Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Hang on!

Since many of you liked the Superman cartoon I posted, I thought I would continue this Saturday Afternoon Matinee with the first chapter from one of my favorite scifi cliffhangers from Republic Studios:

Radar Men from the Moon!

So climb into your atomic rocketpacks boys and girls, and hang on as we jet through the stratosphere to answer the challenge posed by the evil forces of Retik, Master of the Moon!
Edit: I just thought of this -- wouldn't these serials, cartoons and newsreels be considered "DVD Extras" today?


Kelly J. Compeau said...

Oh, no! Will our brave hero and his band of merry...uh, space travellers defeat the evil Moon people and save Earth from being invaded? Tune in next time, boys and girls.

Thanks for that, Bill. It really made my day. :-)

Bill Cunningham said...

We chuckle at the wonderful naivete of this children's entertainment. However, were it not for this serial and others like it - we wouldn't have shows like 24.

I moved back to SC in 1990, to live with my folks for a few months as I transitioned out of life in the USAF. My Pop was helping me unpack some boxes and saw I had a bunch of videotapes of serials. He told me about when he was a kid, and in particular this serial he saw where a hero was riding a motorcycle in a tunnel that was being flooded by the villains henchmen. I recognized it immediately as DAREDEVILS OF THE RED CIRCLE, and that night he and I popped corn and sat down in front of the TV. For about three hours a 30 yr. old and a near 60 yr. old became two eight year old boys...

That's when I knew I wanted to seriously get into the movie business.

James Moran said...

When I was a kid in the late 70s/early 80s, the BBC over here started showing the Rocket Man serial, from the start, one episode a day. I thought, in my cynical kid way, pffft, boring - but Jesus, I was immediately hooked right from the start. Ridiculously entertaining. Plus, it meant I really related to Annie Wilkes in Misery, because I remembered that episode with the car going over the cliff. And he DIDN'T GET OUT OF THE COCKADOODIE CAR, just like she said. But I didn't mind quite as much as she did.

Great point about 24, by the way, it's exactly the same sort of thing, cliffhanger after cliffhanger. Maybe that's why I love it so much.

DecoderRing said...

Yeah, they're pretty damn entertaining. The production values are what they are, but the stories are rock'em sock'em good. And they're often a chance to see the heroes of yesterday in action. The Shadow, The Spider, Spy Smasher, The Phantom, The Green Hornet... I mean, look at this and the Superman cartoon and tell me that seeing this instead of a Pepsi commercial before a movie wouldn't bring you back to the theatre.

Actually, I was watching an old newsreel the other day and thinking how much better informed the general populace would be if there was a five-minute "News Parade" before a movie started today.... All right, they'll never go for that, but give me a cartoon and a serial!

RogerRmjet said...

When I was a kid, we used to go to Shakey's Pizza. What I loved even more than the giant pitcher of root beer and the player piano were the Flash Gordon serials that they used to show. The bummer was that I saw many of the early chapters, but none of the later ones. I never got to see how the dang thing ended! The first time I saw the whole original Flash Gordon, and Flash Gordon Conquers the Universe, on VHS, you can bet I bought them then and there.

Somewhere, I can't recall if it was on AMC or maybe it was particular DVD releases (I'm leaning towards the latter), somebody attempted to recreate the old Saturday matinee feel by including a cartoon, newsreel and such. Very cool. Those were the days.