Monthly Archive: June 2011

A Look Back at the First Captain American Feature Film

Marvel has been touting the July 22nd release of Captain America: The First Avenger, and has focused all their efforts on the latest entry in the Marvel Film Universe. What they don’t talk about are the previous screen incarnations of the Star-Spangled Avenger. Beyond the Lawrence-Gantry animated series of the 1960s, there were several telefilms on CBS featuring Reb Brown in a modified outfit that looked borrowed from Evel Keneval.

There was also, the 1990 movie that bizarrely featured the Red Skull as an Italian fascist. Poor Matt Salinger donned the chainmail but never quite looked comfortable. What’s amazing is that the screenplay by Stephen Tolin is based on a story he crafted with acclaimed crime novelist Lawrence Block. Clearly, he did it for the bucks.

Thankfully,  Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment’s “manufacturing on demand” program is making this forgotten film available just days before the new release. A part of MGM’s Limited Edition Collection, the low-budget offering stars Salinger (What Dreams May Come), Ned Beatty (Superman), Darren McGavin (The Night Stalker), Michael Nouri (Flashdance), Melinda Dillon (Close Encounters of the Third Kind) and Kim Gillingham (One Big Family).  The DVD will be available for sale on online retailers everywhere. We provide you with a trailer to remind you of what the film looked like.

During World War II, a brave American soldier (Salinger) volunteers to undergo experiments to become a new super-soldier, codenamed “Captain America.”  Infiltrating Germany to sabotage Nazi rockets pointed at the U.S., Captain America faces off with Nazi superhuman warrior Red Skull (Scott Paulin, The Right Stuff) who defeats the hero, throwing him into suspended animation.  Frozen for 50 years, Captain America is found and revived only to find that Red Skull has changed identities and has targeted the President of the United States (Ronny Cox, RoboCop) for assassination.  With America on the verge of utter chaos, it is up to one man to save the day!


Will Murray, Roger Ritner and Michael McConnohie join the Book Cave crew to discuss Python Isle and future audio books.
Will Murray –
On Facebook: The Wild Adventures of Doc Savage.
Michael McConnohie



Thu, 23 June 2011
Shelby Vick of the online Pulp magazine Planetary joins the Book Cave crew to talk about his site.
After the first one — — the other links are
Also, I left out someone really important: Ron N Butler, of the Atlanta Radio group, turned up by Jerry Page. Ron has developed Rory Rammer, Space Marshal as, for instance, in and for instance. Rory Rammer is PERFECT for Planetary Stories.
our Associate Editor is Robert Kennedy

Attention Shoppers: Marvel’s Trying To Pull A Fast One This Week

We’ve already heard a few complaints about the two comics racked above.

What’s the complaint? One’s an Avengers book, the other’s Captain Britain. They both look like retro-throwbacks to the 80’s, and they both look like they’re tying into The Iron Age miniseries, right? Okay, they’re a little pricy at $4.99, but–

–wait a minute. Open them up.

They’re the same comic.

These are both covers for The Iron Age #1. The series title is right up there, in that little red bar at the top of the issues. The Captain Britain cover? Marvel is considering that to be a variant cover.

Look at that picture of them on the rack. Would you have thought they were just variant covers, or would you have thought they were the same book? And would you be angry when you got home and discovered you paid $4.99 for a duplicate you didn’t want?

Consider this a public service announcement to help save money in these tough economic times. And the next time somebody behind the counter at your local comic book shop yells at you for looking through the books with the time-honored “This ain’t a library, bub!” you can simply tell them that you have to because comic book publishers are pulling stunts like this.



By William Dietrich
Harper Books
417 pages
Available July 2011
ISBN 13 – 978-0-06-198918-6

You realize there are books reviewers are predisposed to like by the title alone.  When the good folks at the New York Journal of Books offered to send me this book, it was because I’d already reviewed an earlier book by the same author and liked it a great deal.  But being brutally honest here, I’d forgotten what that title was until they showed me the cover image to “Blood of the Reich.”  Ah, yes, William Dietrich, I thought, the fellow who created that Revolutionary version of Indiana Jones in his first book, “Napoleon’s Hero.”  Yes, I had enjoyed that historical romp and was curious as to what this new stand alone offering might contain in the way of a fun reading experience.

Once I read the marketing copy, I was hooked.  Nazis scientists racing to Tibet in hopes of finding a hidden mystical power in the lost city of Shambhala.  These plot elements scream pulp pleasure and I knew immediately this was my kind of book.  Dietrich’s background as a naturalist and historian allow him to create outlandish plots against authentic, real world settings and it is that richness of historical data that catapults “Blood of the Reich” into action from page one.

In 1938 Kurt Raeder, a German archeologist, is given an assignment by Hitler’s personal advisor, SS Chief Heinrich Himmler.  Raeder and a handful of loyal Nazis scientists are to travel to Tibet, seek out the lost city of Shambhala and there retrieve an ancient power known as Vril.  Himmler and the members of the arcane Thule Society believe this Vril could tip the balance of the coming war in Germany’s favor and fulfill Hitler’s mad dreams of a Third Reich world conquest.

Raeder is an intellectual sadist and the temptation to achieve personal glory, maybe even immortality, through the success of such an undertaking is much too great for him to resist.  And so the mission is launched.  At the same time, American intelligence agencies discover Raeder’s purpose and recruit their own academic agent, zoologist Benjamin Hood, to go after the Nazis and beat them at their own game.  Failing that, he is to sabotage their efforts and assure Vril never becomes a German weapon.

Now this rollicking race across the world is exciting enough but Deitrich ups the ante by creating a second storyline; this one taking place today.  Rominy Pickett is a computer publicist living in Seattle when she is kidnapped by a mysterious, handsome journalist, who claims her life is in danger from Neo-Nazis.  They believe her to be the great granddaughter of Benjamin Hood.  These want-to-be Nazis have uncovered the records of Raeder’s Tibetan mission and hope Rominy will lead them to rediscover what was found in those rugged mountains back in 1938.  Thus is a smart, witty, normal young woman suddenly hurled head first into a life-or-death race around the globe accompanied by a charismatic stranger who appears to be a physical embodiment of all her romantic fantasies.  But is he really her knight-in-shining armor or someone with ulterior motives using her to achieve his own dark agenda?

“Blood of the Reich” is a barn-storming novel that sets its sights high and never fails to deliver on them.  My singular criticism is that the convoluted mystery of Rominy’s past and her evolution from frightened victim to pistol toting survivalist challenged even my willing suspension of disbelief.  Deitrich’s prose is much more accomplished when dealing with the 30s whereas his modern sequences aren’t as assured.  Still, this book has so much pulp goodness within its pages, I can’t help but recommend it enthusiastically.  It would make one hell of a great film. 

Bantam to Publish Games of Thrones Adaptation

What will you do while awaiting the second season of HBO’s stellar adaptation of George R.R. Martin’s A Game of Thrones? Well, there’s that slightly overdue fifth book in the series coming in a matter of weeks then there’s today’s announcement that the first novel is being adapted for comics.

NEW YORK, NY – June 29th, 2011 – Bantam Books, an imprint of the Random House Publishing Group, announced today Alex Ross and Mike S. Miller as the cover artists for the comic adaptation of George R.R. Martin’s Game of Thrones series.

The series will be illustrated by Tommy Patterson and adapted and scripted by Daniel Abraham, the award-winning and bestselling author of The Long Price Quartet.  The first issue of the monthly comic-which will be published by Dynamite Entertainment-is planned to release in September 2011, with compilations of the comics in graphic novel form to follow under the Bantam imprint.

“It has been fifteen years since I first edited A GAME OF THRONES, and it is a genuine joy to be revisiting and adapting this landmark novel into a format that suits it so perfectly,” says Senior Editor at Random House Anne Groell.  “George’s writing has always been highly visual, painting rich, detailed and striking images in the reader’s minds and hearts.  And now seeing such a talented group of artists bringing that so vividly to life is truly exciting.  I couldn’t be more pleased with everything I have seen so far–and I can’t wait for what is yet to come!”

“It’s a real privilege and a treat to be involved with reinterpreting Game of Thrones,” says writer Daniel Abraham.  “It’s a brilliant piece of work, and watching the strength of that story come into a visual medium is fantastic.”

“George R. R. Martin’s Game of Thrones is the best book series I’ve ever read,” says cover artist Mike Miller.  “Not just in the fantasy genre, but in ANY genre.  Just as I hear people saying Game of Thrones is the best series on TV, I’m sure they’ll be saying the same about the comic book.  You can’t find a better writer anywhere than George, and I was very excited to get the opportunity to draw covers for the comic book adaptation.” (more…)

Modern "New Pulp" Classics?

Modern "New Pulp" Classics?

Everyone knows what old pulp classics “should” be on everyone’s reading list but what about the New Pulp novels and stories that have been produced in the last decade or so? What titles would you present to someone new to the genre as representative of the best of New Pulp? Would you push The Khan Dynasty by Wayne Reinagel into their hands? Or The Hounds of Hell by Fortier and Linzner? What about the vast libraries of Wild Cat Books, Airship 27 or even newer publishers like Age of Adventure or Pro Se? Post your lists either here on the Comments section or on our Facebook page! We’ll try to compile a list once we’ve heard from everyone.

Scarface Comes to Blu-ray in Style

Coming in September is the Blu-ray debut of the classic Al Pacino film Scarface on September 6. Universal Home Entertainment is sparing nothing to make certain this becomes quite the event. There have been art contests and now there’s the imminent arrival of the Scarface-themed humidor.

For the ultimate collector and cigar enthusiast, an elegantly hand-crafted Scarface-themed humidor will be made available in an exclusive, never-before-available, limited edition, along with the new Scarface Special Limited Edition Blu-ray.

Created by the renowned Daniel Marshall, the humidor’s exterior is hand painted and polished with the Marshall’s trademark “1000 coat brilliant finish.”  The interior – made with untreated Spanish cedar – will properly condition and age approximately 100 cigars at optimal humidity levels. Limited to 1,000 worldwide, each individually numbered humidor comes embellished with custom medallions inspired by the iconic film and includes a certificate of authenticity.

As seen in the photo above, The Scarface Special Limited Edition Blu-ray also includes art cards from the “Scarface Kingpins of Design” fan art contest where fans had a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to design Scarface-inspired artwork using classic Tony Montana images from the film. (more…)

Jurassic Park Trilogy Comes to Blu-ray

We’re still savoring the goodness found in the Superman and Lord of the Rings treasure chests but now we have something to put on our Christmas list. Coming in October is a Blu-ray box set of the three Jurassic Park films and there’s something to recommend in all three. Here’s the formal release:

Universal City, California, June 27, 2011 – The wait is finally over to experience one of the most anticipated motion-picture trilogies of all time like never before when Jurassic Park, The Lost World: Jurassic Park and Jurassic Park III debut as a trilogy set on Blu-ray™ October 25, 2011 from Universal Studios Home Entertainment. Acclaimed filmmaker Steven Spielberg’s award-winning cinematic franchise, based on the best-selling book by  Michael Crichton, generated nearly $2 billion combined at the worldwide box office and featured groundbreaking visual effects that changed the art of movie-making forever. Now, all three epic films have been digitally restored and remastered in flawless high definition for the ultimate viewing experience. Additionally, the films’ visceral sound effects and the unforgettable music from legendary composer John Williams can now be heard in pristine 7.1 surround sound. Arriving in stores just in time for holiday gift giving, this collectible three-movie set also features hours of bonus features, including an all-new, six-part documentary and digital copies of all three films that can be viewed on an array of electronic and portable devices anytime, anywhere.  The Jurassic Park Ultimate Trilogy is also available on DVD, as well as in a spectacular Limited Edition Blu-ray Trilogy Gift Set which includes a custom T-rex dinosaur statue. (more…)

The Quotable Nicholas Cage

Season of The Witch follows a 14th century Crusader Behmen (Nicholas Cage) and his brother in arms Felson (Ron Perlman) leave the church crusaders and return to their homeland only to find it devastated by the Black Plague. After the Church finally catches up with them, they demand the two to transport an accused witch to a remote and sacred abbey. The accused witch is believed to be to root of the Plague.  They must struggle to survive and reach the abbey – where they discover there are much darker forces at hand and saving mankind might be harder than originally thought.

In celebration of Season of The Witch, which is out today on Blu-ray & DVD, 20th Century-Fox Home Entertainment compiled some of their favorite “Cage sayings” both from his epic films and from “real life”.

Behmen (Season of The Witch):  “I pity any man whose last face they see is yours Felson.”

Johnny Blaze (Ghost Rider):  “He may have my soul, but he doesn’t have my spirit.”

Ben Sanderson (Leaving Las Vegas): “I came here to drink myself to death.”

Dr. Stanley Goodspeed (The Rock): “I love pressure. I eat it for breakfast.” (more…)

Jeff Bridges Wants to Adapt The Giver

Lois Lowry’s classic young adult novel The Giver is headed for the big screen courtesy of actor Jeff Bridges’ persistence. According to Variety, Bridges has wanted to adapt the 1993 science fiction book about a world that has been rendered average and bland.

Bridges and Nikki Silver have reacquired the rights to the novel and have hired Vadim Perelman (The House of Sand and Fog) to write the screen adaptation and nearly got to direct a version in 2006. No other hires have been announced but Bridges is now at an age where he could make a convincing title character.

The Giver is the keeper of memory, of experiences good and bad, for a society that strives for a moderate approach to all things. When young Jonas is selected as the next Giver, he forges a relationship with the far older man and both recognize that the world they inhabit is far from ideal.

Lowry won the Newbery Medal for the novel which remains a high school staple. It has appeared on many best book lists and has endured as a classic example of a dystopian society. When Bridges’ daughter read the book for school, he became intrigued and imagined it for a vehicle for his father, the great Lloyd Bridges.

Lowry loosely connected Gathering Blue and Messenger into an overall trilogy that remains a popular offering bookstores and libraries.