THE LOST CITY Chapter 12 (Depression-era Stereotype-ridden Jungle Serial)

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Regal Pictures/Super Serial Productions, Inc. 1935 (12 Chapters)

Directed by Harry Revier
Electrical Effects: Kenneth Strickfaden
Featuring Kane Richmond as Bruce Gordon, William "Stage" Boyd as Zolok, Claudia Dell, Josef Swickard, George F. Hayes, Ralph Lewis, Billy Bletcher, Eddie Fetherstone, Milburn Morant, Margo D'Use, Jerry Frank, William Millman, Gino Carrado, Sam Baker and a "cast of more than 500 featured players"

If you like high production values, realistic characters, and believable acting, stay far away from The Lost City, the silliest serial ever made. But his bizarre and hilarious epic is a must-see for fans who love PLAN 9 FROM OUTER SPACE and anything else that's so-bad-it's-great. There's something here to offend practically everybody, particularly some harsh African stereotypes, but it's all presented with a sort of surrealistic energy that seems to propel it forward, so, if you're really going to watch this, well, just be prepared.

THE STORY: Pith-helmeted Kane Richmond as electrical engineer Bruce Gordon and entourage travel to Africa in search of the source of a mysterious magnetic disturbance wreaking havoc on the world. At the 28th meridian, he encounters Zolok, a slick-haired mad scientist in satin pajamas who lives in a gigantic laboratory with a captive scientist and his daughter, a hunchback named Gorzo and a guy who wears a bathing suit with suspenders and a lightning bolt on his chest (no kidding!) and enjoys "enlarging" (really) the local natives into giant oiled-down zombie slaves with colossal afros. It is never very clear what Zolok is really up to, and the 7-foot zombies say "ooh-ooh" and "ugh-ugh" a lot, but Zolok's raving as he wanders defeated through his empty lab is not to be missed if you are a fan of this kind of dismal blot on the face of cinema history (apparently William Boyd, who plays the character, appeared on set thoroughly toasted, and it's clear that scene was one of those days). Dialogue highlights include: "The enlarging machine is ready," "This is a new freezing gun I secretly invented!", "He promised to make a man of me. Big! Strong!", and "Yes, master!" "He has television so widely developed he can see anything within the range of a thousand miles." "The laugh of a madman," and, the classic, after a lady's scream is heard from a jungle hut, "That sounds like a white woman's voice!"

Apparently Sam Baker who plays Hugo, the black giant, in the serial said that he actually was glad to have the work when remembering making the serial. Everyone in it knew it was bottom-of-the-barrel stuff but back then sometimes even fairly hideous stereotyping as appears here was the norm and overlooked, like the proverbial elephant in the room.

So think what you want of this, but here it is in all its questionable glory.
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