THE FIGHTING MARINES (1935)
Article #571 by Dave Sindelar
Viewing date: 10-7-2002
Posting date: 3-2-2003
Marines try to establish a base on Halfway Island, but find themselves dealing with a masked villain known as the Tiger Shark.
Do they fight? They sure do. And you’ll know they do from the very first episode of this serial, where they do battle for possession of an island set (though you think the government could have seen their way clear to giving them rifles instead of pistols). And in case you miss the rip-roaring first episode of this serial, hang on for episode four, where the whole sequence gets repeated (just wait until you hear one of the characters say something like “Remember that time you saved my life…” and keep your eyes pealed). In fact, not only does this serial reuse its own footage in episode four, both episodes seven and eleven largely consist of footage from earlier episodes; I guess Mascot was making damn sure this one didn’t go over budget. It also suffers from a bad case of “cliffhangerus cheatus”, an affliction by which the makers feel it necessary to change the footage from last week’s cliffhanger in order to find a way to let our heros survive. Nonetheless, it’s an entertaining enough serial anyway, and you can (sort of) tell the two heros apart. And it does keep the identity of the Tiger Shark a secret, though you won’t think so for the longest time.