A Monogram Race Across Seas!
Mystery Liner (1934) Solves Crime At Cut-Rate
A Monogram B referred to variously by IMDB users as "one of the worst (and/or dullest) movies I've ever seen!," which it would be in prints less luminous than what Netflix tendered from among its UA lease-holdings. Some pics are worth the watch just for access to quality we seldom get from poverty row survivors. At least there's impression of what 1934 audiences saw in fresh-minted 35mm nitrate. Monogram put forth effort beyond what "coffee-and-cake" producers so far had in talkies, Mystery Liner adapted from known and then-recently deceased Edgar Wallace, with a cast recognizable, if not stellar. Sci-fi elements lend at least faint interest, being revolved around a remote control device that can steer vessels in mid-ocean. Will impliedly-German agents seize upper hand from their own remote vantage? Kenneth Strickfaden lab equipment decorates a villanous lair; we could wish for more extensive use of it. Otherwise, Mystery Liner sails an ocean of exposition, unrelieved by even pretence of action. A good cast of customary villains: Noah Beery, Edwin Maxwell, Gustav von Seyffertitz, though in Mystery Liner's case, only one is perfidious.