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The Flying Serpent

USA 1946
produced by
Signmund Neufeld for PRC
directed by Sam Newfield (as Sherman Scott)
starring George Zucco, Ralph Lewis, Hope Kramer, Eddie Acuff, Wheaton Chambers, Henry Hall, Milton Kibbee, James Metcalf, Budd Buster, Terry Frost, Richard Crane
written by John T. Neville

Quetzalcoatl

review by
Mike Haberfelner

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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 Quetzalcoatl ...

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.

 

Practically 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 ...

 

review © by Mike Haberfelner

 

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Tales to Chill
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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
WHICH IS WORSE!!!

 

A Killer Conversation

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

out now on DVD