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Wanted Review: Bela Lugosi in Shadow of Chinatown

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Wanted Review: Bela Lugosi in Shadow of Chinatown

Old 03-21-01, 06:28 PM
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I saw this DVD at the store. It stars Lugosi and is a serial. The disc contains all 18 episodes. It sounds cool. Has anyone seen any of these films (the IMDB has nothing).? Does anyone know about the quality of the DVD?
Old 03-21-01, 06:48 PM
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I've been curious about this title myself. I couldn't locate any info about it so I ordered it from an on-line store today. I'll post my impressions when I receive it.
Old 03-28-01, 02:06 PM
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Just a small update for you, Pants.

I received this in the mail on Monday and briefly looked at the first chapter for about five minutes. The video is quite muddy and has not been remastered. There are nicks and scratches on the print. The sound has not been remastered and is somewhat muffled, but still listenable. There was an insert card with facts about Lugosi included in the case. This serial is from 1936 and since it is a "B" picture the original print is probably not in too good a shape. I'll have to watch more this week so I can comment on plot, acting, etc. and whether the quality of the disk improves. If you're into this type of movie, it might be worth a purchase. If you're expecting a remastered oldie (such is done by the Roan group), it seems you will be disappointed.
Old 03-28-01, 08:41 PM
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Thanks man! Let me know what your final verdict is.

I have never seen an old serial and this disc's case made it sound like it was a really well respected serial. I wondered if I could trust the company's promises on the box. Can you or anyone else recomend other old serials on DVD that are really good?

[Edited by Pants on 03-29-01 at 06:50 PM]
Old 03-29-01, 01:57 AM
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"...I wondered if I could trust the company's promises on the box..."

What company are you talking about?

(...just curious, y'know...)

. . .
Old 03-29-01, 11:39 AM
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Well...

I watched the first chapter of this serial and I can't say I was impressed. The picture is not framed correctly...titles and names are slightly cut off in the opening credits. The sound is harsh and sometimes hard to make out. The picture looks quite blurry in spots and there are many bad (quick and unintentional) edits throughout this chapter. The film is old and I don't think any sort of resortation was done. (The DVD looks like it might have been transferred from a VHS tape.)

Acting wise, some of the performances are wooden, while others are passable for a "B" film. (Lugosi is Lugosi and the lead female villainess is quite good.) Plot wise, I've only watched one chapter and I'm still interested enough to continue on to the next chapter. But the story is nothing special...yet.

You asked about other serials...


You might try the Flash Gordon ones from Image. (I haven't seen them, but Image "usually" does a pretty good job with their discs.)
I have the Phantom (The Ghost Who Walks) serial from the 40s, but I haven't looked at it yet.

At this point I would say that most viewers would be disappointed with "Shadow Of Chinatown." I'm approaching this film from an historical angle so that even though the DVD looks awful I can still appreciate it as an historical artifact of 1930s film making. To others...buyer beware.

Whoops, almost forgot the other question...

"What company are you talking about..."

The DVD is put out by Whirlwind, but I've seen it listed as being released by Ryodisc. (Are these two related? Are there two different versions? Sorry. Don't know.)



[Edited by Franchot on 03-29-01 at 08:52 AM]

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