Thursday, September 8, 2011
THE FIGHTING DEVIL DOGS
When virtually all the men under his command are killed in a bizarre electronic assault, Lt. Tom Grayson (Lee Powell) becomes subject of a hearing. But it isn't long before he, his buddy Lt. Corby (Herman Brix/Bruce Bennett), and the entire United States Marine Corps learn that the true culprit is a masked fiend who calls himself the Lightning. He uses an "electrical Thunderbolt" to wipe out hundreds on ships so he can loot them, and carries a portable version of the device to obliterate his personal enemies. The cliffhangers in this otherwise exciting serial are fairly routine -- cars over cliffs, conflagrations, falling beams and even sharks -- and one or two are borrowed from earlier serials. There's a minimum of suspense over the true identity of the Lightning, which comes as somewhat of a surprise. Lee Powell did mostly westerns and died only six years after this serial was released at age thirty-six. He had an appealing sensitivity, although he could do the action stuff with reasonable aplomb as well.
Verdict: Entertaining if unspectacular cliffhanger. **1/2.