Captain Celluloid Vs. The Film Pirates (1966) - Can't Stop the Movies
Can't Stop the Movies
19Jun/100

Captain Celluloid Vs. The Film Pirates (1966)

Danny no longer writes for Can't Stop the Movies, and can be reached at his fantastic site Pre-Code.com

Danny LIKEBelieve it or not, the film world has changed radically over the last fifty years. Crazy, I know.

Fifty years ago, the men who loved cinema dearly feared one thing above all else: film pirates! Dastardly circles of thieves who copy film negatives and pass off inferior goods to cinemas over the country, all led by the vile Master Duper and his brilliant technological mastermind, the deliciously named Satanya. In a time of such turbulence, who can our cinemas turn to?

Well, Captain Celluloid, of course. This square jawed paragon of cinematic justice delivers his two fisted style upon anyone who crosses his path.

This psuedo-serial, made about thirty years after the heyday of such things by a group of film nuts, is a silent and short four part series of vignettes that does well to mimic the older style. There's the regular cliffhangers, and the mysterious mastermind who's not unmasked until the last reel.

The plot concerns much of what I described above and the Master Duper's attempt to dupe the original negative of Erich von Stroheim's lost cut of Greed, leading to no small amount of undercranked fistfights.

Captain Celluloid himself is kind of a dullard, which shouldn't be too much of a surprise for those familiar with serials. All of the characters are cardboard vessels of improbable plot twists and deeds of daring do, though the movie doesn't really suffer for it because of some good action.

Celluloid also doesn't have the most well defined outfit... it needs a cape or something, because right now he looks more like Snake Man than

There's no hint of irony or parody in the film: it's played completely straight. Considering that it was released as the same year as the "Batman" TV show that took the concept of serials to their satirically mainstream extreme, it's not a surprise that this stays mostly forgotten. My vote on IMDB was number 18.

It's still a fun nostalgic ride (as a product of the 60's emulating a product of the 20's, oddly enough), and it's hard to fault a movie that's less than an hour and contains some good thrilling action and a sly wink at film nerds, obviously the only people destined to see this film.

But I won't lie... I did pirate this film. Somewhere out there, the Master Duper is smiling.

Captain Celluloid Vs. The Film Pirates (1966)

Good luck finding this one, suckers.
Directed by Louis McMahon
Written by Louis McMahon
Starring Larry Steele

Posted by Danny

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