Black Dragons

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Black Dragons


English   Country: USA   Year: 1942

Black Dragons

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William Nigh


Bela Lugosi




Japanese spies undergo plastic surgery to pose as American Industrialists and sabatoge the war effort. Black & White.

There is a colorized copyright protected version (PA-530-258).


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User Reviews


(Average=3.00 out of 5; Total Number=1)

Lugosi Rises Above Another Abysmal Movie (rating=3)

"Black Dragons" is a film that, as most Bela Lugosi fans know, was made for Sam Katzman and his Banner Productions, and then released by Monogram Pictures. So forget about plot; plot in a Katzman flick is only incidental to the shoddy sets, direction, and acting. The truth be told, this is one of those pictures that, if it didn't have a Lugosi, would not have been made.

OK, here's the plot . . . and don't ask me to repeat it: Seems a group of prominent American businessmen are being slain. We also know that it is Lusosi doing the slaying, because it's revealed very early on in the film as to what he's up to. Now, here's the twist. The American businessmen are really Japanese, having been trtansformed by none other than Dr. Lugosi, in this picture a Nazi Evil Scientist (Boo!) and sent here as a fifth column.

It immediately strikes our sense of logic that it would be far easier just to send over a geoup of Germans or Italians than go to all the trouble of changing a person's race. But this is a Katzman flick, so logic is the first thing a viewer leaves behind when entering. Of course Lugosi is caught (by a pre-Lone Ranger Clayton Moore), thus getting his at the end. It is amazing to me that no matter how ridiculous the plot, Lugosi remains solidly professional rather than go down the chute with the movie. One reason why I become angry when someone tries to tell me that he was a bad actor.

If this picture were set in today's age, Lugosi would do quite well as a dream-come true to Michael Jackson and Joan Rivers, among others.

The quality of the film is dark and murky - apparently no effort was made to clean things up, but you can't go wrong for the price, especially if you are a fan of the genre or Lugosi. Perhaps the film will resurface in Bela Junior's restored series of his father's films. I certainly hope so.