Saturday, January 24, 2009


Wow, am I on a bad movie kick! This one is so bad, I'm tempted not to bother anyone with news of its existence, but I sat through the whole thing so I'm gonna forge ahead. Besides, that cool title is what suckered me into watching this, so maybe my review will save others who might be equally tempted. This begins with a good scene that was duplicated in a later (and much better) Ronald Reagan B-movie, SECRET SERVICE OF THE AIR, in which a pilot, smuggling a Chinese family of illegal aliens, dumps them out in mid-air to their deaths when he's attacked by another plane. The pilot, pissed when his boss won't pay him for the aborted delivery, calls the Feds and offers to give them the goods on the smuggling ring, but is shot to death just before the agents raid the Chinese restaurant which is the front for the gang. The leader, Sidney Blackmer, gets away, but agent Regis Toomey, his older sidekick (J. Farrell McDonald), and a prominent judge's daughter (Esther Ralston) try to infiltrate the gang. Many static, tedious scenes later, a climax of sorts occurs when Blackmer forces Ralston into smuggling another Chinese family, with Toomey on her tail, not realizing she's in the pilot's seat. The 70-minute movie is filled with inept photography, bad sets, and flubbed lines left in, and the lack of any background music at all only accentuates the sheer boredom of the proceedings. Even the promise of a moderately exciting air chase at the end goes nowhere. The actors, all pros who have done good B-film work elsewhere, are left at sea by bad direction and zero production values. Blackmer gets one nicely slimy, almost campy line, when he says, "Orientals have a peculiar irresistible fascination for me," but despite the promise of the melodramatic title, this one will hold no one's interest. [DVD]

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