I’ll watch anything with George Zucco but this one was a real chore to sit through. It’s a riff on Montezuma’s revenge (no, not that kind) with the title creature worthy of Ed Wood.
Archaeologist Andrew Forbes (George Zucco) just happens to find the legendary treasure of Montezuma in a cave outside of San Juan, New Mexico. Helping him keep an eye on things is the serpent bird god known as Queztalcoatl.
He’s not happy when family friend Dr.John Lambert writes an article mentioning where the treasure may be buried. Forbes uses the excuse that it’ll bring treasure hunters to invade the area. His stepdaughter Mary (Hope Kramer) tells Lambert that Forbes has been acting strange. An annoyed Forbes drops by and quietly leaves a feather behind.
Mary finds it and shows it to Lambert. He gets all excited. Down boy! It’s just a feather. Or is it? He thinks it’s from the legendary Queztacoatl that drains it victims of blood. It reminds her of the way her mother died. Nothing like nostalgia.
Mary tells Forbes about the feather and he says he’ll go right down to Azteca and apologize to Lambert for his earlier outburst. Forbes releases the bird who makes a beeline for the feather Lambert is carrying. That’s all for the doc. The papers play it up like he was killed by a giant vampire.
Radio mystery writer Richard Thorpe takes off for Azteca with his engineer Jonsey. He says he’ll get to the bottom of Lamberts’ death and broadcast live every night. There’s a long inquest. After that Forbes and Thorpe drive out to the scene of the crime. Forbes drops a feather and tells Thorpe to wait there and says he’ll be back.
He goes to the cave and releases the bird. The sheriff sees Thorpe and tells him to get back to town and talk to the Superintendent. By the time the bird shows up Thorpe’s gone. The town will have to appoint a new sheriff.
Forbes pulls feathers from the critter to get ready for his next victim. That could be Vance Bennett. He has a device that he claims will find gold. He’s actually from the radio station. Thorpe is suspicious of Forbes and sets a trap involving Vance. Mary’s no slouch as she also has her doubts about Forbes.
This one is bad from start to finish and even a hard core Zucco fan like me wishes I’d have skipped it.