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Mandrake the Magician Serial Cliffhanger

12 Chapter Mystery Adventure (and magic) serial cliffhanger

Mandrake the Magician Screen Shot

Mandrake in this serial works with conjuring tricks and sleight of hand instead of all the all-powerful hypnotism in the comics. Lothar is portrayed as an Asian with hair instead of a giant bald African. Unlike the comics where Lothar handles the fighting, Mandrake goes from fight to fight, which is just as well as Lothar is a weak imitation of the comic character. The fights are not too convincing and the music is a little too loud in the action scenes, of which there are plenty. The villain is The Wasp, a man in a cloak, mask and hat who gives orders to his gang from a movie screen.

Thieves learn that Professor Houston has been perfecting a machine which will create radium energy and plot to steal it. Daughter Betty telegraphs Mandrake for help. He is just returning from Shanghai and Tibet on the S.S.Mohawk. A lama in Tibet has told him a formula for mixing the already tough Platinite with steel to make it even tougher. However, Platinite is very rare and only found in one place, in America.

The Wasp uses the sign of a wasp on a wall as well as a buzzing sound to announce his presence to the professor, which Mandrake later reveals was simply a torch shining through an image of a wasp to project a picture. Mandrake survives two death attempts and a car chase before meeting the professor, with friends Bennett and Webster who turn up just after him. The prof reveals that his ray is far more powerful than radium and gives a demonstration of the inevitable death-ray, which at the end of the first episode is inevitably used on Mandrake.

Mandrake has convinced The Wasp's men that he has some platinite which The Wasp needs for his ray machine as it can only run a short while with a steel casing before destroying itself. The villains keep after Mandrake and fights follows kidnappings, follows car chases (all sped up for excitement) follows death traps, follows fights. There is little real storyline and action is used to drag the serial along at a hectic pace. There is also some magic thrown in, notably a very good sleight of hand show in the first episode. You do not see the performer's face but this was not done by Hull since the white cuffs of the magician can be seen throughout whereas with Hull's costume, the cuffs were hidden.

text from wikipedia

Mandrake the Magician Chapter 1: Shadow on the Wall
Mandrake the Magician Chapter 2: Trap of the Wasp
Mandrake the Magician Chapter 3: City of Terror
Mandrake the Magician Chapter 4: The Secret Passage
Mandrake the Magician Chapter 5: The Devil's Playmate
Mandrake the Magician Chapter 6: The Fatal Crash
Mandrake the Magician Chapter 7: Gamble for Life
Mandrake the Magician Chapter 8: Across the Deadline
Mandrake the Magician Chapter 9: Terror Rides the Rails
Mandrake the Magician Chapter 10: The Unseen Monster
Mandrake the Magician Chapter 11: At the Stroke of Eight
Mandrake the Magician Chapter 12: The Reward of Treachery
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These Serial Cliffhangers are terrific entertainment, however, the video quality is not nearly as high as the suspense in each chapter. What we're saying is, if you're used to high definition video, this is a massive step down. We recommend that before you buy, watch an episode through one of our free options.

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Mandrake the Magician DVD Cover
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RELEASED 7 DECEMBER 1939, IT ENTERED PUBLIC DOMAIN 8 DECEMBER 1967

tags: comicweb, serial, cliffhanger, theater, mandrake, the, magician, warren, hull, lothar, wasp, cheesey, 1940s, comic, books, superhero, super, hero, black, white, 1940s, old, movies, chapters, adventure, suspense