Saturday, September 17, 2011

Classic Serials: Undersea Kingdom, Chapter Eight

This chapter has my favorite cliffhanger of the serial.  Jim Harmon and Donald F. Glut liked it, too... enough that they took more than a page in their The Great Movie Serials: Their Sound and Fury to describe it (although they mistakenly assigned it to Chapter Six).  The actual conclusion, you will not be surprised to hear, is a cheat, and will not have happened next week.  But the exchange between Crash and Hakur is great:

Hakur: All right, Corrigan, this is your last chance!  Tell your friends to hand over that priming powder, or I'm going to ram through those gates!
Crash: (Steely resolve) Go ahead and ram!

I think the best part is Hakur's reaction.  He's taken aback, as though startled to have his bluff called, as though even he wasn't relishing the notion of having to splatter Corrigan all over the city gates.  But that's just how tough our boy Crash is.

I look forward to using it if I'm ever in a similar situation.  Then, of course, as soon as the vehicle starts, I'll screech like an infant and wet myself.  But at least for a moment, I'll have been as cool as Crash Corrigan.

(I didn't say I look forward to being in the situation, any more than I would actually welcome having the opportunity of singing a bar of "Alice's Restaurant" and walking out of my local draft board.  But it's something to keep in mind, just in case.) 

Incidentally, what do you think it would take to start an internet meme of "cool as Crash Corrigan"?


1:25 Wow.  In addition to being a really, really bad music edit, it's also pretty surprising, what with getting to hear a different piece of music under these cards for a change.

4:04 It occurs to me that Khan has the lousy luck never to be watching his magic closed-circuit television when something really useful is happening, like Crash uncovering the control box.

4:39 I really have to wonder what kind of vehicle the Volplane is.  Is it a dirigible of some sort?  Are those warp nacelles?  Seriously, though, this serial has to be one of the great pieces of art deco science fiction, along with Things to Come.  I especially like the random bits of art deco detailing on the chariots, the Juggernaut, the Volkites... anything that'll hold it, really.

6:56 You know, say what you will about Crash's outfit, but considering how hot Sharad's underarms showed it to be on location, Crash had to be one of the most comfortable people out there.  Well, when he had the helmet off, anyway.  Certainly beat being dressed in black.

8:00 This is where Mike and the 'Bots would be saying, "Nuh-uh.  I call 'no way.'"

8:57 I am just obsessed with that Reflectoplate this week.  Does Khan spend his spare time eavesdropping on the Rockettes' dressing room?

11:22 So why keep the helmet?  It's not as though it makes him less conspicuous.

13:56 "I got an idea!  You see this pitchfork handle?  I tell you what you do."  Whoa, call the cops!  Undersea Kingdom's goin' late-night on us!  It...  Oh, that's not where they were headed with this, is it?  Never mind.

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