Hank Davis, foreman on a huge dam project, enlists the aid of his two flyer friends when a sinister figure known as The Black Ace leads his Mystery Squadron of masked pilots in an attempt to destroy the dam.
Chapter 1, "The Black Ace" opens with dam-project foreman Hank Davis hiring two stunt flyers he once flew with, Fred Cromell and Bill "Jellybean" Cook, to protect the dam from the air raids by a group known as the Mystery Squadron, under the leadership of the mysterious Black Ace. Each attack is preceded by the arrival of a miniature airplane carrying a warning that the Mystery Squadron is about to attack. This makes the workers somewhat disturbed and distressed to the point that they mistake Fred and Bill for members of the criminal air armada. The workers form a vigilante lynch mob from which Fred and Bill must escape and continue their 12-chapter search to unmask The Black Ace. Those in a hurry can flash-forward to the ending of chapters 4-6-8 and 12, as they are all "cheater chapters" comprised primarily of various players recapping, via flashback footage, what has transpired in preceding chapters.Mascot and Republic led the serial world in the use of cheater chapters, but they ... Written by
Les Adams <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Good guys Bill and Davis are apparently clubbed unconscious by an unseen hand while exploring the Mystery Squadron's secret cave. Initially Davis lies to the right of Bill, but later he's seen laying on the left. See more »
This film falls toward the middle of Mascot's serial output. It isn't as exciting as some (The Hurricane Express), as entertainingly ludicrous as others (The Whispering Shadow), as lavish as a few (The Phantom Empire) managed to be. The actors' performances are all on par with their respective usual standards, and stick fairly close to typecasting. The Tavern Hotel, where much of the action is set, is an illogical conceit: a large building seemingly in the middle of nowhere, housing no more than five people all of whom are familiar with the secret passages which honeycomb the walls. Of course, in Mascot serials logic is pretty much beside the point, and that's okay.
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