blogging by Andrew Wickliffe

The Phantom Creeps (1939, Ford Beebe and Saul A. Goodkind), Chapter 7: The Menacing Mist

The Menacing Mist is endless. It starts with Bela Lugosi trying to kill Robert Kent with his remote control robot, but then he has to deal with some insurrection from lackey Jack C. Smith. Kent’s just doing action, so at least he’s not doing bad acting. Smith, on the other hand, is doing some bad acting. Some real bad acting. Even when the effects should provide some cover, he’s real, real bad.

Of course, Lugosi’s character is real, real dumb; he deserves the insurrection.

The slight improvement of the last chapter is all gone here. The opening scrawl recap reveals last chapter’s plot twist isn’t really a plot twist, then the cliffhanger resolve turns out–as always–there’s no actual danger for anyone in Creeps.

Kent and Arnold deliver lines like they’re in a failed screen test.


Directed by Ford Beebe and Saul A. Goodkind; screenplay by George H. Plympton, Basil Dickey, and Mildred Barish, based on a story by Wyllis Cooper; directors of photography, Jerome Ash and William A. Sickner; edited by Irving Birnbaum, Joseph Gluck, and Alvin Todd; music by Charles Previn; released by Universal Pictures.

Starring Bela Lugosi (Dr. Alex Zorka), Robert Kent (Capt. Bob West), Dorothy Arnold (Jean Drew), Jack C. Smith (Monk), Regis Toomey (Jim Daly), Edwin Stanley (Dr. Fred Mallory), Anthony Averill (Rankin), Dora Clement (Ann Zorka), Hugh Huntley (Perkins), and Edward Van Sloan (Jarvis).


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