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Radar Men from the Moon

USA 1952
produced by
Franklin Adreon (associate) for Republic
directed by Fred C. Brannon
starring George Wallace, Aline Towne, Roy Bancroft, William Bakewell, Clayton Moore, Peter Brocco, Bob Stevenson, Don Walters, Tom Steele, Dale Van Sickel, Wilson Wood, Noel Cravat, Baynes Barron, Paul McGuire, Ted Thorpe, Dick Cogan, Billy Dix, Claude Dunkin, Stephen Gregory, Barry Hollins, Carey Loftin, William Marke, John Marshall, Tony Merrill, Paul Palmer
screenplay by Ronald Davidson, music by Stanley Wilson, special effects by Howard Lydecker, Theodore Lydecker

serial
Commando Cody

review by
Mike Haberfelner

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A series of attacks on various earth institutions using a death ray lead Commando Cody (George Wallace), the man with the rocket suit, and his associates - lab assistant Ted (William Bakewell), secretary Joan (Aline Towne) and their boss Henderson (Don Walters) to believe that the source of these attacks is actually the moon ... so they mount their rocket ship that is conveniently parked in their back garden and fly there, to learn that moon ruler Retik (Roy Barcroft) wants to conquer the earth because the moon atmosphere has become quite unbreathable. Before Cody and co can sabotage Retik's operations right here and now though, they have to hightail it back to earth because of being outmanned by the the moonmen.

On earth, Cody and company mainly have to battle moonman Krog (Peter Brocco) and his two earth henchmen Graber (Clayton Moore) and Daly (Bob Stevenson), and the audience is soon treated to the usual chases, on foot, by car and by rocket suit, and quite a number of shootouts, with Cody and friends always foiling the baddies' evil plans but never quite getting a hold of them ... until Retik arrives on earth to oversee progress himself, while Cody and co somehow get hold of a death ray gun and force Daly and Graber into a fatal carcrash. Soon enough, Retik realizes that his days on earth are numbered and hightails it in his rocketship, but (in an underwhelming finale) he is shot out of the skies with his own raygun.

 

With a trip to the moon, this serial gets off on a quite impressive start, but soon the action becomes earthbound, and we are treated to same old same old, your typical serialized earth invasion plot with very little regarding story build-up, and a serious lack of production values (the rocketsuit scenes were lifted from 1949's King of the Rocket Men, the lunar invasion force seems to consist of three men - Retik not counted -, earth is defended merely by a man in a rocketsuit and his assistant who can't even afford guards for the door of their top secret lab, ...). All that said, it's not a complete failure, it has a certain naive charm shared by many sci-fi serials - but compared to the best of the genre, Radar Men from the Moon is rather a disappointment.

 

By the way, the series' main character got his own (short-lived) TV-series, Commando Cody, Sky Marshal of the Universe in 1953, when he was played by Judd Holdren. Of all actors in the serial, only Aline Towne returned in her role on TV.

 

review © by Mike Haberfelner

 

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Robots and rats,
demons and potholes,
cuddly toys and
shopping mall Santas,
love and death and everything in between,
Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

is all of that.

 

Tales to Chill
Your Bones to
-
a collection of short stories and mini-plays
ranging from the horrific to the darkly humourous,
from the post-apocalyptic
to the weirdly romantic,
tales that will give you a chill and maybe a chuckle, all thought up by
the twisted mind of
screenwriter and film reviewer
Michael Haberfelner.

 

Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

the new anthology by
Michael Haberfelner

 

Out now from
Amazon!!!

 

 

 

On the same day
a Burglar wants to kill you
and your Ex wants
to make up ...
... and for the life of it,
you can't decide
WHICH IS WORSE!!!

 

A Killer Conversation

produced by and starring
Melanie Denholme
directed by
David V.G. Davies
written by
Michael Haberfelner
starring
Ryan Hunter and
Rudy Barrow

out now on DVD