Serials

Happy Birthday, Spencer Bennet!

Posted in Serials on January 5, 2015 @ 10:02 pm

Who, you ask, was the King of the Motion-Picture Serial? Well, most aficionados would bestow the title on Buster Crabbe. Others would nominate Kane Richmond. A fair number might say the distinction belongs to Tom Tyler, or Ralph Byrd, or maybe even Kirk Alyn. Fifty years ago, old-time fans would have nominated Eddie Polo, William […]

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Coming Soon: HANDSOME HEROES AND VICIOUS VILLAINS

Posted in Murania Press,Serials,Upcoming Books on July 11, 2014 @ 3:59 pm

Here’s the cover for the upcoming Handsome Heroes and Vicious Villains, second in my two-volume history of silent-era movie serials. As you can see, it’s been designed to resemble its predecessor, Distressed Damsels and Masked Marauders, so that anybody familiar with the earlier book will recognize the new one as a companion volume. The spine […]

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Celebrating The Serial’s Centennial

Posted in Murania Press,Serials,Upcoming Books on December 29, 2013 @ 5:13 pm

Exactly one hundred years ago today, motion-picture emporiums in selected cities across the country played Chapter One of the first true movie serial, Colonel William Selig’s The Adventures of Kathlyn. Over the next 40-odd years, more than 500 serials — or “chapter plays,” as they were also known — flashed across American theater screens in weekly […]

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DISTRESSED DAMSELS & MASKED MARAUDERS: The Final Update

Posted in Murania Press,Serials,Upcoming Books on April 27, 2013 @ 4:49 pm

Nearly 11 months ago I announced that the long-awaited Distressed Damsels and Masked Marauders (aka The Bane of My Existence) was nearly ready for publication. Alas, this cursed project had to be back-burnered yet again, and now almost another year has passed. It was my hope — indeed, my determination — that DD&MM would be […]

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75th Anniversary Edition DVD: Republic’s DICK TRACY (1937)

Posted in Serials on December 26, 2012 @ 3:25 pm

One of the downsides to being a lover of obscure movies is that, with so many of them either commercially unavailable or lost altogether, you have to settle for whatever you can get: scratchy and splicy 16mm prints, maybe, or bootleg VHS and DVD copies several generations away from the original elements. So it’s almost […]

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Murania On The March Once More!

Posted in Blood 'n' Thunder,Movies,Murania Press,PulpFest,Pulps,Serials on December 14, 2012 @ 4:34 pm

I can hardly believe it’s been more than six weeks since I last updated this blog. Hurricane Sandy, which was just about to strike New Jersey when last I posted here, spared my immediate neighborhood but wreaked havoc nearby; we were dealing with power outages, blocked roads, and long lines at gas stations for weeks […]

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Another “Lost” Serial Has Resurfaced — At Least In Part

Posted in Serials on October 13, 2012 @ 11:59 pm

The last few years have seen the reemergence of several movie serials — both silent and sound — thought to have been lost forever. The latest, now available from our friends at Hermitage Hill Media, is a 1933 Universal cliffhanger titled Clancy of the Mounted. It’s the third of the studio’s four chapter plays featuring […]

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“What, another one?” Yep….

Posted in Murania Press,Serials on July 5, 2012 @ 10:47 pm

Just an hour ago I okayed a digital proof of Murania’s latest book — yes, later than Western Movie Roundup — and ordered bound copies. This is another quickie I whipped up after deciding to attend next week’s Western Film Fair in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. It should do pretty well down there, I think. Cliffhanger […]

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More on “10-20-30” Melodrama

Posted in Serials on June 25, 2012 @ 2:16 pm

In addition to providing visceral thrills, 10-20-30 “mellers” regularly trafficked in narrative devices that would later be incorporated into motion-picture serials. They often revolved around a struggle for vitally important papers: the map to hidden wealth, the deed to a home, the will to an estate, the plans to an invention, the confession to a […]

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