The Sunday Intertitle: Foreword is Forewarned

It was a lovely party up until that guy shot the Japanese houseboy with a blowpipe.

The houseboy’s name was a wild coincidence connecting to my current project, but I can’t talk about that.

Anyway, this is episode two of THE RETURN OF CHANDU — we haven’t totally given up on it. Sneaking peeks at what’s coming up in future episodes, it seems to get livelier/more spectacular.

Anyway, Bela/Uncle Frank/Chandu has this houseboy who’s in league with the fiendish Ubasti cult. You’d think the agency would vet for these things. Placing his cultish help in a hypnotic trance, Chandu attempts to get the facts from him, but a shrubbery-lurking blow-pipe fiend interrupts the session.

The sense that this serial is quite slow-moving is greatly enhanced by the fact that this entire five-minute sequence appears in Ep. 1 and is then repeated in Ep. 2 as a recap, in case we’d forgotten, or just particularly like seeing domestics get shot with darts.

Anyway, before losing a valued if unfaithful servant, Chandler/Chandu learns that the Ubasti cult are headquartered near a dead tree, the kind of information a crime-solving magician might make much use of, one imagines.

Frank has a nice sit-down with Princess Nadji, in which exposition is patiently doled out. I have already forgotten it. But that’s OK — it’s time to meet the baddies.

The bad guys have the Princess drugged, placed in a sarcophagus, and abducted. The middle part seems like gilding the lily, somehow, but I guess it counts as local colour. This is all happening in Los Angeles, by the way, so it’s not as implausible as it might be.

Chandu and his dull young sidekick go out for a drive, keeping a lookout for a dead tree. They go into a skid somewhere on what looks to be Mulholland Drive, and that’s supposed to be our cliffhanger.

Still, Chandu has quite an attractive office, doesn’t he?

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