Lively, entertaining reviews of, and essays on, old and newer films and everything relating to them, written by professional author William Schoell.

Thursday, January 13, 2011


G-MEN VS THE BLACK DRAGON (15 chapter Republic serial/1943). Director: William Witney.

Agents Rex Bennett (Rod Cameron), Vivian Marsh (Constance Worth) and Chang Sing (Roland Got) are in a deadly battle with a Japanese society of saboteurs, the Black Dragon, and its leader, Haruchi (Nino Pipitone), a dapper little devil. One of the Black Dragon's nefarious schemes involves a paint that can explode ships. This is a terrific serial with furious fisticuffs in every chapter and a lot of exciting cliffhangers: Vivian is tied to a buzzsaw; Rex falls out of a skyscraper; Vivian is tied to a chair in a spear-trap; and there's a thrilling aerial battle in chapter eleven. Cameron and Got are fine but Worth and Pipitone are even better (Worth is especially good when she pretends to be a villainess). Cameron also played the same character in Secret Service in Darkest Africa. Very well-staged fight sequences and superior FX by Howard Lydecker.

Verdict: Snappy serial. ***.

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