Ossus Library Index Young Indy Index

MASKS OF EVIL

Directed by Mike Newell and Dick Maas (1999, Lucasfilm)
Starring Sean Patrick Flannery (guest cast)

Indy travels between France and Turkey seeking a double agent, then goes to recover intelligence agents in Transylvania.

 

 

B+

November 9th, 2013 on DVD, for the 2nd time  

 

B+

April 12th, 2000 on Video  
   

As seems usual with these episodes these days, I thoroughly enjoyed the first part, while the second part didn't do much of anything for me.  Indy's escapade in Turkey shows his desperation to end the war, and his inability to trust others, while his trip into Transylvania starts his journey into believing other cultures' magic is real.

The first part does, unfortunately, fall into several traps, which are telegraphed well in advance.  We know who the double-agent is, and we know his fiancée will be killed.  That's typical in the mystery genre, where the main character cannot have a love interest for too long.  And when he proposes, we know that she's going to die. 

The story for the first part is simple.  Indy has tried to make peace between France and Austria, and others, I'm sure.  Now he is trying to do it with Turkey.  But the French are not really interested in peace for the sake of peace.  They want terms, and territory returned.  And just like with the Austrians, the terms are outrageous.  As Indy points out at the end, they don't seem to know what they are doing.  Yet they are pleased with the operation.  I can't figure out how. 

But peace is a minor part, because the letter with the terms is intercepted.  Everything points to a leak in Indy's department.  He orders everybody to stay put and stay low, but they ignore it, and each tries to get the terms from him, putting each at risk.  But we already saw Indy's closest friend keep the time and place of delivery, kill the person who tried to warn Indy about a double-agent, and look through his clothing and desk after he was shot.  It sort of keeps the tension from surfacing. 

The third part of this story is Indy's American girlfriend.  He's posing as a Swedish journalist, and he keeps the disguise on even after he proposes to her.  Doesn't Indy realize by now what kind of trouble he can get into by lying to her?  Of course she finds out, and hates him, and cannot trust him.  But in the end she returns to him, wanting him anyway, and gets killed in the climax.

Indy is disillusioned, and is thus reassigned.  An American division wants him, because he is one of theirs, and because he speaks 28 languages!  The banter between him and his superior, who speaks 32 languages, is great.

They are sent to Transylvania to investigate the disappearance of spies looking into a rogue Romanian general.  They encounter German, American, British and French infantry laughing and drinking together.  I immediately drew the conclusion that they were under the influence of this general and his sorcery. 

The castle where they think they'll meet the general is deserted, and seems haunted.  Indy may have experienced the magical properties from the underworld in his 9-year-old days, but this is the first time it is addressed as a teen.  And it leads in well to Temple of Doom, where he meets the underworld in legions. 

Blood pooling from the ceiling, frozen and burning door handles, his superior reduced to charred feet and ankles (this part was amusing, rather than horrifying, as I thought it was meant to be), and other things awaken disbelief to Indy.

There is another double-agent in this group, who is recognized by one of the missing agents, and is subsequently shot.  But these missing agents have been turned into something else.  They are inhabited by underworld beasts.  After being shot, or stabbed, they can walk again.  The Romanian general is inhabited by the spirit of Dracula, and he takes pleasure in torturing his victims, impaling them on stakes, and drinking their blood. 

Indy and one of his comrades escape, barely.  They toss Dracula off a rampart to the tower, where he falls unconscious long enough that they can drag him to a crossroads, and drive a stake through his heart.  I have no problem with the stake or the crossroads, but for the general to remain unconscious for exactly long enough for them to do this is another cliché. 

Indy does mostly reacting in this episode.  He reacts to the double agent in his midst rather poorly, but he has been betrayed so often that it makes sense.  He withdraws into himself, and waits for orders.  Then he drags his love into the mess inadvertently.  In the second part, he observes the haunted castle, and reacts to the many hauntings.  He learns about the "undead", which is the most important part of this chapter, I think.

 

  Guest Cast: Ahmet Levendoglu as Kemal Ataturk
Zuhal Olcay as Halide Edib
Bob Peck as Prince Vlad IV the Impaler
 
   

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