The evil Master Duper and his Film Pirate henchmen copy rare classic films and sell them on the black market to various film societies and collectors all over the world. The only thing in their way of dominating the classic film market is Captain Celluloid. Aiding the Master Duper in his illegal enterprise is the beautiful yet evil Satanya (Jean Barbour). Satanya provides the Master Duper with his various tricks of the trade such as the Laser Disintigrator, the Hypnotic Ray, the Gamma Tube that allows the Master Duper to copy a reel of film in seconds and the Vanisher, a device that renders the wearer invisible. Her price, an uncut print of D. W. Griffith’s “Sorrows of Satan” or a good print of “Greed”.
The Association of Film Distributors, Duncan Gregory (Alan Barbour), Martin Brand (John Cullen), Larry Steele (Robert Miller), and Paul Michael (Barney Noto) keep track of the illegally duped prints of classic films and donate some of their private collection films to the Rochester Museum. Little do they know that the Master Duper is one of the Association, but then so is Captain Celluloid. The association’s secretary Dale Stirling (Doris Burnell) keeps Captain Celluloid up to date on what’s going on.
“Captain Celluloid vs the Film Pirates” was released in 1966 and was directed by Louis McMahon. It is a home grown, four-part silent adventure serial. The film is around one hour and three minutes long, depending on what speed you play it at. I doubt if the film ever had anything close to a theatrical release, but it is available from such distributors as “Sinister Cinema”.
The black and white serial is a charming tribute to the bye-gone era of Saturday afternoon cinema. The four chapters are crammed full of car chases, heart stopping cliff hangers, fist fights and heart pounding music. It may be low budget, but it is full of imagination and some actually good special effects. The serial is modeled after Republic’s style of filmmaking and was written by William Everson, Louis McMahon and Robert Miller, all basically unknowns.
I found the film to be a ton of fun and ever so short. The best part to me was the wonderful and devious devices invented by the even more devious and beautiful Satanya who was played by Jean Barbour. Jean’s husband Alan played Duncan Gregory in the film.
The whole thing is just fun.
CHAPTER TITLES: 1: The Master Duper Strikes (22 minutes at silent speed); 2: Nitrate Fury (18 minutes at silent speed); 3: Satan's Coffin (13 minutes at silent speed); 4: Unmasked (13 minutes at silent speed).