Savant Column

Thursday May 3, 2018


Quite a while ago Gary Teetzel forwarded a good link to clips from the film library of the late special effects artist Wah Chang. A new clip has shown up, of Chang and Gene Warren photographing effects shots of the submarine the Hydronaut cruising and diving for the Ivan Tors movie Around the World Under the Sea. I guess the blue background must not be a blue screen for matting purposes, because the submarine itself is partly painted blue — it’s just a dry-for-wet underwater sub shot. Other views of the Project Unlimited effects shop reveal the Albatross from Master of the World sitting abandoned on a shelf. As one might suspect, the miniature is not very big, at least not this particular model.

Joe Dante circulated a nice link to Ron Hutchinson’s Vitaphone article about Warners’ notorious ‘lost’ 1933 pre-Code comedy Convention City, Where is Convention City Hiding?  The article has some nice photos, and comes to the conclusion that a print of one kind or another is likely out there somewhere, ready to be discovered. Hutchinson also reminds us that, despite its reputation as an un-see-able item, the movie is almost certainly no more racy than other WB pre-Codes of the day. But with that look in Joan Blondell’s eye, we can dream, can’t we?

 Gary again scores with more research from trade magazines. Here he uncovers a vintage Spanish language ad for Warners’ Boris Karloff thriller The Walking Dead (1936). Gary’s not sure the picture was ever released with this title ‘De mis verdugos me vengue’, because ad art does exist for the Spanish title Los Muertos Andan (‘The Dead Walk’). But sometimes the foreign titles differed between markets in Mexico, Spain and South America. To me ‘De mis verdugos me vengue’ (‘I took vengeance on my executioners’) sounds like a classy sell for Buenos Aires or Madrid.

Just in from the web: Indicator has announced for July 23 their boxed set Hammer Volume 3 Blood and Terror: The Camp On Blood Island, Yesterday’s Enemy, The Stranglers of Bombay, and The Terror of the Tongs. It looks like they’ve put all their potentially PC offensive and racially insensitive titles in one basket. Stranglers is a definite favorite, and the rarely-seen Yesterday’s Enemy is one of the most honest pictures about real warfare that I’ve seen.

 Here’s something my broker and I found during the long attic search for vintage movie poster paper — a four-sheet for one of my favorites, the 1952 Sci-fi propaganda head-scratcher Red Planet Mars. I think it’s a four-sheet, because it’s in four pieces, meant to be pasted on a wall by a professional paperhanger. If there is another like this in existence, I’d be surprised, as it’s a rare item indeed. Now to find a wall big enough to hold it a buyer more nuts about the movie than I am.

Also rejected by my broker is the bottom half of an original Woodstock two-sheet. The missing top two thirds was just a big blurry image of a crowd, and this bottom half has plenty of the same graphic, plus a big representation of the credit block and famous logo. Anyone interested?

Thanks for reading! — Glenn Erickson