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Death in the Air
Pilot X / The Mysterious Bombardier / Murder in the Air / Death in the Sky

USA 1936
produced by
Fanchon Royer for Fanchon Royer Productions/Puritan
directed by Elmer Clifton
starring Lona Andre, John Carroll, Leon Ames, Henry Hall, Hans Joby (as John S. Peters), Gaston Glass, Pat Somerset, Wheeler Oakman, Reed howes, John elliott, Willard Kent, Forrest Taylor
story by Bernard McConville, screenplay by Charles R. Condon

review by
Mike Haberfelner

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The planes of Henry Goering's (Henry Hall) plane amufacturing company are shot out of the sky by a certain Pilot X, which worries Goering to such an extent that he hires scientist Doctor Norris (John Elliott) to investigate using then state of the art equipment, and he invites the five chief suspects (Hans Joby, Gaston Glass, Pat Somerset, Wheeler Oakman, Reed Howes) in the investigation, all flying aces with World War I backgrounds from various countries), to his place, pretending to use them to patrol the skies under the command of Goering's top pilot Blackwood (John Carroll), but actually just to study them ... and they all behave very odd and suspicious at one time or another. Goering's ward Helen (Lona Andre) meanwhile has fallen for Blackwood, much to the dismay of Goering's son Carl (Leon Ames), to whom she's practically engaged.

During their patrols, the pilots are shot out of the sky one after another by Pilot X, and only eventually does Doctor Norris come up with a culprit - when he is killed as well. This all leads to Blackwood challenging Pilot X to a duel in the sky, and ultimately shooting down the villain, who is now revealed to be Goering's own son Carl, who has defected to the Germans during World War I and has never accepted defeat since then.


Of course, at least in writing this film seems awfully over-constructed, and to combine aerial action and a murder mystery might seem a bit far-fetched as it is. But despite this critisism, the film fares pretty well, it's decently paced, the story actually makes sense (to a degree at least), and the many sequences featuring (now vintage) airplanes in action are simply great.

A pretty good little film, actually.


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