As you might have noticed, Tubi has been ramping up their production of genre originals and just in time for this Halloween Season. And one of the more interesting titles is the fact that they actually remade an early Jamie Lee Curtis hit Terror Train (1980).

I mean- you can’t go wrong with clowns!

Made originally as a Canadian production with Curtis fresh off the heels of Halloween (1978) Terror Train was a who-dun-it with a masked slasher on the moving train. Twist was- it was a masked party and the slasher was constantly changing his disguise. And it even had a famed magician David Copperfield in it!

*you can read the more in-depth review here.

Even though the movie had it’s share of super- goofy moments it’s a fun concept to revisit, and I’m for one interested to see what the new director Philippe Gagnon do with it. Movie is written by Ian Carpenter and Aron Martin of the Shudder’s Slasher fame- so they definitely have the experience in the genre.

The new leading lady is Robyn Alomar (Utopia Falls) and movie also features Tim Rozon, Max Laferriere Romy Weltman, Corteon Moore and Kenny Wong. A very Candadian cast-as it should be. Now, without any further ado here’s the trailer and let’s see what others horrors does Terror on Tubi brings us this year!

PS Movie will be out on October 21st, for those who don’t want to wait ’till Halloween!

Despite all odds James Nguyen (Birdemic: Shock and Terror) is back!

I still remember people trying to turn him away from further Birdemic movies an try to help him start a more reputable movie career but he would not be deterred. This is a man with a vision.

Close to seven years ago now- he said he plans to (first) film Birdemic 3: The Sea Eagle (and then sell the reboot rights) and by Golly he did it! After the second movie that leaned more into self- parody territory this finally looks to be a classic, earnest Nguyen doing his damnedest to save the world (mostly from the CGI birds but still). And it even has the original Birdemic alum Alan Bagh (now sporting a more hippie, bearded look).

“We have to do something about this damn global warming”

With distribution by Severin Films it seems like this one will get a surprisingly solid release– well, for this type of a movie. And the world premiere is just around the corner, it will be on this year’s Fantastic Fest (22-29 September). I for one missed these (exploding) CGI birds, it’s been a while.

You can say whatever you want about Mr. Nguyen but he’s a prime example that passion and blind determination can take you places.

According to the Ultimate BOLO YEUNG page the long- awaited documentary Chinese Hercules- The Bolo Yeung Story will be finished in time for the Enter The Dragon 50th anniversary on July, 2023!

After a long delay caused by COVID we are overjoyed to finally get confirmation that the documentary is back on track and on it’s way. You can check the page here for more updates as they come in.

In the other Bolo related news Jean-Claude Van Damme is preparing for his big Martial Arts movie swan song What’s My Name? and if the sources are to believed he is supposed to re-enact some of the biggest fights from his career like the ones with Bolo, Qissi and Lundgren (Bloodsport, Kickboxer and Universal Soldier).

Will this be enough to entice Mr. Yeung from his retirement for one last dance? I don’t know but I sure hope so. After all they say third time is the charm, and we already had them go at it in Bloodsport and Double Impact before. That would be a really great way to cap off both of their careers.

First thing first- I have nothing against the different remakes and re-imaginings (as long as they have something new and interesting to offer) but some movies should just never be remade. Near the top of that list is Alex Proyas’s The Crow (1994), adaptation of James O’Barr‘s cult comicbook and the last staring role of Brandon Lee who tragically lost his life during the filming.

Just that fact alone (combined with his iconic performance that can’t be duplicated) should be enough but unfortunately Hollywood producers can’t be expected to show even an ounce of human decency.

Hell, if they decided to do a fifth sequel, last one being The Crow: Wicked Prayer (staring Edward Furlong) they could only go up but the role of Eric Draven should never be recast. Here we go:

2008, December- Stephen Norington announced that he is to write and direct a “reinvention” of The Crow. “Whereas Proyas’ original was gloriously gothic and stylized, the new movie will be realistic, hard-edged and mysterious, almost documentary-style.” Sounds bad already.

2011, April- After Norrington stepped away from the project, 28 Weeks Later director Juan Carlos Fresnadillo has signed to direct. Bradley Cooper was inexplicably it talks to play the lead.

Bradley Cooper, fine actor but he looks more like an Owl to me.

2011, August- Cooper drops out due to scheduling issues and Mark Wahlberg is in talks for a lead. That doesn’t sound much better.

2012, January- F. Javier Gutierrez (Before The Fall, Rings) signs on as a director.

“We’re thrilled to have teamed with director Javier Gutierrez and screenwriter Jesse Wigutow on this story, which remains true to the core of Eric Draven’s plight for revenge,” he said. “Giving too much away wouldn’t be any fun. ‘Disorder, chaos, anarchy — now that’s fun!'” (producer) Edward R. Pressman

2012, December- Gutierrez is scouting shooting locations for The Crow, start of filming seems imminent. (Of course we now know it’s at least a decade away.)

2013, February It’s reported that James McAvoy is in talks to play Eric but it’s seemingly pure speculation with no basis in reality.

2013, April- after a talk with Tom Hiddleston (Loki) doesn’t pen out Alexander Skarsgard seems to be the next forerunner for the role. Interesting choice seeing where we’ll end up with this.

2013, May- Welsh actor Luke Evans is finally cast in the lead role. (They finally got someone who looks like a character from the comicbook). He is full of praise for the original movie: “The Crow was a very poignant film from my childhood, which I remember vividly. The soundtrack, also. It was such a solid performance that Brandon Lee gave. It was a very tragic end for somebody that probably would have had a very promising career… I’m Eric Draven. I’m the same character. Obviously, he’s been refreshed and brought up to date. We’re reimagining it to a certain extent, but the story and the plot is mostly the same.”

If this movie had to happen- Evans was a solid choice

2013, July- author of the original comic series James O’Barr finally sells out and joins the project as a consultant. Was it worth it?

“It is important for ‘Crow’ fans to understand that Relativity, Javier, Luke and the entire team are working on a new adaptation of the book itself.”

2014, December- after a long silence Corin Hardy (The Nun) replaces F. Javier Gutierrez as the director of The Crow. The reason given is Gutierrez‘ choice to direct The Rings for Paramount. He remains an Executive Producer on the film. O’Barr supposedly persuaded Gutierrez to move on from the film after multiple delays.

Next day Luke Evans confirmed he was dropping out of the film too, saying; “It’s not, no. No at the minute The Crow is not, not for me, I think it’s a little… I mean I’m sure it’s going to go ahead at some point, but I have other projects that are greenlit and ready to go and projects that I’m very interested in and you know, I can’t wait much longer!”

2015, February, James O’Barr gave an interview stating that Evans exit was partially due to the studio being unwilling to pay him an A-Lister fee due to his success with hits such as Fast and Furious 6, The Hobbit films and Dracula Untold.

2015, March- James O’Barr announces that Jack Huston and Jessica Findley Brown have been cast as Eric and Shelly. The film will be shot in Summer 2015, with a nearly all English cast including a Game of Thrones veteran.

2016, August- Mashable post exclusive that Jason Momoa (Justice League, Aquaman) is cast as
Eric Draven. Momoa confirms it with a photo of himself and Hardy toasting with pint of black beauty. Things seem to finally be back on track. At least for a moment.

2018, March Sony announces that The Crow would be released in theaters on October 11, 2019.Things go sideways almost immediately after that.

2018, May- Jason Momoa talks about project’s demise and apologizes to fans on Instagram. Deadline reports pair cited “creative and financial differences” with producer Samuel Hadida, who was responsible for financing the film. That happened just 5 weeks before the filming was about to start in Budapest, Hungary.

2022, April- On April’ Fools day Rupert Sanders (Ghost in the Shell, Snow White and the Huntsman, ) is announced as the new director with Bill Skarsgård (IT) cast as Eric. Later it’s confirmed that English singer FKA Twigs is cast too. Unfortunately, turns out it’s not a joke.

Verdict: As of writing this FilmNation are marching on with Sanders and Skarsgard and filming is about to start any day now in Germany and Czech Republic. Will it actually happen- let’s wait and see.

Movie is currently 20 million dollars behind without a single shot being filmed and will lose a whole lot of more even if they by some miracle manage to start the principal photography. But, so far the curse continues, and I can’t help but think that- that is for the best.

The original director Alex Proyas said it best: “If it wasn’t for Brandon you may never have even heard of this poignant little underground comic. It is Brandon’s movie. I believe it is a special case where Hollywood should just let it remain a testament to a man’s immense talent and ultimate sacrifice – and not have others re-write that story or add to it.

“I know sequels were made, and TV shows, and what have you, but the notion of ‘rebooting’ this story, and the original character – a character Brandon gave life to at too high a cost – seems wrong to me. Please let this remain Brandon’s film.

Unfortunately the comicbook community lost one of all- time greats recently- Neal Adams, legendary artist on everything from Batman (where he co- created Ra’s al Ghul & Man-Bat) to X-Men, famous for his dynamism and photo- realism as well as his fight for artist’s rights (most notably for Superman creator’s Siegel & Shuster).

But there’s a part of his career that’s not spoken about that often and that is his prolific movie poster work in the 70s. There’s been a number of times that after finding an obscure B-movie I thought to myself- that looks like a Neal Adams cover. And sure it was just that.

Through his Continuity Studio he did some of the best poster of the Kung Fu craze era (and also great cover for the Deadly Hands of Kung Fu magazine) and honestly- sometimes those posters were more impressive than the movies themselves! That’s definitely true for the Bruceploitation one. Beside Martial Arts movies he also did a number of Horror and SF posters that are almost as good.

So here’s our little list of best Neal Adams movie posters with a little bit of trivia thrown in:

05: BLACK DRAGON’S REVENGE (1975)

Released right at the beginning of a Bruceploitation craze Black Dragon’s Revenge aka Death of Bruce Lee (1975) features three rivals factions fighting for a secret manual left over by Bruce Lee ( secret manuals were all the rage back in those days).

Movie features the legendary American Martial Artist “Black Dragon” himself- Ron Van Clief as a detective trying to solve Lee’s murder, Philip Ko (The Boxer’s Omen, The Invincible Armour) and another name we’ll talk about very shortly “La Pantera” Charles Bonet. Hell, it even has a young Yuen Qiu (landlady from Kung Fu Hustle)!

Poster nicely captures both the explosive action and the exotic Hong Kong setting.

04: ENTER THREE DRAGONS (1978)

Enter Three Dragons aka The Dragon on Fire (1978) is a Bruceploitation as it gets. It has not only Godfrey Ho staple Bruce Lai in it- but it has a distinction of being a debut of our favorite Bruce Lee- cloneDragon Lee who plays his brother. Confusingly Lai is called Dragon Hong in this and Dragon Lee is called Bruce Hong so try to keep that straight.

Even thou the poster is monochromatic it still has a powerful triangular composition that works like a charm!

03: DEATH PROMISE (1977)

Death Promise (1977) was an American response to Hong Kong Martial Art flicks of the day with an interesting “evil landlords” gentrification theme. Despite a lot of silly story beats and the obvious low budget– it’s lead, Charles Bonet is great and charismatic action hero and he definitely should have done more!

Adams captures all the crazy energy and I especially like the combination of blood splattered lettering and a rat wandering in front of it. Great detail!

02: PHANTOM OF THE PARADISE

Phantom Of The Paradise (1974) is one of the more eclectic movies Adams illustrated. Combination of horror, comedy and rock music written and directed by young De Palma and scored by Paul Williams.

Poster also has a distinction of being a collaboration of two comicbook legends being drawn by Adams and painted by underground comic legend Richard Corben (DEN,Mutant World)!

01: WESTWORLD

Without a doubt the most legendary movie Adams worked on (although Grizzly has it’s fans too) is Yul Brynner’s Westworld (1973). There’s actually two different versions of this poster but this is my favorite- it shows you all you need to know about the movie.

Bonafide SF classic about amusement park full of cowboy robots (what could go wrong with that) was written/ directed by writer Michael Crichton (Jurassic Park, Twister). It spawned the sequel movie Futureworld (1976) , sequel series Beyond Westworld (1980) and even contemporary HBO reboot series (2016) that’s still ongoing.

Here’s something for those who missed our previous article– and those who want to learn some more about Hawk the Slayer sequel comicbook published by the Rebelion. 2000 AD Thrill-Cast conducted a fun interview with the writer Garth Ennis where he explains his lifelong fascination with the movie and his approach for the comic. He talks about everything from getting a blessing from John Terry to why is Hawk more memorable than Krull (not sure I agree). Surprisingly he also touches upon another WM classic Laserblast! Enjoy the interview right here:

You can find the first one on the stands now packed with Judge Dredd Megazine #440 and here’s an awesome cover for the second issue – coming out (just after my birthday) 8 June 2022.

Cover art by Rob Steen

Despite the fact that he doesn’t age like other human beings Chuck Norris just turned 82 (yeah, can’t believe it myself) and we felt the need to commemorate the occasion with an appropriate top list!

And as you can expect from the WM Crew we will concentrate on one for the most neglected, forgotten and outright ignored part of his illustrious career. That’s, you guessed it- Chuck Norris‘s very own animated cartoon series- Chuck Norris Karate Kommandos (1986)!

Produced during the height of Saturday morning cartoons and with Norris hitting his Cannon stride (with Invasion U.S.A. & The Delta Force) it was seemingly a perfect match. 5 episode mini-season was animated by the veterans Ruby- Spears ( Scooby-Do, Thundarr The Barbarian and my favorite Rambo: The Freedom Force ).

It stars Chuck Norris as (of course) Chuck Norris, a government agent who works with a team of operatives which consist of Pepper (tech support), Reed (her brother), Kimo ( a samurai), Tabe ( sumo wrestler) and (a tagalong kid) Too Much. Spoiler, he really is too much.

As you can see at least two members of the team are entirely disposable .

They fight the evil forces of VULTURE led by the genuinely cool bad guy- The Claw and his henchman , ruthless Super Ninja.

Now that you’re up to speed , without further ado we present you this ultimate list in the descending order:

05. TERROR TRAIN

Chuck and the Kommandos are tasked with protecting a robot laser while its being transported and naturally the Claw wants a peace of that. Super Ninja ends up planting an explosive device on the train and Chuck must act quickly to save both the laser and the unsuspecting civilians. Unfortunately the train proves surprisingly easy to get on and off from and the episode ends up loosing all the momentum because of it. It ends up being like a cartoon version of the Steven Seagal’s Under Seige 2: Dark Country just much, much worse. If you want to start watching Karate Kommandos don’t start with this one.

04. ISLAND OF THE WALKING DEAD

The Claw is (again) attempting to to gain control of the whole country by bringing down the US satelite (with the plan to reprogram it and use it to control military bases). Unexpectedly satellite ends up in a Voodoo Island (of all places) and Chuck and co. must faces and evil Witchdoctor and his army of the Walking Dead to get to it. Now the premise is kinda fun but of course the team gets easily captured and Chuck basically must do everything himself. The only thing stopping him is a Chuck Norris voodoo doll the Witchdoctor produces (they should have sold that as a toy too) but not even magic can defeat Karate and Chuck Norris manages to save the day, and blow up a volcano destroying all the evil creatures on the island. They were all dead anyway, at least most of them.

03. DEADLY DOLPHINS

Chuck Norris and his comrades are helping a scientist named Dr. Sanford test experimental equipment that would enable people to breathe underwater by (somehow) converting water into oxygen. The Claw sends Super-Ninja and also a female VULTURE operative named Angelfish (great design with a classic Femme Fatale hair across the eye) to kidnap Dr. Sanford and break into Sealab. It’s up to Norris’ team to defend them both.

02. TARGET: CHUCK NORRIS

Second best and coincidentally also the second episode in the order of release. Target: Chuck Norris has our favorite recurring villain- the Imposter! As the name states he is master of disguise yet he’s always recognizable by his thick New York accent! As you might imagine, that can pose a bit of a problem.

Hired by CLAW after unsuccessful bid to steal a computer chip that would gain him control over NATO’s defenses. Impostor sets up a couple of traps first, a ludicrous ambush on a gas station and then on a fancy dinner (I especially like his bartender disguise).

Greatest spin- kick of all time!

Things don’t quite work out and Chuck Norris survives but Super-Ninja gets away with Chuck’s irritating kid sidekick Too-Much. The only logical follow up is Chuck leading the pursuit in a plane that he just randomly took from some man (only thing he had to do was say- “I am Chuck Norris” and there was no resistance).

Of course the plan devolves into Super- Ninja kidnapping Too Much and Chuck Norris Of course it all ends with an Impostor almost getting away dressed as a Grandma. No, I’m not making
this up!

01. MENACE FROM SPACE

The ultimate episode because Chuck not only fights alligators (and defeats one of them by simply stashing him up in a closet) but he ends up fighting Super-Ninja on a Space Station in almost 0 gravity.

Unfortunately devious Ninja finds a way to escape but still, you’ll never find those elements together again (unless someone decides to make Alligators in Space film). I can watch this one over and over again.

Honorable mention: Chuck Norris’s sage (live-action) life advice. Often it has nothing to do with just happened in the episode, even though he does give it his all.

I mean you can’t help but be motivated.

Verdict: If you like 80s craziness (and I would say a lot of people do these days) than this is a show for you. It’s so ridiculous and over the top that Adult Swim would wish they thought of it first (and they did run reruns of it). Voice acting is perfect and the fact that Chuck Norris isn’t really capable of showing emotions is perfectly balanced with Keone Young as Super Ninja who’s at times so over the top he would make Nicolas Cage jealous.

The only things that’s a bit baffling to me is the fact that for a show that puts action first- Martial Art scenes are pretty clunky. And that could have been easily solved- if you look at even older productions like He-Man , they used rotoscoping for a few key action scenes and they would just re- use it over and over again. If you watched any of Chuck Norris’s films he basically uses couple of combination over and over again (like 1-2- backfist or 1-2 and a spin- kick) and that would be so easy to animate.

On the other hand the real selling point of any cartoon is Action Figures! And boy- we got some awesome ones:

Tell me you didn’t want these as kid, I dare you!

Trivia: Besides these super- awesome toys (any funds donated to the WM page may be appropriated to buy some off eBay) we also got Karate Kommandos in comics. Marvel’s kid label Star Comics produced a short 4 issue run of Karate Kommandos and shockingly they didn’t get some random no- name artist to do the job- nope, they got freaking co- creator of Spider-Man and Dr. StrangeSteve Ditko himself! How that happened I’ll never understand.

Then why did we never get more than 5? Here’s what Chuck had to say: “We only did 5 then the woman in CBS said these are too violent. I said what do you mean they are too violent, do you see what’s on TV now? This is good guys versus bad guys. She said yeah, but you’re a real person, so it’s too violent”.

I can’t believe we missed out on more Karate Kommandos just because Chuck Norris is a real person. This never happened to Santa!

Now with HBO Max in full swing and WB producing a lot more animation, maybe we could finally get that second season? We only waited 35 years for it.

Tribute: Mark Gregory R.I.P.

Posted: 05/03/2022 in Tribute

Quite often a discovery of a beloved B-movie celebrity after decades of obscurity is a moment of joy and celebration by the fandom (see Matt Hannon or Eric Freeman). I hoped we’d get another one like that but it just wasn’t meant to be.

This time things took a dark turn- Mark Gregory aka Marco De Gregorio was finally found and it turns out he quietly passed away in Castel Madama in 2013.

Starting his film career in the late 70’s Marco De Gregorio beat hundreds of competitors to get cast in Enzo G. Castellari’s post- apocalyptic epic Bronx Warriors (1982). He reprised the role for Escape from the Bronx (1983) and acted in the Ramboesque trilogy Thunder (1983- 1988). He even themed up with another B-movie stand out- Frank Zagarino in Ten Zan- The Ultimate Mission (1988) , movie with the
unusual distinction of being one of the only Western productions to ever shoot in North Korea! After ’89 being disillusioned with the movie industry he returned to his first love- painting, occupation he would continue for the rest of his life.

Unfortunately in the early 2000’s he ended up being a victim of a vicious scam and lost his house and almost all of his belongings. That strained his relationship with his family and sent him spiraling into depression. He moved to Castel Madama (Lazio), with only his guitar as his luggage. He lived quietly there continuing to paint and occasionally selling his works in Rome. Unfortunately his depression never went away and he ended his life with prescription pills in January of 2013.

We would like to extend our condolences to his family and fans.

Info: https://cinemaitalianodatabase.com/2022/03/04/in-memoria-di-mark-gregory/

For those of you who are Hawk the Slayer (1980) fans (and I know you’re out there) we just wanted to let you know that the first issue (of 5 issue mini- series) Hawk The Slayer sequel comic is now on the shelves. Hawk comic will be a bonus supplement packed with Judge Dredd Megazine, starting with number #440. It’s also expected to be published as a stand alone series in April starting with Hawk The Slayer #01.

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Cover by Greg Staples

Comics is written by comic legend Garth Ennis (The Boys, Preacher, Punisher) and drawn by 2000 AD artist Henry Flint (who unlike Ennis who’s a long time fan never watched the movie until he got the assignment).

You can see some preview pages right here:

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Sequels to Hawk The Slayer have a long history- Hawk the Destroyer (not the best name, considering how Conan the Destroyer turned out) was planned in 1981 but nothing came out of it. In 2015 there was another attempt with the title Hawk the Hunter but it ended in an unsuccessful Kickstarter campaign. Other options like a TV show were also floated but for the time being this comic series is the only sequel that ever got off the ground since the 80’s so you might want to check it out.

Me, I’ll probably just be sticking to my Death Stalker movies.

Even though I’ve been clamoring for a new Slasher renaissance for couple of years now this news took me by surprise. Logically after 2018’s Halloween made record bank I expected some other horror franchises to rise from their graves. That turned out to be a more of a crawl as new Nightmare on the Elm Street is supposedly on the way (but still far off), Friday the 13th was tied up with legal troubles ’till just few days ago and Child’s Play’s Chucky decided to make a jump from silver screen to TV (with actually a really cool SyFy series).

With all that in mind the last Slasher I expected to return was 1984’s funny, crazy and gory The Mutilator aka Fall Break that we gleefully dissected right here on WM. But life is sometimes stranger than fiction and none other than the original creator/ co-director Buddy Cooper is back to write and direct The Mutilator 2!

The Mutilator 2 — The Movie Database (TMDB)
Back to MUTILATE some more !

Now, how they plant to bring the antagonist back when he was chopped up in two I have no idea but things like that haven’t stopped other franchises before (Jason Goes To Hell comes to mind). As far as cast is concerned Ruth Martinez and Bill Hitchock are back, along with Terry Kiser (Friday the 13th Part VII, From a Whisper to a Scream) and Damian Maffei (The Strangers: Prey at Night, Haunt).

Movie is in full pre-production mode and they are gearing up to shoot in early 2022. We can’t wait to see how it turns out- you can never get enough of 80’s style Slashers in my book.

And for those who missed it the first time around here’s our full review again , and you can see some of the best kills right here : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A0Lkh02_Ik4