Old Time Movie Serials...will they come to DVD?

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by DennisP, Jun 24, 2002.

  1. DennisP

    DennisP Stunt Coordinator

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    I was thinking of some of the old movie serials I used to watch as a kid..and was wondering if we will ever see some of them released to DVD.

    I remember a few with great fondness and would like to see them revisited using the DVD format. It would be nice to have all 12 episodes on one DVD..where you can access each chapter.

    What started me thinking about this was my trying to remember the name of a couple of old serials I saw when I used to attend the local Y.M.C.A. as a kid in the late 50's. It seems to me one was called "Junior "G" Men" and another was "The Black-hawks".....I have rather vague recollection of "The Black-hawks"..but it was an adventure story of guys that flew old Bi-wing airplanes..and the outfits they wore reminded me of the old chauffeur uniforms (black riding pants with a jacket with a double breasted front)....as a kid I thought these were very cool. Thought it might be fun to see them again.
     
  2. Jack Briggs

    Jack Briggs Executive Producer

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    If there is demand enough, Dennis, then maybe. I'd like to have Radar Men From the Moon on DVD, as well as all fifteen chapters of the 1943 Batman chapterplay (with Robert Lewis as the Caped Crusader--loved how he tripped over his cape from time to time).
     
  3. Greg_S_H

    Greg_S_H Executive Producer

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    Nothing's stopping you from getting Radar Men, Jack! In fact, since it's available from Roan, it's one of the better serial DVDs you can find. You can get it from Roan, off of eBay, or from this website:
    Serial DVDs I own:
    • Flash Gordon: Space Soldiers (Image)
    • Flash Gordon's Trip to Mars (Image)
    • Flash Gordon Conquers the Universe (Image)
    All of the above are good quality (especially considering the age) and are classics of the serial genre. I recommend the Image boxed set containing all three.
    • Undersea Kingdom
    • Radar Men From the Moon
    • SOS Coast Guard
    All of these are Roan prints, generally meaning they are the best prints you can expect, and they are all available at the website mentioned above. They have another--The Three Musketeers, starring John Wayne--that I have yet to purchase.
    • Buck Rogers
    • Jungle Girl
    These are from VCI, a company with a reputation for poor transfers. From what I understand, this was not the case with their LD releases, but they lost access to the good studio prints. Either case, I've only watched Buck Rogers at this point, and it was acceptable but much poorer than the other serial DVDs I own. Their Dick Tracy is reputed to be quite rough. Word is, these serials will soon be available on DVD from VCI: The Mystery Rider and Drums of Fu Manchu.
    If you have any questions about serials and their availabilty on DVD, the people in alt.movies.serials can probably help you. Also, you can check the following sites, which have some DVD-R serials available. Jack, this is a gray area for me, but I think they only transfer PD serials. If you visit the sites and think otherwise, please edit this information out of my post.
    http://www.serialsquadron.com/
    http://sinistercinema.com/
     
  4. Jack Briggs

    Jack Briggs Executive Producer

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    Greg: I had absolutely no idea Radar Men had been available on DVD. It is still available through any of the standard online outlets, though? Please advise. Even if I have to get that boxset, I will. Thanks! JB
     
  5. Keith Paynter

    Keith Paynter Screenwriter

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    I did that in the 70's and they used to run lots of 16mm films borrowed from the local public library, about 2 blocks away! We saw serials for Flash Gordon Conquers The Universe, and The Hurricane Express which starred John Wayne before he was "John Wayne" (Hollywood cowboy).
     
  6. Greg_S_H

    Greg_S_H Executive Producer

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    Jack,
    I see one version available to ship immediately from Amazon, but that is not the version you want. You want the one they say will ship in 3 days. I got mine new off of eBay, from the guy who runs the store I linked above. Alternately, you can buy it from Roan (which is part of Troma).
    This should be the link to Roan's page:
    http://store.choppingmaul.com//index...&department=72
    And, this should link you directly to Radar Men:
    http://store.choppingmaul.com//index...ault&item=1102
    A word of warning: your sensibilites may be different from mine, but I feel I need a bath after visiting Troma's site. [​IMG]
    Here's the cover you want:
    http://store1.yimg.com/I/cultclassicdvds_1689_11325524
     
  7. Larry Bevil

    Larry Bevil Second Unit

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    One of my favorite serials when I was a kid was Zorro's Black Whip. It was available on laserdisc, but have seen no mention of it on dvd.
     
  8. Greg_S_H

    Greg_S_H Executive Producer

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    Larry,
    I know nothing about the Zorro serials, so I don't know if pointing you to other titles in the series would be acceptable or not. In case it is, check the Serial Squadron site liked in my first post for Ghost of Zorro (available now on DVD-R) and Zorro's Fighting Legion, which is coming in the future. Here's the page for the latter's restoration effort:
    http://www.serialsquadron.com/specia...tinglegion.htm
     
  9. oscar_merkx

    oscar_merkx Lead Actor

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    Greg_S_H
    Thanks for the link and looks like some great stuff to be found.
    [​IMG]
     
  10. Greg_S_H

    Greg_S_H Executive Producer

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    You're welcome, Oscar. The more people who know about and support serial DVDs, the more we'll get. That's my hope, anyway. [​IMG]
     
  11. Mark Zimmer

    Mark Zimmer Producer

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    The John Wayne Three Musketeers (with a young Lon Chaney Jr in the first episode) is pretty entertaining, and not a bad print at all for a serial. It's a DVD-18, though, I think. There are also some Bela Lugosi serials out on DVD too though the names are escaping me at the moment.

    Les Vampires, a French serial from 1915 is excellent (given the period) but quite pricey.
     
  12. Larry Sutliff

    Larry Sutliff Cinematographer

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  13. Steve Phillips

    Steve Phillips Screenwriter

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    There are a lot of serials on DVD. Some are from small companies that release PD material and the prints aren't the best, though, so shop around. I have THE PHANTOM from VCI, and THE PHANTOM CREEPS with Bela Lugosi also.

    What I'd like is more of the Republic Studios serials, and the 2 Superman serials from Warner.
     
  14. Jack Briggs

    Jack Briggs Executive Producer

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    Greg: Sorry not to have thanked you for the links and the cool image sooner. I will follow up on this sometime today. Again, thanks! JB
     
  15. Rodney

    Rodney Supporting Actor

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    I recently discovered Serial Squadron's website:
    Serial Squadron
    One of their ambitions is to put out serials on DVD's, rather than dvd-r's.
    If anyone is interested, they should check out the site, and support their pledge to get the following films released in the DVD format:
    definitely going to be on DVD:
    Zorro's Fighting Legion
    Awaiting Pledges:
    Phantom Menace
    Drums of Fu Manchu
    Captain America
    I have no connection with the site, other than also being a serial fan.
     
  16. Greg_S_H

    Greg_S_H Executive Producer

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    From a newsgroup post, here is what is supposed to be VCI's upcoming release schedule:
    Jungle Jim (1936)- September 10, 2002
    Secret Agent X-9 (1937) - October 8, 2002
    Drums of Fu Manchu - November 5, 2002
    Secret Agent X-9 (1945) - November 5, 2002
    Vanishing Shadow (1934) - Date to be announced
     

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