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In San Juan, New Mexico, professor Forbes (George Zucco) has finally found
the treasure of Montezuma ... but not only that, also the Aztec god Montezuma,
essentially a feathered flying serpent that is so vain about its feathers that
it would kill to get them back ... something Forbes knows since Quetzalcoatl
has killed his wife a few years back, & he intends to use that against
everyone who might find out his little secret about Montezuma's treasure ... or
even help finding it out.
Forbes' first victim is his own friend,
ornithologist Lambert (James Metcalf), who has mentioned in one of his articles
that the treasure of Montezuma might be located somewhere in San Juan,
& furthermore he conspired with Forbes' daughter Mary (Hope Kramer) to send
Forbes on an investigation for a while ... so Forbes drops a feather in
LAbert's house, makes sure he finds it & releases Quetzalcoatl from its
cage ... the next day the police is baffled by the mysterious killing ...
not only the police, the case also attracts the attention of New York city
radio mystery writer & presenter Thorpe (Ralph Lewis), who wants to make
exactly this case his first real life crime drama - much to the dismay of
Forbes of course, but he pretends to help Thorpe, in order to somehow
hand him one of Quetzalcoatl, but his 2 attempts on Thorpe's life fail, the
first because the sheriff (Henry Hall) has taken possession of the feather
(& dies for it), the second because Thorpe has handed the feather over to
an ornithologist (Wheaton Chambers), who is subsequently killed live during one
of Thorpe's radioshows.
By now Thorpe has grown wise to Forbes though &
dwecided to set him a trap with the help of Bennet (Terry Frost) who pretends
top be a treasure hunter just for Forbes to hand him a feather ... of course it
works, & soon enough the serpent comes for him too, but he hides behind
steel bars & lets Quetzalcoatl have his feather without a fight - & as
a result Thorpe now knows where Forbes has found the treasure & keeps
During Thorpe's next radioshow, he & Forbes have their
final confrontation during which the door to Quetzalcoatl's cage is opened
rather accidently ... & Forbes still has one of Quetzalcoatl's feathers ...
& dies from it. Only then does Thorpe manage to shoot the creature down.
a rehash of PRC's earlier success Devil
Bat, The Flying Serpent is nevertheless a fun little shocker,
done on a low budget, naturally, but profiting from a direction that
keeps things afloat, doesn't lose itself in silly subplots & doesn't try to
make more of its silly story than it actually is ... & then there's of
course George Zucco's wonderfully mean performance ...