Explorers find a mysterious island north of the Arctic Circle where a fabulous treasure is hidden. Instead of being a frozen wasteland this land is verdant green with trees, streams and wildlife kept temperate by an active volcano. Primitive natives rule opposed only by a tall, white savage… KIOGA (Herman Brix), known as the Hawk of the Wilderness. Dr. Munro, his daughter, Beth (Jill Martin) and fellow explorers are set upon by Solerno (William Royale) and his mutinous crew of pirates all driven by lust for hidden gold. Kioga and his Indian aides, Mokuyi (Noble Johnson) and Kias (Mala) battle both blood-thirsty savages and killer pirates through twelve, action packed episodes. Herman Brix would later change his name to Bruce Bennett and go on to have an excellent career. He was a great physical specimen and had played TARZAN earlier making him a natural to portray KIOGA. Bennett lived to be 100! An equal co-star in HAWK is the fabulous location at which it was filmed. Since this is an outdoor adventure, nearly all of this serial was filmed on location which added greatly to the quality of the movie. Brix is doubled by ace stuntman David Sharpe (the two co-starred in DAREDEVILS OF THE RED CIRCLE) so Kioga’s prowess at swinging from trees and leaping off cliffs is spectacular. Spectacular also describes the first chapter of HAWK which is loaded with high production values for a serial. By the last chapter most serial productions have lost the shine and glitter of the first. Not true with HAWK where the chapter 12 resolution is most satisfying. There is true suspense as the erupting volcano threatens immediate death. One of Hawk’s closest friends is viscously murdered and Kioga chooses revenge over flight to safety. It’s a battle to the death as the white savage has the final showdown with his life-long enemy. Great stuff! Directed by the top men in the cliffhanger business, William Witney and John English, HAWK OF THE WILDERNESS (1938) is a standout serial. This CultRetro version offers an excellent B&W print on 2 discs, 12 Chapters with Interactive Menus, 213 minutes plus the original theatrical trailer.
– August 26, 2010