Wednesday, October 15, 2014

SILENT RUNNING (1972) Poster Art

During one of my recent Google image safaris, I stumbled across this text-free scan of George Akimoto's painting for the the American one-sheet for Douglas Trumbull's 1972 sci-fi parable, Silent Running, and thought it was too nice not to share here.

Updates have been infrequent of late, but I do plan on having some more substantial articles posted here soon.

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

News: AT THE EARTH'S CORE (1976) Hitting Blu-ray in January

Good news for fans of the John Dark/Kevin Connor lost world epics of the Seventies: Kino Video and Scorpion Releasing have announced that they will be bringing to Blu-ray the Edgar Rice Burroughs adaptation At the Earth's Core (1976), starring stalwart Doug McClure, Star Wars' Peter Cushing, and the stunning Caroline Munro. The disc is scheduled to be released on January 13, 2015.

Here's what Kino has to say about their upcoming release:
There's more than lava at the Earth's core. There's also Pellucidar: an underground empire where gargantuan pterodactyls torture and enslave all humanoids - including the lovely Dia (Munro). But all that could change when a surface-dwelling scientist (Cushing) and an American businessman (McClure) drive their powerful "Iron Mole" straight into Pellucidar...stirring up a great deal more than dirt, rocks and lava!

Special Features:

    Reversible cover art work
    Brand New on camera interview with star Caroline Munro
    Brand New on camera with Director Kevin Connor
    Audio commentary with Kevin Connor
    Original Trailer
Sounds like an essential purchase! Here's hoping that this does well, so that Kino might also score the rights to Warlords Of Atlantis (which still doesn't have an authorized U.S. release) and the Time Forgot flicks.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Trek Into Space History

On this day in 1976, NASA's prototype space shuttle Enterprise was rolled out of its assembly facility in Southern California and displayed before a crowd of several thousand. Among those in attendance were most of the officers of Star Trek's starship NCC-1701, including Leonard Nimoy, future Internet superstar George Takei, an apparently sleepy DeForest Kelly, and a gloriously bearded Jimmy Doohan.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Gerry Anderson Posters By Eric Chu

I don't often spotlight new products on this site, but this one is pretty damned irresistible, especially since there's virtually no vintage merchandise to tie in with the 1975 Gerry Anderson telefilm, The Day After Tomorrow - Into Infinity. Big thanks to Star Kid Mike Lynch for bringing this poster, painted by the amazing Eric Chu and offered by the official Gerry Anderson website, to my attention.

Of course, I poked around the site a bit, and discovered that the talented Chu had also created posters for various other Anderson properties, and was especially taken by his two paintings for Space: 1999, representing both seasons of that epic series. Gorgeous, gorgeous work.

Friday, August 22, 2014

Shameless Self-Promotion: PERILS ON PLANET X Webcomic - The End Is Nigh

Because I've mentioned it here on the site before, I wanted to note that after a year and a half of regular weekly Friday updates, the first (and hopefully, not last) Perils On Planet X online graphic novel, "Hawke of Terra," is nearly completed (just two pages/weeks to go). This project has been in the works so long (almost 15 years!) that I can hardly believe it's almost finished.

As the writer, I'm pretty proud of the story, which is my take on classic interplanetary swashbucklers like John Carter of Mars and Flash Gordon, and am especially pleased with the visual storytelling of my artistic collaborator and partner, the amazing Gene Gonzales. The importance of our colorist, Ian Sokoliwski's,  Technicolor hues cannot be underestimated, either. I've been very fortunate to have such talented collaborators.

If you haven't kept up with Perils On Planet X - or worse, haven't read it at all! - you can still read it from the beginning, for free on the site. That link will take you right to the first page. Our future plans are still up in the air, so this might be a good time to take a few minutes and catch up... and maybe post your thoughts on the book.

Monday, August 11, 2014

Look-In Bionic Gallery

Hope you're all having a great Monday. To kick off the week, here's a gallery of Six Million Dollar Man and Bionic Woman cover paintings for the British kid's magazine, Look-In. I'm pretty sure that all of these were painted by regular Look-In cover artist Arnaldo Putzu, and I'm sure someone will correct me if I'm mistaken. Enjoy!

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Hall of Fame: John Saxon

Today marks the 79th birthday of actor John Saxon, who has had a long association with science fiction roles, both on television and in feature films, dating back to, at least, 1965's Blood Beast From Outer Space! In that decade, he also appeared in the creepy space horror flick Queen of Blood and an episode of Irwin Allen's The Time Tunnel, but it's his forays into Seventies sci-fi that we celebrate here.

In 1974, Saxon portrayed a very Jim Kirk-ish, heroic Dylan Hunt in Gene Roddenberry's unsuccessful television pilot, Planet Earth. A year later, he played a similar role, Captain Anthony Vico, in Warner Brothers' equally-unsuccessful follow-up, Strange New World. In both films, he was a very Roddenberry sci-fi hero, tough but brainy, quick with his fists and his wits.

He appeared a couple of times on Universal's The Six Million Dollar Man (and Bionic Woman); first, as a lethal android that gave Steve Austin a helluva fight (and inspired Mattel's "Maskatron" action figure), and then a season or two later as an evil alien using the legendary Bionic Bigfoot in his malevolent schemes!  On Wonder Woman, he played a Nazi, and also showed up as an extradimensional tyrant on The Fantastic Journey in '77!

In 1981, he starred as the tyrannical Sador, the smoothly sinister galactic baddie of Roger Corman's space opera epic, Battle Beyond The Stars. He rounded out the Space: 1970-era with another villainous role in the 1983 Richard Hatch vehicle, Prisoners Of The Lost Universe.

Of course, while we focus here on his science fiction accomplishments, in his sixty-year career, the actor has played a couple hundred roles in every genre imaginable. Equally adept at playing tough guy heroes and despicable villains, Saxon has had - and continues to have - a career to be admired (and no doubt, envied, by other actors).

Happy birthday, sir!

Thursday, July 31, 2014


The complete, short-lived 1980 television series, Beyond Westworld, is now available on DVD from the fine folks at Warner Archive. This series was a sequel to/continuation of the 1973 Michael Crichton film, Westworld, and posited that after the meltdown at the infamous Delos resort, a scientist (James Wainright) absconded with a bunch of the lifelike androids and planned to use them to conquer the world. Delos Security agents John Moore (Jim McMullen) and Pamela Williams (Connie Selleca) are tasked with hunting him down and foiling his evil schemes.

The show only had five episodes (and was cancelled after three). The pilot film was included on the semi-recent Westworld Blu-ray a couple years back, but this marks the first time that the complete series has been available on home video in the U.S.  At the moment, the DVDs are only available from the Warner websites, but it should be available through Amazon in a couple of weeks. 

Monday, July 14, 2014

BATTLE FOR THE PLANET OF THE APES (1973) International Posters

I can't imagine why, but I've had the Planet Of The Apes franchise - and specifically, 1973's Battle For The Planet Of The Apes - on my mind the last few days. Anyway, that prompted me to dig up this selection of Battle one-sheets from around this planet. They pretty much all feature the same basic image... but there are some interesting variations. Enjoy -- and have a great week!

UPDATE 8/21/14: And here's the gorgeous Japanese one-sheet:

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Behind-The-Scenes Pix #49: ALIEN

An effects technician (possibly Jon Sorensen) works on the otherworldly derelict miniature from Ridley Scott's classic 1979 space horror flick, Alien. As you may have noted by now, I'm a huge fan of practical effects work - especially miniatures - and I find these kinds of behind-the-scenes shots fascinating.

Saturday, July 5, 2014

News: METEOR (1979) Coming to Blu-Ray in September

On September 16th, Kino Lorber will be releasing the 1979 American-International disaster "epic," Meteor, on high-definition Blu-ray disc. This Ronald Neame-directed tale of death from above features an all-star cast, including Sean Connery (Zardoz), Natalie Wood, Henry Fonda, Martin Landau (Space: 1999), Trevor Howard, Karl Malden, and Brian Keith.

From the Kino's press release:
A brilliant scientist, Dr. Paul Bradley (Connery) is summoned to Washington by NASA chief Harold Sherwood (Malden), who informs him that a huge meteor will smash into earth in six days. The only chance to destroy the meteor is to work with the Soviets, revealing to them top secrets. But as the clock is ticking, fragments of the meteor split off and come crashing to earth, causing enormous damage. And as avalanches and tidal waves take a devastating toll, Bradley works against all odds to eliminate the greatest threat the world has ever known.
Despite a huge PR campaign and plenty of sci-fi elements, the relatively big-budget Meteor flopped at the box office, and took American-International pictures down with it, but I've always enjoyed it for what it was. It's not a great movie, by any means, but it's entertaining.

As I've noted here on the site before, for what was, essentially, just another Irwin Allen-styled disaster flick, the movie generated a lot of tie-in merchandise aimed at the adolescent Space: 1970 crowd: a Marvel Comics adaptation and Warren souvenir magazine, a Viewmaster reel, even an arcade pinball machine.

The Blu-ray is already available for pre-order online.

Friday, July 4, 2014

July's Space Babe: Virginia Hey

July's Space Babe (and the first of 2014) is the striking Virginia Hey as Warrior Woman in 1981's Mad Max 2 (a/k/a The Road Warrior). A woman of few words, this post-Apocalyptic amazon wielded her deadly crossbows in defense of her desert community, and gave her life to secure their survival.

Born in Sydney, Australia in 1952, the lovely Hey was a model before launching her acting career with Mad Max 2. She went on to star in several Australian television series, while also making appearances in numerous feature films, such as The Living Daylights.

In 1999, she returned to the sci-fi genre with a co-starring role on Farscape, where she portrayed an alien priestess named Pa'u Zotoh Zhaan. In recent years, she has been focusing her talents on a line of perfumes and aromatic candles.

Her official website: Virginia Hey.