RADAR MEN FROM THE MOON (1952)
Article 2039 by Dave Sindelar
Viewing Date: 10-14-2006
Posting Date: 3-13-2007
Directed by Fred C. Brannon
Featuring George Wallace, Aline Towne, Roy Barcroft
Commando Cody has to deal with saboteurs from the moon intent on softening up our defenses for an upcoming invasion.
Though it doesn’t hold a candle to their best serials from the forties, this is perhaps the best serial from Republic during the fifties that I’ve seen so far. Chalk it up to a fairly decent pace and the fact that it takes the time to shift locations to the moon every once in a while. At any rate, it’s certainly a better rocket man serial than ZOMBIES OF THE STRATOSPHERE. At any rate, a few comments…
1) The rocket man popularly known as Commando Cody is known here as…Commando Cody! Cody even has a cool logo on the wall near the entrance to his building.
2) Based on a few comments here and there, I’ve come to the conclusion that Cody’s first name is actually Commando. This, of course, makes me wonder about the state of mind of Cody’s parents.
3) Sure, the rocket suit is cool and all, but let’s face it; the real test of a hero is how well they handle themselves in a good, solid fistfight. Unfortunately, almost every time Cody and his assistant Ted get involved in one, they get the crap kicked out of them. Maybe they shouldn’t have been tussling with Clayton Moore, the Lone Ranger himself.
4) Retik can brag all he wants about the superiority of moon weapons to earth weapons, but watching him fumble clumsily with his hand ray-gun (which can only fire a single shot before having to reload) while Cody proceeds to mop the floor with Retik’s associates (in one of the few fights where he proves his mettle) and then consistently missing when he does fire – well, let’s just say I’m not quaking in my boots about the fate of the world in the hands of these moon men.
5) I think somebody should take a look at the shocks on those moon tanks.
6) Any saboteur organization that spends an inordinate amount of time trying to get finances for their diabolical plans doesn’t strike me as effective. And any such organization that hits upon the idea of getting money by kidnapping their most prominent foe and holding him for ransom doesn’t strike me as particularly intelligent.
7) As for the cliffhangers, let’s just say this – there’s a lot of bailing out going on.