Going Ape!: TARZAN, THE APE MAN (MGM 1932)

cracked rear viewer

Edgar Rice Burroughs’ Lord of the Jungle first hit the screen way back in 1918 with Elmo Lincoln as Tarzan. Many actors since then have donned the loin cloth, but for me the definitive movie Tarzan remains Johnny Weissmuller , who swung from his first Hollywood vine in MGM’s TARZAN, THE APE MAN, and played  the part for 16 years in 12 films.

Elderly John Parker and his young partner Harry Holt are in deepest Africa searching for the legendary “elephant’s graveyard”, which contains a fortune in ivory, but is considered sacred ground by the native tribes. Parker’s daughter Jane shows up, a spirited girl who’s no ball of fluff, but can hold her own. When Jane insists on accompanying the men on their journey, Parker scoffs, but Harry signs off because of course he’s immediately smitten with her.The jungle trek is fraught with perils, like a dangerous river crossing…

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Trailer: John Carter (Official)

Walt Disney Pictures has finally released the first official trailer for their upcoming sci-fi, action-adventure film John Carter (film was originally titled John Carter of Mars). The film is based on the Edgar Rice Burroughs novel, A Princess of Mars, which would go one to become the first in Burroughs’ Barsoom series.

The film will star Taylor Kitsch (last seen in X-Men Origins: Wolverine as Gambit) in the title role and Lynn Collins (also from Wolverine as Silver Fox) as the aforementioned princess from the original novel. John Carter looks to be a mixture of live-action and fully-realized CGI characters who make up some of the inhabitants of Mars.

It will be interesting how Disney will market this film with little to no big stars and with a director more known for directing Pixar animated films like Finding Nemo and Wall-E in Andrew Stanton.

John Carter is set to have a March 9, 2012 release date.

Artist Profile: Frank Frazetta


For the latest “Artist Profile” I have picked one of the icons and giants in the realm of fantasy art. This artist has influenced many artists who looked up to him as a mentor and inspiration. His work has also fired up the imaginations of writers and filmmakers the world over. The artist I speak of was the great Frank Frazetta.

Frank Frazetta is one of those artists whose work has become so recognizable that people know it’s his artwork even without any sign pointing it out. He has been in the forefront of fantasy artwork since he switched from doing comic strips and comic books during the 40’s and 50’s to painting covers for Warren Comics such as Vampirella, Creepy and Eerie. It was during this same time period that he began to create some of his most iconic pieces when he painted the covers for the paperback editions of Edgar Rice Burroughs classic character such as Conan and John Carter of Mars. In fact, one of the Conan paintings he did, Conan the Destroyer, sold for $1.5million dollars at an auction this past Summer of 2010.

He would add to his body of work during the 1970’s by painting album covers for such rock bands as Dust, Nazareth, Molly Hatchert, Wolfmother and Yngwie Malmsteen. One such album cover was an earlier original painting Frank used for the band Molly Hatcher. It would introduce a character who has spawned it’s own industry of comic books, posters, novels, games and collectible statues. This painting is The Death Dealer (the picture above) and it has become the one piece of Frazetta artwork which a majority of his fans around the world consider his best work.

Frank Frazetta passed away on May 10, 2010 in a Florida hospital near his home. Frank’s legacy is not just the hundred or so of paintings he had kept through the decades of his career, but also the uncounted artists he had influenced. Fantasy artists of renown themselves such as Boris Vallejo, Julie Bell, Joseph Vargo, Ken Kelly and Brom. The pieces of work chosen for this profile are just the tip of the work Frank left behind for future generations to study and admire.