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

Thursday, August 7, 2014


SEA RAIDERS (12 chapter Universal serial/1941). Directors: Ford Beebe; John Rawlins.

The Dead End Kids and the Little Tough Guys join forces in this serial to take on a group called the Sea Raiders, who destroy Allied ships. Billy Adams (Billy Halop) and his buddies, including Toby (Huntz Hall) and Bilge (Gabriel Dell), are shanghaied by crooks, encounter the Raiders, and are eventually taken to their island headquarters. Billy has an older brother, square-jawed Tom (John McGuire), who's invented a new kind of torpedo, the plans for which are coveted by Tonjes (Reed Hadley), the leader of the Raiders. There are two women running around, the pretty Leah (Marcia Ralston, who resembles Merle Oberon), and the homely Aggie (Mary Field). One decent cliffhanger has one of the boys caught on a rope that is attached to a whale that's about to dive deep into the ocean, although another sequence features an octopus that doesn't appear to be in the same movie. [The same stock footage of a fight between a shark and an octopus later turned up in The Beast from 20,000 Fathoms.] The serial is hampered by the unfunny and irritating antics of the "kids," and the classical music on the soundtrack, such as The Barber of Seville, is always inappropriate. John McGuire had the lead in Stranger on the Third Floor.

Verdict: One of your lesser cliffhanger serials. **.

No comments: