Saturday, February 21, 2009

Watch Out!!!!

At the start of the 3-d craze came this little gem. I could not find any info on it, other then it's really cool "Man drops in your lap from a helicopter as a boat is about to crush you" poster. It does say Featurette, which leads me to believe it most likely was around 30 min. Enjoy!
Note: Please read the amazing story of this film in the comments section by fellow film scholar Mr. Theakston.


J. Theakston said...

BANDIT ISLAND was released on August 26, 1953 by Lippert Pictures. In comparison, BWANA DEVIL, the film that started the craze, was released on Thanksgiving of '52, and HOUSE OF WAX was April 11, 1953. The craze died in the sprint of '54, placing BANDIT ISLAND in the middle of it.

The 15 minute short was in black and white (some sources list color, but this is incorrect) and starred Glenn Langan and Lon Chaney. Story was simple-- Lon and the gang steal some loot and Langan chases after them by car, by foot, by railway, and by helicopter.

BANDIT ISLAND was notable as one of the only 3D films from the '50s that used anaglyph (red and cyan) prints, as opposed to the dual-strip Polaroid system, which all the features were shown in. Even then, the short was also available for Polaroid bookings.

The original short is now lost, sadly, but was incorporated into Lippert's 1954 film THE BIG CHASE, for which they added about 45 minutes of new footage to (Langan reprised his role, Chaney did not). Almost all of the footage from the short is in the feature, and some time ago, I was able to do a video reconstruction of the short based on the feature and the cutting continuity for the short.

John Field said...

Thank you so much for the info Mr. Theakston. I was fearful it might be lost.