Army flyer Lt. James Robbins plans to fly his famous endurance plane - "The Spirit of '76" - from Los Angeles to Hawaii, and though his dog Flash always accompanies him on his flights, the need for each gallon of gas is so much that he has to - he thinks - leave Flash behind. Flying through a night-long storm, Jim realizes he is off course, just as a fire starts in the fuselage of the plane. Flash comes out of his hiding place and warns his master. Jim puts his parachute on Flash who - trust me - is a trained jumper and Jim crash-lands the plane in the ocean where he is rescued by Flash. They make their way to a strange island, known as Tabu, which is divided between Sally James and her missionary father on one side with Von Krantz, a bestial trader who operates the only store and trading post (which in no way resembles the above-reported motel), and his woman Molly who, as they were wont to say in those days, had known better times. Von Krantz plays his trade by cheating the natives ... Written by
Les Adams <firstname.lastname@example.org>
For those who care, those films frames shown incorrectly as a "poster" show (l-r)Mischa Auer, Noah Beery and Carmelita Geraghty. See more »
At the end of the film, a rescue aircraft arrives. The stock footage used first shows a floatplane with twin floats landing. It next shows a floatplane with a large central float and two small outrigger floats taxiing on the water. The final shot shows a twin-float aircraft flying off. See more »
Lt. Robbins (John Horsley) and his dog (Flash) crash land on a mysterious island that has a strange set of characters on it. Robbins begins seeing the beautiful Molly James (Marceline Day) but this doesn't sit well with one of the locals who uses voodoo to put a trance on some people.
THE FLAMING SIGNAL has pretty much been forgotten over the years but at the time of its release it was a showcase for the dog Flash. As you'd expect in a dog feature, Mr. Flash gets quite a bit of action scenes but the highlight happens right towards the start of the picture when he has to jump out of a plane with a parachute. Of course, this was all a stunt with rear projection but I do wish that they should have educated us on how he pulled the plug. With that said, the film itself really isn't any good but there are a couple interesting things throughout the 60 minute running time.
For starters, this has several pre-code elements including a rape sequence. Obviously it's not overly graphic or even shown but the hint is obvious as we see the bare legs of a woman kicking and screaming as she gets carried off. The introduction of Day has her swimming topless and we watch her walk out of the water in just her panties. Again, no actual nudity but this was still 1933. Finally, the most interesting thing is the voodoo that is used to put people into the trance. This film isn't known as a zombie movie but I guess it should be since the same type of trance was used in films from the era like WHITE ZOMBIE and KING OF THE ZOMBIES.
Horsley is pretty boring in the lead role and Flash actually gives the best of the two performances. I thought Day was extremely charming in her role, which was another reason to check this film out. THE FLAMING SIGNAL is far from a good movie but it contains enough interesting things to make it worth sitting through.
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