BLAST OFF (1956)
TV-Movie edited from “Rocky Jones, Space Ranger”
Article 2048 by Dave Sindelar
Viewing Date: 9-23-2006
Posting Date: 3-22-2007
Directed by Hollingsworth Morse
Featuring Richard Crane, Sally Mansfield, Paul Marion
Rocky Jones and Bobby are forced to land on an unexplored planet when their ship suffers damage in a meteor cluster. There they find a band of primitive men who mistake them for gods who have promised to return.
I’ve always held that the Rocky Jones “movies” are best watched with an awareness of just what they are; episodes of a low-budget syndicated juvenile science fiction adventure series edited together. It helps that the groups of episodes were meant to tell a single story in each case, but I do advise taking a little break every twenty-five minutes at the point where each episode ends; the stiffness and slow pace are much better taken in small doses. If you have a little sympathy for its innate limitations, you might find things to like about them.
For those wishing to try the series, this might be a good one to start with. The show developed its own little mythology, and sometimes it’s a little hard to keep track of the various characters, but this one is fairly self-contained. The concept of space travelers being mistaken as gods by a primitive tribe is common enough, though I’m not sure I can think of a movie or TV show that featured the plot previous to this one. Science fiction movie fans may also enjoy the presence of Donna Martell (who played Briteis in PROJECT MOON BASE) and Don Megowan (THE CREATURE WALKS AMONG US, THE CREATION OF THE HUMANOIDS) as two of the cave people.
If I’ve calculated correctly, there should be only two more of the Rocky Jones movies to go…