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Ace Drummond

USA 1936
produced by
Ben Koenig (associate), Barney Sarecky (accociate) for Universal
directed by Ford L. Beebe, Clifford Smith
starring John King (= John 'Dusty' King), Jean Rogers, Noah Beery jr, Guy Bates Post, Lon Chaney jr, Jackie Morrow, Selmer Jackson, Robert Warwick, James B. Long, Chester Gan, Arthur Loft, James Eagles, C. Montague Shaw, Ferderick Vogeding, Al Bridge, Hooper Atchley, Edmund Cobb, Louis Vincenot, Stanley Blystone, Eddie Parker, House Peters jr
screenplay by Wyndham Gittens, Norman S.Hall, Ray Trampe, based on a character by Eddie Rickenbacker


review by
Mike Haberfelner

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International Airways, headed by William Meredith (Selmer Jackson) needs an airfield in Mongolia for its operations - but unfortunately a villain only known as the Dragon seems to be dead against it, and thus has brought down all of International Airways planes crossing Mongolia by a clever device that electrocutes the pilots via their headphones. However, the first official passenger airplane of International Airways arrives in Mongolia quite safely thanks to Ace Drummond (John 'Dusty' King), G-Man of the Air, who has looked through the Dragon's device and who saves the plane single-handedly.

Now though start Ace's investigations, where he is helped by his favourite mechanic Jerry (Noah Beery jr), Meredith's grandson Billy (Jackie Morrow) and Peggy Trainor (Jean Rogers), a young woman looking for her lost archeologist father Dr Trainor (C.Montague Shaw), who might be involved in the whole thing one way or another.

What Drummond finds out for sure though is that the Dragon is obviously looking for the Mountain of Jade, of which only Doc Trainor seems to know the location, and because of which the last thing the Dragon needs is International Airways meddling with his affairs ... and Drummond finds out that the Dragon communicates with his men via some weird kind of ventilators - though it beats me why.

Eventually, the suspects begin to line up, like Henry Kee (James B.Leong), the only Oriental on International Airways' board of directors, who always acts very suspicious and with whose gun aomeone was murdered, Bauer (Frederick Vogeding) and Wyckoff (Al Bridge), two crooked archeologists who have actually held Doc Trainor prisoner, International Airways' radio operator Johnny Wong (James Eagles), the Grand Lama (Guy Bates Post), a local holyman who is just too good to be true, Kai Chek (Chester Gan), a Mongolian who tries to get his fellow Mongolians to rebel against the airfield, or Winston (Robert Warwick), a member of the board who just acts suspiciously.

Neither of these are the Dragon though, Bauer is shot way too soon, Wyckoff only impersonates the Dragon to get his hands on the Mountain of Jade and is ultimately murdered by teh Dragon, Henry Kee and Johnny Wong turn out to be Interpol agents, the Grand Lama really is merely too good to be true, Kai Chek is a Mongolian nationalist but has no sinister motives, and Winston is simply a red herring whose suspicious actions are never explained.

Lots of chases by foot, by car and by airplane later the Dragon turns out to be previously unsuspicious Chang Ho (Arthur Loft), the Grand Lama's right-hand man, and ultimately he and his gang want to bomb the airfield and all that's on it to Kingdom Come, but by that time Jerry has found the Dragon's secret hideout and shoots down the his planes with the Dragon's own deathray, and in the end it's left to Ace Drummond to unmask the Dragon and involve him in a chase that eventually ends with the Dragon crashing his own plane ...


Like most serials, this one is overconvoluted and more than a bit silly, but at the same time it's chock-full of tension, stunts and great aerial action (any biplane fan will have to watch this fro the aerial action alone), and it moves at a fast enough pace to make one forget the serial's (obvious) shortcomings.



review © by Mike Haberfelner


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Robots and rats,
demons and potholes,
cuddly toys and
shopping mall Santas,
love and death and everything in between,
Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

is all of that.


Tales to Chill
Your Bones to
a collection of short stories and mini-plays
ranging from the horrific to the darkly humourous,
from the post-apocalyptic
to the weirdly romantic,
tales that will give you a chill and maybe a chuckle, all thought up by
the twisted mind of
screenwriter and film reviewer
Michael Haberfelner.


Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

the new anthology by
Michael Haberfelner


Out now from




On the same day
a Burglar wants to kill you
and your Ex wants
to make up ...
... and for the life of it,
you can't decide


A Killer Conversation

produced by and starring
Melanie Denholme
directed by
David V.G. Davies
written by
Michael Haberfelner
Ryan Hunter and
Rudy Barrow

out now on DVD