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Mildly entertaining mix of melodrama, horror and thriller as Dr. Boris Karlov (Warner Oland) seeks vengeance against the noble family he blames for the death of his daughter. The "drums", of the title, refers to a mysterious necklace that the doctor steals and whoever gets a piece of it is officially warned that they're going to die next.
As far as "B" mystery-horror-thrillers go, THE DRUMS OF JEOPARDY isn't too bad but at the same time it's not all that good either. If you've seen enough of these types of films from the 1930's then you know that it seems they were being released weekly so you never quite know what you're going to get. Some of them feature nice budgets that allow their director's to do something with their weak screenplays whereas others have no effort behind them. This film is really split into two because it appears the first half was working on a decent budget and it almost feels as it was slashed because the second half of the picture takes away most of the action and instead features mostly dialogue scenes.
The first half of the film is without question the best because it gives us a great set-up and a pretty effective scene as the grieving father confronts his dying daughter and this is followed up with a scene where he witnesses her death and takes it out on the family. From here we're given a couple effective murders scenes including one where we just see the shadows of the killer's hand going towards the victim. With that said, the second half really gets dragged down due to some boring locations as well as some dialogue scenes that just really drag on without much excitement.
Oland, coming off playing Dr. FuManchu and a getting ready to take on a long Charlie Chan series, is in fine form, although, to be fair, this is the type of role that he could have played in his sleep. He's at least got enough energy to help carry the picture and a certain screen presence to help take the lower tier screenplay and bring it up a notch. The supporting cast isn't nearly in the same league and no one really stands out among them. THE DRUMS OF JEOPARDY isn't going to win any major awards and there are certainly much better thrillers out there but if you're a fan of the genre or Oland it's still worth watching.
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