Batman and Robin: Amazingly Awful 1949 Columbia Pictures Serial

Batman and Robin was a Columbia Pictures serial of 1949. It starred Robert Lowery as the batman and a rather stolid little fellow named Johnny Duncan. It’s a totally awkward, cheesy and humorless affair that very perfectly captures the true spirit of the comic book.  But shockingly there’s no batmobile!  The caped crime-fighting duo drive around in an old Mercury convertible as if they’re married and looking for a gas station.

Look, if Christopher Nolan wants to try to convince us all that he can make gritty realistic films about Batman, go ahead and let him. He’s wasting his own time. Batman is an absurdity and should be filmed as such. Enjoy this horrendous bit of movie serial history and don’t try to figure out all the machines and criminal plots. None of it makes any sense at all!

Online Science Fiction Serial: The Mercury Men

A science fiction web serial!  The Mercury Men.  This is amazing. I love stuff like this. A group of filmmakers are producing a series of cliffhanger shorts just for the web. The trailer looks very interesting, well-shot, exciting, and perfect for web viewing. These people seem to really know what they’re doing.

The director is Chris Preksta who made the Captain Blasto series.  The producer is Kati LightholderMark Tierno, who acted in George Romero’s Day of the Dead and will appear in the upcoming feature, The Road, plays the lead role.

I know it’s going to sound silly, but the Mercury Men Pictures logo with the light bulb is one of the best movie production logos I’ve ever seen.  I also love the way the trailer clip uses light and shadow to maximum effect.  And the alien is really creepy and looks amazing.

poster_previewThey even have this wonderful poster.

When people do this kind of work on the web they do it with limited means that require them to use real creativity in order to bring their vision to fruition.  It lends a sense of adventure and excitement to the endeavor which translates directly to the viewer.  This is something that is mostly lacking when you turn to a television.  Science fiction is going to have a fantastic golden age because of the web.  Keep watching.

Five Chapters Offers Serialized Stories

FiveChaptersFive Chapters is a literary site that offers stories in 5-chapter installments each week.  Begun by magazine editor Dave Daley, Five Chapters has published over 150 stories by such authors as Stewart O’Nan, Arthur Phillips, Curtis Sittenfeld, John Wray, Wells Tower, Julia Glass, Darin Strauss, Jay McInerney and Kate Christensen.  The site has an incredible simplicity that fully focuses the visitor on the story being offered.

Here’s a Washington Post article about the site.

Audio Story: Tom Swift and the Visitor from Planet X

Here’s an excellent audio download of one of the old Tom Swift adventure books, Tom Swift and the Visitor from Planet X.  The reading is by Roy Trumbull at the Story Spieler Podcast.

The Tom Swift adventure books are a series that began in 1910 and continue in some form today.  This particular book was written in 1961.  Tom is a young inventor who dreams up all sorts of high-tech devices and craft in order to win the day.

Apparently, computer developer Steve Wozniak grew up reading the books and credits them with inspiring free and open creative thinking.