Click the buttons above to view pages of cliffhanger serials on DVD listed by genre.
NEWS & UPDATES
THE MASKED MARVEL BLU-RAY
Shipping Soon (July 2022)
Will ship when fully restored and proofed.
CLICK HERE TO RESERVE YOUR COPY
THE MASKED MARVEL
(1943, 12 Chapters)
Featuring Tom Steele, Louise Currie
with Johnnie Arthur as Sakima
The Masked Marvel, secretly one of four insurance investigators, fights Mura Sakima, an Axis spy who killed Alice Hamilton’s father. An adventure originally conceived to have featured a masked Lone Ranger-like Western hero and use the "who is the hero" setup first featured in the 1938 Lone Ranger serial. But before production the decision was made to update the character as a modern-day spy-fighter very similar to the character appearing in Keen Detective Funnies. So no, the Masked Marvel had nothing to do with The Spirit, he was Republic pictures' version of the Green Hornet.
Status: HD Transfer complete, digital restoration being assembled, covers printed
Note: We rebooted this project because we gained access to a superb studio-quality print of this serial which is even better quality than what we had before.
SQUADRON HQ NEWS FEED:
10 NEW HYBRID BLU-RAYS ARE NOW COMPLETE and shipping now. These are the original Squadron restorations presented on Blu-Ray disks with less compression so picture quality, motion quality and audio quality are all better than DL-DVD versions.
RESTORATIONS ON BLU-RAY
Many of the restorations below are mastered from from new state-of-the-art HD transfers of the best-quality available film prints sourced from loans or purchases from collectors or archives, are "true" Blu-Rays created from new HD digital transfers, region-free and and play in all players.
Additional titles are available as "hybrid" Blu-Rays which are restored original transfers in SD and burned on Blu-Ray disks with reduced compression for improved motion, audio and picture quality. Check the player compatibility list for those titles.
A NOTE ABOUT PREORDERS: The Squadron will be producing multiple new titles each quarter to try to raise money for these and future restoration projects and preserve a large collection of 16mm serials. Project completion dates are estimates and release order for projects may be shuffled according to the condition of prints and transfers. No titles will be put up for preorder that are not scheduled for new transfers. Preorder titles must be ordered individually because they will ship separately and at different times. If you do not wish to preorder a title, that's fine, just wait until it shows up with a "shipping now" notice.
THE PHANTOM CREEPS
(1939, 12 Chapters)
Featuring BELA LUGOSI and Robert Kent
Embittered scientist Dr. Alex Zorka plans to rule the world with an army of invincible robots. A military intelligence agent supported by a reporter and a scientist stands against Zorka and his arsenal of scientific weapons.
First and only release ever with the original Universal Pictures titles.
Status: Fully transferred in HD from two 16mm original print sources. Awaiting restoration.
Estimated project completion: July/August 2022
THE SECRET CODE
(1942, 15 Chapters)
Featuring Paul Kelly as the Black Commando
with Anne Nagel and Trevor Bardette
Police lieutenant Dan Barton fakes his dismissal from the force and reappears as the masked Black Commando in order to infiltrate an enemy sabotage ring after a secret code that will reveal the secret formula for synthetic rubber. Barton receives aid from his former patrolman partner and a reporter as he fights to expose the leader of the gang. Action-packed wartime serial inspired by the success of Spy Smasher with bonus "code-breaker" segments following each episode.
Status: In line for transfer to 1920 x 1080 HD
THE LOST PLANET
CONQUEROR OF SPACE
(1952, 15 Chapters)
Featuring Michael Fox as Dr. Grood
and Judd Holdren as Rex Barrow
Directed by Spencer Bennet
Crazed scientist Dr. Grood kidnaps Professor Dorn for assistance in his bid to conquer the universe with futuristic weaponry and Rex Barrow doggedly pursues him to planet Ergro, where Grood enslaves others to mine valuable cosmonium.
Status: In line for transfer to 1920 x 1080 HD
PIRATES OF THE HIGH SEAS
(1950, 15 Chapters)
Featuring Buster Crabbe
with Tristram Coffin, Tommy Farrell, and Lois Hall
D: Spencer Bennet, Thomas Carr
When South Seas captain Kelly Walsh's vessel is fired upon while in the harbor of Taluha, he seeks help from old shipmate Jeff Drake, skipper of the Ramble, berthed in San Pedro, California. By the time Drake puts out to sea, he has some unexpected passengers: Carol Walsh, Kelly's sister, Frederick Whitlock, owner of Taluha Island, and Castell, who reveals he is a former OSS operative looking for a Nazi war criminal.
Status: In line for transfer to 1920 x 1080 HD
THE IRON CLAW
(1941, 15 Chapters)
Featuring Charles Quigley, Charles King and The Iron Claw
Reporter Bob Lane and photographer Jack "Flash" Strong investigate mysterious doings at the Anton Benson mansion after the murder of Anton's brother and discover that a gangster called Silk and his hoodlums would like the treasure that Anton is desperately trying to move to safer territory. Equally active in mischief is the Iron Claw himself, who thrives on sliding panels and elaborate lethal devices. Inspired by the silent-era Pearl White serial, this one is full of frantic action and danger.
Status: In line for transfer to 1920 x 1080 HD
THE SPIDER RETURNS
(1941, 15 Chapters)
Featuring Warren Hull, Kenne Duncan and The Gargoyle
The Gargoyle, an espionage giant with a machine that can see through walls, seeks to paralyze the United States by employing sinister technology. The Spider (Richard Wentworth, relying heavily upon his Blinky McQuade guise), infiltrates underworld society to bring down the mastermind’s unruly gang.
This sequel to The Spider's Web was ordered to be less bloody than the original and includes some thrilling deathtraps and occasional zaniness with its over-the-top costumed villain.
Finally we will be able to see this in an HQ transfer from an excellent quality print.
Status: Pushed forward in schedule -- The original print of this serial is scheduled for required cleaning and will be transferred when that process is complete.
"No wonder my plans never succeed. These wild parties must stop!"
—The Gargoyle, The Spider Returns
Commando Cody's first new cliffhanger serial in nearly 70 years!
(Serial Squadron 2022, 6 Chapters)
Featuring a New Cast
of Heroes and Villains
with special appearances by
Judd Holdren and Roy Barcroft
Story by Eric Stedman
Fight Choreography by Fred Kaye
A decade after the events of Radar Men from the Moon, Larry M. Cody, nephew of his uncle George, who is wheelchair-bound after suffering from radiation poisoning during his trip to the Moon, takes over as "Commando Cody," the figurehead character for Cody Scientific Laboratories. He and his son Jesse and daughter Jenny also appear on a weekly television series, Rocketman and the Rocket Rangers. When a child identifying herself in an emergency broadcast as Luna, daughter of Astara, ruler of Capernium City in the Sea of Tranquility and princess of the Moon, interrupts the program, and begs for Cody's help for her starving people, the rocket man must decide whether they should trust or befriend the Moon people or beware the mysterious blue domes given to Earth as gifts.
As you can imagine, some can be taken at their word and others have designs for revenge on the Earth people for the death of their former ruler Retik. And of course you know fast-paced sci-fi action will follow, as those who would do harm to Earth must be battled by the new Commando Cody, his trusted uncle George, Rocketgirl, the Rocket Ranger, and other friends who pitch in to help them fight their new fearsome enemies, including Rocky, their robot pal. Uniquely, Cody must also battle self-doubt as he defends himself and his family from those who would sympathize with powerful but deceptive potential invaders.
A Serial Squadron Multimedia Production
Artwork, Script and Script Content summary
Copyright ©2022 by Eric Stedman and Fred Kaye
CHAPTER 1: MESSAGE OF THE MOON CHILD
CHAPTER 2: TERROR OF THE SYNTHOZOIDS
CHAPTER 3: DARK SIDE OF THE MOON
CHAPTER 4: DUEL TO THE DEATH
CHAPTER 5: WAR IN OUTER SPACE
CHAPTER 6: THE FINAL BATTLE
Status: Script complete, in pre-production
"A Rocket Ranger does everything in his power to help others, and make every planet in the galaxy a better place." -- Rocketman
CLIFFHANGER SERIAL BOOKS Available Now
Click Here for more titles including Lost Serial Restorations in book form!
BOOKS IN PRODUCTION
SERIALS ON DVD (Library Titles)
The serials below were mastered from the best available source, usually
16mm prints given new digital transfers.
The Squadron is the home of the restored 1938 Lone Ranger serial,
the Captain America restoration, the long-thought-lost Daredevils of the West,
the fully-restored original The Perils of Pauline, Drums of Fu Manchu original print,
the Tarzan the Fearless and King of the Mounties reconstructions,
rare silents The Hope Diamond Mystery, The Trail of the Octopus, and The Masked Rider;
Spy Smasher, The Crimson Ghost and The Fighting Devil Dogs on Blu-Ray,
the silent serials filmed in Ithaca, New York and a lot more.
Note: The Serial Squadron is a library/archive and not a commercial store with many employees and delivery trucks like Amazon.com so ships items when ready after sometimes they are made to order. We offer over 100 titles now and new titles with posted shipping dates will ship more quickly than older library titles which cannot all be kept in stock but must be reprinted and made to order so, while some titles may ship quickly if we have covers and disks on hand, please allow 2-3 weeks for delivery of any library title shipment. The Squadron is now restocking titles as well as working on creating new ones. In order to expedite shipping, please limit your order to three titles per shipment and do not order more than 4 library titles at once. To find out if your order went through, check your PayPal account and see if it appears there. When your order is ready to be assembled, you will receive an email from the Squadron with tracking information. This does not mean the order has shipped yet. It means it is in the process of being assembled. To check and see when your order has shipped, look for it in the Squadron Orders Log.
COMICS/PULP-STYLE COSTUMED CHARACTER SERIALS
The Squadron offers the highest-quality available edition of THE SPIDER'S WEB,
created from a new Rank Cintel transfer of a rare 16mm print, and new editions of many
highly-regarded Republic serials from new 2k digital transfers, stabilized and fully restored.
THE FIGHTING DEVIL DOGS features the black-caped and helmeted villain "The Lightning,"
the inspiration for Darth Vader in STAR WARS.
ACTION HEROES/HEROINES & SPORTS SERIALS
The Squadron edition of THE PERILS OF PAULINE is by far the most comprehensive
and highest quality of the serial in existence. Newly transferred and scored, it
includes copious extras detailing information about lost episodes and other
films and serials inspired by the great "original."
ADVENTURES OF FRANK MERRIWELL is one of the highest-picture-quality
releases available from the Squadron or anyone else for that matter. (Try the Blu-Ray!)
The Wharton Serials / The Lost Serial Collection / Serial Rarities
SCI-FI, FANTASY & COSTUME EPIC SERIALS
THE ROCKETMAN COLLECTION includes all 3 of the original Republic
Rocketman/Commando Cody theatrical serials and is a fan favorite.
THE PHANTOM EMPIRE restoration uniquely includes a period musical score
and sepia/blue tone effects distinguishing Western and Muranian scenes.
WARTIME & SPY SERIALS
If you haven't seen the new restored version of SPY SMASHER, you need to grab the Blu-Ray
immediately; it has been one of the most well-received serial restorations ever.
FLYING G-MEN was a precursor to the Blackhawks of the comics. THE GREAT AIR MYSTERY and
THE MYSTERY SQUADRON are excellent quality transfers and BRUCE GENTRY an enjoyable
Republic-like serial with plenty of stunt fighting.
BRENDA STARR, REPORTER will be offered soon in further-restored form
from the Squadron, with previously missing content added and re-created.
GANG BUSTERS features one of the most engaging plots of any serial: the "League of Murdered Men" who commit crimes with clues that lead to dead men(?)
OCCULT, HORROR & MYSTERY SERIALS
The bizarre Ben Wilson serial THE TRAIL OF THE OCTOPUS and
Boris Karloff's earliest major appearance, THE HOPE DIAMOND MYSTERY
are offered exclusively by the Squadron and include new musical scores.
The upgraded restoration of the superb Pearl White serial
THE HOUSE OF HATE is in production and will be released in 2021.
EXOTIC ADVENTURE SERIALS
The Squadron offers the only edition of the splendidly-produced and directed
DRUMS OF FU MANCHU, digitally mastered from an original print.
The Squadron editions of THE TIGER WOMAN and PERILS OF NYOKA
include restored original titles. All three titles have excellent picture and sound
quality and are highly recommended.
The Squadron's restoration of TARZAN THE FEARLESS is the only edition to include rare footage not seen in the feature version, and is presented in chapter format.
A new upgraded HD restoration of ADVENTURES OF TARZAN is in production.
PIRATE & SEA ADVENTURE SERIALS
Squadron-exclusive titles in this category include the rare early sound serial
PIRATE TREASURE featuring accomplished stunt man Richard Talmadge.
Don't miss KING OF THE MOUNTIES (which was originally to have featured Spy Smasher),
one of the most action-packed and well-directed and edited serials ever.
The Squadron edition includes fully re-created sound effects and music
for reels for which audio has thus far been unavailable.
MASKED RIDER SERIALS
Eric Stedman of the Serial Squadron created the restoration of the
1938 Republic LONE RANGER serial and the Squadron exclusively
offers it and its sequel in unique, unsubtitled, complete editions in English.
THE MASKED RIDER, also offered only by the Squadron, was an amazingly influential
(and violent) serial from 1919, the first to be named after a prominent masked/mystery
Western character, and predated and inspired Zorro's black costume
RARE FEATURES Also restored by the Squadron
COLUMBIA SERIAL THEMES
Every single one of the opening themes from all the Columbia serials made over 20 years, queued in order, beginning with JUNGLE MENACE from 1-, moving along to THE SPIDER'S WEB, THE GREEN ARCHER, THE SECRET CODE, BATMAN, THE PHANTOM, THE DESERT HAWK, BRENDA STARR, REPORTER and many more till it finishes up with BLAZING THE OVERLAND TRAIL from 1956. 55 tracks (because the theme for SUPERMAN and ATOM MAN VS SUPERMAN is the same).
Shipped in a slim DVD case so you can read the index of titles on the back.
The Squadron does not work on titles which have been released commercially by studios or those which have received legitimate distribution by secondary agencies.
Here are links to some currently available high
quality and recommended commercial serial releases.
Adventures of Captain Marvel / Commando Cody
Daredevils of the Red Circle / The Shadow
Panther Girl of the Kongo/ The Invisible Monster
Flying Disc Man from Mars / The Mysterious Airman
Flash Gordon Trilogy / Batman/Batman and Robin
Superman/Atom Man Vs. Superman
BTW The "real", licensed and high quality FLASH GORDON set is the one pictured at left, which was previously released in three volumes with covers with black backgrounds by Image. Look for it on eBay.
You can SUBSCRIBE and receive the latest Serial Squadron DVDs as soon as they are published. Visit the PATREON SERIAL SQUADRON VIP SUBSCRIBER PAGE for more details!
Visit the new sister group to the Serial Squadron
THE DAUGHTERS OF DARING
ABOUT THE SERIAL SQUADRON
More information and Squadron history
The Serial Squadron is a multimedia archive -- a soon-to-be non-profit library supported by enthusiasts of the form, historians, and in cooperation with film archives and private collectors, which restores, repairs, and re-creates movie and audio serials not now available or have never been been commercially released by studios or legitimately licensed rightsholders in video, audio, and printed form. The Squadron published the first-ever movie serial on DVD, Zorro's Fighting Legion, in 2002 and has continued working on restorations of rare and long-unavailable movie serials ever since. Our goal is to preserve, restore and make available for viewing or study the original cliffhangers that inspired Star Wars, Raiders of the Lost Ark and the Hollywood superhero blockbusters of today. Your orders keep the archive going and fund new transfers and other projects.
It is our mission at the Squadron to preserve and restore the rarest of all historical theatrical cliffhanger movie serials of 1912-1956 and related series films and create restored editions of serials as yet unseen by the general public, or which are only viewable in poor or incomplete condition, and to keep all these titles available for purposes of historical research, study, remembrance value or to be seen by new audiences unfamiliar with the content. Most titles here come from new transfers done from original films and include restored picture and sound. Silent titles include new scores and missing content in any serial is re-created or summarized. Subscribers help us continue to restore new titles and when special projects surface we sometimes use pledge drives to help fund restorations.
The Squadron also publishes novelizations of lost serials and serial-related comics.
And some lost serials have been re-created as audio dramas and more will be presented in that form as time goes on.
Note: EVERYTHING here is an "upgrade." We will offer NO DVD copy of a serial that we believe exists in better condition anywhere else. We also do not copy studio releases of serials here, period; we do our own work and restorations. And if a studio makes a serial available commercially we will remove it from our list.
In accordance with current copyright law, no serials will be listed here unless they are public domain and/or more than 75 years old or in their last 20 years of a copyright term and not currently available as a commercial video product by a studio or legitimately licensed rights holder (if any). Copies of orphaned serials in which we have invested time and funds to preserve and restore are (legally) available to the public from this archive in accordance with Section 108 of the US Copyright law which states that “for preservation, scholarship or research, libraries or archives may reproduce, distribute, display or perform published works in their last 20 years of copyright if the work is not subject to commercial exploitation and cannot be obtained at a fair price.”
"Section 108 of the Copyright Act permits libraries and archives to make certain uses of copyrighted materials in order to serve the public and ensure the availability of works over time. Among other things, Section 108 provides limited exceptions for libraries and archives to make copies in specified instances for preservation, replacement and patron access. Section 108 was enacted as part of the Copyright Act of 1976, then amended in 1998 by the Digital Millennium Copyright Act and the Copyright Term Extension Act, and in 2005 by the Preservation of Orphan Works Act."
SQUADRON RESTORATIONS CONTAINING ORIGINAL CONTENT ARE NOT PUBLIC DOMAIN. BUY FROM THIS SITE OR LICENSED VENDORS ONLY
We have regrettably recently received reports of unlicensed vendors selling copies of copyrighted Squadron DVDs at conventions, in email lists, and on websites, including THE HOPE DIAMOND MYSTERY and even advertising illegal copies for sale in periodicals. Only Peter C. Walther of Rome NY, Norman Kietzer and the Lone Ranger Fan Club are licensed as a secondary distributors of Squadron DVDs so please do not order or purchase copies of Squadron publications from ANY other vendors; if you do you may be purchasing stolen property. Squadron restorations of public domain works are actively and legitimately copyrighted as "new versions" or derivative works, they are not public domain, even if their source material may be. Read about copyrights on derivative works at the Library of Congress. We reserve the right to register a copyright infringement complaint with the FBI, take legal action for damages, or file a charge of theft against any vendor selling copyrighted Squadron works without permission.
By ordering a copy of one of the restored public domain titles you agree to respect its copyright as a new version of a public domain work by the Squadron and not to copy or resell the DVD. In regards to orphaned (abandoned) titles, you agree that you are a writer, reviewer, historian, or library and research, review, or study is your purpose in requesting a copy of any of these films which we have taken pains to restore to as close to their original condition as possible.
"I AM THE SERIAL. I am the black sheep of the picture family and the reviled of critics.
I am the soulless one with no moral, no character, no uplift. All I do is try to amuse.
I am ashamed. Because I have so many friends I wonder if there is not some good in me.
I have ambitions. I will get better.
Until then, I suppose it is my fate to flaunt myself along, to put forth what petty virtues I have as best I can -- and pay for the birth of my high-brow brothers.
Ah, me, if only I could be respectable!" -- Pioneer serial producer/director George B. Seitz
More About the Squadron / Contact Info