Essentially, I spend a lot of time trying to dig through the Information Superhighway seeking bits and pieces of genre films, television series, books, and more with the hope that I can bring you something a bit different each post. As you can imagine, researching some of these -- ahem -- older projects doesn't always bear fruit, as it were, and that's the case with a little flick called The Flying Serpent, first released on this day in the United States all the day back in the year of 1946, well before most of you -- and even me -- were born.
IMDB.com reports that this little Horror/Fantasy was directed by Sam Newfield. His profile suggests that he was a somewhat wildly prolific B-Movie director, bringing to life an astonishing library of 277 different films. (Wowza!) It does appear -- at first glance -- that the sheer bulk of his work was in conventional properties -- dramas, comedies, thrillers, and a ton of Westerns -- but I do see The Flying Serpent in there along with Ghost Patrol (1936), The Invisible Killer (1939), The Monster Maker (1944), Lost Continent (1951), and Gigantis The Fire Monster (1959). So while the storyteller may not have been an expert at Science Fiction and/or Fantasy it's clear that he wasn't a novice. The script shows attributed to John T. Neville, and -- interestingly enough -- it's the screenwriter's last project of record (outside of a little something his work was used as inspiration for in 2017, nearly five decades after his 1970 passing).
The feature was produced by Sigmund Neufeld Productions, and several of the other pictures mentioned above were also part and parcel of their overall library. IMDB.com shows that the company opened its doors in 1936 and shut down effectively with their last release in 1956.
But -- as I said above -- there really isn't all that much written about Serpent.
It does look like critics may've lambasted it as being heavily derivative. A citation on the film's Wikipedia.org page states that it thematically plays out like a copy of 1940's The Devil Bat, but -- not having seen this one -- I really can't comment on the veracity of the comparison.
Here's the plot summary as provided by the good folks at IMDB.com:
"The demented archaeologist Dr. Andrew Forbes discovers a living, breathing serpent-creature known to the Aztecs as Quetzalcoatl, the Killer Bird God. Tragically, he causes his wife's death by giving her one of the beast's feathers, causing the creature to track her down and slaughter her. Now, Dr. Forbes uses this twisted knowledge to exact revenge upon his enemies by placing one of the serpent's feathers on each of his intended victims and letting the beast loose to wreak havoc."
As always, thanks for reading ... and live long and prosper!