Rotten Ink That’s Where You’ll Find Diver Dan!

Welcome back to Rotten Ink! Are you as shocked as I am that we are already in November 2022? This year has flown by and crazy to think Thanksgiving is just a few weeks away! The 10 Year Anniversary for this blog has been in full effect and we have looked at many classic things that I am sure brought back memories for many of you readers as well as maybe even acted as you first introduction to some of the update topics, and todays update is one that many of you might have grown up watching while others of you reading have no idea about and that is Diver Dan a very cool and yet also cheesy kids show from the 1960’s and when chosen topics for this year I just knew he had to be one of them. As I did not grow up watching Diver Dan but once I was introduced to the show I quickly became a fan and knew we had to go on a deep-sea dive adventure with him! So lets get our deep dive suits on and check our oxygen tanks as its time to enter the water and see what we can find.

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Diver Dan was created by cartoonist J. Anthony Ferlaine in 1960 as a spin off of his comic strip “Fish Tales” and was the show was made by Brian Cartoons, and distributed by ITC Entertainment and was aired mostly on NBC stations during its original run. And each episode ran around seven minutes long and it would normally be paired with other cartoons like Felix The Cat and be apart of children shows that were hosted. The show would have 104 episodes and would last until 1970 given it a good ten year run. The under water scenes were shot through an aquarium with the fish on the showing being a mix of real ones as well as puppets that was mostly voiced by Allen Swift who also played the voices of the Narrator and the off screen character Captain Murphy. The lovely Suzanne Turner played the mermaid Miss Minerva. Diver Dan was very well loved by young viewers and would even have many years life after it ended thanks to reruns. And while Diver Dan was not for everyone as lots of kids wanted animated shows and not live action ones, it’s legacy of being a beloved 1960’s kids show is still strong and was one of the favorites shows of my Ex-Girlfriends dad who is the one that introduced me to the show. The show can be found originally on grey market VHS tapes and now can be found on DVD via Alpha Video as well as other budget labels and can also be watched on YouTube. I also have to point out that the shows theme is very cool and catchy, look it up and give it a listen and see what you think.

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Diver Dan is a deep-sea diver who is studying fish and is a good guy and a hero to the aquatic life that makes up the waters he is in. A true good guy character who is likeable and noble and is truly that classic kid show standard of who you should grow up to be like. Diver Dan was played by actor Frank D Freda who was known for being a writer for the animated show “The Smokey Bear Show” as well was Ronald McDonald in some early McDonalds commercials. He was also a Broadway actor and was a sales person for HBO and Cellphones and is the first person to cell a car cell phone in New York. But back to Diver Dan who 100% is a true iconic character in the world of kid shows and has inspired many people over the decades to be a good person, to want to study bodies of water and fish and even helped fuel creative minds. On a side note I would love to see Diver Dan return to TV and do it as the next generation and the show could follow his Grandson who has followed in his grandfathers footsteps and is going on adventures in the same sea. Also if he was in public domain I would totally write a comic mini series based on Diver Dan for Sparkle Comics!

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Ok lets take a moment to chat about Miss Minerva the blonde mermaid who was friends to the fishes and would keep her distant from Dan who she just would call The Diver. She as I said was played by actress Suzanne Turner who was a very good stage actress as she was featured in the play “Auntie Mame” and as for other TV or Movie roles she had no other as Diver Dan was he only work in that field. Miss Minerva had long blonde hair and would wear a crown and speak to the fish who would warn her of the dangers coming or tell what they have seen. She was a kind mermaid who would watch after her friends as well was the target sometimes of the fish of the ocean that are not so kind. After he work on Diver Dan not much else is known about Suzanne Turner as she seemed to drop off from acting, and during her time on the show she was the crush of many young viewers. And when trying to look up information on her it looks like she might have passed away, but sadly not much is out there about her after the show ended.

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The shows two main baddies was the fishes Baron Barracuda and Trigger Fish who acted as stooges and help set up the dastardly plots the plans they had cooked up in their cave hideout by Teetering Rock. You see even in the deep ocean we have gangsters that want to cause harm to the people or should I say ocean dwellers. They are your typical kid show baddies as they have silly plans to just ruin peoples fun and to cause just annoyance to all around them. And to be honest the show really needed Baron Barracuda and Trigger Fish to add that villain element to the show and they both are the spice needed to make the show more enjoyable.

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Diver Dan like all good kids shows of the time had lots of amazing merchandise for fans to collect and own! Besides the comic books they made a board game, vinyl record, coloring book, fanzines and later episodes was released on DVD and before that on VHS with many of those being from the grey market. I think the odd thing about all this is that Diver Dan never got an action figure and I for one think he should have. And thinking about it Super7 should do a Diver Dan ReAction figure and Funko should do a Pop! of Diver Dan as well as Clutch Cargo. But if you are a fan of Diver Dan there is some cool stuff for you to collect and I myself besides the comics own the DVD sets from Alpha Video.

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So now that we have chatted about Diver Dan and the characters that made up his show as well as the merchandise he spawned I think we should now move onto his comic adventures and see what Dell Comics has in store for him. I also want to remind you that I grade these comics on a star scale of 1 to 4 and am looking for how well the comics stay to the source material, it’s entertainment value and it’s art and story. So if you are ready like I am lets go on a deep dive adventure with the one and only Diver Dan!

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Diver Dan # 1   **1/2
Released in 1962      Cover Price .15      Dell Comics    # 1254 of 1354

Diver Dan is helping Miss Minerva and the fish to set up and have a Masquerade Ball, and as they all go to get ready Baron and Trigger as well as Rocky who is the nephew of Trigger go to the party and break everything down and destroy things as they have a plan to finally take down Diver Dan. When Minerva, Diver Dan and the fish return to find the party ruined they are sad as the ball seems like it will not be taking place, but our dastardly fish baddies show back up dressed up pretending to be party goers and acted shocked that the party has been attacked, and suggests a new location that they have a trap set at via a octopus. When Diver Dan and the party guests get there they set back up as Baron and Trigger even try to get Dan in trouble with his Captain when they snap a picture of Diver Dan and Minerva with the party lights behind them and deliver it above to the Captain who is mad as Dan is supposed to be looking for hidden treasure. But when Baron and Trigger’s plan goes wrong and the octopus gets trapped they decided to try and kidnap a young female fish and get ransom for her safe return, but that backfires when Rocky returns her to her friends and the baddies are chased off by Rocky’s angry mother. And the Ball happens and all are happy as Diver Dan wonders off to find the treasure.

This first issue of Diver Dan is really a kid friendly fun read that has Diver Dan in trouble with his boss as well as trying to help his fish friends to get a Masquerade Ball to happen after it was sabotaged. Diver Dan is a good spirited human who does what he can to bring joy to all his friends that live in the waters and is helping set up a party when he is being paid to find a treasure, and this fact also gets him in trouble with his boss and Dan still just continues to help his fish friends and even gets his boss on the boat to send down a camera! The one flaw of Diver Dan in this issue is that he is way to trusting as he does not see that Baron and Trigger are right in front of him luring them all to a trap and dismisses the concerns of fellow fish who alert him that they think the two are at the Ball! Baron and Trigger are such fishy little jerks as they get joy of breaking and ripping down the Ball decorations all because they want to lure everyone into a trap, and for what reason…cause they dislike Diver Dan and want to ruin his day. Sadly mermaid Miss Minerva really does not do much in this issue and that stinks, but the one thing they do show is that almost all the fish respect and love her. The story is as basic as can be and is very much kid friendly and the message is being mean, a trickster and bad never pays out and that good will always find a way and that friendship and community is important. And with a few odd elements like Dan and Minerva being around each other when in the show that was not the case for the most part, I do feel that it captures the mood and feeling of the show. The cover is great and features Diver Dan, Baron and Trigger and is eye catching for fans of the show, and the interior art is done by an Unknown Artist and is really good and has that classic Dell look but I think this is even slightly better art then the average Dell Comic. Over all I would say this is a super fun and silly Kid Comic read that does Diver Dan justice, and I am very much looking forward to reading the next issue.

Diver Dan Comic 2

Diver Dan # 2  ***
Released in 1962     Cover Price .15     Dell Comics     # 2 of 1

Carolos is leading a band of gypsy fish to find a new queen as his daughter the current one has been kidnapped and Baron and Trigger send them the way of Minerva and the gypsies have chosen her to be the new Queen, and without telling her this news they set up a show for the area to enjoy first, and with tea they knock out Minerva by acting as if they are reading her fortune and flee fast from the area. But not before Carlos also hypnotizes Baron into being a nicer fish to others after he and Trigger tried to rob his wagon. The fish go and get Diver Dan in order to save Minerva and he along the way runs into Baron who goes along to help. But before Minerva can be made Queen the old one shows up as she has escaped and her captor a fellow bands Prince who is after her as he wants to marry her! The gypsies would rather have Minerva as the Queen but after some arguments she is able to kind of get away and to Diver Dan. In the end Baron gets punched by accident when Carlos and the Prince get into a fight and this snaps him out of his trance, and as Diver Dan and Minerva get away the Queen and Prince ride off and Trigger is almost forced into marriage before Baron saves him.

This second issue of Diver Dan is one great read as it has a fun kid friendly story, the artwork is fantastic and I feel that it did a great job of capturing the feel of the show its based on. This one has a band of gypsy fish kidnapping Minerva to make her their Queen, only for Diver Dan and the unlikely ally of Baron coming to her rescue. This issue also is mostly about the mermaid Minerva as she is the target of the gypsy and is the one who has to try and tell them she does not want to be anyone’s Queen and that her home is were she is at in the ocean, I also like that even with her kidnappers she tries to be kind and not hurt their feelings as while they did something bad they are more misguided then evil. Baron and Trigger as well have bigger parts as the Baron is under the trance he turns into a good guy and forces his goofy henchman to go along with him. The Gypsies are cool characters who have Queens and Kings and will do sneaky things in order to honor their culture, but as I have stated I do not feel its to be mean. Diver Dan kind of takes a backseat in this issue as he does not come around until the end of the comic and even then he does very little and I like that as this gave other characters from the show a little time to shine and be the focus of a story that was really entertaining. I also have to say that the cover for this issue is great and features both Diver Dan and Minerva and is super eye catching for fans of the show. The interior art is done by Sal Trapani and is 100% fantastic and he captures the characters likeness so well. Over all a great series Diver Dan was and it’s a shame that the comic series only lasted two issues as it should have lasted way longer on the comic racks as well as on TV. Check out the artwork bellow as I think it showcases the work that went into this series.

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Diver Dan is one of those classic 1960’s kids shows that I feel just never gets the respect in these modern times like it should as it was a simple concept that made oceans, fish and a deep sea diver cool! And sadly in 2022 I am sure many of you younger readers have never heard of Diver Dan and his show and I hope this update has at least sparked your interest in getting the Alpha Video or Digiview releases or even look them up on YouTube. That is one thing that I hope that Rotten Ink is able to do and that’s help keep vintage and old school stuff like this alive and not only bring joy to fans who remember but also I hope bring new fans into the topic. And with that said I would like to let you know that Rotten Ink’s 10 Year Celebration continues as we head back to the Rotten Ink Theater to chat about Silent Cinema and it will be 1921’s one time lost German classic “The Island Of Lost”! So until next time read a indie comic or three, watch a Diver Dan episode or two and as always support your local Horror Host! See you soon and make sure to be ready to travel to an island filled with mystery and horror!

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Forgotten Reels: The Lost World (1925)

Forgotten Reels is a new update theme here at Rotten Ink and will take us to the Rotten Ink Theater to sit around and talk about Silent Cinema! As I am sure you all know by now, I am a major fan of all types of films and genres, but did you know that I am a huge fan of Silent Films? And when it comes to Silent Horror Films as well as Silent Science Fiction films, I am a major geek for them and have been trying to figure out a way to cover them here on Rotten Ink and thanks to the success of the “Wild West Round Up” updates I have found the formatting that would work to share my love for them! When covering the Silent Films, I am also going to cover a different bag of my favorite kind of snack food and I am talking about potato chips! And like before, I will be given a star rating to both the film and the chips. For these Forgotten Reels updates I will be covering releases from companies like Alpha Video, Grapevine Video, Creature Feature Video and Madacy Entertainment. And yes, I know that Kino Lorber and Criterion a lot of the times has the way better prints that have been restored and re-mastered, I just feel that the companies above have the look and quality I remember seeing these types of films for the first time as a kid. I also want to give my friend and amazing artist Jason Gilmore a big thank you for the Forgotten Reels logo that will be used for these Silent Film themed updates. Oh, I almost forgot the first film we will be covering for Forgotten Reels is a real classic in cinema as it’s the 1925 film The Lost World! So let’s find our seats and get ready to talk some Silent Cinema!

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The Lost World is a 1925 film that was based on the novel by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and was released by First National Pictures and had a budget of $700,000.  Harry O. Hoyt was brought on the production to direct as he was the man in the director chair for such films as “The Moth (1917)”, “The Rider Of The King Log (1921)” and “Sundown (1924)” to name a few, and they had screenwriter Marion Fairfax in to adapt the novel for screen as she had a long history of being behind the pen for many classic silent films. The film brought in classic actors like Wallace Beery, Bessie Love, Arthur Hoyt and Bull Montana to fill roles, and the film is considered one of the first in cinema to use stop motion special effects.  Willis O’Brien, the godfather of this style, was the man behind these amazing dinosaur effects, and he is one of the all time great effects masters and would go on to work on the 1933 King Kong among many other iconic films of cinema. The dinosaurs of the film were based on the artwork of Charles R. Knight and decades after the film, it’s said that Forrest J. Ackerman had many of the O’Brien models in his private collection. Ackerman was a true lover of classic Horror and Sci-Fi cinema and saved many items like them from being lost to time. The river scenes of the film were said to be shot behind MGM studios in an open sewer area, or so the Hollywood story goes. Another great story about The Lost World is that in 1922 Conan Doyle showed a ton of magicians including Harry Houdini test footage of O’Brien’s dinosaurs and would not tell the origins of the footage while they all viewed it and they as well as the press was said to have been blown away by the effects. The film over the years is said to have made $1.3 million dollars and was the first film to be shown on a flight in 1925 via a nitrate film reels and is as well what kicked off the dinosaur movie craze that is still going to this day. Over the years some prints of the film have fallen into the Public Domain and have been shown on many Horror Host programs as well can be found on many budget VHS, DVD and on YouTube. And over the years Lost World has had some lost footage found as well as has been re-mastered.

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The chips I chose to pair with this film are “Grippo’s Bar-B-Q,” a chip that I have loved since I was a young kid and a potato chip company from the great state of Ohio. Growing up as a kid, popcorn, Andy Capp’s Hot Fries and potato chips were the snacks of choice for my brother and I as we watched USA Saturday Nightmares or WWF Monday Night Raw, and one of our favorites hands down when it came to chips was always Grippo’s! You see my father has always worked in the grocery business and he would from time to time bring home different styles of snack food for not only him to eat but also for my brother and I to try, and Grippo’s was always a popular eat at our house during movie and TV watching. Grippo’s started in 1919 and is based out of Cincinnati, Ohio and was founded by Angelo Grippo.  The company over the years has made all types of snack foods from Pretzels, Sugar Cones and their most popular item is Potato Chips that comes in many flavors from the overly popular BBQ as well as Cheddar, Salt & Vinegar as well as a few others. Grippo’s is still going strong to this day and so many of my friends love these chips. Below is a shot of a freshly opened bag so that you can see these BBQ Grippo’s in their natural habitat.

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Forgotten Reels is a themed update that will be sticking around for a very long time here on Rotten Ink as being able to share my thought and the wonders of Silent Films is something that I really like to do! And I will be grading both the film and the chips on a classic 1-4 star scale. I also want to say on my film rating, I am basing it on a scale that is for silent films of all budgets and eras. So sit back in your theater seat, grab some chips and a soda and let’s travel to The Lost World with Alpha Video. And yes, the stills used in this review update are indeed taken from the Alpha Video print and the DVD that I own.

Lost World 1925 DVD

Lost World
Starring: Wallace Beery and Bessie Love      Directed: Harry O. Hoyt
Not Rated     1925   63min   Alpha Video   DVD   Full Frame

We open in the office of the London Record Journal, and the Editor is upset as he has just gotten word that Professor Challenger is going to sue them over the paper doubting his story of living dinosaurs, and they are also worried, as Challenger has attacked three reporters just that day! In order to get the interview with Challenger, they send eager reporter Edward Malone who stumbles into the editor’s office and has to hurry to Zoological Hall to cover a lecture that Challenger is giving and try to score the sit down interview for the paper, as well as sneak in as reporters are banned from the lecture. At the Hall many people are in line for the lecture including Sir John Roxton who is an explorer and hunter who wants to disprove Challenger’s claim of dinosaurs. And it seems like many of those attending are there to mock Challenger and his claims. Malone is able to easily get into the lecture thanks to Roxton who brings him in on his pass. As he starts the crowd mocks Challenger, who in turn wants to get a committee and a group together to head to the Amazon and to this Lost World with him! And some in the crowd who believe and disbelieve take him up on this chance to see the Dinosaurs and they are Professor Summerlee, John Roxton and Edward Malone. But when Malone alerts Challenger of his profession, the Professor goes into a rage and tries to attack the young man and chaos breaks out. And Challenger, mad that a reporter got in, returns to his home.

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As Professor Challenger gets home for the night, still mad over the lecture, he soon finds that Edward Malone has entered his home via a window, as he would like to talk to the Professor and says that he really needs to go on the expedition in order to impress his fiancé who will not marry him until he faces a major challenge, and this means nothing to Challenger who attacks Malone and they two fight and struggle so much that they end up in the street! A Police Cop witnesses the fight and when Malone refuses to press charges and even takes blame for the fight, Challenger ends up listening to Malone when he finds out that he is also close friends with Sir John Roxton. Once inside the parlor, Challenger has his butler call upon Miss Paula White, and also Roxton comes to the house and they talk about the diary of Maple White and as Paula shows up the story of the Lost World that is populated with Dinosaurs is discussed.  Paula explains how her father discovered a plateau in the Amazon alone as she was back at camp sick from a fever, and as she speaks Malone flips through the pages of the diary and sees the explorers drawings of Dinosaurs that he said he saw! And then Paula claims that she has seen them herself and that her father is lost on that plateau as his crew left him behind in fear of the beasts. And as they talk, Mrs. Challenger enters the parlor and is upset that her husband has kicked out everyone up to this point has come to the house to help. Edward Malone then comes up with the idea to get the paper to pay for the rescue mission as he can pass it off as a good human-interest story as they might think that the talk of Dinosaurs is fake but saving an explorer in a exclusive story they would bite on. Challenger agrees to this pitch and everyone is happy. Malone asks Roxton to go talk to the editor with him, and before they leave Roxton tells Paula that he is going on this mission for her. Paula looks both happy and taken back by this, but is happy they help is on its way for her father.

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The London Record Journal funds the rescue mission and Professor Challenger, Sir John Roxton, Professor Summerlee, Paula White, Austin and Edward Malone meet up with some natives and boat down the river to the secret location deep in the Amazon. Once they reach the plateau they all make camp and Malone is writing to his editor as everyone else is enjoying the rest and wildlife around the area. But watching them is a strange apeman who is monstrous in nature and watches and Roxton talks of how Paula said her father used a fallen tree in order to get to the plateau and Challenger says in the morning they will knock down another tree and get across. The apeman then pushes a bolder off the cliff and tries to crush the rescue party, his attack fails and causes the men to look around and they see a massive Pterodactyl flying around and then landing and eating, and Challenger then declares that everything in Maple’s diary is true.

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The next morning Challenger leads them to the top of the plateau and chops down another tree to make a bridge across a cliff and while doing all this dinosaurs start to pay attention to the noises being made by these human invaders. One by one they cross the fallen tree and then watch as a Brontosaurus feeds on leaves. They are scared and yet also so amazed by this sight. The massive creature then does the unthinkable and knocks their tree bridge off the cliff and causing them all to be stuck now. All the while back at the camp native Zambo with his pet monkey Jocko and Austin, the butler of Challenger watch on and are helpless to save them from being stranded.

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As night falls, the group starts a fire to stay warm and try and come up with a plan, and unknown to them the apeman once more is watching them this time from the trees. Malone heads to Paula and tries to find out what is on her mind. She tells of the worry she has that something bad has happened to her father as she feels he would have made his way to the fire if he was still alive. Malone tries to comfort her as Roxton watches on and is not pleased that someone else talking to the woman he loves. But before anything else can be said, the whole group gets a scare as a T-Rex appears and attacks and kills another dinosaur before their eyes. They then watch as the T-Rex’s path of murder doesn’t stop as it goes after a Tyrannosaurus and its baby. He fails in his attempt to kill and gets a horn would to his side that makes him even more mad as he heads out into the jungle and into the camp! Challenger and Roxton armed with rifles open fire on the T-Rex and Malone throws a lit torch at it scaring it off and back into a battle with a Tyrannosaurus. As the group then finally spots the apeman and Roxton shoots him in the arm scaring him away. Meanwhile the T-Rex kills the Tyrannosaurus as well as then kills a Pterodactyl. Meanwhile at the base camp, Zambo and Jocko are drinking water when Austin has an idea that they can make a giant rope from the hammocks and have Jocko climb the mountain plateau to give it to them.

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After all the excitement of the T-Rex attack, Challenger and the group find a cave to seek shelter in from the craziness of the jungle. They decided that this cave would be their home until they are saved or for the rest of their lives and then Challenger tries to design a catapult weapon out of bent down trees in order to fight off dinosaurs. While in the cave Roxton is looking around and finds a skeleton of a human that has a locket, and inside that locket is a picture of Paula…the hunter thinks he has found the remains of her father Maple White, he then also finds an open at the back of the cave that leads straight down the mountain and fires his gun and gets the attention of Austin and Zambo who yell back and fourth with Raxton that they will be turning the rope into a ladder and will send Jacko up with it in the morning, but the monkey needs to see Paula to make the climb. Meanwhile alone in a part of the cave Malone tells Paula that he loves her, and is breaking his promise to his fiancé as he wants to be with her. Roxton walks in on the two embracing and sharing loving words, Malone informs his friend that he and Paula are going to marry each other in the cave as Summerlee was once a minister before he was a professor and goes off to find him. As Roxton says he needs to tell Paula something very important.

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In the jungle Challenger and Summerlee are watching a Brontosaurus feed and are following it, as back in the cave Raxton gives Paula the locket and tells her the bad news of her father’s death. The T-Rex shows up once again and this time goes after the Brontosaurus and knocks the massive creature over the cliff, the T-Rex is mad that he did not get to eat his victim and wonders off into the jungle. Meanwhile in another cave the apeman along with his chimpanzee friend sulk over the humans being around and him being wounded by a bullet. Paula and Raxon are waiting for the others to return as they have been gone for hours now and they are worried, but Raxton tells her they must wait for them in order to lead them to the cave opening so they can all escape. And also a volcano on the plateau is about to erupt adding more danger for Challenger and his crew as the lava starts to flow the dinosaurs start to stampede and it’s making it hard for Challenger, Summerlee and Malone to get back to the cave for shelter. The T-Rex is attacking his fellow fleeing dinosaurs as fire is breaking out all around in the jungle! And they are finally able to make their way to the cave as the volcano calms down and the fires stop and the dinosaurs go back to their normal lives.

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Back in the cave Raxton shows Paula the opening as she calls for Jocko, the little monkey, who with the ladder makes his way up the mountain to get to her, and does so delivering their way to escape the Lost World. The Brontosaurus who fell from the cliff is shown to be alive and stuck in mud, and it’s the mud that spared its life and cushioned the landing. With the ladder now in place Paula White starts making her way down the mountain, Jocko the monkey is next, then Professor Summerlee, Professor Challenger, Edward Malone and lastly Sir John Roxton gets on the ladder. But the apeman and his chimpanzee friend and a score to settle with Roxton and they start to pull the ladder up with him still on it as his friends below try to pull it back down, but the apeman is just too strong. They fire a rifle up at the mountain and hit apeman in the chest and Roxton makes it down to land safe. As they are heading away from the mountain, Challenger spots the wounded Brontosaurus and with the help of Major Hiddard of Brazilian Geodetic they get the dinosaur out of the mud in a month’s time with a one-way ticket to London.

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In London Professor Challenger is giving another lecture to a roomful of people and he tells them that they are brining a living Brontosaurus to London and that reporter Edward Malone is on the ship that is bringing the creature to them in mere moments. Challenger then gets a phone call from Malone who informs the professor that during unloading at the dock the straps on the cage broke and now the Brontosaurus is loose in the streets and causing panic and chaos. In the streets people are running and driving away in fear as the dinosaur is on a rampage. Challenger tells the crowd at the lecture to stay inside as his dinosaur is free in the streets, and the crowd starts to think that this is a scam and begin to boo and turn on Challenger who they think is a liar. All the while the Brontosaurus is stomping around the city causing destruction and ends up on the London Bridge and it ends up breaking under its weight and it falls into the water and swims away. After the dinosaur is gone Paula and Malone come together and Roxton pushes his feelings for her aside and is happy for the couple. And Professor Challenger sits on the bridge and watches as his dinosaur fades away into the horizon.

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Review: The Lost World is a truly amazing early cinema film that allowed the team of Harry O. Hoyt and Marion Fairfax to truly bring the novel by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle to life on the big screen and offered thrills, chills to movie goers who left the theater wondering if they had just seen footage of real dinosaurs! The film really focuses on reporter Edward Malone and his quest to cover the big story of the lost world as well as him falling in love with Paula White who his own friend famed hunter Sir John Roxton also is crushing on. And all three of these characters are great and their story is interesting and helps add more drama to the story and also adds a good amount on tension to a group that is already stuck in a land of dinosaurs who want to eat them for dinner. But I think like most people who have read the book as well would agree that the real star of the film is the eccentric Professor Challenger whose anger, passion and personality sets him apart from the rest of the cast of characters and Wallace Beery was the perfect actor to cast in that role. The Dinosaur effects were done by the true legend and godfather of early day special effects Willis O’Brien and this film was a great warm up for him as in 1933 he would bring us the masterpiece of cinema King Kong. And the T-Rex in this movie is such a jerk and gets his jollies in just killing other dinosaurs as well as trying to kill our heroes. And let’s not forget to point out the awesome Brontosaurus rampage in London, a scene that influenced many Kaiju and Giant Monster movies over the decades. One thing I have to point out is that actor Bull Montana played the Apeman on the Lost Planet and he is one of cinema’s early creature actors as he would wear that suit or one just like it in the 1920 Horror Comedy Film “Go And Get It” and had the movements of creatures down, but that I am sure this is due to his years of being a Pro Wrestler. This film is also very much the inspiration for the Jurassic Park book and film series, and The Lost World is one of the world’s best Silent Films from that era as it brings so many emotions with it and best of all its super entertaining from start to finish. If you have not seen this film, do yourself a favor and get yourself a copy from Alpha Video or another home media copy and give it a watch.

Now let’s briefly talk about the Grippo’s Bar-B-Q Potato Chips, a snack food that has always been a favorite in my family’s household growing up. When eating this bag I can see why I loved them as a kid. The BBQ seasoning on these chips is very flavorful and have a nice spice taste that makes it so easy to eat a full bag in one sitting. They have a taste like no other BBQ chip and that is why those who have tried Grippo’s always put them at the top of their shopping list for snack food. And they are not afraid to coat the chip in the seasoning and hands down these are some amazingly good potato chips!

Movie: ****
Chips: ****

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The Lost World really is a fantastic Silent Film. The effects that they pulled off in 1925 are amazing and set the guidelines for special effects to come in Hollywood, and really the film is a mix of Adventure, Sci-Fi and Horror and really was one of the early versions of a Giant Monster movie as the end of the film has a Dinosaur running wild in a big city that would go on to be a staple of the kind of films. And as you can see, this first Forgotten Reels update starts off with a perfect Silent Film as well as a perfect bag of chips. But the house lights have been turned on and that is our cue to head out, but before we do, I would like to let you all know that our next update will take us to New York and the time that Dracula visited it as the topic is the 1979 film Love At First Bite and the photo comic book based on it! So until next time, read a comic or three, watch a Silent Film or two and as always support your local Horror Host. See you soon as we continue our countdown to Halloween 2022 and spend some time with Count Dracula.

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Wild West Round Up: War Of The Range (1933)

Welcome to the first ever “Wild West Round Up” update. Now I am sure many of you are wondering what the heck have you gotten yourself into and what this update is all about…well let me tell you what this new themed update is all about! First thing, these updates will be a way to celebrate classic Western films of the past and I will be taking a look at films from the 1920’s through early 1970’s, and will only be covering films that are released by Alpha Video as I feel they are a company that holds the charm of the films that I want to cover, plus I am a fan of Alpha Video as they have released many amazing Silent Horror Films that other companies have ignored. I am sure many of you friends and readers did not know that I am a big fan of old western films and this is my way of sharing my love for this classic film genre. Each update will only have one film that I will breakdown and talk about the plot of the film and will also use pictures to do so. I will also very quickly talk about the films production as well as the lead star of the film, and sometimes even the director, as they are very important to the film as well. Also for these updates I will find a chili recipe online and cook up a batch and watch the movie while eating a bowl or two…and the chili and the film will be graded on a 1-4 star scale! This should be a fun time as Rotten Ink Ranch has been kind enough to allow us to sit around a campfire and cook some chili and chat about good old western films. So if you are ready, let’s start this first ever Wild West Round Up themed update and take a look at the film War On The Range. Also want to thank my friend Jason Young for the logo that will be used on all the Wild West Round Up updates.

Wild West Round Up War On Range Logo

War Of The Range was created in 1933 and was a B-Movie that was quickly made by Producer Burton King and Monarch Film Corporation in order to cash in on the American Western boom with the birth of talkie films. Director J.P. McGowan was brought in after a very long history of directing western films and was selected cause he knew how to make a film on a budget and make them entertaining. The leading man for the film was Tom Tyler who was a super popular western superstar who thrilled audience in the silent era and was still a draw in the world of talkies. And let’s take a moment to talk about Tom Tyler who really was a very iconic actor! Tom Tyler’s real name is Vincent Markowski and was born in Port Henry, New York on August 9, 1903 and had many amazing jobs in his life time from as he was a seaman, a coal miner, lumberjack, prizefighter, amateur weightlifter and finally landed on being a actor! Some of his none western roles that have made an impact in Hollywood are “Adventures Of Captain Marvel” as he played Captain Marvel, “The Phantom” as he played The Phantom and the Universal Monster movie “The Mummy’s Hand” where he played The Mummy! Tom passed away from complications of scleroderma and heart failure on May 3, 1954 at the age of 50. Other actors brought into the film included Charles K. French, Ted Adams, Caryl Lincoln, Lane Chandler, Slim Whitaker and Lafe Mckee to name a few. The film when released was a minor hit, but sadly over time it has been mostly forgotten and even has fallen into the Public Domain and has a middle of the road user rating on IMDB.

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For this first Wild West Round Up review I looked for a film that I have never seen and one that had a star that I have heard of and enjoyed in other films and that’s why War Of The Range was selected! And for the first meal of chili we decided on “Creamy Italian Sausage Chili” a recipe by Emily Walker that sounded oh so fantastic! So I am going to eat a bowl of this chili and watch this classic western film and after talking about the films plot I will of course give both the film and the chili star ratings! But before we start the review I would first like to show you all what the Creamy Italian Sausage Chili looks like in a bowl with some cheese on top with a dash of sour cream.

Creamy Italian Sausage Chili

This is going to be so much fun and something I have been thinking about doing for a few years now! And I will be grading both the film and the chili on a classic 1-4 star scale. I also want to say on my film ratings I am basing it on a scale that is for this era of classic westerns. So pull up a rock and gather by the campfire as its time to eat some home cooked chili and watch a western flick brought to us from the folks at Alpha Video.

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War Of The Range
Starring: Tom Tyler and Caryl Lincoln      Directed: J.P. McGowan
Not Rated     1933    58min    Alpha Video    DVD    Full Frame

Tom Bradley and Tony head to the end of the ranch and see a group of workers putting up a fence, and Tom goes down to question them why they are doing so and is told that is own father Duke gave the orders. He is not happy with this and heads to Box Ranch to talk to his dad as he is upset that by putting the fence up it will hurt other ranchers who need to move their herd as it keeps them away from water and makes them go a longer route. Tom also says this could start the War Of The Range again as Bull Harris a fellow rancher is itching to go to war with the Bradley family. Duke yells at his son to go back to work and Tom and Tony ride off, just as this happens from the other side of the ranch comes Bull Harris and several of his men, and they are not happy and Bull threatens Duke with death, the only witness is James Warren who is a worker of Dukes…but when Duke walks away we find out that Bull really works for James and they are stealing cattle!

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Tom and Tony while working the ranch see Bull and his men trying to steal the cattle and some of Bull’s men open fire on them! Tom tells Tony to head to the ranch and warn his father as he goes after them. Tony ends up capturing one of the thieves who before he can tell Tom who the leader of the gang is takes a bullet from Bull who is hiding up on a hill and does not what the secret out. Tom in turn opens fire and kills Bull’s horse who is forced to run away on foot, but Tom does not get a look at Bull so the mystery of who is stealing the cattle is unsolved. They are able to save the heard, run off the thieves and turn the cows over to the Cartwright Packing Company. They also get news that nesters have taken shelter on the old ranch house on the land and Duke sends Tom and others to run them off, Tom does not like this but does what his Dad tells him and rides off to the old ranch house.

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The Carlysle family (Father George, Daughter Grace and son Jimmy) with a wagon full of stuff is at the old ranch home at Bradley Pass as the Box Ranch hands show up they tell the family they are no welcome and start bulling them as well as knocking around their belongings. Grace tries her best to stand her ground as she tells them that they now own this ranch house, but they men get them on a wagon and send them packing as the wagon is out of control, due to the men scaring the horses. Tom sees the wagon out of control and leaps from his horse onto the wagon and is able to bring it to a stop. Grace then shows Tom the deed to the house and land as his father Duke was not the owner of that land and it’s now the Carlysle family. Tom takes the family back to their home and tells his fathers men that this family is here to stay and to tell his father they own the land proper. As the men leave Tom stays to help the family move in, and Grace is shocked that he went against the wishes of his own father. Later in the day Duke shows up at the Carlysle home and he and Tom scuffle and Duke even punches his son in the face as the ranch hands watch on, and James is loving every second of this family meltdown. Tom shows his Dad the legal papers and this angers Duke so much that he threatens his son that he will find a way to get the land and run the Carlysle Family and Tom out of the state! He disowns his son in front of everyone and Grace is upset that her family has causes such a rift. And Tom is happy to see that Tony has decided to stay and help the family as well as he and Tom are friends. James on the way back to the Box Ranch questions Duke about if he is wrong on owning the land, and Duke says he is never wrong and tells James to go get the sheriff as he thinks the law might be able to fix this mess and get “his” land back.

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Back at the Carlysle house Tony is trying to teach Jimmy how to mount a horse fast, and is goofily failing at his task. While Tom is also helping with chores around the house and its clear that love is blooming between he and Grace as they share glances and smiles. Bull Harris then shows up and talks with Grace and George and says he is there to give them a big welcome to the area as well as give them a proposition. Tom and Tony head to the house to see what’s going on, while inside Bulls deal is that he will give the family a herd of cattle if they do not allow other ranchers to move cattle through the area unless they get permission from Bull. And just before George signs the agreement Tom enters and punches Bull out the door and by gunpoint Tony runs him off the property. And Grace says she trusts the word of Tom who wants to alert all ranchers that they have permission to use the land when moving their cattle, and wants to also try and patch things up with his father with this news. And Tom takes young Jimmy with him to deliver the news.

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Duke has just got paid for his shipment of cattle and James watches were he hides the money, as Tom and Jimmy show up to the ranch its untrustworthy James who informs Duke they are coming. Once inside Duke does not want to hear the deal that could end this war on the range as James has his ear and yells at his son. Tom and Jimmy head to a room to rest for a moment as well as gather Tom’s stuff, but Tom has faith in his father and Jimmy thinks Duke is a hardass. As Tom is getting his stuff the Sheriff shows up and Duke goes outside to explain the situation of the land deed, as James rushes to steal the hidden money he is caught red handed by Jimmy! James knocks out Jimmy and then as Tom comes in looking for his young friend James grabs him from behind and screams for help and acts as if Tom was going to steal the money! James acts as if Tom had Jimmy run away with the cash and now Tom is under arrest but breaks free and gets to his horse and rides away and the law is on his trail. Duke is heart broken over this all and once back inside hears the moans of the injured Jimmy and finds him and takes him to a room to get better, as he thinks the youngster can tell him the truth of what happened to his money and who is the thief, James agrees and is also very worried.

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Tom has a good lead on the law that is tracking him for the crime he did not commit, he jumps from his horse and hides in a tree as the officers ride past him and follow the tracks of his horse. He does how ever drop down on the last lawman and knocks him from his horse and then punches him out, steals his horse and heads back to his dad’s ranch. Meanwhile back at the ranch Duke is sitting with the knocked out Jimmy, and is feeling bad for the youngster as well as is making him think of his own son Tom. James is peeking in on them and pulls his gun out and takes aim as he is going to clearly kill the youngster as well as his boss to get away with the crime, but he is stopped by Tom who has arrived just in time, but James is able to smash Tom with a chair and then escape. James meets up with Bull Harris and his men and alerts them they are all heading north and that they need to steal all of Duke’s cattle as they leave.

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The Sheriff and his lawman give up the chase on Tom, as James leads his men into the pasture to start stealing the herd and lucky for Duke the Sheriff takes notice of them doing so and head back to get Duke and his men to stop the steal. Meanwhile at the Box Ranch Jimmy is awake and tells Duke that it was James who stole the cash and with that Duke has a change of heart about the Carlysle Family as well as his son as they patch things up. The Sheriff arrives and Duke goes to get his men as Tom heads to the Carlysle house as its in the path of the cattle rustlers and he has to make sure Grace is alright and unharmed. While at the Carlysle house Bull and one other man arrive and Bull enters the home and roughs up Tony as well as George, but Tony tries to fight back against Bull and by accident Bull even knocks out his own man! As Tom arrives Bull tries to shoot him, but Tony is able to yank the rug from under Bull’s feet and causes his aim to be off. Tom and Bull exchanged punches as the Tom finally knocks out Bull and Grace, George and Tony tie the knocked out bandits up Tom heads out to meet up with his dad to stop the rest.

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James has his men take down the newly built barbwire fence so they can sneak the cattle out and across the Carlysle land, but James sees the posse lead by Duke is coming and they try and get away, but the posse does not stop the chase even with the cattle safe. Both sides have a shoot out in a wooded area, and The Sheriff is hit by a bullet and is injured badly. James’s men are loosing the gunfight and he gets on a horse and tries to run away, but Tom sees him and gets his horse and gives chase. Tom and James meet near a cliff and have a fight still while on horseback, and James ends up falling over the cliff to his death. Later at the Box Ranch Jimmy is still injured in bed and is visited by Tom, Duke, Grace, George, The Sheriff and Tony and they declare this is the end of the Range War. In the end its shown that Tom and Grace are getting married and that Duke has truly grown to love the Carlysle family like they are his own.

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Review: War Of The Range is a good very cheaply and poorly shot western that uses an epic sounding title that promises big gun fights between feuding ranches but delivers a way slower paced story that is about a father and sons differences on how to protect their ranch and how to treat strangers. I really enjoyed the film over all and feel that while it was not very action packed the story was a familiar tale of bad guys never win and you are never to old to change. Tom Tyler does a great job in the role of Tom Bradley who is a good hearted man who just wants to be fair and do the right thing for all, its crazy to think this smiling cowboy would be wrapped up and play the Mummy for Universal seven years later. I was also a little puzzled by some of the camera angles used in the film as at times they are wide shots that just look awkward and lack the impact that they intended. It’s also very clear that the film had a very low budget as much of the film is shot outside and many sets that are used are clearly on sound stages. The worst part of this film has to be Tony the Box Ranch hand and close friend of Tom’s who was played by Billy Franey as this old man character is just so bad and brings comedy elements to the film that fall flat and most of his dialogue is just him saying “Not So Good” and that’s how I would sum up him in the film. But while that character was bad I did find Jim Warren to be a great cheesy classic western bad guy who smirked and hammed up the screen whenever he was on and Ted Adam was a perfect casting for that role. Caryl Lincoln who was the actress that played Grace Carlysle was also a prefect casting as she is super cute and plays the sweet girl next door who is also strong willed. I also love the over sold fist fights in this film that at times are so over done that it looks like when two friends are fake fighting in a combat sports event for the camera. Over all I have to say this is a good 30’s western film that is nothing special but does a good job of delivering an entertaining simple watch that has some fist fights, gun fights and has some really bad cowboy slapstick jokes. I should also note that the Alpha Video print is not great and has many flaws to it, but I loved it as the flaws brought back many memories of watching these type of western films at my Grandparents house growing up. Also the cover has Tom Bradley with a rifle and that never happens at all in this film.

Now lets talk about The Creamy Italian Sausage Chili and my thoughts on it! Making of the chili was easy and took Juliet 15 minutes of prep time and around 45 minutes of cook time! And first impression of the Creamy Italian Sausage Chili once cooked was that it looked really tasty and it smelled really good. And when adding some cheese and a little sour cream it looked even more tasty! When sitting down to watch the movie and I took the first bite of the chili it was a good creamy taste and the sausage really popped with the cream cheese flavor. And after eating a few more spoonful’s the flavor really kicked in and I found that I really liked the chili! It was not overly spicy nor hot and almost to be honest would have been a great dip for tortilla chips or even corn chips. In fact when we make this chili again as yes I would make another batch I might try it with corn chips. And the weather outside the day we ate this chili was slightly chilly and this chili was a great way to warm up and was a great meal to watch a western to.

Movie:   **1/2

Chili:   ***1/2

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Well I hope you enjoyed this first ever “Wild West Round Up” update as it was really fun as well as tasty to do for me as not only did I get to watch a classic western film, but I also got to eat a bowl of chili that was a great meal. While War On The Range was not an amazing film I also really did enjoy it as well and to be honest while I was really hard on the Tony character in the review, he did serve a purpose in the film and his friendship with Tom was well done as the two were loyal to watching out for one another. And to be honest I am looking forward to doing another of these updates that I will say should happen sometime in 2023! So lets put out the old campfire and cover up the chili pot as the sun is setting here at Rotten Ink Ranch and it’s time for us to turn in for the night, but before we do I would like to tell you that the next update will be a “From Horror Movie To Horror Comic” update and will be about 2001 film The Mummy Returns! So until next time read a western comic or three, watch a western film or two and as always support your local Horror Host. See you next update for a horror filled adventure.

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The Wild West Tale Of Brave Eagle

Western films and shows are something I have always greatly enjoyed, and when I think of them many things come to my mind as growing up I loved The Lone Ranger and was into watching many western films and shows on TV with The Rifleman still to this day being in my top five favorite shows of all time. I mean heck I even helped produce a western film in 2015 called “Calamity Jane’s Revenge” directed by Henrique Couto and starring Erin R. Ryan, Julia Gomez, Todd The Fox, former WWE wrestler Al Snow and even my cousin Stephen Alexander had a small role! But the main thing I think of is my Grandpa John Salyers, who was very much into old westerns as he loved John Wayne films had a ton of old western films on VHS and as well had a collection of old paperback western books. My Grandpa John was an amazing man who had Native American blood in his veins and was a hard workingman who was a sharpshooter in the army as well as a self taught handyman, factory worker and an amazing farmer who would grow massive fields of vegetables. Hands down in my real life my three biggest role models of my family are my Grandpa John, my Dad and Brother who are all outstanding people who are hardworking and creative people. Wait I need to get back to the topic at hand and that’s Westerns, and this update is about a TV show from the 50’s that I discovered in 2020 and even had some comics released thanks to DELL Comics! The show I am talking about is Brave Eagle, and I am really exited to bring you this update as I am looking forward to reading the comics and watching the show for the first time! So sit back, relax and enjoy!

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Brave Eagle was a CBS TV series that started in 1955 and would air at 7:30pm and would go up against Disneyland on ABC! The show was filmed at Roy Rogers’ ranches in California and was way ahead of it time as it was the first series on television to feature a Native American character as the lead and as well focused on issues that tribes had to face from racism to smallpox and really helped bring these issues to the light and educated viewers who for decades had seen Native Americans as savages in media. This showed them as people. Brave Eagle was set in the old west and followed a young Cheyenne chief who leads his tribe in a time when white settlers are taking over the land and fellow tribes are at war with each other. Other characters included Morning Star, the show’s love interest for Brave Eagle, as well as Keena (his adopted son), Smokey Joe, Black Cloud and Black Raven to name a few. The show was well liked but sadly could not bring in the numbers that Disney did on the other station, and after only one season and 26 episodes, the show came to an end. And being from 1955-1956 sadly over the years many episodes have been lost making reruns on stations like MeTv impossible. The series also had many guest stars from the world of westerns like Lee Van Cleef, Rick Vallin, Ann Doran and Steve Rains to name a few and what really is awesome for me is that Roy Rogers and his production company made the show as Roy is one of my all time favorite classic western actors not to mention is Restaurant chains are also amazing. So while Brave Eagle only lasted one season, its impact on Western shows really did make an impact as it showcased that Native American characters could be the lead in a series. I will say that it’s a shame they cast a white actor in the role of Brave Eagle and not a Native American actor, but at least it was a start for change.

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Brave Eagle has been released on home media, but of course not as the full series as I have said sadly many episodes are missing and are lost. But thanks to the folks at Alpha Video, all the episodes that have been found have come to DVD in three volumes! And honestly it’s a big thanks to Alpha for alerting me to this show as while shopping their website for Lon Chaney Sr. silent films I came across a three pack of Brave Eagle and being a western fan I had to order it and of course learn about it and once I did I knew it had to get the Rotten Ink treatment! And once I got the DVD’s in from Alpha Video I was set some time aside and gave them a watch, and here is my thoughts on the show as well as the DVD’s put out by Alpha Video. And on a lazy day in 2021 I decided to pop the DVD into the Blu-Ray player, and Juliet and I watched an episode while we ate dinner and I have to say that the show while very cheesy for todays viewing audience, when you sit back and relax and look past all the flaws it really is a fun show! It’s as basic as basic can be in plots and the acting at times is a little stiff and the narration seems like its from a bad documentary, but to be honest all of that added to the charm for me. The prints of the episodes from Alpha Video are ok and some episodes are better than others as issues include soft sound, tape to digital transfers and even at times a little off center. But for this rare and sadly forgotten TV Series this is the best as of now you are going to get them on DVD.

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Keith Larsen was born Keith Larsen Burt on June 17, 1924 in Salt Lake City, Utah and had a normal childhood for that time growing up. During World War II, he served in the Navy, and after his military career ended he got the bug to start acting! And once he started he could not stop as he not only became an actor he also directed, wrote and produced films and shows. His first role was in 1951 as an uncredited part in Operation Pacific as Crewman, his first credited roll came in 1952 in episodes of the TV series Space Patrol and from there, his acting career took off with some of his biggest roles being in such shows and films as Fort Vengeance (1953), Chief Crazy Horse (1955), Brave Eagle (1955-56), Apache Warrior (1957), Northwest Passage (1959) and Trap On Cougar Mountain (1972). For me his role as Preacher Ezra Jackson in the 1970 film Night Of The Witches is pretty dang awesome as it was a Horror Comedy he also wrote and directed! His final role came in 1982’s western film Whitewater Sam that he also wrote and directed. Keith Larsen was also married three times with his second wife being actress Vera Miles who is known for being Lila Crane in Psycho 1-2! He also had three kids, and I should also say that he was a true icon of that era of westerns. Keith Larsen passed away on December 13, 2006 at the age of 82, and while gone he is not forgotten.

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The series lead actress Kim Winona was a full blooded Sioux Indian whose real name was Constance Elaine Mackey was born on October 10, 1930 in Nebraska and in her youth lived on the Rosebud Reservation in South Dakota and later would go on to live in Spokane, Washington at the age of 17. While in Washington, she meet her first husband, a man named Harvey Buck. The pair married in 1951 and would move to Los Angeles where she would become a sectary for a commercial artist and while working this job her natural beauty caught the eye of many and she would go on to do modeling as well to earn extra money. From her modeling she caught the attention of a talent scout who encouraged her to try her hand at acting and she read for a part in the 1956 film “The Last Hunt” and while she did not get the part she was hired to promote it as “Miss Apache”. Her first role came in 1955 as Morning Star on Brave Eagle and she was a lead in all 26 episodes. The show’s executive producer Mike North hired her for this part as he thought she was perfect and captured the essence of the character. Constance would take on the stage name Kim Winona at first and would as well go by Connie Buck for future roles after Brave Eagle ended. She would go on to be in such films and shows as The Man Called X, Cheyenne, Rough Riders, Gunsmoke, Rawhide and 1961’s film Gun Fight. Kim walked away from acting to focus on her art, as she was a very talented painter and sculptor with one of her sculptures being on displayed at the Carnegie Institute! Kim was married three times and had two daughters from those marriages. Sadly Constance Elaine Mackey passed away on June 23, 1978 at the age of 47 from suicide by gunshot due to depression, and the world lost a truly lovely and creative soul. Rest In Peace Constance Elaine Mackey aka Kim Winona, your art and roles will live on forever.

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While the show only lasted one season, it like all western shows and movies of that time, got tons of great merchandise for fans to collect that includes comics, a coloring book, metal lunchbox, episodes on DVD and a Little Golden Book even! Since I found out about this show I have myself got the DVD set, all the comics and am on the hunt for the Lunchbox! I have heard rumors that Marx Toys did figures based on the show, but besides hearsay I have found zero evidence that they were made…but if they were I would definitely buy the figures of Brave Eagle and Morning Star! Check out below to see some of this awesome merchandise.

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I also want to take a brief second to say that on October 3, 2021 while at the Springfield Antique Center Building 2, Juliet and I found something very cool and that was a plush doll of Irwin Troll of comic strip Broom-Hilda fame! And if you remember back in the review for the Irwin Troll paperback comic strip book that I did on September 12, 2020 I talked about wanting one of the dolls and finally a little over a year later I own one! And the shocking part is that it was only $5.00! So I just wanted to update you readers on the fact that Juliet and I finally found an Irwin Troll doll, and we got it for a great price and we both think it’s super cool. And for those of you who have not read my update on Irwin Troll please make sure to check out the update here. And below is two pictures of our Irwin doll on the day we got him.

Irwin Troll Doll 2021 1Irwin Troll Doll 2021 2

The Brave Eagle comics by DELL were part of their Four Color series that featured comics based on cartoons, TV shows, movies and famous people. And I must take a moment as well to say just how awesome DELL was as a comic publisher as they did some many comics based on so many amazing properties like Universal Monsters, Vincent Price Films, Steve Reeve Hercules films, Looney Tunes, Walt Disney Characters. Three Stooges, Yogi Bear and so many Western films and shows! No modern comic company does what they did back in their time and that’s why DELL is one of the most important independent comic publishers for fans of licensed properties. I want to think Ebay sellers for having all these issues in stock at great prices and I also want to think my gal Juliet for ordering them all for me. I want to also remind you all that I grade these comics on a star scale of 1 to 4 and am looking for how well the comics stay to the source material, its entertainment value and its art and story. So if you are ready, let’s see how well Brave Eagle translated to the world of comic books. Oh I will also be numbering these in the number they were released as well as using Brave Eagle as the title and not Four Color. So let’s see what Brave Eagle has in-store for us in these comic pages.

Brave Eagle Comic 1

Brave Eagle # 1  **1/2
Released in 1956     Cover Price .10     DELL     # 705 of 1354

“The Mask Of The Manitou” Brave Eagle and Smokey end up saving the life of a Blackfoot Warrior who was being attacked by Comanches, after run off the wounded warriors asks via his Chief Sun Bear if they could bring his tribes women and kids to his land for safety and he agrees. While Brave Eagle and Smokey help the Blackfoot settle into their new temporary home, and young Keena is hunting and bags a massive elk that will feed both tribes and so badly wants to share this news with his father and almost gets crushed by a mountain landslide to do so! The landslide destroys all the Blackfoot’s food and Brave Eagle and Smokey at night decide to sneak into their camp and deliver food as a surprise, and Keena as well wants to bring his big elk on his own to surprise them. But a Comanche Warrior that was a prisoner escapes and meets him with his fellow warriors and pins down Brave Eagle, Smokey and Morning Star who arrived to warn them of the prisoners escape by firing arrows at them. Brave Eagle fights back and takes down the Comanches and is able to deliver the food before sunrise, and as he and the others leave he watches in pride as his son delivers the elk. “The Gold Of Haunted Mountain” Brave Eagle, Keena and Smokey meet up with Chris Wilkins who is a miner who is a friend of the tribe and he asks them for a favor that he is owed to show them the entrance of a haunted mine in the mountains that is said to be filled with lots of gold, and when then do so a pair of bad guys follow and try to steal all the gold and even hold Keena as a prisoner! And it takes Brave Eagle and Smokey to act like ghosts to scare the bad guys away and into the arms of the law, and once Keena is safe they even leave Chris a gold nugget to make the old man rich who is a friend and once down on his luck.

This is a mix bagged western comic that captures some of the charm of the TV show and also added a little bit more of a comic charm to the normal western stories. This issue has two stories with both being interesting with the first story really focusing on Brave Eagle being a noble Chief to his people and fellow tribes and gaining pride in his son who does what is right to got get the glory that would come with it. And the second story is more of a Brave Eagle stops criminals from stealing gold and gets a deserter captured by the Calvary. Brave Eagle is a tough fighter in this issue as be brings down three warriors who want him dead and by doing so saves his best friend as well as his love interest, he is also very given as he tries to help a fellow tribe with food and shelter, he also helps his white friend escape the grip of two scummy gold thieves as well helps his son learn how to be a good man. Smokey is also a good guy who follows his Chief and does what he can to help him at all times and trusts in his word. Keena is a good kid who as well seems to always want to do the right thing and wants to be just like his father. The downside to this first issue is that I feel that they really down play Morning Star and she is barely around or used in the first story and does not even show up in the second…and that’s crazy as she is a lead in the TV Show! The issue has some good action as well as some cool spooky moments with the likes of the Haunted Mountain, but also has a few moments of being a little slow in spots making it slightly drag. The cover is cool and if you are a fan of the TV Show is eye catching as it shows Keith Larsen as Brave Eagle and is clearly a promotional still for the show. The interior art is done by Dan Spiegle and is pretty good and captures a very comic book look for all the characters with each looking like they should given the year this was made. Over all a good comic that does its best to do the show justice and I could see how kids of the time would have enjoyed it very much, so with that lets see what the next issue has in store for us.

Brave Eagle Comic 2

Brave Eagle # 2  **1/2
Released in 1957     Cover Price .10      DELL      # 770 of 1354

“Shield Of Honor” The Crow tribe shows up and steals many of the horses of Brave Eagles tribe including his own horse White Cloud, and this cause Brave Eagle, Smokey and other warriors to give chase to try and get them back. Meanwhile back at camp Chief Great Bear of the Pawnee arrives and chats with Morning Star and Keena and even teaches Keena some warrior tricks that he could do while riding a horse. Once back to his people Brave Eagle has not gotten the horses back and meets with Great Bear who wants to ask for both tribes to come together to go after The Crow that is lead by Chief Iron Hand who he says is a threat to all tribes. The two Chiefs separate and Brave Eagle and his council think that Iron Hand is innocent and that Great Bear was really the horse thief and after visiting Iron Hand and finding the horses near Great Bear’s camp they know they are right. And worse Keena has given Great Bear one of Brave Eagles arrows that has his markings and the Pawnee are headed to The Crows in order to start war as one of their warriors has fake arrows that have the mark of Brave Eagle! But after a fight Brave Eagle defeats Great Bear who promises that he will not get them involved in his war again. “Fury In The Forest” Brave Eagle, Keena and Smokey head into the forest to hunt food for the winter and when they bring down a big bison it is stolen by white hunters, and Brave Eagle must teach them a lesson as well as get the bison back to feed his people.

The second issue of Four Colors to feature Brave Eagle and his tribe is a pretty good read and does I think a slightly better job of bringing in the action and drama of the TV Show to the pages of the comics. The two stories are also well done with the first being another tribe Chief trying to get Brave Eagle involved in a big war between tribes and the second has hunters trying to steal the food of Brave Eagle’s tribe cause they wanted to sell the animals pelt. Brave Eagle once more shows that he is a hero, caring and wise whenever things could affect his tribe and people. I like in this issue how he beats Great Bear who is a warrior that others fear, but to be honest while Great Bear is a good Chief to his people he is also very dishonest as he will do what ever he can to make his tribe beat out their rivals. Keena does some pretty silly things in this issue like given Great Bear and arrow of his fathers even though that is against the tribes rules, and he also should be looking up to his father and not another Chief he just meet. Smokey is around in both stories and is wise and as helpful as ever. And it was cool to see White Cloud the horse of Brave Eagle get a little bit of time to shine as it as well is in both stories. But like before they downplay Morning Star and it’s really starting to annoy me, as she should be way more involved and important in these stories besides being reduced to cameos. I have to say great action as well because I have to praise the quick fight between Brave Eagle and Great Bear as it brought a nice TV Western feel to the comic. Another cool photo cover for the issue that is eye catching for fans of the show and the interior art by Dan Spiegle is once more well done. Over all another good issue that leaves me wanting to read more Brave Eagle….but for the love of Jack Kirby could they please make Morning Star a big deal in these comics.

Brave Eagle Comic 3

Brave Eagle # 3   **1/2
Released in 1957     Cover Price .10     DELL     # 816 of 1354

“Search For The Sun” A band of renegade Natives have started to rob and kill white men who are mining for gold, and the Calvary is trying to stop them but are failing. The last attack left only one man left alive by the name of Gusty who is now in the care of Brave Eagle and his people as they are trying to nurse him back to health. The renegade robberies puzzle Brave Eagle as gold means nothing to his people so along with Smokey they set out to find out who these renegades are and what they are up to. Meanwhile back at camp Gusty spends his time telling tall tales to Keena and Morning Star, as Keena is a little upset as he feels Brave Eagle ignored him before he left camp as he made him a ring and needed to try and fit its size. When Brave Eagle finds a cabin that has been burnt to the ground he also finds a wounded renegade Indian who spills the beans that they are stealing the gold as another group of white men give them rifles for it! Brave Eagle takes his prisoner to the army fort, and later that night Keena decides that he will return to his real tribe as he thinks because Brave Eagle is not his real dad that he does not love him and once at his family tribe he learns they are working with the gold thieves and he spills the beans on Brave Eagles gold in order to get his own rifle! Meanwhile Gusty is upset that a story he told about Keena’s tribe is what drove him to find then and sets out to bring the young man back. But we find that Keena has sent the renegades to an empty mine and gets word back to Brave Eagle who takes Smokey and some warriors and brings them down. In the end Keena returns to Brave Eagle and a great feast is made to celebrate. “The Iron Trail” Bull Larson is in charge of building rails for trains that will be going through the area and while working he injures one of Brave Eagle’s tribe and keeps him as a hostage. When Brave Eagle goes to check on his missing friend he over hears Bull talking about robbing the payroll train and blaming it on the Natives, and Brave Eagle comes up with a plan that has him on the train and he stops Bull from pulling off the robbery and once more is the hero.

The third issue in the Brave Eagle comics is really good and like before has two stories with one being the longer of the two and each having almost a lesson in them. The two adventures has Brave Eagle and his tribe stopping gold thieves as well as a payroll thieves and also his son learns that just cause you are not from the same blood dose not mean they don’t love them like you are their own. Brave Eagle truly wants his people and the white people to be able to live in harmony, and this clearly angers some of his own people as they want to retake the land and will steal and kill to do so. Brave Eagle as always shows that he is also a great warrior as he fights for what he thinks is right. Keena in this issue gets his feelings hurt and says some things to Brave Eagle he regrets, and when Keena returns to his original tribe he finds that they are on the side of chaos and learns that his true place is with his father. Smokey and Morning Star take a back seat in this issue and while around they sadly do very little. Gusty is a white man that is injured and is being taken care of, but while a good man he does tell some stories that bend the truth and is what causes some issues between Keena and Brave Eagle. And man Bull Larson is a terrible person who is willing to kill and steal the money of his workers and by doing so could start a war between Brave Eagle and the Calvary. While the action is a little slow in this issue when it comes though its lots of fun and makes for another above average read that brings the entertainment to the reader. The cover is good and once more is just a promo photo and the art is done by Dan Spiegle and is good stuff for this time of adaptation comics. So with that let’s take a look at the next issue to showcase Brave Eagle and his Tribe.

Brave Eagle Comic 4

Brave Eagle # 4   **
Released in 1958     Cover Price .10     DELL     # 879 of 1354

“Forbidden Land” Brave Eagle, Smokey and Keena ride out to check on a wagon when two scared horses entered their camp, but they find that it was a set up by white men who wanted to stage a fake death and robbery in order to start a war between the Soldiers and the Indian Warriors. And worse when the white men escape they trick the Calvary into believing that Brave Eagle and his tribe attacked them and stole the horses that ran into their camp earlier! Because of this the Calvary with orders from the Government is taking Brave Eagles tribes land! The Tribe is upset and the talk of war breaks out, but Brave Eagle wants a chance to make this right and follows one of the accusers to a cave and learns that the plan is for the Calvary to move gold just in case of war and for them to steal it and blame Brave Eagles tribe once more for the robbery. But once Smokey captures one of the thieves and the Calvary learn of the plot they along with Brave Eagle’s tribe stop the gold robbery and the land is returned to the tribe and the misunderstanding is patched up as the crooks are taking in for their crimes. “The Plight Of Red Thunder” While hunting Brave Eagle meets up with Red Thunder a chief that he has been friends with for decades and the two along with Smokey head to his camp in order to enjoy some dinner, but while there they meet Spotted Colt the son of Red Thunder who loves to pull pranks and jokes. To teach him a lesson Brave Eagle fakes being hurt and Spotted Colt has to find a way to get help from people who do not believe him and as well learn that jokes have a time and a place.

The fourth issue in the Brave Eagle comics is at this point the one that packs less impact and in some spots is a little boring. The main story of the gold robbery really is the plot of many of the stories that have came before it and adds nothing new besides more faceless and nameless bad guys. The second story is fun and is a take of “The Boy Who Cried Wolf” as Spotted Colt is a young man who likes to have fun, but has terrible timing. Brave Eagle is much of the same a hero, warrior, wise man and a teacher to those that are around him. Smokey and Keena are around but do very little and most annoying Morning Star is nowhere in site! Red Thunder is a kind hearted Chief who has an annoying son and needs help to teach him a lesson. The cover is another promo pic from the show and has Brave Eagle with a bow and arrow. The art is done by what looks like an Unknown Artist and the first story is kind of sloppy in the art department with the second one being way better. Not much to say about this issue besides it’s ok and while entertaining it was also kind of a slow moving read. Keep in mind I did not dislike this issue it was just a little underwhelming and also just kind of did not capture the Show very well.

Brave Eagle Comic 5

Brave Eagle # 5  **1/2
Released in 1958      Cover Price .10      DELL      # 929 of 1354

“The Ride For Life” Smokey enters his tribes land and falls from his horse as he has been shot and is injured by a pair of white men who are also tracking him and he has heard a plan that they have in the works. Brave Eagle and his warriors wait for Smokey to wake up in order to find out who did this to him so that they can make them face justice. The two would be killers creep into the camp and one cuts free the horses while the other creeps into the tipi and tries to stab Smokey, but it’s a trap and Brave Eagle is inside and fights off the attacker and in the commotion both outlaws escape into the night forest. Brave Eagle is then asked by Morning Star to visit Smokey who is having a very high fever, and Brave Eagle decides that he must ride to the Calvary fort and try and get medicine and once there the two men who shot Smokey are already inside and blame Brave Eagle for a raid the killed Calvary solders and stole gold that they were escorting! But when one of the bad guys slip up they are arrested and Brave Eagle takes the Fort Doctor to Smokey, but also finds out the Keena is near a creek that the raiders use when they stole the gold, and he gets there to find his son kidnapped by the remaining gang! And with the help of his Braves they bring down the rest of the crooks and rush back to be with Smokey. “Mustang Trail” one day Morning Star and Keena notice that three of the tribes horses are missing and they go and tell Brave Eagle who notices that the line that the horses were hitched to has been cut by someone. We see that the horses are taken by a group of outlaws who uses the horses to drag flaming brush behind them causing a wild fire all around the camp. And while Brave Eagle and his tribe put out the fires the outlaws go and steal almost all the tribes horses! And Brave Eagle, Smokey and Keena start tracking to get their horses back and uncover a whole horse thief ring, and using his mind Brave Eagle is able to bring them down and get the horses back.

The fifth and final issue of Brave Eagle is another entertaining issues that does a pretty good job of capture the mood of the TV series it was based on, I will say that it is missing a little bit of the humor of Smokey as well as the shows narration by Brave Eagle is missing and I really dislike that the comics barely use Morning Star as they act like she was not a big deal when she very much is in the source material. And while I really liked the comics I do feel that the lack of Morning Star really was a big flaw. These two stories are pretty good with the first story being really good and the last story being average and slightly dull, but still a good read. Brave Eagle throughout the comics was a great leader to his tribe, who gets things done and really watches out for his people. He is a good fighter, a man who uses his mind to issue solve and is loyal to his friends and tribe. So really Brave Eagle is a good honest hero who is pretty interesting and transfers from TV to Comic pretty well. Keena is the son of Brave Eagle and is always up for adventure and to be at the side of his father during any situation. Smokey is Brave Eagles best friend and is also his most trusted as he as well is always at his Chief’s side and is willing to risk his life for him as well as the tribe he calls family. Morning Star is the daughter of Smokey and the little we see her she is caring, brave and wise. The Calvary in this series seem to be very washy with Brave Eagle and his tribe as at times they act like they trust them and then the moment any white man says a negative thing about them they turn on them. The series had some pretty good action but oddly more of the stories had to do with gold or horse thieves with most being about gold…very weird as it seemed the writer or writers just had one basic idea for Brave Eagle to go after. The comic cover is another promo photo of Brave Eagle and is eye catching for fans of the TV Show. And the interior art once more is done by Dan Spiegle and is pretty good and has that classic Dell Comic look. Over all the Brave Eagle comic series is pretty entertaining and while not fully like the show it does its best to try and capture the magic of the show. Check out the artwork bellow to see the art style used in this comic.

Brave Eagle Art 1Brave Eagle Art 2Brave Eagle Art 3

Brave Eagle is a great western TV Show that sparked entertaining Dell Comic issues via their Four Color series and I am sure readers that where viewers really did enjoy giving these a read and continuing the adventures of Brave Eagle. And for me this was a fun comic to start our countdown to Thanksgiving with as this time of the year always makes me want to visit the past and even discover new things from the past like I did here with Brave Eagle. So for the next update we will be still celebrating 10 years of the Horror Host Hall Of Fame and will be taking a look at USA Up All Night and all the classic hosts like Gilbert, Rhonda and Caroline that made up that iconic show! So until next time read a western comic of three, watch a western show or two and as always support your local Horror Host. See you next time and be ready to stay Up All Night!

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