Anyone here? It's a holiday. Usually I just don't post, but what the heck. I do have a Memorial Day column, and you may wish to read it first. Thanks! (Link goes to the Strib, as it's not up yet as I post this. Try the Variety section.
So whaddya got, you say. Not much. Leftovers from Boston:
Tidy little 1930 Bank building in Coolidge Corner. Or on. I was walking fast - we had to meet N for lunch and time was short - and I had to shoot from the street, which meant distorted pictures. I’ve fixed them as best as I can.
What . . . is this?
Use your Latin-replacement know-how, and you get Albinus Brutus. So? And? I thought: might be a reference to old money.
That's what these are. Here's a reference to Greek coins:
AOE: “Buried amongst the rubble of the Athenian Parthenon, the Owl of Athena is a symbol of knowledge and wisdom. Inscribed beside the owl were the letters “AOE” (alpha, theta, epsilon) meaning “Of the Athenians” in ancient Greek.”
I wonder if anyone got the coinage reference right away in 1930. The Deco style is nifty - those stylized organic forms were everywhere.
Anything else I want to dump out on this vacation day? Why yes. While doing the Product section for next year (really) I found an ad for an NYC hotel, the George Washington. Was it still there? Probably. Let's check out the area on Google Street View. It's Lexington and 23rd. This is not the hotel spot, but look at the building in the middle: it's very, very old.
There's a building missing, but it's been gone for a while. The interior wall was painted over. Eventually the four-story building would go down, revealing the design of the interior:
I wonder why there were arrows. Did the stairways only work in one direction?
The old facade:
A rather basic 1930s building. It's gone. Its replacement:
Modern but not exactly. The recessed windows go back to the 60s. What's the whole building look like?
Say hello to the absolute maximum of the zoning envelope with some fancy crazy corner work to set it apart.
If you find it at odds with the surroundings, and a slightly unsettling thing that throws back mirrored images of the surroundings at nightmare angles, well, remember: it doesn't care.
Back to the worst serial I've ever seen. And in such good condition!
I always wonder what people who didn’t care for serials did while they played. Watch, bored? Watch, amused? Slightly intrigued? Or did they just show up late so they didn’t have to sit through this kid stuff?
I hear the theme, and imagine the usher in the lobby, listening to a muffled version coming from the theater on the other side of the door, looking out the window at the street, wondering what he would do with the rest of the day, or the year, or his life. It was 1950, after all. That meant something. Rocket ships, for sure.
Well, let’s see what’s happening in Episode 4.
If you hadn't seen any of it, well, this might get your attention:
I guess it does! Usually they wake up during the half-mile journey to certain death, and hop out the other door.
I guess this goes without saying:
Back at the HQ, the Invisible Monster chews out his henches for not checking to see if Lane was dead and for not getting the ransom money; he reads an item in the paper that says the object of his blackmail - a company merger, it doesn’t really matter - was able to successfully merge, so it was all for naught, and they’re broke again.
He’s the most depressed and incompetent Ruler in the history of serials.
Oh, and they’re running out of the chemical that makes the invisibility suit possible. They have enough for one more shot.
Good news is, a shipment is coming in tomorrow! Lane and Carol, by the way, found a map left by the henches, and it has a dock circled with a pencil. Hey, there’s a ship coming in today, let’s take a look!
But they’re shadowed!
The speedboat with the henches makes the slip by darting between two massive ships, and our heroes can’t make it through! You think it’s the cliffhanger, but wait - this one’s about Holocaust Highway, not a Watery Grave. They jump into the drink and swim to safety. That's two swimming shots in one ep. You never see that. Ever. Unless the serial villain has an underwater kingdom.
The next shot, they’re back at the office, all dry, in new clothes neatly pressed, getting phone info from the state patrol about the guys who rented the boat, the items they took off, the make of the truck they loaded, and their direction. Which puts everyone on the highway for the hootenanny hoedown holocaust.
Here are the drums of chemicals.
They look just like the barrels of gas in the back of the truck. Camouflage in case they’re stopped, and the highway patrol wants to know what’s in the barrels. But! Carol and Lane find them, so it’s a good ol’ inefficacious endless ammo shootout.
Got it? Those barrels are the sole means of keeping the Ruler invisible for his schemes, and this entire operation has been about the barrels, and they’re driving off, leaving them by the side of the road. The Ruler is going to be furious, but maybe that's what he gets for assembling his henches out of illegal aliens who'd be deported if they leave the operation.
There’s a running gun battle while they drive, and good for our Annie Oakley here, who manages to fire from a car that’s speeding on twisty roads AND changing color from minute to minute:
She hits a couple of barrels, and the henchmen realize that the best thing to do is destroy their only way to get back down the hill and retrieve the chemicals. Again, genius-level hench work. And so:
I suppose it makes sense that a substandard serial has substandard henches.
That'll do! Some matchbooks await your perusal.