Sunday, October 3, 2010

Serial: Spy Smasher (1942)

This is probably considered a close second to The Adventures Of Captain Marvel as the best of all serials. This too is a comic book adaptation, but of a comic almost no one has seen in 60 years. It was a war related comic that died a painful death when the "enemy" went away and Spy Smasher was forced to fight regular criminals.

The plot has Spy Smasher (a reporter who faked his own death so he could fight the enemy on their own terms) returning to America to stop The Mask from flooding the country with counterfeit money, as well as doing other terrible things.

It's a rip roaring adventure that moves like the wind. Republic spent a nice chunk of change on the film and it shows with production values that seem a little more substantial than normal.

If there is a flaw it's that the film is so action packed that, watching it in one or two sittings, you become aware of how little plot there is. Yes, it moves like the wind, yes it's the perfect serial to be seen one chapter each week; but as a DVD to watch it one sitting it's almost too much motion. Granted, this was never intended to be seen in one sitting, so it's understandable that there are "problems" (and minor ones at that).

Action film and comic nuts really should see this. It's a blast and a half, especially if you like to watch the old wartime films from the 1940's.

Currently out on DVD

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