Captain Celluloid vs. the Film Pirates (Sinister Cinema, 1999). [Category: Outtakes & Obscurities]

OK, I said I wasn't going to do any serials, but this is different. A bunch of film buffs, including William K. Everson, author of Classics of the Horror Film, got together in the 60s and made this "Adventure Serial" as a tribute to the old silent serials. The joke is that it all involves collecting silent films. Hooded villain The Dupe Master steals negatives of classic silent films and duplicates them to sell on the film society black market. Caped crusader Captain Celluoid does his best to stop his evil machinations. What both men don't know, at the beginning at least, is that in their true identities they are both members of the Associated Film Distributors, a 4-man-and-one-female-secretary body that meets daily in a tiny office to discuss the problem of film piracy. The serial, in 4 chapters, manages to throw in practically all the serial cliches you remember, such as endless farfetched fistfights, lots of car chases, and a cliffhanger ending for every chapter. As a tribute to silent films, the dialogue is all done with title cards, though the film has a soundtrack of music and sound effects. I was expecting this to be funnier, but it seems to be more of an earnest tribute than a parody. Still, it's quite lively and lots of fun.

Ratings: Camp/Humor Value: ***. Weirdness: ****. Historical Interest: ****. Overall Rating: ****.

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