A criminal mastermind known as the Crimson Ghost is out to steal a device called the Cyclotrode, which can short-circuit every electrical current on the planet.A criminal mastermind known as the Crimson Ghost is out to steal a device called the Cyclotrode, which can short-circuit every electrical current on the planet.A criminal mastermind known as the Crimson Ghost is out to steal a device called the Cyclotrode, which can short-circuit every electrical current on the planet.
Who Knew How Important Heavy Water Was?
I have fallen in love with serials as of late. You begin with the lengthier first chapter and soon cannot wait - no matter how poor the budget and performers are - to find out who the masked villain is in the last chapter. Well, The Crimson Ghost is no exception except that as far as Republic serials go this one has a slightly better budget then many and slightly better performers as well. Much of this praise can be directly attributed to directors Fred C. Brannon( a regular fixture in films and serials of this ilk), and even more so to William Whitney who worked on like material including the wonderful The Adventures of Captain Marvel. The pacing is crisp, the action plentiful, and the actors right on character. The story concerns a professor of physics creating a Cyclotrode that stops electrical engines in their tracks. A villain known as The Crimson Ghost, who is also a professor at the university(we get this info very early as it is our task to find out which one of the four men is the villain), will stop at nothing to get this so he can build an even larger model and live out his evil plans of world domination/great wealth. The Crimson Ghost created necklaces that he places over people to control them to do his bidding and if one tries to remove it - the victim dies. This serial has loads of action from innumerable fights(okay, maybe too many), electrical fires, gun fights, explosions, and even a tense operation scene. The set pieces are pretty decent as are the special effects. The story meanders here and there and the whole four or five chapters devoted to getting heavy water did get a bit tiresome at moments, but overall the suspense is maintained at a high level. The acting is all workmanlike with leads Charles Quigley as the hero Duncan Richards and Linda Stirling as his devoted pretty Friday doing well enough. The Lone Ranger himself, Clayton Moore, gets to parade around as a key henchman sans mask. He is quite good. How about the ghost himself? Well, I don't think you will be overall surprised who the ghost is despite the clumsy final chapter's resolution, but I will say that his outfit and that skull mask are awesome. I think that mask is easily one of the best of its kind I have ever seen in anything and one can see the influence it had on subsequent productions. If you have not had an opportunity to sit down to a serial, The Crimson Ghost is a good first foray.
- Jul 12, 2009
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