Wednesday, February 26, 2014

The Raiders Guys Need Our Help

Some of you might be familiar with a little film called Raiders of the Lost Ark: The Adaptation - the shot-for-shot remake of Raiders that took young filmmakers Chris Strompolos and Eric Zala seven years to complete. It's a masterpiece in its own right and was the subject of a heartwarming book a few years ago entitled Raiders: The Story of the Greatest Fan Film Ever Made by Alan Eisenstock. 

As it turns out, Jeremy Coon, the producer of Napoleon Dynamite, saw the Raiders: The Adaptation and is currently working on a documentary about its making with plans to make a narrative feature film.  As part of the documentary Chris and Eric want to go back and film the one scene that they weren't able to recreate: the flying wing sequence and they need our help to do it!

Instead of reading more about it, watch their Kickstarter video...


Now that you've seen what this is all about, what are you waiting for?  There's only fifteen days left and they have only reached 58% of their goal. Please head on over to the Raiders Guys and the Lost Airplane Scene Kickstarter Page and pledge what you can to this project. You won't regret it.  Trust me...


Monday, August 5, 2013

When You Have To Read, Read... Don't Talk

A Fistful of Dollars by Frank Chandler
Published by Tandem in 1972
The Man With No Name
Every town has a boss; someone has to run the place. But San Miguel was a town with two bosses, and that was one too many. The town had lived and died in uneasy peace while the Baxter gang shipped guns and the Rojos smuggled liquor.
Then the Man With No Name rode in and saw in the set-up the chance to make himself a fistful of dollars. He set the rival families and their gangs against each other and managed to survive the bloodshed, unscathed, while each side paid his hire.
But then a massive shipment of Mexican gold fell into the hands of Ramon Rojo, and the Man With No Name kidnapped the wife Ramon had stolen from her husband, the chips were down. Violence exploded upon the streets of San Miguel and many men met their fate to the clamour of Juan de Dio's death knell.
The Man With No Name came to within an inch of losing his own life; that was when he ceased to be merely dangerous, and became lethal.


For A Few Dollars More by Joe Millard
Published by Award Books in 1967
The Man From Nowhere
A stranger in every town. Who he is or where he comes from, no one knows. He has no friends, and a Colt 45 to take care of his enemies.
He's a professional who kills for profit. A bounty hunter on a violent trail through the dusty, muddy towns of the lawless West. A quiet man who has faced down danger every day.
Danger from Red Cavanagh, who had a $2,000 price on his head. And a pistol against the bounty hunter's back. But Red waited a split second too long.
Danger from "the sheriff." who was only worth $500. But the odds were high. Three of the "the sheriff's" men against the stranger. That was when the bounty killer's lightning draw paid off.
And danger from El Indio. Wanted, dead or alive, for $10,000. Enough money to tempt a second bounty hunter, enough money to force the two hunters into a dangerous alliance.
For The Man From Nowhere would betray his word for a single greenback. And kill unblinkingly For A Few Dollars More!

The Good, The Bad And The Ugly by Joe Millard
Published by Award Books in 1967
The Man With No Name
His partner is the desperado, Tuco, who turns vengeance into a sadistic contest of endurance.
His adversary is the ruthless Sentenza, a killer who long ago lost count of the lives he has cut down.
His goal is a $200,000 treasure in stolen Army gold for which many have died and more will be killed.
His secret is a dead man's final breath. More than once it has saved his life, and it will lead him to the treasure - if he can keep alive long enough to reach it.
His trail is a path of blood cutting across the hell that the Civil War had brought to the southwest.
His reward - death, probably, from any one of a hundred enemies; betrayal, possibly, from the unpredictable Tuco; defeat, perhaps, blazing from Sentenza's custom-made pistol... or the gold that two armies and a legion of dead men have failed to claim!
To the Man With No Name, the odds seemed alsmot favorable!

The Mercenary by Burt Hirschfeld
Published by Lancer Books in 1969
He was cold as steel, hard as iron, and on the make for the only metal that really counted - gold. All sides in the battle for Mexico offered it. He chose the highest bidder - a peasant bandit, three-quarters fool, with dreams of glory and an impossible demand: "Teach me to make a revolution."  He was a hired gun. He would do what he was paid for - even if he taught too well, even if the lessons cost him his life.
Read the exciting novel. See the United Artists Film.  The Mercenary

 Sabata by Brian Fox
Published by Award books in 1970
Some people called him a bounty killer. Others called him a bastard. But no one called him a coward and stayed alive...
It didn't take long for the town to learn that Sabata was a man of few words and many talents, not the least of which was a deadeye draw. When Sabata wanted something, he didn't care who he had to kill to get it - that is, as long as it left him with a clear conscience and a big profit.
But sometimes, just sometimes, he ran into trouble. And the trouble was... this was one of those times...

Return of Sabata by Brian Fox
Published by Award Books in 1971
Sabata Returns
As Judge... Jury... Executioner!
A rich man; a frightened woman; a gold mine; a con artist; a fortune in counterfeit money.
What was the connection?
Why did every gun in town belong to a redhead - and what were they protecting?
Was it a million dollars n gold, hidden away?
Sabata wanted all the answers and he got them - his way!

Duck You Sucker by James Lewis
Published by Award Books in 1971
James Coburn is dynamite...
... A fugitive Irish revolutionary who knows all there is to know about explosives - and carries enough TNT on his back to level a city.
Rod Steiger is a lighted match...
... A cutthroat Mexican bandit with contempt for a corrupt government, a taste for tequila, and eye for other men's wives - and a weakness for overstuffed bank vaults.
Duck You Sucker is one hell of an explosion...
... With Steiger and Coburn as reluctant partners in the fastest moving, noisiest, and bloodies caper ever pulled!

Shalako by Louis L'Amour
Published by Corgi Books in 1975
was the man who beat the desert, hunted Apaches, busted the wildest horses
was a loner who owned nothing but his horse, his saddle - and his guns
was willing to gamble his life to get the woman he wanted.
There was no man like

Monday, July 22, 2013

A Fistful of Spaghetti

For those in the Chicago area, the Music Box Theatre has been showing a different spaghetti western movie every weekend as part of their matinee series. Each film will be shown at 11:30am on Saturday and Sunday only. The Music Box is located at 3733 North Southport Avenue.  Here's the upcoming schedule for those who may be interested...
The Grand Duel (Il Grande Duello)
Starring: Lee Van Cleef & Horst Frank
Directed by: Giancarlo Santi
Music by: Luis Bacalov 
July 27 & 28
94 min - HDCAM
After their powerful father is brutally murdered, the Saxon Brothers hire a group of bounty hunters to bring suspected killer Philipp Wermeer to justice. But when grizzled Sheriff Clayton saves the fugitive Philipp’s life, the two team up and set out to confront the Saxons and reveal the shocking truth about who really killed The Patriarch. Newly transferred from the original Italian negative and fully restored!
The Mercenary (Il Mercenario)
Starring: Franco Nero & Jack Palance
Directed by: Sergio Corbucci
Music by: Ennio Morricone
August 3 & 4
110 min - 35mm
A group of Mexican revolutionaries hire a Polish gun-for-hire to assist their cause, but they meet stiff resistance by a well-dressed and brutal government agent (Jack Palance).  Features a fantastic score by Ennio Morricone and Bruno Nicolai.  One of the seminal spaghetti westerns. Brand new 35mm print!
The Good, The Bad and The Ugly
(Il Buono, Il Brutto, Il Cattivo)
Starring: Clint Eastwood, Lee Van Cleef & Eli Wallach
Directed by: Sergio Leone
Music by: Ennio Morricone
August 10 & 11
179 min - DCP
Clint Eastwood, Lee Van Cleef and Eli Wallach are the title triumvirate - double crossing rivals in a Civil War-era odyssey for a treasure in hidden gold. Encountering a group of dying soldiers, each of the desperadoes learns but one facet of the secret bounty, each man focusing his squinty eyes on the $200,000 bounty. Leone’s final chapter in his “Dollars” trilogy has been magnificently restored to its original Italian running time.
(Ehi Amico... C'รจ Sabata, Hai Chiuso!)

Starring: Lee Van Cleef & William Berger
Directed by: Gianfranco Parolini
Music by: Marcello Giombini
August 17 & 18
111 min - 35mm
After an acrobatic bank robbery leaves a town without a safe, the mysterious Sabata lends his services in recovery of the vault.  Things quickly escalate into blackmail and gunplay, involving politically powerful criminal boss Stengel.  Aided by sting-playing Banjo, mute acrobat Alleycat, and alcoholic Civil War vet Carrincha, Sabata sets out with his comic book posse to extort Stengel for everything he's worth. Filled with wild stunts, quick zooms and whip pans, Sabata is one of the most energetic and entertaining spaghetti westerns around.
Duck You Sucker (Giu La Testa)
Starring: Rod Steiger & James Coburn
Directed by: Sergio Leone
Music by: Ennio Morricone
August 24 & 25
138 min - 35mm
The results are explosive when self-exiled IRA explosives specialist John Mallory teams up with a Mexican peasant-turned-revolutionary to knock over the Mesa Verde bank... with dynamite. What started out as a nice joint venture to get rich, quickly turns into an operation for the revolutionary cause, and the two are drawn into a fight against the Mexican army, bearing painful similarities to Mallory’s IRA past.

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Happy Birthday Mr. Ford

Happy Birthday Mr. Ford
by Alex Smith
Harrison Ford, who turns 71 this week, created one of the most beloved and lasting characters in movie history with his role in Star Wars as the irascible but lovable space smuggler Han Solo. But that isn't even his greatest and most iconic part -- that superlative must go to his archaeologist adventurer character Indiana Jones, star of Raiders of the Lost Ark and its sequels, TV prequels, graphic novels, actual novels, and more. But few people know how close this force of culture came to not being our Indy at all.
Raiders Stole Its Character Design Fair and Square
Jones is a no-nonsense, rough-and-tumble adventure seeker with a trademark brown fedora, leather jacket, and stubble. But so was the Charlton Heston character in 1954's Secret of the Incas, a movie that was looted for our hero's character design, costume, and even his attitude. Director Steven Spielberg and producer George Lucas have admitted as much, and perhaps because of a wish to cover their tracks, Secret of the Incas has never been released on video. A big difference in Indy's case, however, is that he is irrepressibly good-hearted and honest -- Heston's character in Secret was a horrible louse.

Magnum, P.I. was almost Indy ... peeyew!

When Spielberg and Lucas were created their movie's hero, his rough charm and charisma, the director was drawn to casting one of the hottest television stars of 1980: Tom Selleck, best-known as Magnum, P.I.. Selleck was the favorite to play Indy -- his falsetto voice notwithstanding -- until Spielberg saw a little movie called The Empire Strikes Back, where he was blown away by the actor playing Han Solo. Since Selleck couldn't get out of his contract with CBS to allow him to do the movie anyway, Harrison Ford (Lucas's first choice the whole time) stepped in and made motion picture history. And his voice is deep, too.
Other Actors Who Would Have Been Indiana Jones
How might gravel-voiced Nick Nolte been as the titular scholar-adventurer? Steve Martin had the chance to don the fedora, but he chose the musical Pennies from Heaven instead. Bill Murray was ready to crack the whip but, like Selleck, couldn't get out of his TV obligations for long enough. Fellow SNLer Chevy Chase was one of the most popular stars in the world in 1980, but he passed. Animal House star Tim Matheson had the look, as did future E.T. actor Peter Coyote. Finally, Jack Nicholson turned it down, and Harrison Ford was cast just three weeks before filming began.
His name was almost Dr. Indiana ... Smith. And he was almost a duck
The name everyone knows almost wasn't Harrison Ford's character's at all. It wasn't until the first day of filming that Indy's name was changed from "Indiana Smith" to "Indiana Jones." Somehow the lack of a long vowel in the original last name makes the character's moniker less impactful ... which is probably why they made such an important change once they heard the actors saying the old name. But at least it wasn't "Indiana McDuck," since Spielberg and Lucas have both cited the 1950s Disney Ducks comic books as inspiration for the series, including one issue where Uncle $crooge steals a native idol and has to run from a giant round boulder!
The Biggest Hit of 1981, But So Much More

Indiana Jones is an unforgettable character, and his portrayal by Harrison Ford both showed that the actor could do more than Han Solo and also propelled Raiders of the Lost Ark to the No. 1 box office spot. The original movie also lifted director Spielberg to iconic status, something that would be cemented with his next movie, 1982's E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial.

Author Bio: Alex Smith is a movie blogger for where he covers everything from the latest rumors about up coming releases to retrospectives of cult classics and forgotten cinema gems. He’s particularly interested in sci-fi and horror flicks from the 1970s and 80s. He lives in Washington, D.C.
Note:  For those who are interested, Secret of the Incas is available to view online via the Amazon Prime instant streaming service.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

It's Alive!

Hello there,
I just wanted to drop a line to let you all know that Cinema Raiders is alive once again... and we have some very exciting things in the works. So stay tuned fellow nostalgia fans...