Black Dragons (1942)

body horrorno
violence toward animalsno
Bechdel-Wallace testfailed
Mako Morifailed
X was the real YIt turns out American industrialists were the real enemies of the American public.

I complained about old movies being too simplistic. That's the second finger on the monkey's paw.

I had a lot of trouble following this one. I don't know how much was me working at the same time, how much was me reading a partial plot summary and how much was just me. Spoilers ahead for a 75-year-old propaganda movie.

I knew this movie was about industrial saboteurs. I'm fairly certain that that is the only way to read the opening scene, so everybody knows it. So it is perhaps not surprising that they start appearing dead with Japanese daggers in their hands. It's also not a secret to the audience that Bella Lugosi is the one responsible.

So, I guess the only mystery of this film (certainly the thing I didn't understand until the reveal) is: who is Bella Lugosi. I don't think it was possible to know he was the surgeon that had made the six look like the Americans that they replaces (Unfortunately nobody says they're going to take someone's face... off). The movie definitely also implies that (secret Nazi scientist) Lugosi was supposed to look Japanese the whole film?

Maybe this movie was full of intrigue and I just missed it, but I think it gave too much away by letting us know the six where spies and dropped the ball on much of the rest. I guess it's also literally too much to ask that this movie not use racial epithets, but it adds to my resolve when I say: there's no reason to watch this.