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The original Tarzan, B-Westerns, and even Hammer Horror!

New Releases From Alpha Video, Week of 7/28/09

Well, here it is – time for another magnificent batch of new releases on DVD from Alpha Home Entertainment. We begin with Tarzan Of The Apes, the earliest title in this week’s batch, as well as (drumroll, please) the earliest adaptation of Edgar Rice Burroughs’ iconic character. Elmo Lincoln (not to be mistaken with any furry red puppets) takes the lead in this silent epic, and the DVD features a new and original score by Don Kinnier. A bonus feature, Bold Journey (The Making Of Tarzan) from 1958, is also included.

Jumping ahead into the sound era, we have 1931’s The Phantom Fiend starring Ivor Novello (who also wrote the screenplay), the second of many adaptations of Marie Adelaide Belloc Lowndes’ novel, The Lodger, and based on the Jack the Ripper murders. The first filmed version of the novel was directed by Alfred Hitchcock and also starred Ivor Novello.

Also new this week from Alpha are vintage titles such as The Mystery Train (not to be confused with the 1989 Jim Jarmusch film); The Moth; Undercover Men; and Money Madness, the latter two were both directed by legendary B-Movie director, Sam Newfield. Pirate enthusiasts will no doubt want to check out Captain Calamity, featuring George Huston, the future star of several Lone Rider B-Western vehicles.

Since we’re on the subject of B-Westerns, Alpha’s releases this week also include several of those timeless gems. First off is Tex Ritter in The Pioneers (1941); Raymond Burr and Lew Ayres in New Mexico (1951) (also featuring Andy Devine, Jeff Corey and John Hoyt); Tombstone Canyon with Ken Maynard; Roy Rogers’ Bells Of Rosarita; and Arizona Trails, a somewhat obscure title from Alpha‘s “Forgotten Western Classics” collection that also includes the only known surviving footage from Tom Mix’s Hearts And Saddles and an episode of The Tim McCoy Show.

>Several B-Western double features give you more bang fer yer buck: Sunset On The Desert/Nevada City; Eyes Of Texas/Grand Canyon Trail (all with Roy Rogers); Border Buckaroos/Outlaw Roundup (from the Texas Rangers series); and a Bob Steele pairing, El Diablo Rides/Billy The Kid‘s Range War (the last of which was also directed by Sam Newfield).

Vintage television titles this week include The Adventures Of Ozzie & Harriet, Vol. 13; The Adventures Of Sir Lancelot, Vol. 4; and Golden Age Of Television, Vol. 8, featuring Kelly with George “Superman” Reeves. Two new ultra-affordable “Alpha Bundle Packs” highlight six classic and creepy works from Tod Slaughter; while another pack brings us six double features (which equals 12, kids) of Buster Crabbe B-Western pictures.

Finally from Alpha Video is the 2008-made documentary, FANEX Files: Hammer Films, which, through the assistance of a good twenty-years worth of FANEX Film Convention interviews, enables us to go behind-the-scenes of one of horror cinemas most iconic studio.

All of these titles are available now from retailers across the States (both on-line and in-store) and at Alpha Video’s website, www.oldies.com.

About Luigi Bastardo

Luigi Bastardo is the alter-ego of a feller who loves an eclectic variety of classic (and sometimes not-so-classic) film and television. He currently lives in Northern California with four cats named Groucho, Harpo, Chico, and Margaret. Seriously.

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