Saturday, September 14, 2013
Shazam! - The Complete Series!
I don't know why it's taken me so long to finally get around to ordering a copy of this dvd from the Warner Archives, but after a full year or more of dithering I've finally added Shazam!. This delightful show was an absolute frolic when it hit television screens in 1974. Produced by Filmation, the story was full of charm and with its tiny budget produced a fairly entertaining superhero adventure geared for the youth of the day. Sadly my copy doesn't feature the exquisite Jerry Ordway image above, but has the assembled actors seen below.
Regardless the shows inside are fast-paced and for the most-part light-hearted fables for the young-at-heart.A typical show begins with Billy Batson (Michael Grey) getting a message from "The Elders" (Solomon, Hercules, Atlas, Zeus, Achilles, and Mercury) which then almost immediately leads him and his older confidant actually named "Mentor" (Les Tremayne) to some danger. They roll up in their RV and before long Captain Marvel (played first by Jackson Bostwick and later by John Davey) is called upon with the classic magic word to save lives and the day in general. It's a solid premise which lasted two full seasons on Saturday mornings.
The show makes do with some vintage George Reeves Superman TV flying special effects and a memorable gimmick which puts the actor playing the Big Red Cheese out in the wind -- impressive. I've already watched a few episodes, and this will make a great addition to the shelves right next to the other Shazam live-action opus, the totally awesome 1941 Republic Pictures flick starring Tom Tyler and Frak Coghlan, The Adventures of Captain Marvel.