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

News: BEYOND WESTWORLD (1980) on DVD

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.

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Captain's bLog: 0702.14

I haven't done one of these round-up posts since last November. Man, I've really been slacking off, huh? Anyway,you may have noticed that I've been posting a little more frequently of late, and it's my plan to to get back to somewhat regular updates here on the blog. I doubt I'll be posting daily again (there was a while there when I was posting twice a day!), but I'll try very hard to get in at least a couple posts a week. In fact, look for a new "Space Babes" post on Friday.

I want to thank the few loyal readers who generously donated to the Space: 1970 editorial fund (link in the sidebar) over the last few months. I am incredibly grateful, and feel guilty that I didn't post more. I hope to rectify that over the coming weeks.

As an early birthday (coming up next week) gift, my wife picked me up one of the recently re-issued Space: 1999 Eagle Transporter kits from Round 2 models. This is a replica of the original MPC/Fundimensions kit from the 1970's, and I'm thrilled to have it again. (I hope they re-issue the Hawk Interceptor soon!) I also recently picked up the fifth and final season of The Six Million Dollar Man on DVD, and have been really enjoying revisiting it. Steve Austin spends a lot more time as an astronaut this season - even returning to the moon - and there are rematches with Bigfoot and a new Death Probe. Plus aliens. So, you know, all the good stuff.

On Video: As noted in previous posts, the 1983 Roger Corman-produced Space Raiders is due out on DVD and Blu-ray in August from Scorpion Releasing. It's a fun flick, full of recycled effects footage from Battle Beyond The Stars (and, I think, 1982's Android), and I'll enjoy having a copy in my library.

I missed it, but 1975's Rollerball was released a month or two ago on Blu-ray by Twilight Time. Unfortunately, it was a limited edition, and has sold out from the company. That's disappointing, because I really would have liked to pick up a copy.

Suddenly, I'm also thinking that I've forgotten another upcoming 70s sci-fi release. I really should start making notes.

UPDATE: I was right. I did forget something. Kino Video will be releasing a Blu-ray edition of the 1979 disaster flick, Meteor, in September. I'll post more info on this release soon.

Space: 1970 Wants You: I've always been open to - and grateful for - submissions from my readers. Now I want to outright encourage you folks to send me any cool Space: 1970-era stuff you might think would be interesting to your fellow Star Kids. Rare photos and production art, behind-the-scenes stills, nominations for "Space Babes" or Reader Polls, pretty much anything, really. Hell, even if you'd like to write a Guest Post, just e-mail me. I'll do my best to credit any contributions I use, of course.

Shameless self-promotion: Finally, I'm still working on my sci-fi adventure webcomic, Perils On Planet X, which is illustrated by the talented Gene Gonzales, and colored by the equally-talented Ian Sokoliwski. It runs a page a week, with a new one posted every Friday, and it's absolutely free. We're closing in on the end of the first story arc, and the story is blasting along like a rocket, packed with Flash Gordon/John Carter-styled pulp thrills. I hope you'll check it out, if you haven't already.

Thursday, June 26, 2014

SLEEPER (1973) Poster Art

I first saw Woody Allen's slapstick sci-fi satire, Sleeper, on network television around '76 or '77. I had very little idea who Allen was, but it was set in the future and had robots, so I wanted to see it. I remember being confused by some of it, but really enjoying the physical comedy and futuristic stuff. I honestly can't recall if I've seen it since... so, clearly, I need to watch it again.

While I go hunt down a copy, here's the phenomenal poster art by the great Robert McGinnis.

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

BATTLESTAR GALACTICA (1978) Lobby Cards

A number of familiar publicity stills (including the always-popular "beheading of Baltar" scene) grace these theater lobby cards for the 1978-79 (depending on the country) theatrical release of the Battlestar Galactica pilot film ("in Sensurround!).

As you might have noticed, I'm easing back into regular updates here on the blog, even if they've mostly been photos and videos with only brief commentary. I am working on some more substantial posts, though  - some of which I've been working on for a long time. I even have a Space Babes post in the works for July! So stay tuned, Star Kids!


Tuesday, June 24, 2014

LOGAN'S RUN (1976) Studio Press Tour


Here's an interesting look behind the scenes at the making of Michael Anderson's Logan's Run feature, via a 1975 MGM press publicity tour. We get brief glimpses of Anderson, producer Saul David and costume designer Bill Thomas, who shows off a few of the film's costumes, including a rather different Sandman uniform than the one actually used in the final movie.

It also looks like it's David Hasselhoff (Starcrash) modelling the Sandman uniform, though I can't positively confirm it. If it isn't him, the resemblance is striking!