Panther Girl of the Kongo, Chapter 6 – High Point

Last time, Jean and Larry had followed villainous henchmen Cass and Rand into the diamond mines.  Of course, a big fight breaks out with punches flying, guns firing, and a stick of dynamite tossed at our heroes.  How will they keep from being blown to smithereens?  Let’s find out in Chapter Six – High Peril.

As the dynamite lands at Larry’s feet, he quickly grabs Jean and ducks behind some rocks.  Then, in an insert shot that was not shown to us at the end of the last chapter, Larry points skyward and exclaims “Up there!” just before the explosion goes off.  We then see our heroes emerge from behind some rocks outside.  Presumably, they found a hidden exit passage.  Back in the mine, however, Cass and Rand assume Larry and Jean have finally kicked the bucket.

As usual, Cass and Rand go back to talk with Dr. Morgan about their next steps.  They plan to make sure the villagers think that one of the claw monsters is responsible for Larry and Jean’s demise.  This will surely scare away the villagers so they can finally start making off with the diamonds.  A few of the Returi warriors are dispatched to start spreading the rumor.  Meanwhile, Larry and Jean set out to find Cass and Rand.

Jean enlists the help of her elephant, Billa, but is very quickly spotted by the Returis sent out by Cass and Rand.  One manages to hide in a tree and snag Jean off of Billa’s back with a vine.  The Returi’s then go get Cass and Rand to show them the Panther Girl is still alive.  Meanwhile, Larry finds Billa, who leads him to where Jean lays unconscious.  Of course, the heroes and villains all end up converging on the same spot at the same time, and the bullets start flying.  Before long, though, the baddies make a run for it.  

Later, Larry manages to catch up with Cass and Rand in a local bar.  He attempts to arrest them, but we all know what’s going to happen next, don’t we?  After all, they are in a bar with plenty of chairs to throw at each other…so a fight breaks out.  The battle eventually spills out onto the street, and then onto the balcony of a nearby hotel.  Beneath the rickety railing is a flatbed truck with a bunch of spikes sticking up.  Now, I don’t know what the purpose of these spikes is, but what matters is that they are there.  It matters even more when Larry is pushed through the railing and starts plummeting toward said spikes.  Of course, this is right when we are told we’ll have to see what happens next week.

After having a pretty epic installment last time, this chapter is a bit of a letdown.  To start with, this episode gives us this serial’s first example of the classic serial cheat.  In other words, the cliffhanger from last time is resolved by adding a brief shot that was not included in the last chapter.  This one is pretty cheap, as it involves Larry suddenly pointing out a hidden passage so they can get away just before the mine goes boom.  I mean, if you’re going to use the cheat, at least do something a bit more exciting than having stuffy old Larry point at something!

From there, this episode gets very talky.  We have the villains do their obligatory pow-wow session to figure out what to do next.  Plus, it’s a bit silly that Morgan is so quick to believe that Larry and Jean are dead this time, especially considering the poor track record his henchman have in that department.  We then move on to the heroes, who also spend a few minutes just talking.  Then Jean rides her elephant for a bit before we get more talking, and more talking, and you get the idea.    

This episode also gets a bit confusing as I don’t really understand what our heroes are trying to accomplish.  I mean, after escaping the explosion, Larry and Jean go back to their bungalow and discuss going back to the mine to catch Cass and Rand.  They even comment on how they hope they are still there.  So, after escaping the blast, why didn’t they just circle around and sneak up on the two henchmen from behind?  They would’ve had them corned!!  We’ve already established that mighty hunter Larry is no Einstein, but this is a bit much.  

The one thing this chapter has going for it is the fight sequence that fills the last two and half minutes.  It’s a fun sequence, but it doesn’t really offer anything that we don’t get in any of the other obligatory fight sequences we’ve had.  Even when the fight makes its way onto the hotel balcony, Cass and Rand still manage to find chairs to throw at Larry!  If these three characters started fighting on a deserted island, they’d still manage to find some chairs to break over each other’s skulls.

The big head-scratcher of the final fight, though, is what the deal is with these spikes?  So, it’s a truck parked in front of the hotel, with these random spikes sticking out of the back.  Why are they there?  What are they for?  All that matters is that they are about to take a journey through Larry’s chest.  We won’t know for sure, though, until next time.  Join us then for Chapter Seven – Double Trap! 

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