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

Friday, August 29, 2008


RADAR MEN FROM THE MOON (1952). Director: Fred C. Brannon.
Although this is generally considered the sequel to King of the Rocket Men (and the second of three Rocket Man serials), it actually introduces a new character who wears the same helmet, uniform, and rocket pack: Commando Cody, played by George Wallace. Krog (Peter Brocco), an emissary from a Moon colony that needs to relocate to Earth due to atmospheric changes that threaten their survival, leads explosive attacks on US buildings, aided by some human thugs (one of whom is Clayton Moore, the Lone Ranger himself, quite good as a nasty bad guy). Earth decides to take the fight to the Moon, and Cody, pilot Hank (Wilson Wood), and Joan (Aline Towne) take off into Outer Space in a rocket built by Commando Cody. There they encounter Moon ruler Retik (Roy Barcroft), as well as more moon nasties inside tanks. (The tanks and the rocket ship are pretty neat, actually.) William Bakewell is cast as Cody's assistant Ted. Memorable cliffhangers include a flood of molten rock and a genuinely thrilling plane crash, among others. The FX are more than adequate. George Wallace may not be flamboyant or super-macho enough for some, but he imbues his character with a certain amount of quiet, manly dignity.
Verdict: More fun than a barrel of moon-men! ***. 

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