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The Fighting Marines

USA 1935
produced by
Nat Levine, Barney Sarecky (supervisor) for Mascot
directed by B. Reeves Eason, Joseph Kane
starring Grant Withers, Adrian Morris, Ann Rutherford, Robert Warwick, George J. Lewis, Pat O'Malley, Victor Potel, Jason Robards sr, Warner Richmond, Robert Frazer, J.Frank Glendon, Donald Reed, Max Wagner, Richard Alexanbder, Tom London, Jim Corey, Eddie Parker, George DeNormand, Carleton Young, Billy Arnold
screenplay by Sherman L.Lowe, Barney Sarecky, based on a story by Maurice Geraghty, Wallace MacDonald, Ray Trampe, music by Lee Zahler, special effects by Howard Lydecker, Theodore Lydecker, Ellis Thackery, Billy Gilbert


review by
Mike Haberfelner

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Sgt Schiller (George J.Lewis) has developed the Gyro-compass, which would enable planes to fly blind & stay on course ... which is of course essential for trans-Atlantic flights. But when he tests the compass, his plane suddenly disappears near Halfway Island, a tropical island amid the Atlantic, where colonel Bennett (Robert Warwick) plans to build a landing strip - back then also essential for trans-Atlantic flights. Curiously enough though, Schiller's sister Frances (Ann Rutherford) finds the gyro compass in Douglas' (Robert Frazer) office, & he is a businessmen who might lose money should a landing strip be built on Halfway Island. 

And what nobody knows, a criminal named the Tiger Shark, has put up a mining & smuggling operation on Halfway Island, & he has a deathray to shoot down planes. Thing is, nobody knows where or who the Tiger Shark is, not even his men, because he always appears masked.

Soon, marines Lawrence (Grant Withers) & Mack (Adrian Morris) embark on a mission to Halfway Island, but their plane is shot down by the mysterious death ray & they scarcely survive the attack. Somehow though, they can not only find out quite a bit about the Tiger Shark's operations on Halfway Island, but also make an escape back home ... but withthe Tiger Shark's men hot on their trail., & they try to get them at pretty much every corner.

Still, Lawrence & Mack can eventually take a battallion of marines to Halfway Island, & even if the Tiger Shark's men try to attack them with all they have got, in the end, the Marines can defeat & either kill or capture all of his men. Only the Tiger Shark, who has paid the island a surprise visit, can again escape.

Back in the USA, Lawrence, Mack & Colonel Bennett soon come to the conclusion that the Tiger Shark must be shady businessman Buchanan (Frank Glendon), which he not only denies, he also sheds serious suspicion onto above mentioned Douglas ... But before anything substantial can be found out, the Tiger Shark's men, thinking Buchanan to be the Tiger Shark, break him free from teh Marine's headquarters - only to during their getaway, chased of course by Mack & Lawrence, find out that Buchanan is not the Tiger Shark after all  - & so they toss him out of their speeding car.

Back at the base, Buchanan tells the Mrines he knows now who the Tiger Shark really is ... but is shot before he can reveal the actual name, shot by the Tiger Shark himself, who then takes off to Halfway Island. Mack & Lawrence go after him, & even had enough foresight to bring parachutes in case they are shot down by the Tiger Shark's death ray - which they are of course.

On the ground, the Tiger Shark plans to use the natives against the 2 Marines, & he himself tries to make a getawy with all his fortunes & the last of his henchmen (who was disguised as a native), however, soon the Marines corner him in his cave, & only withthe greatest of efforts can he & his henchman overcome them, but only after they have torn off his mask & found him to be Kota (Jason Robards sr), colonel Bennett's own servant. With the marines knocked out though, Kota the Tiger Shark & his man get into a fight over the loot ... which ends with Kota shooting his adversary dead, but not before he can make sure the nitro glycerin right behind Kota blows up ... boom. Now that was the last of the Tiger Shark. & our heroes, Mack & Lawrence, of course get medals.


Of course, on one hand this film is an unreflected glorification of the American Marine Corps, which any liberal thinker cannot condone. On the other hand though, Fighting Marines though is a slick & fast-moving action serial, that simply cuts from one fistfight or chase to the next, with Grant Withers & Adrain Morris as likeable protagonists, some fancy tropical settings, some action in the air, some science fiction devices (most notably the death ray), & a genuine love for the story's pulp origins. & one cannot say much nicer things about a serial, by the way Mascot's last ever.


review © by Mike Haberfelner


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Robots and rats,
demons and potholes,
cuddly toys and
shopping mall Santas,
love and death and everything in between,
Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

is all of that.


Tales to Chill
Your Bones to
a collection of short stories and mini-plays
ranging from the horrific to the darkly humourous,
from the post-apocalyptic
to the weirdly romantic,
tales that will give you a chill and maybe a chuckle, all thought up by
the twisted mind of
screenwriter and film reviewer
Michael Haberfelner.


Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

the new anthology by
Michael Haberfelner


Out now from




On the same day
a Burglar wants to kill you
and your Ex wants
to make up ...
... and for the life of it,
you can't decide


A Killer Conversation

produced by and starring
Melanie Denholme
directed by
David V.G. Davies
written by
Michael Haberfelner
Ryan Hunter and
Rudy Barrow

out now on DVD