learn that the movie will be a combination horror – mystery – comedy.  While I’m not expecting great things, I’ll check it out hoping for a fun ride.  Oh, and did you notice that Lilly (Milana Vayntrub) from the AT&T commercials is one of the stars?

Director: Josh Ruben
Starring: Milana Vayntrub, Cheyenne Jackson, Michaela Watkins

When a killer terrorizes the snowed-in residents of a small town, it falls to the new forest ranger to find out who – or what – lurks among them in this hilarious horror whodunnit.

The TCM Classic Film Festival is Coming Soon! Full Line-up is Here!

The TCM Classic Film Festival runs this year from May 6th through the 9th.  It is totally virtual and this year TCM is teaming with HBO Max to…

…feature more than 100 films, brand new conversations with over 30 special guests, rarely seen gems from the TCM archives and special presentations.

Here are the films/events that I look forward to…

May 6th
11:15pm  TCM  Mean Streets (1973) – A young hood in New York’s Little Italy contends with saving the neck of his hotheaded best friend from the local loan shark and struggles with the religious guilt prompted by his lifestyle.

May 7th
1:30am  TCM  Dr. X (1932) – TCM premiere of recently restored version. The new two-color Technicolor master was restored by UCLA Film and Television Archive and The Film Foundation in association with Warner Bros. Entertainment.

8:00pm  TCM  Plan 9 From Outer Space Table Read (2020) – Television premiere. SF Sketchfest Presents a table read of Ed Wood’s Plan 9 From Outer Space (1959), adapted by comedian Dana Gould and featuring Maria Bamford, Bobcat Goldthwait, Oscar Nuñez, Laraine Newman, Bob Odenkirk, David Koechner, Janet Varney, Jonah Ray, Paul F. Tompkins, Gary Anthony Williams, Baron Vaughn, Deborah Baker Jr. and Kat Aagesen.  (Followed by the original Plan 9 From Outer Space (1959) film at 9:30pm.)

May 8th
3:15am  TCM  let me come in (2021) – World broadcast premiere presentation of Bill Morrison’s experimental short featuring decayed film reels from the lost, German silent film Pawns of Passion (1928). Co-presented by The Los Angeles Opera with composer David Lang and soprano Angel Blue, and in partnership with the Library of Congress Audio Visual Conservation Center.

4:00am  TCM  Underworld U.S.A. (1961) – A bitter young man sets out to get back at the gangsters who murdered his father.

6:00am  TCM  TEX AVERY: THE KING OF CARTOONS (1988) – Documentary about the life and career of animator and director Frederick Bean “Tex” Avery.

7:00am  TCM  TEX AVERY AT MGM (1943-1955) – Compilation of cartoons directed by Tex Avery during his years at MGM. Featured cartoons: Red Hot Riding Hood (1943), Bad Luck Blackie (1949), Deputy Droopy (1955), Screwball Squirrel (1944), King-Size Canary (1947), T.V. of Tomorrow (1953) and Symphony in Slang (1955).

8:00am  TCM  I LOVE TROUBLE (1947) – TCM premiere. A private detective is hired by a politician to check on his wife’s background.

8:00pm  TCM  THEY WON’T BELIEVE ME (1947) – World premiere of a recent 4K restoration from the nitrate film. This restoration returns the film to its original 95 minutes thanks to the return of 15 minutes of original footage cut by RKO at the film’s reissue in the 1950s. A philandering playboy with a wealthy wife and two girlfriends ends up on trial for murder when two of the ladies turn up dead, and he’s the most likely suspect.

10:00pm  TCM  LADY SINGS THE BLUES (1972) –  The story of jazz singer Billie Holiday: from her early life of poverty and abuse, through her successful career and eventual downfall from heroin addiction.
*** Presented in partnership with the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures, featuring conversation with Jacqueline Stewart, TCM Host and Academy Museum Chief Artistic and Programming Officer

May 9th
8:00pm  TCM  SO THIS IS PARIS (1926) – World premiere restoration featuring a new score by composer Ben Model. A married doctor falls for a dancer while his wife develops an attraction to the dancer’s husband.

9:30pm  TCM  THE GOODBYE GIRL (1977) –  Paula is a divorced mother and ex-Broadway dancer, who learns that her lover has left her only when aspiring actor Elliot arrives to sublet the apartment in the middle of the night. Their uneasy truce blossoms into love.
*** NEW! Conversation with Richard Dreyfuss

11:45pm  TCM  FAME (1980) –  Five outstandingly gifted students at New York’s High School of Performing Arts are followed as they prepare for careers in show business. A budding singer, two actors, a dancer and a musician polish their crafts as they struggle to excel academically in the demanding school.
*** NEW! Conversation with Debbie Allen

2:15am  TCM – BREATHLESS (1960) – A petty criminal, wanted for the murder of a police officer, returns to Paris where he meets an American girl who hawks newspapers. They become lovers, but eventually the police pressure her into betraying him and revealing his whereabouts.

HBO Max created a TCM hub where “starting at 8pm ET on Thursday, May 6 Festival programming will be presented in specially-crafted themes for you to explore featuring exclusive new interviews with actors and filmmakers, special presentations by notable film experts, rarely seen archival content and a wide selection of beloved classic movies curated by the experts at TCM.”

Click here to view the full TCM schedule and here to view the HBO Max offerings.

“American Badger” – The Poster and Trailer are Here!

I like the poster and trailer for American Badger.  I’m not expecting “great” but hoping for at least “good”.  Oh and, I really like the tag line:  There’s a thin line between redemption and revenge.

A ruthless hit man faces a moral dilemma when he receives orders to kill a call girl.
He goes by the name Badger because his real name is Dean, and that’s the lamest name ever for a hitman. But really, it was his ex-wife that gave him that name before she left him. And who could blame her?
He’s not exactly the marrying type; and like all American Badgers, he prefers to be alone. In fact he has hardly spoken a word to anyone except his Handler in 4451 days. But all that is about to change with his latest assignment. His job is to make friends with a call girl and extract information from her about the inner workings of an Albanian gang she works for. Her name is Velvet and she is the closest thing the Albanian mob boss Vasily has to family; she is like a daughter to him — an abused, terrified, sex-trafficked daughter. The Badger isn’t good at making friends, but he’s excellent at following orders; so despite his initial objections, he finds Velvet and makes an awkward, yet heroic introduction. Even though he identifies himself as a recluse, he quickly realizes that he is much more vulnerable than he thought he was. As their new friendship takes a sharp turn into an unlikely romance, his Handler tells him that it is time to kill the girl, Vasily’s partners, and Vasily himself. What does a badger do when it is cornered on all sides? Badgers are very territorial and will fight to the death to protect the things they care about. The ensuing carnage was to be expected, but the freedom and confidence he gives Velvet was something that nobody would have seen coming.

Genre: Action, Mystery And Thriller
Original Language: English
Director: Kirk Caouette
Producer: Ines Eisses, Jacqueline Nguyen, Rick Podd
Writer: Kirk Caouette
Runtime: 1h 22m
Production Co: Real Fiction Productions

RIP: Jim Steinman

Jim Steinman, lyricist of million-selling hit records, died yesterday at the age of 73.  No cause of death was released.

Steinman is best known for his collaborations with Meat Loaf on the albums Bat Out of Hell (1977) and Bat Out of Hell II: Back into Hell (1993).  Bat Out of Hell produced two top ten hits: “Two of Three Ain’t Bad” and “Paradise by the Dashboard Light” and became one of the best-selling albums ever.  Bat Out of Hell II: Back into Hell released one single: “I’d Do Anything for Love (But I Won’t Do That)” that spent five weeks at No. 1.  Steinman also penned the music and book for Bat Out of Hell: The Musical which ran from February through April in Manchester, England.

Steinman may have been known best for his two collaborations with Meat Loaf, but he composed and produced hits with many other artists including…

  • “Making Love Out of Nothing at All” performed by Air Supply
  • “Total Eclipse of the Heart” (which he also produced) performed by Bonnie Tyler
  • “Nowhere Fast” performed by Fire, Inc. for the Streets of Fire Soundtrack
  • “Left in the Dark” performed by Barbara Streisand
  • “Hulk Hogan’s Theme” for the WWE
  • “Holding Out for a Hero” (which he also produced and co-wrote with Dean Pitchford) performed by Bonnie Tyler
  • “It’s All Coming Back to Me Now” performed by Celine Dion
  • and many more.

Our thoughts and prayers go out to Jim Steinman’s family, friends and fans.

“Truman & Tennessee” – The Poster and Trailer are Here!

The poster and trailer for Truman & Tennessee can be found here.  Truman and Tennessee are, of course, Truman Capote and Tennessee Williams.  I don’t know much about either man other than they were considered great writers. They created excellent books (Capote) and plays (Williams) which in turn led to excellent movies.  I didn’t often see either of the men on talk shows because I was too young to be interested, but I have seen the movies made from their work.  I’d like to know more about these creatives and so I look forward to seeing Truman & Tennessee.

A story of two of the greatest writers of the past century examined in a dialogue that stretches from their early days of friendship to their final, unsparing critiques of each other.

“Mimic” – The Sci-Fi Short is Here!

Mimic is a sci-fi short that feels like the start of a full-length feature.  It is professionally done with excellent acting, direction, and score.  The only nit to pick is the poster which is pretty bland.  Still, I could see Mimic adapted into a feature film or tv series.

A lone investigator seeks answers from a reclusive Navy veteran to uncover what happened to a submarine that mysteriously vanished into the atmosphere.

Sly Stallone is Posting on the StalloneZone… Now.

Sly Stallone is posting on the StalloneZone message board.  How this all came about is kind of funny… now.  You see before everything was worked out, I actually blocked Sly’s ability to post here even after he had posted a few messages.

No, I’m not crazy.  Let me explain.

On April 12th a SZ message board member using the screenname “Barney Ross” posted a couple of messages signing off as Sly Stallone.  Over the 25 years since I started the StalloneZone this has happened from time to time.  Someone will come on the message board and claim to be Sly, one of Sly’s personal friends or business partners.  We’ve always blocked these imposters’ posts.

That’s not to say we haven’t had contact with Sly, Frank, Sage or Kevin King.  We have, but they have always made it clear it was them and we verified the info before we posted it.  Heck, I was even asked by Sly’s team to run the Official Rocky Balboa Movie Blog and I gladly did that.

But back to April 12th…

After seeing the posts, I private messaged “Barney Ross” and asked him to not sign off as if he was Sylvester Stallone.  I then see him post again signing off as S. Stallone.  So I checked his profile.  “Barney Ross” had been a member for over a decade and never posted.  There were a few other reasons that made me think he was an imposter.  I sent him another message to not sign off as if he was Sylvester Stallone  or he would be blocked from posting.  “Barney Ross” then posted a public message saying, that he really was S. Stallone and I could ask him anything.”  At that point, I was like, “I’ve been down this road before” and blocked him from posting.

The next morning I see this message from Sly’s Official Twitter account: @craigzablo you blocked me from the site, s stallone???? I was under the name BARNEY ….

You can imagine how I felt.  I also had an e-mail from one of my official Stallone contacts.  He asked why I had blocked Sly from posting.

Of course I unblocked Sly immediately and explained to everyone the situation.

When I started the StalloneZone in 1996 my goal was to create a place for Sylvester Stallone fans to get the latest news and interact. We’ve weeded out the trolls and those who want to be negative.  I’ve made every effort to not post rumors and to verify sources.

And that is why I blocked Sly from posting.  Yeah, I’ve been getting the business from friends and family for blocking the very man I created the site to honor.  But no harm, no foul.

Sly is posting on the StalloneZone… now.  ; )

The All-Time Best TV Friendships!? C’mon, Man!

 Allison Keene and the Paste TV Writers posted a fun piece titled The 25 Best TV Friendships.  Their list isn’t a bad one and contains many of the tv friendships you’d expect to see including…

  • Mary Richards and Rhoda Morgenstern from The Mary Tyler Moore Show.
  • Hap and Leonard from, uh, Hap & Leonard  
  • Jerry Seinfeld and George Costanza from Seinfeld

But I have to question any list of The 25 Best TV Friendships that doesn’t find a spot for…

  • Ralph Kramden and Ed Norton from The Honeymooners
  • James T. Kirk and Spock from Star Trek
  • James West and Artemus Gordon from The Wild, Wild West

C’mon, man!

RIP – Felix Silla

Felix Silla, whose acting career spanned 55 years, died yesterday after after a battle with pancreatic cancer.  While you may not instantly recognize Felix Silla’s name, you’ll be surprised at the number of roles you saw him play.

One of his most famous was as Cousin Itt in the tv series The Adams Family.  That wasn’t the only popular show that featured an appearance by Felix Silla.  He also had roles on: Bonanza, The Monkees, Petticoat Junction, The Girl from UNCLE and Star Trek.  Sila appeared in the movies Point Blank and Planet of the Apes.  He followed those roles as a regular cast member of HR Puffinstuff.

Other television highlights include: Bewitched, Night Gallery, Mary Hartman, Battlestar Gallactica, a regular role on Buck Rogers in the 25th Century, Mork & Mindy, and Married with Children.  Movie highlights include: The Black Bird, Demon Seed, Kentucky Fried Movie, Under the Rainbow, The Sting II, Meatballs II, Spaceballs and Batman Returns.

Our thoughts and prayers go out to Felix Silla’s family, friends and fans.

Elvis Presley’s Graceland – Facts You Might Not Know!

I like Elvis Presley’s music and maybe even a few of his movies.  So I’m not what you’d call an Elvis fanatic, but truth be told, I wouldn’t mind visiting Graceland.  There’d be something cool to be able to walk around in Elvis’ mansion (now a tourist hot spot) that has been kept like it was when Elvis lived there.  

Ellen Gutoskey posted 9 Rockin’ Facts About Elvis Presley’s Graceland and it was a fun read.  Before you click over for the full story, here are my three favorites…

ELVIS BOUGHT GRACELAND WHEN HE WAS ONLY 22 YEARS OLD.  (Elvis paid $102,500.00 for the mansion and almost 14 acres of land.  $102,500 in 1957 dollars equals $950,127.58 in 2021.  That shows you how popular and how much dough Elvis was bringing in at such an early stage in his career.  – Craig)

GRACELAND’S JUNGLE ROOM DOUBLED AS A RECORDING STUDIO.  (This is probably the most famous room in the mansion.  Elvis recorded his second to last studio album in the Jungle Room.  It’s cool to know that John Cougar Mellencamp, Kid Rock, and Lisa Marie Presley (Elvis’ daughter) also recorded albums in the Jungle Room. – Craig)

ELVIS KEPT GRACELAND’S KITCHEN STOCKED WITH VERY SPECIFIC ITEMS.  (A lot has been made over the years of Elvis’ love for fried peanut butter and banana sandwiches.  Other items that Elvis wanted to always be available included: banana pudding, ingredients for meatloaf, fudge cookies, fresh orange juice, ice cream, brownies, shredded coconut, hot dogs, ground round steak, biscuits, and gum. 

Looking at that list I’d  say: banana pudding only if it contained Nilla Wafers, meatloaf is a good idea for leftover sandwiches, I’d substitute chocolate chip for fudge cookies, fresh orange juice is good but with Elvis money I would have a McDonald’s Iced French Vanilla Coffee maker installed, ice cream is a must and make sure we have Hershey’s syrup, brownies are a big YES, pass on the shredded coconut, yes to hot dogs (all beef), yes to ground round steak, big YES to biscuits and pass on the gum. – Craig)

“Resident Evil: Infinite Darkness” Trailer – Zombies in the White House!

I almost missed the trailer for Resident Evil: Infinite Darkness.  That’s because it is animated in the style of a video game and I don’t play video games.  With that said, I did watch it and plan to tune in when Resident Evil: Infinite Darkness shows up on Netflix.  What’s not to love — zombies in the White House.  ; )

The world of Resident Evil that intertwines horror, action and suspense is presented with beautiful and realistic visuals in this brand-new entertainment epic on a unprecedented scale!

Resident Evil: Infinite Darkness releases worldwide in July 2021, only on Netflix.

“Riders of Justice” – The Poster and Trailer are Here!

Riders of Justice.  I like the poster.  It’s nothing fancy but gets the message across of the type of film it represents.  I like the trailer.  Love the opening that sets up everything.  Riders of Justice looks to have the right mix of action and humor.  Deal me in.

RIDERS OF JUSTICE follows recently-deployed Markus, who is forced to return home to care for his teenage daughter after his wife is killed in a tragic train accident. But when a survivor of the wrecked train surfaces claiming foul play, Markus begins to suspect his wife was murdered and embarks on a mission to find those responsible.

In theaters May 14 and on demand May 21
Directed by Anders Thomas Jensen