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Category:    Home > Reviews > Science Fiction > Action > Western > Serial > The Science Fiction Cliffhanger Collection (Passport)

The Science Fiction Cliffhanger Collection (Passport)


Picture: C-     Sound: C-     Extras: C-     Serials: B-



Three half-decent chapterplay movie serials we have somehow not got around to reviewing are in a new 5-DVD set from Passport called The Science Fiction Cliffhanger Collection.  Undersea Kingdom (1936) has Ray “Crash” Corrigan as a sub captain who finds a crazy Atlantis where it is daylight underground, Radar Men From The Moon (1952) has the famous bullet-helmeted flyer who looks like a rough draft of The Rocketeer fighting criminals in the desert and was one of Republic’s last serials and The Phantom Empire (1935) is an early sound serial combines the Western and Sci-Fi genres before they came of age.


They are good, but the 1.33 X 1 prints here are older analog transfers of the black and white prints a good few generations down.  Digititis is present in all cases, with Radar Men barely looking better than the others.  The now defunct Whirlwind and very much alive VCI and Roan Group have issued better copies of these serials, but no version to date has been definitive of any of the titles.  The negatives should be in CBS/Paramount’s Republic Pictures holdings, but it might take a while for digital HD to take hold for them to be released.  With Whirlwind no longer with us, so many versions as bad and some better ones discontinued, Passport gets to cash in for the moment with this set.


There are actually a few extras here, including an episode of the German-produced English language Flash Gordon series form the early 1950s called Deadline At Noon on DVD 5 and trailers for each of the serials before they start on their respective discs.  These copies are barely tolerable, but if you are interested, never saw them before and can get the set cheap, why not?



-   Nicholas Sheffo


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