Author: Craig Zablo

Almost Time for Tampa

If all goes according to our plan, in two weekends [November 12th to be exact], I will join my buddies, “Big” John Beatty, John “Star Wars” Higashi, and “The James” Howell for our tri-annual trip to Tim Gordon’s Tampa Comic Book and Toy Show. That’s Tim pictured above. He’s the guy not wearing a mask.

The show is always a blast. If you’re a long-time ZONE reader, then you’ve heard me speak about the show many times before. If you’re new to these parts, then click HERE and you’ll get a preview of the fun.

Hope to see some of you at the show. I’ll be the guy looking for Stallone sketches!

"Smokin’ Aces" and Frank Miller

I loved “Narc” and was excited to hear that Joe Carnahan was coming back with a new movie called “Smokin’ Aces.” I must admit that when I first saw the trailer a couple of months ago, I wasn’t knocked out. I went back and watched it again tonight, and I’m definitely on board now. I wonder how I’ll feel after I see the movie.

On another note, there’ s nice little interview HERE with Frank Miller who talks about “300,” “Sin City 2” and “The Spirit.”


Root for the Bad Guy… Again

“Payback” is one of my favorite Mel Gibson films. Based on the novel by Richard Stark, it’s a worthy adaptation of a crime classic. The story behind the making of the movie is almost as interesting.

Screenwriter, Brian Helgeland, hot of the success of “LA Confidential” wanted to direct. Pairing him with Mel Gibson on “Payback” seemed a natural. Things went well until late into filming when either Gibson, the studio or both decided that Gibson’s character needed to be more likeable and the film needed more action.

Helgeland disagreed. Guess who won out?

Yep, Gibson and the studio. So Mel went behind the camera and filmed some additional scenes and the tone of the movie changed.

As I said, “Payback” is one of my favorite Mel Gibson movies… but I always thought it would be cool to see Brian Helgeland’s vision. Perhaps, it too, would be one of my favorites.

According to Harry at Ain’t It Cool News, we’ll soon find out! “Payback: Straight Up – The Director’s Cut” is comming out in a few months. And unlike some “director’s cuts” where a few minutes of footage [that wasn’t good enough to make the original release!] is added, this is going to be a complete overhaul. It will be Helgeland’s vision .

And I can’t wait to see it!

Hellboy vs the Universal Monsters

If this news comes to pass it would be the coolest

Universal has acquired the rights to Hellboy. Guillermo del Toro [who co-wrote and directed the first Hellboy movie] and Mike Mignola [creator, writer and artist of Hellboy] are excited about the prospects of not only a sequel [or two] to the 2004 movie, but the fact that a Hellboy movie could now feature some of the classic Universal monsters! That’s right, Frankenstein, the Wolfman, Dracula, the Creature from the Black Lagoon and more!!

Mignola and del Toro have discussed the possibilities. Here’s a couple of quotes from del Toro: “I must say that I’m having a great experience right now at Universal, because I find that their understanding of Hellboy as a possibility is so great… My hope is that if everything goes well and we continue [the franchise], Hellboy can start fighting the Universal monsters! I would love to see that.”

So would I. For the full article, click HERE.

Sammy Terry Anyone?

One of the things that I love about is that you can find video of almost anything. I was surprised when I found a classic pro wrestling match between “Pretty Boy” Bobby Heenan [accompanied to the ring by Blackjacks Mulligan and Lanza] and “Cowboy” Bob Ellis.

I was even more surprised when I discovered video of Sammy Terry! I first told you about Sammy way back here. As host of “Nightmare Theater,” Sammy was on the air from the early 60’s through the 80’s. Although this clip is from 1987 [near the end of Sammy’s run] it will give you a taste of why I loved staying up until 11:30 on the weekend to catch Sammy hosting a horror movie double feature.

I’m really surprised that some network doesn’t have a weekend horror movie double feature hosted by someone like Sammy. My guess is that if kids didn’t tune in, there’d still be a good-size audience of folks like me!


Any one [besides me] watching Jericho on CBS?To be honest, the preview doesn’t really do the show justice. [Although it did do it’s job well enough to get me to tune in.] The show picked up steam and really hit it’s stride in episode 3 and with the major plot twist in episode 4, I’m sure to stay on board for a while.

If you haven’t been watching, but would like to catch up, you check out the official Jericho site.