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Category:    Home > Reviews > Serial > Adventure > King Of The Royal Mounted (Serial)

King of the Royal Mounted (VCI Serial)


Picture: C     Sound: C     Extras: C     Chapters: B-



For Republic Pictures, they were on such a roll that they got to a point they would try just about anything that they could make a serial out of.  King of the Royal Mounted (1940) put the studio into a strange corner.  For one, the heroes are NOT from the United States or Britain, so the first few chapters go out of their way to keep reminding us that they are from Canada.  After they get over that, the chapters still do not know quite where they are in storytelling, in so far as this did not neatly fit being either a Western or flat-out Action/Adventure.  That makes it one of the more unusual offerings from the chapter-play era.


Allan Lane is Sgt. King, the ace among the persistent crimefighters that are the Canadian Royal Mounted Police, complete with horses.  This is a few decades before Dudley Do-Right and these cops are portrayed with dignity.  That is good, because it gives the chapters the basis they need to establish the good/evil dichotomy when it is lost genre-wise.  The chapters are as follows:


1)     Man Hunt

2)     Winged Death

3)     Boomerang

4)     Devil Doctor

5)     Sabotage

6)     False Ransom

7)     Death Tunes In

8)     Satan’s Cauldron

9)     Espionage

10)  Blazing Guns

11)  Master Spy

12)  Code of the Mounted


At first, the item that keeps the story going in the explosive called “Compound X” which could be used by the Axis powers to take out British ships, complete with missiles loaded with the substance having powerful magnets to guide them to the ship.  That starts the story off well, but for 12 chapters, the screenplay has a problem stretching this out and the later chapters run into trouble with their cliffhangers.  They may be good, but it just feels a bit stretched out in the end.  Still, it is unique enough to check out and Lane is good in the lead.  The stuntwork is top rate, as usual, and it is nice to see models over bad digital work.


The full frame, black and white image and Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono are average, but watchable enough.  The transfers look analog, but they have their good points.  The few extras include bios of the main principals, trailers to three other Serials, and a nice photo gallery with generous promo and poster art set to music from the films.  Fans will get a kick out of that.  The actual chapters have their moments too, so everyone can get a kick out of some of this, which VCI has managed to fit all onto one DVD.



-   Nicholas Sheffo


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