THE MYSTERY SQUADRON (12 chapter Mascot serial/1933). Directors: Colbert Clark and David Howard.
Down in San Juan, New Mexico, a "mystery squadron" led by an unknown villain called the Black Ace flies over an area where a dam is being constructed and performs acts of sabotage. Fred Cromwell (Bob Steele) and his buddy "Jellybean" (Guinn "Big Boy" Williams) try to get to the bottom of this mystery and uncover the identity of the Black Ace, although both of them are accused of being the culprit at one point. Other suspects include Superintendent Collins (J. Carrol Naish) and Doc Flint (Robert Fraser), both of whom offer the most notable performances in the serial [although Jack Mulhall is also good]. There is a lot of urgent exclaiming by the cast members throughout the movie, and more running around than you've ever seen, but the cliffhangers at the end of each chapter aren't very memorable. Nonetheless, the serial is entertaining and does manage to work up some suspense over the identity of ... the Black Ace!
Verdict: Not one of the best but still fun. ***.