Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Radar Men from the Moon (1952)

As mentioned earlier, this is my favorite Rocketman serial. I saw various chapters at around age 9 or so, dang Channel 2 for airing them at 10 PM on Sunday nights.  I last watched this about ten years ago, but am really enjoying it this time.  I had the Alpha public domain copies then, and this is the Roan Group's cleaned up and far superior version.  It's really astounding how much superior sound can help anything you watch.  I'm pretty forgiving when it comes to older movies, but some of the serials I've seen have had such muffled soundtracks- especially the voices- that they have been nigh impossible to watch.

And of course, these serials were meant to be watched one week at a time, not three or four episodes (or the entire thing) at once.  Only the best of them don't get very repetitious that way.  Since this was made by Republic, it's not so bad, but 3 chapters is about all I can take at a time.  And Chapter 10 is the obligatory flashback episode which a lot of serials seemed to use to pad out an  episode.

The effects are great, as are the characters, the Retik, the head moon villain, is not very imposing as a menace.  He's the kind of chubby old man (probably in his 40s at the time) that a lot of various shows had.  It's also fun to see Clayton Moore as a henchman.  He's quite good in the role, but that voice always belongs to the Ranger, which he would play pretty soon.  

Even though I know most of the flying effects came from the previous Rocketman serial, I still like this one a lot.  When I saw it as a kid the moon shots really looked unearthly.  It was all so mysterious back then!

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