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LA FEMME NIKITA - THE COMPLETE FIFTH SEASON / SUPERMAN - THE 1948 & 1950 THEATRICAL SERIALS COLLECTION / TALES FROM THE CRYPT - THE COMPLETE FIFTH SEASON



 

All DVDs supplied by Warner Home Entertainment.

LA FEMME NIKITA - THE COMPLETE FIFTH SEASON (1997)

Movie: Disc:
(Region 1)

One strictly for La Femme completists: this box set contains the last eight episodes from this mid-1990s TV show "inspired" by the French action flick Nikita.

Not strictly an entire season - after all, these eight episodes were only produced after an outcry by fans outraged at the way Season Four left plot points dangling in mid air. Season Five wraps them all up and therefore shouldn't be missed by die-hard fans eager for a conclusion.

Newbies should start right at Season One seeing as the show didn't consist of standalone episodes and instead followed a single narrative of sorts.



SUPERMAN - THE 1948 & 1950 THEATRICAL SERIALS COLLECTION (1948)

Movie: Disc:
(Region 1)

Serials were short fifteen minutes or so movie segments shown before the main feature back in the 1930s and 1940s, pretty much like cartoons were and ads are today (sigh). Usually genre efforts (such as Westerns, action and science fiction), each segment were actually an installment in an ongoing storyline, each segment usually ending with a literal cliff-hanger and a breathless "to be continued" splashed across the screen.

A fondness of the serials (particularly for a series called The Perils of Pauline) they watched as children inspired George Lucas and Steven Spielberg to make Raiders of the Lost Ark in the early 'Eighties. Other famous serials from the medium's heyday include Flash Gordon and Buck Rogers.

Now available on DVD for the first time, these Superman serials starred Kirk Alyn as the Man of Steel and Noel Neill as Lois Lane. Neill went on to repeat the same role in the better-known 1950s Superman television series opposite George Reeves (who tragically committed suicide, events chronicled in the recent Hollywoodland movie starring Ben Affleck).

Like most serials Superman boasts very cheap production values and scores high on the camp-o-meter. What is particular jarring is that scenes where Superman is supposed to be flying actually consists of a traditionally 2-D animated figure imposed on a naturalistic background and it suddenly feels as if you're watching Roger Rabbit instead of Superman!

Despite some quality concerns brought up by users on Amazon.com we found the discs to be quite serviceable and the sound and image quality decent. (All episodes are in Black & White.)

TALES FROM THE CRYPT - THE COMPLETE FIFTH SEASON (1989)

Movie: Disc:
(Region 1)

Back in the 1950s there was a huge moral panic in the States about how comics were corrupting the youth of the day. (Funny how each generation goes through that - even Plato several thousand years ago complained about the youth!)

Exhibit A to support this thesis was the gruesome horror comic books published by E.C. Comics. To save the industry, comic book publishers imposed the prudish Comics Code Authority upon themselves and comics became safe for the youth again and E.C. Comics dropped their horror titles and went on to publish MAD instead.

Tales from the Crypt is a late-1980s/early-1990s American TV series based on those comics. Deliberately camp and waaayyy over-the-top with unexpectedly gory effects, the show actually featured some reasonably well-known big screen actors such as Martin Sheen, Traci Lords, Billy Zane, Steve Buscemi, Roger Daltrey and so forth.

Consisting of standalone stories a lot of the stories are actually quite moral when one thinks about it since wrong-doers usually get their comeuppance at the hands of their victims freshly returned from the grave.

Recommended viewing for horror fans and readers of Fangoria.

 



 

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