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

Thursday, January 12, 2017


Boroff (Bela Lugosi) ponders who to torture next. 
S.O.S. COAST GUARD (12 chapter Republic serial/1937. Directors; William Witney; Alan James.

"You let him get avay. You have blundered." -- Boroff to Thorg.

Lt. Terry Kent (Ralph Byrd) watches in horror as the hated criminal Boroff (Bela Lugosi) shoots down his brother. Kent vows to get even, even as Boroff tries to sell his disintegrating gas to the highest bidder. Kent's friends include reporter Jean Norman (Maxine Doyle); the photographer, Snapper (Lee Ford); and Jean's scientist brother, Dick (Allen Connor), who rushes to create a counter-gas to the vaporizing formula. Boroff's associates including the bulky Thorg (Richard Alexander of Flash Gordon) and henchman Dodds (Carleton Young of Flight to Hong Kong). Chapter one features an exciting sequence when Kent and the gang are trapped on a ship at sea as it sinks. In chapter two Kent is trapped in a glass chamber as Boroff unleashes his disintegrating gas. There are descending freight elevators, falling water towers, and a fiery truck that hurtles over a cliff. Byrd makes a reliable hero, as usual, while Lugosi, treading water, manages his customary authority but has little energy. 5 years later the serial was released as a 61 minute feature version. NOTE; Okay, this is another film I have reviewed after then discovering that I had already reviewed it on this site -- at least I did remember that I had seen the darn thing before!. For the original review, click here. (Last time I caught some things I missed this time around, for shame!)

Verdict: Average serial. **1/2.

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