RELEASE AND ARCHIVE ADDITION SCHEDULE
CLICK HERE TO JOIN THE SQUADRON and help support preservation of rare cinema serials!
Information about how you can become a Co-Sponsor, Co-Producer or Producer of a Squadron DVD restoration is forthcoming.
THE SPIDER'S WEB
Columbia 1938 / 15 Chapters / Crime Melodrama
Source: The Spider pulp magazine stories by R. T. M. Scott, Norvell Page, and Emile C. Tepperman (a.k.a. Grant Stockbridge), Popular Publications, 1933-1943
Hero: Richard Wentworth/Blinky McQuade/The Spider (Warren Hull)
His Pals: Ram Singh (Kenneth Duncan), Ronald Jackson (Richard Fiske)
Leading Lady: Nita Van Sloan (Iris Meredith)
Mystery Villain: The Octopus
Directed by: Ray Taylor, James W. Horne
Plot: The mysterious white-robed Octopus raids one industry after another in a systematic grab for power. The Spider, a masked vigilante who looks upon the underworld as his own private shooting gallery, is feared by criminals and civilians alike. When these two powerful figures fight to destroy each other, the result is bloody mayhem.
This title is not available for commercial distribution but will be added to the archive after January 1. You may reserve a research copy now, in advance.
THE SERIALFEST DVD MAGAZINE
8 1/2 x 11" perfect-bound Magazine and DVD
The SerialFest DVD Magazine returns, in a new form, now as both true printed magazine and DVD in combination and published quarterly in February, May, August and November. Articles about classic serials, interviews, bios, comics, rare photos, lost serial photonovels such as THE CRIMSON STAIN MYSTERY, and, on the DVD, rare serial chapters, related shorts and features, previews of Squadron restorations projects in progress, and audio re-creations such as THE VOICE FROM THE SKY and THE MYSTERY MIND, featuring Adrian Booth. Available by Subscription or single issue.
(The cover at left is not the actual cover of issue 5 & will be replaced when the actual one is ready)
Universal 1934 / 12 Chapters / Sea Adventure
Hero: Dick Moreland (Richard Talmadge)
Leading Lady: Dorothy Craig (Lucille Lund)
Villain: Stanley Brassett (Walter Miller)
Supporting Cast: Pat O'Malley, William Desmond, William Thorne, Del Lawrence, Ethan Laidlaw, George de Normand, Al Ferguson, Beulah Hutton
MacGuffin: Buried treasure
Directed by: Ray Taylor
Plot: Dick Moreland flies after a treasure buried on a remote island by an ancestor. Also on hand for the digging is a crooked lawyer who wants the treasure for himself.
Reviews: “Richard Talmadge, who plays the lead, is a likable performer and since he was a stunt man by trade, there is some excellent action in these chapters. Note the spectacular cliffhanger and stunt where Talmadge is thrown over the side of a tall building but saves himself by grabbing onto or falling through five awnings on the building windows just below. That cliffhanger and resolution alone are worth the price of admission.” -- DickFlint
This title is not available for commercial distribution but will be added to the archive after March 1.
THE MASKED RIDER
William Steiner/Arrow 1919 / 15 Episodes
Hero: Harry Burrel (Harry Myers)
His Pal: Captain Jack Hathaway of the Texas Rangers (George Chapman)
Leading Lady: Ruth Chadwick (Ruth Stonehouse)
Villain: Pancho (Paul Panzer)
Supporting Cast: Edna M. Holland, Marie Treador, Blanche Gillespie, Boris Karloff
Directed by: Aubrey C. Kennedy
Plot: Bandit and cattle rustler Pancho and his band of raiders swear to drive ranchers in Texas out of the Border country. In the conflict that follows, Harry Burrel's father Bill is killed, and Pancho's vengeful lieutenant Santas tricks him into thinking he's been tortured by Harry. Swearing revenge upon those who he thinks crushed his hands, Pancho relentlessly pursues members of the Burrel and Chadwick families, inflicting fiendish and deliberate tortures upon them. They are protected by Captain Jack of the Texas Rangers. Pancho's demands are carried to his sworn enemies by the black-garbed "emissary of evil" known only as The Masked Rider.
Reviews: Filmed on location in San Antonio, Texas and across the nearby Mexican border, the serial's shooting locations include the then-new Medina Dam and the historical Mission San Jose. The serial is notable for originating the Western masked mystery-rider character which was later to develop into characters such as Zorro and the Lone Ranger. It is also notable for including not just one but four female characters who ride, shoot and fight as the men do, and scenes of violence and torture which seem to have escaped censors. Actor Boris Karloff can be glimpsed in what appears to be his earliest existing film appearance in a scene in Chapter 2.
Volume 3 of the DVD set, including the concluding chapters of the serial, in which the Rider's identity is revealed, is being completed now, as is the Masked Rider Companion Book, which will include script elements for missing sections of the serial, a reproduction of the original pressbook, and an amazing treasure trove of reproductions of one-of-a-kind rarities relegated to the production of the serial and its cast.
Do not send updated address information yet if you pledged for this serial. When the DVD and book are ready to go and we're ready to collect shipping info and take new orders, we'll post a notice here.
The complete 3-DVD set and Companion Book will be available for commercial distribution upon release.
THE FLAME FIGHTER
featuring Herbert Rawlinson
ADVENTURES OF TARZAN
with new material for chapters 1-6 in 35mm in near-perfect condition.
These DVDs and the Republic serial restorations above are available for commercial sale or dealer inquiry. They're not just copies of other people's stuff, either. Most are new digital transfers from rare existing original film prints with restored picture and sound, some with extras and viewing options and even special color tone effects, commentary and new musical scores. The silent titles in particular have been painstakingly restored shot-for-shot in most cases and include restored sections or summaries of action for content that survives only in incomplete form. Click the graphics to see more titles.
"I am the serial. I am the black sheep of the motion picture family and the reviled of critics. I am the soulless one with no moral, no character, no uplift. I am ashamed . . . Ah me, if only I could be respectable!" -- THE NEW YORK DRAMATIC MIRROR, 1916