A mysterious master criminal known as The Voice plots with his gang to sabotage the Milesburg Oil Company, but the rightful heir has a secret army of her own to protect her rights. Written by
Jim Beaver <email@example.com>
Serials have been a favourite of mine for a long time and discovering this one was a treat indeed. Nat Levine made some of the best early talkie serials. With writers like Wyndham Gittens and Ford Beebe (later to become a director) and directors like B. Reeves "Breezy" Eason I can see how Mascot Serials were very popular. This one offers western stalwart Harry Carey as "Happy" Cardigan who is contracted to bring in an oil well. Happy stands to go broke if he does not deliver the black gold on time. Meanwhile a gang of sixgun toting badguys called The Vanishing Legion are out to stop him from bringing in the well at all costs. They are led by a criminal mastermind known only as The Voice. He is never seen but his word is law. There are lots of fights, car chases, wrecks, fires and wild horse stampedes. Can Happy and young Jimmy (Frankie Darro) bring in the oil before it's too late? What about the mysterious woman (Edwina Booth) who seems to be on both sides of the conflict at once? What about young Jimmy's dad who says he was framed for murder and is being hunted by good guys and crooks alike? And who is the mysterious Voice?
I can answer that last question, but I won't tell you who the killer is! The voice of The Voice is provided by none other than a pre-stardom Boris Karloff! Boris had made 2 serials for Mascot, KING OF THE KONGO (1929) and KING OF THE WILD (1930). He keeps his sinister commands at a whisper most of the time but in a few chapters his tones and that trademark lisp become quite reconisable to his fans. Boris' contribution to the film is important to the plot but he receives no billing and this film is left off all his filmographies. Finding it is a rare treat.
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