Alan and Jack Armstrong (Kane Richmond) are twins. Jack is engaged to Admiral Corby’s (Sam Flint) daughter Eve Corby (Marguerite Chapman). Alan is a vigilante known as the Spy Smasher. Spy Smasher is not associated with the U.S. Government so he works as a free agent to stop Nazi espionage. At this point in time America is not yet in the war so anything he does is not sanctioned by the American authorities. Sort of a freelance spy.

Alan is also believed to be dead. Twice. He allows this assumption to continue so he can go about unencumbered as Spy Smasher. The only ones who know he is alive are his twin brother Jack and the man who saved his life the second time, Pierre Durand (Franco Corsaro). His first death was supposedly in an airplane crash as Alan Armstrong. The second time he almost died he had been captured in German occupied France and had been sentenced to death by firing squad. Durand arranged his escape back to the United States.

When Jack is mistaken for his brother Alan, Jack decides to help his brother any way he can. The man who accused Jack of being Alan is a Nazi agent working in the U.S. and who, supposedly, had witnessed Alan die in front of a firing squad. Alan finds out that the Nazi’s are trying to flood America with counterfeit money. The leader of the organization is a man called The Mask (Hans Schumm). Alan managed to defeat the Mask’s plot but the villain is not done with his evil ways.

The Mask and his minions try their hand at blowing up planes ships and oil depots. Stealing munitions, and gold. Unfortunately for the Mask, Spy Smasher, assisted by his twin brother Jack, kicks the Mask’s butt every step of the way.

“Spy Smasher” was released in 1942 and was directed by William Witney. It is a twelve chapter Republic serial. It was the twenty-fifth of the sixty-six serials produced by Republic. In 1966 it was pared down into a movie titled “Spy Smasher Returns”. The serial was produced just prior to America entering WWII. Propaganda for the kiddies. Actually, that’s not totally fair. The production values on this serial were good. It may be a children’s serial but it was sophisticated enough for adults to appreciate the fight choreography and the special effects. Well, most of the special effects.

There are some really cool toys in the serial. A Bat Plane that is almost silent and can hover. An Electric Ray Gun that can melt an airplane motor. And a nifty U-boat right off shore. Unfortunately they are all owned by the Nazis. Also, some of the fight scenes are pretty cool too. There are lots of calisthenics involved, swinging from ropes and lights. Sliding underneath obstacles and fights on boats, planes, submarines and just about anything else that moves.

There isn’t really an origin story here. The serial begins with Alan already trying to find out Nazi secrets as Spy Smasher. It also starts with him already captured and tortured and sentenced to a firing squad. From then on the serial is fast and furious. It’s actually lots of fun and there are a few surprises along the way. The cliffhangers are a mix of your basic jump from a moving whatever at the last moment to some really interesting and innovative chapter endings. It’s a really good serial.

A quick little shout-out for the stunt guys in this film: Yakima Canutt, Carey Loftin, David Sharpe, Ken Terrell, Bud Wolfe, John Daheim, James Fawcett, Loren Riebe and Duke Taylor. They were awesome.

Chapter Titles: 1. America Beware 2. Human Target 3. Iron Coffin 4. Stratosphere Invaders 5. Descending Doom 6. The Invisible Witness 7. Secret Weapon 8. Sea Raiders 9. Highway Racketeers 10. 2700(Degrees) Fahrenheit 11.Hero's Death 12.V...

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