Lyle Zapato Suggests...
Lyle Zapato's helpful review of Airship Troopers also suggests pulp story from 1928, "The Octopus Cycle" by Fletcher Pratt and Irvin Lester and shares the cover illustration from that story, which describes what happens when giant mutant octopi walk on land (spoiler: it isn't good).
Inspirational Sources For Airship Troopers: Volcanic Dinosaur Island Of Doom
Enjoy these inspirational viewing, reading, and listening options for your lost worlds/mysterious island adventures.
The Films of Merian Cooper
Cooper's fame comes primarily from King Kong, but he produced a number of action-adventure films in exotic settings. The selection below samples his best movies for our theme. An excellent recent biography, Living Dangerously: The Adventures of Merian C. Cooper, Creator of King Kong by Mark Cotta Vaz, is rich in Zeppelin Age detail. Cooper lived a very interesting life.
Chang: A Drama of the Wilderness (1927)
A silent movie set in rural Siam, rich in jungle flavor, encounter ideas, panthers, tigers, and rampaging and non-rampaging elephants. The evocative visuals still hold up today. Available in DVD format.
The Most Dangerous Game (1932)
Spoiler: Man! Shipwreckers, a mysterious island, Russian villains, a classic plot frequently used in role playing, Robert Armstong (in a small part) and Fay Wray (again with the screaming). Watch it for free online from www.archive.org!
King Kong & Son Of Kong (1933)
If you haven't already seen the 1933 King Kong and you enjoy this genre, do yourself a favor and watch it immediately. Son Of Kong picks up where King Kong left off, as Carl Denham dodges the lawsuits from the Kong fiasco and convinces the Captain of the Venture to return to Skull Island to search for treasure. Find both movies on DVD (linked above).
Worth watching for the epic scale of the sets and Art Deco costume design alone. Based on the H. Rider Haggard novel. Available on DVD.
Other Films Of Interest
20,000 Leagues Under The Sea (1916)
Intriguingly odd and imaginative silent adaptation of Verne's novel. View for free at www.archive.org!
The Call of Cthulhu (2005)
Done in the style of the time (silent, but with a full score), this relatively recent product of the HP Lovecraft Historical Society (www.cthulhulives.org) effectively evokes the weirdness of the original story, and is very true to the source material. Available from the HPLHS!
The Flaming Signal (1933)
See Flash the Wonder Dog co-pilot a plane, slip into his own parachute, and effectively bail out over a mysterious island. Available on DVD!
The Lost Jungle (1934)
Continental drift theory inspires Noah's Ark Island, which contains the animals of the Americas, Africa, and Asia, along with a mysterious lost city. Luckily Clyde Beatty (of circus fame) is an excellent animal tamer! The serial is available on DVD, and the condensed movie version is available at www.archive.org.
The Lost World (1925)
Not a mysterious island, but still rich in fauna thought to be extinct. A sterling example of how all dinosaurs love eating people. Available at www.archive.org.
The Phantom (1943)
The Ghost-That-Walks defends the jungle, aiding explorers searching for a lost city. Features almost every jungle serial trope! Available at www.archive.org.
The Rocketeer (1991)
Unknown Island (1948)
Classic monster island film with primative but strangely unnerving special effects. Available on DVD.
We currently live in a golden age of access to period pulp stories, with both quality reprints and free downloads plentiful and easily accessible.
An excellent selection of all things pulpy.
A great publisher of pulp replicas and reprints. You can subscribe to High Adventure and G-8 & His Battle Aces and receive pulp reprints regularly in your mailbox.
Free downloads of a variety of pulp stories.
Suggested Authors & Titles
Edgar Rice Burroughs' The Land That Time Forgot, The People That Time Forgot, & Out Of Time's Abyss (1918)
A damaged U-boat discovers a cliff-ringed island with an inland lake and islands, swarming with extinct creatures. Land, People, and Abyss are at www.gutenberg.org.
A. Conan Doyle's The Lost World (1912)
Not an island, but a smorgasbord of monsters thought extinct on a plateau. Marcus Rowland did a great RPG adaptation available at
A. Merritt's The Moon Pool (1918-1919)
Panope, weird monsters, and a lost city. Available at www.gutenberg.org.
Kenneth Robeson's Land of Terror (1933)
A Doc Savage novel featuring a weird weapon and a volcanic dinosaur island of doom. Lester Dent wrote the novel under a house name.