The Crimson Ghost---attired in black hood and cloak, skull mask and surgical gloves---skulks to an abandoned mansion and informs his henchmen, Louis Ashe (Clayton Moore) and Bain (Rex Lease),of his plans to seize the Cyclotrode, a device invented by Dr. Chambers (Kenne Duncan), that is designed to detect-and-repeal atomic bomb attacks. The Crimson Ghost intends to use the Cyclotrode as an offensive weapon for sabotage and extortion via its ability to stop any electrically-controlled mechanism. Written by
Les Adams <email@example.com>
Chapter 1 - The Trap That Failed Chapter 11 - Double Murder Chapter 12 - The Invisible Trail See more »
An important plot point is Duncan's trailing the crooks to their underground hideout using a concealed TV camera in a getaway car. But Duncan has already been to the hideout in a previous chapter when the kidnapped inventor is accidentally killed while saving Duncan from a death ray. This renders the rigged escape and trailing bit meaningless. See more »
Unexpectedly Influential, Occasionally Pokey, But Often Entertaining
Created in 1946, THE CRIMSON GHOST was among the last of the major serials created by Republic Studios. Like most serials, it has a formula plot that tends to be uneven from episode to episode, but in many respects GHOST proves not only entertaining but quite influential as well.
The plot concerns a scientist that has developed a machine capable of neutralizing electricity. The "cyclotrode" is quickly targeted by a master criminal known as "the Crimson Ghost," an entity that hides behind a skull mask and flowing robes--and needless to say fights, thefts, torture, kidnapping, and murder is soon the order of the day.
While the story line occasionally falters (one episode consists of the characters recalling incidents from previous chapters), THE CRIMSON GHOST sets a fairly smart pace and the art designs are enjoyable, particularly re the cyclotrode, remote control collars, and various other gizmos. The single most appealing thing about the show, however, is actress Linda Stirling. In an era in which most serial heroines still screamed and fainted, Stirling got into fights, jumped out of cars, and quite often took on the bad guys on equal terms. Her roles seldom allowed her to fully challenge the male leads, but you never doubt that she could have done so--and it is quite refreshing to see.
All of this said, THE CRIMSON GHOST is presently available only on VHS, and it comes in two versions: a two-tape VHS, which preserves the chapter-format of the original serial, and a single tape VHS that condenses the show by knocking out chapter headings and redundant scenes. The single tape format is also colorized, and a dreadful job it is indeed. For myself, I enjoy the chapter headings and the cliff-hangers, and where THE CRIMSON GHOST is concerned, the two-tape VHS is the one I recommend.
Gary F. Taylor, aka GFT, Amazon Reviewer
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