Saturday, October 15, 2011

Classic Serials: Undersea Kingdom (Faster-Paced Version), Chapter Ten

(originally posted January 3, 2009)

Let me just interrupt my usual spiel about how this is a quicker-paced edit of the classic 1936 Republic serial to say, Gaaaahh! The Great Projector?!?

Everyone after me: Why didn't Unga Khan use it against the Sacred City until now?!!?!

Incidentally, is it me, or does it sound like that line (at 8:12) was dubbed by someone else?

Frankly, this chapter has the least plot of any so far. So really, it was less a matter of what to cut out than what to keep in. Apart from the usual cutting of the mini-bios of the characters, and trimming the recap so that we're into new stuff before the two-minute mark, this week I made exactly four cuts:

1) Hakur* goes down to the stables and repeats Unga Khan's orders.

2) Khan's men (again) fruitlessly pursue Crash as he hightails it for the Sacred City. They report their failure to Hakur. Khan and Ditmar walk across the damn room (again) to answer Hakur's call on the Reflecto** Plate.

3) Khan's men (again) assemble their forces and set out for the Sacred City.

(Then there's the scene I left in where Crash tries (again) to reason with Prof. Norton, and Sharad says the effects of the transforming machine will wear off. I put it before Hakur's call because the story flows around the edits better that way. The beats become: Crash et al go off in the chariot, Crash et al think they're safe in the Sacred City, Unga Khan calls for an all-out attack on the Sacred City, and the attack commences.)

4) The Black Robes arrive. Crash and the White Robes marshall their forces. Hakur decides (again) to wait for nightfall, just as he did at what I called "the Battle of Helm's Really Deep" six weeks ago (and which I also cut out on that occasion).

All in all, this chapter makes me wish, for your sake, that I'd watched the whole serial before starting to edit it. I realized that Prof. Norton's escape from the Sacred City pretty much defeated the point of everything that had happened since about the 2:30 point of Chapter Eight. I could have saved two whole chapters, like so:

(I could have put back three and a half minutes of marshaling forces, etc., to bring it closer to ten minutes, but I think I've made my point.)

*- According to IMDb, this is how it's spelled. I'd think "Hakur" would have the stress on the second syllable, or at least be "HAH-ker" but hey, I didn't make this thing. As to how I've managed to call him "Hacker" all this time when I've actually consulted IMDb about other names, check out my all-purpose explanation from last week. 

**- It sure sounded like "Reflector Plate" earlier, but this week, Unga Khan clearly calls it "the Reflecto." See explanation cited above.

No comments: