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The Phantom Creeps - 9. Speeding Doom (1939 science fiction serial movie) - Bela Lugosi

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The Phantom Creeps is a 1939 serial about a mad scientist who attempts to rule the world by creating various elaborate inventions. In a dramatic fashion, foreign agents and G-Men try to seize the inventions for themselves.

It was the 112th serial released by Universal Pictures and the 44th to have sound. The serial stars Béla Lugosi as the villainous Doctor Zorka with Dorothy Arnold and Robert Kent.

Dr. Zorka, a rogue scientist, is the creator of various weapons of warfare, including a devisualizer belt which renders him invisible; an eight-foot tall slave robot (Ed Wolff), robot spiders that can destroy life or paralyse it and he also has a deadly meteorite fragment from which he extracts an element which can induce suspended animation in an entire army. Foreign spies, operating under the guise of a foreign language school, are trying to buy or mostly steal the meteorite element, while his former partner, Dr. Fred Mallory, miffed that Zorka will not turn his inventions over to the U.S. Government, blows the whistle on him to Captain Bob West of the Military Intelligence Department. Tired of answering the door and saying no to the spies and the government, Zorka moves his lab. When his beloved wife is killed, Zorka, puttering around for his own amusement up to this point, is crushed and swears eternal vengeance against anyone trying to use his creations to make himself world dictator. And would have if not for his assistant Monk, an escaped convict virtually enslaved by Zorka, who is cowardly, treacherous and totally incompetent, and whose accidental or deliberate interference with Zorka's efforts repeatedly frustrates his master's own plans...

Chapter titles
1. The Menacing Power
2. Death Stalks the Highways
3. Crashing Towers
4. Invisible Terror
5. Thundering Rails
6. The Iron Monster
7. The Menacing Mist
8. Trapped in the Flames
9. Speeding Doom
10. Phantom Footprints
11. The Blast
12. To Destroy the World

Directed by Ford Beebe
Saul A. Goodkind
Produced by Henry MacRae (associate producer)
Written by Willis Cooper (original story)
George Plympton
Basil Dickey
Mildred Barish (screenplay)
Starring Béla Lugosi
Dorothy Arnold
Robert Kent
Music by Charles Previn
Cinematography Jerry Ash
William Sickner
Edited by Irving Birnbaum
Joseph Gluck
Alvin Todd
Distributed by Universal Pictures
Release dates
January 7, 1939
Running time
12 chapters (265 min)
Country United States
Language English

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