D-DAY ON MARS (1966)
Feature version of Serial THE PURPLE MONSTER STRIKES
Article 1862 by Dave Sindelar
Viewing Date: 4-20-2006
Posting Date: 9-17-2006
Directed by Spencer Gordon Bennet and Fred C. Brannon
Featuring Roy Barcroft, James Craven, Dennis Moore
The Purple Monster comes from Mars to take over the Earth.
THE PURPLE MONSTER STRIKES is one of the better serials out there, and because the opening footage in this feature version is from the interesting first episode, it gets off to a good start. However, if all too quickly falls into the same serial-to-feature-version pattern of jumping from plot point to fight scene to plot point to fight scene, etc. etc. This one seems particularly mechanical in the way it does it, and it just brings out how much serial plots are designed to lead to from one cliffhanger after another; it’s the cinematic equivalent of marking time. What works on an episode by episode basis doesn’t necessarily work strung together as a whole, and this feature version is a bore. This is one of several feature versions of serials that were put together in 1966 for TV distribution. There’s little to recommend here; you’re better off with the original serial watched an episode at a time.