Saturday, April 4, 2009


SUPER POWER GAINED FROM WATCHING THIS MOVIE: The Ability to Know What Evil Lurks in the Hearts of Men and Finding Mostly Hardened Cheese and Ding Dongs.


A Square Shadow and the Possible Origin of the Ambiguously Gay Duo.


I got nothin’.

More details here.


Lamont Cranston (Richard Derr), also known as the legendary mystical vigilante The Shadow, is called to solve the murder of a New Orleans musician who was Cranston’s contact in the New Orleans underworld. Along with his fruity butler/spiritual guide Jogendra (Mark Daniels), Cranston heads down to the pre-pre-Katrina Big Easy to investigate. They discover that the bandleader’s death was directly linked with his involvement with political exile Ramirez (Dan Mullin) and his daughter Felicia’s (Jeanne Neher) attempts to return to their country of Santa Cruz which has been overrun by El Generalissimo, whose henchmen try to kill Cranston for most of the picture. Cranston’s alter ego The Shadow steps in to thwart El Generalissimo’s plot to eliminate Ramirez using his invisible powers and ability to cloud men’s minds. Jogendra also possesses the power to control minds and communicate telepathically and the pair hone their skills meditating pantless in short robes. Ahem.


The evolution of comic books and superhero fiction owes much to pulp novels and magazines of the early 20th century which were filled with hardboiled, action-packed adventure stories featuring the likes of Doc Savage, Solomon Kane, or The Phantom Detective. One of the most popular creations out of this genre unto itself is The Shadow, a character that has endured many changes and continual popularity from novels, serials, radio drama, movies, and yup - comic books. Invisible Avenger is a late 50s Shadow adaptation that is relatively unremarkable and feels more like a TV pilot for a Shadow show that never came about. The low budget atmosphere is inescapable and all the principals are rather wooden and uninteresting. The Shadow is known for his look, a cool gossamer figure in a black slouch hat, a dark cloak, and sometimes a pistol in each hand. That version of the Shadow is absent from this cheapo flick and replaced by a fuzzy outline and discount camera tricks (which is weird because one of the directors co-credited is Hollywood master cinematographer James Wong Howe). Invisible Avenger is largely dull, dawdling, and dreary, and recommended only to completist Shadow fans, but at least it kicked the hell out of that awful Alec Baldwin one.

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