A 12-episode serial. The government of Marovania hires the wicked Boroff to manufacture a powerful gas that causes mass disintegration. Boroff is en route to Marovania with a boatload of arnatite to make the gas when his steamer runs aground off the California coast. Boroff soon commits a murder. The Coast Guard, led by Lt. Terry Kent, must hunt Boroff, figure out his plan and where the arnatite is, capture and dispose of any gas Boroff manages to make, and protect the safety of civilians, including Terry's special friend, ubiquitous reporter Jean Norman, and her chatty photographer, Snapper McGee. Aiding Boroff is his slave Thorg, a formidable giant. Kent must often use his fists. Written by
Bela Lugosi's illness prevented him from finishing the 1936 Republic feature "House of a Thousand Candles," so he completed his one-picture Republic contract with this 12 chapter serial, his only screen role during the full two year horror ban. See more »
When this serial was made, there was a moratorium on horror films, brought on by Joseph Breen of the Hays Office. Consequently, Boris Karloff did thrillers at Warner Bros. (but not really any horror films), and Lugosi did poverty row movies and serials. Of the latter, this one I think is his best, but his having the name "Boroff" plus his using a ship called the "Cairfax" (as in Cairfax Abbey, where Dracula stays in London) are obvious in-jokes, though I doubt they were of Lugosi's doing.
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