Sci Fi Wire and IESB are both reporting variations of the following story, as told by Dark Horse representative film historian Travis Liberty. The story is offered as an explanation put forth for the Dark Horse project Monarch of the Moon.

The US Department of War commissioned a sci-fi serial in the model of Buck Rogersand Flash Gordon to be created as a means of promoting pro-American and anti-German/Japanese sentiment. The film may not have been propaganda per-se, but it definately had political overtones (think Day After Tomorrow). The series was reasonably advanced for its time, as a large budget allowed for high quality production. It focused around the adventures of the very American hero "Yellow Jacket" who went about fighting various evil menaces of Japanese and German persuasion. However, the death of a significant number of extras marred the production of the film, and it was eventually discovered that German agents had snuck their way onto the staff as replacements, hijacking some of the lucrative budget to fund weapons research. When this was learned, the DoD canned the project, arrested the director, and erased all public record of the film. Until now, when Mr. Liberty discovered it in the archives of Mosfilm, the official Russian film studio.

As far as I can tell, both of the sites are reporting this story as if it has a credible basis in fact- although with IESB, it may just be that my sarcasm detector is on too low of a setting. I'm pretty certain that this movie was orignally annouced as a spoof film some time back, as it is reported to star actors who are still quite young, alive and well. It seems pretty obvious to me that the above tale is just a fun little attempt by the Dark Horse people to create a bit of stylized and unorthodox hype for the film- but it may have accidentally duped a few people into thinking they are actually trying to pass the film's "history" off as fact.

categories Movies, Cinematical