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rocket attack usa

“May I verify your papers?”

I have been enjoying the ‘essays’ the last few movies have inspired in me. While I would like to approach every movie with the idea of getting a 500-750 piece, some movies just do not move me enough to type out a semi-coherent piece.

When I am watching movies like Rocket Attack USA with a narrator who has more dialogue than any of the on screen talent, it makes me realize how hard scriptwriting must be. There is an idea, with a beginning, middle and end. Yet there doesn’t seem to be a thought of how to let the characters and situation tell the story. The narrator tells us John (John McKay) Manston is nervous inside. Nothing shows us these nerves. The lines are delivered like any generic agent, with no spirit.

Manufacturing stock footage! It is a different kind of stock footage for us.

The Soviet meetings, why bother having the actors speak in Russian if a narrator talks over them? I get subtitles were probably not in the budget, but it seems like a waste to cover up the dialogue.

I have often heard this referred to as a ‘quickie’ but cannot find anything about the time frame it was made in. With the animation, primitive as it is, how quick could it have been made?

IMDB has two different release dates: 1958 and 1961. Could the company have been trying to cash in on both Sputnik and the Bay of Pigs? Both are high tension years of the cold war.

Tanya (Monica Davis) would later to go on to play such characters as “First Swinging Wife” in several 1960’s nearpronos.

Am I the only one who thinks the movie was originally supposed to end with Manston and Tanya’s failure? The third act, other than the general, is out of the blue. They needed another 20 minutes to even be considered a film. This is Cy Roth level padding.

Our truck driver without a tie is without a doubt the most successful actor to come out of this film. Arthur Metrano had 112 IMDB credits ahead of him. Including MST3K referenced series: Mod Squad, Mannix, Then Came Bronson, Adam-12, Laugh-In, That Girl, Love American Style, Toma (and Barretta), Kolchak and The Streets of San Francisco.

This was not Director Barry Mahon’s first ‘political’ film. In 1959, Mahon directed Errol Flynn’s final on screen performance in Cuban Rebel Girls aka Assault of the Rebel Girls. Errol wrote this pro-Castro film (Castro was still playing the am I or ain’t I a red game) made with the help and input of Fidel’s forces, it is an interesting historical piece.

Director Mahon started out as the personal pilot for Errol Flynn, before later becoming his manager.

Watchability: 1 of 5. Who do you blame?  Everyone! Writer, Director, Actor, Lighting, Music Director, Location Scout.  There were a few surprising twist: the American agent failing, the use of Russian dialogue. But there is so little working right in this movie. Another plot underdone by being under thought.

Missing the Riffs: 1 of 5. This movie deserved the riffing it received. A poorly made movie up and down was perfect for the SOL.