Undersea Kingdom [Serial]

Undersea Kingdom [Serial]

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Director: B. Reeves "Breezy" Eason, Joseph Kane, Ray "Crash" Corrigan, Monte Blue

Cast: B. Reeves "Breezy" Eason, Joseph Kane, Ray "Crash" Corrigan, Monte Blue

     
 

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Directed by B. Reeves Eason and former editor Joseph Kane, this Flash Gordon imitation was the second serial from a then newcomer in the field, Republic Pictures. Actually, it was only the Republic Eagle trademark that was new; Undersea Kingdom was produced by Nat Levine, formerly of Mascot Pictures, a serial kingdom all its own which had been

Overview

Directed by B. Reeves Eason and former editor Joseph Kane, this Flash Gordon imitation was the second serial from a then newcomer in the field, Republic Pictures. Actually, it was only the Republic Eagle trademark that was new; Undersea Kingdom was produced by Nat Levine, formerly of Mascot Pictures, a serial kingdom all its own which had been incorporated into Republic in 1935, lock, stock, and Gene Autry. Not to be outdone by Universal's blond superhero, Undersea Kingdom had Ray "Crash" Corrigan, crash-helmet and all, diving into the ocean in a fantastic super submarine. Corrigan and his passengers -- Professor Norton (C. Montague Shaw), the professor's young son (Lee van Atta), brash newspaperwoman Diana Compton (Lois Wilde), and a couple of sailors -- are headed toward the legendary sunken continent of Atlantis. Upon arrival, the surface people discover that the recent rash of undersea earthquakes are the work of Unga Khan (Monte Blue), the leader of the evil Black Robes whose nefarious goal is to destroy America. Unga Khan's kingdom proves to be a mixture of science-fiction gadgetry and medieval derring-do, both the Black Robes and their enemy, the White Robes, dressed like something out of a Wagnerian nightmare. The surface people ally themselves with the White Robes and in the 12th and final chapter, "Ascent to the Upperworld," Corrigan et al. finally manage to rid both worlds of the evil Khan. Republic threw everything but the kitchen sink at the Saturday matinee crowd this time around, including such veteran action and Western players as William Farnum, Raymond Hatton, Smiley Burnette, Lon Chaney Jr., Lane Chandler, Malcolm McGregor, and John Merton. Undersea Kingdom also employed most of the stunt men whose work would eventually help make Republic the pride of Poverty Row: Eddie Parker, Al Seymour, George de Normand, Tom Steele, and the Yrigoyen brothers, Bill and Joe. Undersea Kingdom was also released in an edited feature version, retitled Sharrad of Atlantis.

Product Details

Release Date:
07/09/2015
UPC:
0644827326228
Original Release:
1936
Source:
Nostalgia Family
Sales rank:
45,296

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4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Well, I first saw this courtesy of the good folks at MST3K. While I laughed along at their riffs, I kind of saw that this could actually be very entertaining on its own. Purchasing the complete serial, I was right! Granted I'm a big fan of what might be construed as B-movies of the 30s, but still, something about this serial works. While a number of elements copy from the guidebook of heroism and movie serials of the day - a formula that's never ever really gone out of style - the setting and the production design really shine. Similarities to Flash Gordon are inevitable and natural - art deco buildings and lightning bolt emblems and hats and cowls with fins on them. You've also got a group of heroes straight from the formula, too. The big, strong, square-jawed hero, the clever, older professorial guide, the hero-worshipping kid, and the &quot go getting&quot girl reporter. The hero spends most of his time rescuing the latter three, all the while fighting off the evil imperial hordes. Again, maybe nothing new, but the cereal entertains anyway! And it introduced us to the Volkites - slow moving, ray gun wielding water heaters with arms and legs. For their day, they were very cool, and were used again in other serials and movies. They have a sort of Dalek quality to them, where maybe they look dated, but back then they must've been a powerfully threatening sight. Even now, in a way, they hold that charm of unstoppable villainy. I'd rank this as one of the better pre-war serials, and one of B. Reeves Eason's most lavish works.