Security agent Larry Martin, who can fly with an experimental rocket suit, investigates clandestine visits to earth by a Martian spaceship. Meanwhile, villainous Martians conspire with a traitorous atomic scientist to blast earth out of its orbit and replace it with Mars! Can Larry and his cohort Bob Wilson stop the Martians before they complete their dastardly project? Not a zombie in sight. Written by
Rod Crawford <email@example.com>
This one (so to speak) is for lovers of the old Republic Serials, those incredibly silly (by modern standards) episodic films that kept our parents or grandparents coming back to the Saturday matinée week after week. Produced on budgets not much larger than Ed Wood ever had, and on sets sometimes recycled from film to film, they still offered a weekly dose of action and adventure in the days when those terms were not synonymous with earth-splitting explosions, computerized special effects, and "I'll be back." The plots were straightforward; of course, most a/a genre films are simple of plot even today, but there is something about these old cans of cheeze that satisfies more than constant viewings of "Terminatorsaur" and "Predatalienator". The goods guys wear white hats (so to speak) and smell good; the bad guys wear black hats and stink of cigarette smoke; and the simplicity of the 'fex are lovely in themselves. Yeah, things still blow up and burn down, but that is still a function of a/a films, I guess. The logic is, bigger isn't always better, and the serials prove the point.
In this Saturday-morning peanut-gallery special, the plan is for the aliens to blow up Earth, so that Mars can take its orbital place and get warm. Out to foil them is Larry, a "security agent," armed only with a .45 and a miraculous suit that lets him fly through the air just by twisting knobs (and jumping on a hidden trampoline for the initial takeoff). Can he stop the terrible zombies from completing their dastardly scheme before the train runs off the track, he gets burned in a raging inferno, or the movie runs out of reels? Return to the theater next week for the next exciting chapter...or just keep playing the tape. Get plenty of popcorn, settle in for a Saturday with the kids to introduce them to what film really was like, and keep your eyes open for Leonard Nimoy, sans ears and "Live Long and Prosper", in an early film appearance!
One of the best-remembered of the serials, as well as one of the last ones (Republic stopped producing them in the mid-Fifties or so; check a specialist film-history Web site). Warmly recommended to all, unless you have no tolerance for cheesy sci-fi. I only hope it comes out on DVD eventually, and with Nimoy to comment on it or do a special feature!
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