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Hurricane Express

USA 1932
produced by
Nat Levine for Mascot Pictures
directed by J.P. McGowan, Armand Schaefer
starring John Wayne, Shirley Grey, Tully Marshall, Conway Tearle, Metthew Betz, Lloyd Whitlock, Edmund Breese, Joseph W.Girard, James P.Burtis, Charles King, Glenn Strange, J. Farrell MacDonald
written by Wyndham Gittens, Colbert Clark, Barney Sarecky, Harold Tarshis, George Morgan, J.P.McGowan, music by Lee Zahler


review by
Mike Haberfelner

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After his father (J.Farrell MacDonnald) dies in a trainwreck & pilot John Wayne accuses his boss, airline manager Lloyd Whitlock, he is of course fired from his job. But since he has sworn to avenge the death of his father, his whole time is consumed by the search for the man responsible anyways, & that man is known as the Wrecker ... but that's about all that is known about him, for the Wrecker carefully obscures his identity by wearing plastic masks resembling about any member of the cast, so who could it be ?

Airline manager Lloyd Whitlock, who would profit the most from the railroad company's problems ? 

Matthew Betz, the engineer fired for the wreck in which Wayne's father died, now seeking revenge on the railroad company ? 

Maybe leading lady Shirley Grey's father (Edmund Breese), an escaped convict who was arrested for a theft he didn't commit - & he thinks he was framed by the railroad company ?

Or someone else after all ?

Anyways, things start heating up, as the Wrecker wrecks the Hurricane Express (again) to get his hands on a gold shipment, but Wayne interferes. Amidst all the confusion, Edmund Breese gets his hands on the gold shipment which he hides to finally get some evidence about the theft he didn't commit. 

From now on everybody wants to get his hands on the gold, including Wayne, Whitlock, the railroad manager Tully Marshal, his attorney Conway Tearle, the Wrecker's gang & of course railroad detectives Joseph W.Girard & James P.Burtis. Many a chase by train, plane, car & motorbike ensue, with everybody setting traps for everybody, the Wrecker disguising himself as everybody (including Wayne, but ok, not Shirley Grey), & of course some traditional shoot-outs, until finally the Wrecker turns out to be ... Conway Tearle, who wanted to become manager of the railroad (& has shot Tully Marshal to that end).

In an attempt to wreck the Hurricane Express yet again, he & his gang are finally captured.


Definitely done on the cheap (after all, Mascot was not exactly a rich company), & some miniature models used do not really look terribly convincing, this is nevertheless a fast paced, action-oriented serial. Traditionally, the mystery is taking backseat, & some of the plotholes are just too big to fill, but after all, when originally shown, the audience would just see one episode a week, & this episode had to deliver the goods actionwise rather than having an elaborate narrative, & from this point of view, Hurricane Express is great entertainment, no less.


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