So, what’s on the agenda for Alpha Video this month, you ask? Plenty. Being a cult movie enthusiast, I am thrilled to announce that one of Alpha’s releases this month was helmed by none other than Edward D. Wood, Jr. A pilot episode for an unproduced television series entitled Crossroad Avenger (1953) starring the all but retired B-western hero Tom Keene is the secondary feature in the “Tom Keene Matinee” and co-billed with another of Keene’s flicks, Western Mail (1942). While pieces of Ed Wood’s Crossroad Avenger have turned up in Wood bios everywhere, I think this may be the first major release of the cult director’s only western on DVD (it’s also probably the first legitimate release of Western Mail, too, so that’s a double score, there).
The B-western fun continues in several other Alpha releases, starting with 1939’s Wall Street Cowboy, starring the legendary Roy Rogers (and Gabby Hayes, of course). Roy and Gabby return in one of the three new double features this month: South Of Santa Fe (1942)/In Old Cheyenne (1941). The other double bills are Overland Mail (1939)/Human Targets (1932), and another fabulous “Bob Steele Double Feature” containing The Rider Of The Law (1935)/The Pal From Texas (1939). Additionally, Alpha Video is repackaging several of their previous B-western Double Feature titles starring Tim McCoy and Bob Steele.
Vintage television is another key genre this month, with titles including Adventures Of Robin Hood, Vol. 19, Captain Gallant Of The Foreign Legion, Volumes 1 & 2, Decoy: Police Woman, Vol. 4, The New Adventures Of Heidi, and Racket Squad, Vol. 6. Two collections of “lost” retro TV fun — Lost Crime Shows, Vol. 2 and Lost TV Shows Of The 50s — are also hitting shelves this month.
While I’m on the subject of “lost” titles, some of the feature-length classics being released in June are seeing the light of DVD (and possibly home video in general) for the very first time. Among them are the military comedy 23½ Hours Leave (1937); dramas Bank Alarm (1937), On Your Guard (1933), and Prison Shadows (1936); the adventure flick Perils Of The Jungle (1953), starring real-life animal trainer Clyde Beatty; the musical mummy oddity A Night Of Magic (1944); and even a classic silent version of Oliver Twist (1922) featuring both Jackie Coogan and Lon Chaney. The documentary Combat America: Air Battle Of WWII (1943) will no doubt intrigue any fans of history or Clark Gable (or perhaps both?) as it was produced and narrated by the iconic actor himself.
Lastly in Alpha’s June ’09 line-up is the epic pairing of two exploitation/horror titles from a decade that was crazy for Sasquatch movies: Ivan Marx’ now-legendary “documentary” The Legend Of Bigfoot (1976) finds its way to DVD along with the made-for-TV chiller Snowbeast (1977) starring Bo Svenson and Yvette Mimieux. All of the aforementioned titles will be released to stores June 30, but are available to order now from Alpha's website.