Wednesday, January 30, 2013


Zombies of the Stratosphere (1952) d. Brannon, Fred C. (USA)

A charmingly far-fetched and full-blooded Republic sci-fi serial based on the premise of those pesky green-skinned Martians plotting to obliterate the Earth and occupy its spot within the sun’s orbit. Talk about rude. Broken into 12 chapters, each concluding with a lively cliffhanger (usually a vehicle of some sort – car, speedboat, iron ore car – exploding or flying over a cliff with our hero presumably trapped inside), although Misery’s Annie Wilkes would have been losing her mind at the cinematic cheats on display. “He didn’t get out of the cockadoodie car!”

Rife with stock footage from other serials, particularly the scenes of our Rocketeer-helmeted hero Judd Holdren zipping back and forth across the horizon, but it’s all professionally stitched together and enjoyably so. Come for the early appearance by alien-in-training Leonard Nimoy, stay for the loveably chintzy axe-swinging water heater robot.

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