Prof. Millard pretends to be dead and helps Jeff King ferret out Vulcan, the evil traitor at the science academy. Donning his Rocket Man costume King goes from one hair raising rescue to the next in order to keep the newly invented Decimator out of the clutches of Vulcan and his minions. Written by
Randy Spencer <firstname.lastname@example.org>
This was a fantastic serial with great special effects for it's time. Unfortunately, many who review such fare today do so from feature length versions. One must always remember that these serials were meant to be viewed, chapter by chapter, on a weekly basis. It was the draw that got you back to the theater and a five cent bag of fresh popcorn with real butter, not butter substitute. This cherished specialized cinema of the 1940's and early 50's, produced mainly for kids, was known widely as "Saturday Mornings At the Movies".
To understand and appreciate such cinema, one really needs to have the inventive mind of a child, growing up during such exciting times of pioneering new technology. There was no 24 hour television in color or black and white, VCR's, or anything to get in the way of a child's greatest attribute, their imagination. This was the generation that would grow up to make all of these modern day wonders come true.
It is also fair to mention that stars like Tristram Coffin, deserved to be remembered for the fine actors they were; despite the limited range of the roles they played. After all, it takes a fine actor to make even a child believe that a man can strap two powerful flaming rockets to his back, attached to a flimsy leather jacket with four simple control knobs in front, and fly convincingly - without being killed. How many of our high paid, so-called actors of today can effectively accomplish such a feat?
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