HAWK OF THE WILDERNESS (1938)
Article #695 by Dave Sindelar
Viewing Date: 2-8-2003
Posting Date: 7-8-2003
Directed by William Witney and John English
Featuring Herman Brix, Mala, Monte Blue
Explorers land on a strange island in the Arctic circle kept warm by an active volcano. There they encounter a tribe of Indians and the son of a previous explorer, who undertakes to save them from the machinations of unscrupulous bandits out for treasure.
I can’t tell you what a relief it was to encounter this serial after suffering the tiresome repetitiveness of CAPTAIN MIDNIGHT or THE BATMAN; unlike either of these Columbia serials, this one from Republic throws a fairly elaborate story and a certain degree of production value into the work. There are problems; the villains are a colorless lot, the black comic relief isn’t funny, and at least one good character suddenly turns bad for no other reason than so you won’t feel bad when he’s killed ten minutes later, but on the good side, there’s a good variety of action here, and even has a slight sense of humor on occasion. The science fiction content is probably nothing more than the existence of the island itself, and the horror content is very slight, probably consisting of nothing more than a certain subplot about an evil masked guardian of a cave, so this is fairly marginal. However, I did quite enjoy this one.