Lively, entertaining reviews of, and essays on, old and newer films and everything relating to them, written by professional author William Schoell.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

FLYING DISC MAN FROM MARS


FLYING DISC MAN FROM MARS (1950). 12 chapter Republic serial. Director: Fred C. Brannon.
Just as in the earlier Purple Monster Strikes, James Craven plays a scientist -- this time a Dr. Bryant -- who encounters a man from Mars who wants to take over the Earth. In Purple Monster Craven's mind and body were taken over by the title martian, but in this one Bryant is just a skunk who's willing to betray the Earth for, presumably, some power. The Martian, Mota (Gregory Gaye), flies about in a "semi-disc" and has some human thugs in his employ. The hero is Kent Fowler (Walter Reed) and the nominal heroine is pretty Lois Collier, who appears to be able to act (and shoot a gun) but isn't given much to do. Tom Steele and Ken Terrell have smaller roles. There are some good cliffhanger situations, such as one involving a fight and an explosion on a railroad trestle, and another concerning some rocket fuel that catches fire.
Okay, but Purple Monster was better. **1/2.

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