By Doug Gibson
Listen, I'm a big George Zucco fan, I love the old Producers Releasing Corporation 40s C-movies but the 1946 The Flying Serpent is not one of the better offerings. Zucco plays a mad archaeologist who uses a live big flying creature to kill his enemies. The "flying serpent" is a stiff stage prop and if you look hard you can see the strings.
Also, as Tom Weaver has pointed out in his book, "Poverty Row Horrors," Zucco is a pretty one-dimensional villain. He's more cranky than complex. There's no angst associated with his murders, such as Lugosi's bitter revenge in "Devil Bat." He's not even the crazy scientist George Zucco in another PRC film, "The Mad Monster." He's just a mere sociopath in this film.
What worked well in Devil Bat it doesn't work here. The scenes with the crusading radio reporter (Ralph Lewis) are very dull and slow down the main action of Zucco getting revenge. By contrast, crusading newspaper reporter Dave O'Brien is outstanding combating Lugosi in Devil Bat. Flying Serpent is a tight, very low budget film that runs 59 minutes. It was directed by Sam Newfield and also starred Mary Forbes.
Watch the film here.