Experiment 202-The Sidehackers

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“Less talk, more movement.”

Sidehackers. An infamous episode for what the SOL didn’t show. I’ve been shocked by a few things cut from the SOL versions; The rape in Red Zone Cuba and Tor Johnson strangling a woman to start The Unearthly come to mind, but those aren’t discussed by SOL fans. It is an important episode in the development of the show, not for the riffing and such, but for how they chose films. Or maybe a better way of phrasing that, in light of the RZC and Unearthly examples, how the SOL chose to frame their films.

As I get ready to start, it is almost like the movie has become secondary. I almost feel like I’m just going to be waiting for Rita to die. Trying not to get into that mind space, but it is hard too with this one ready for play.

It is nice we get some actual racing, instead of the implied racing of Hellcats. We get two racing sequences and the goofing off scene. We do get plenty of racing action. At last, a biker film with biker action! Of course, it’s pretty much all done by the 23 minute mark.

Did you know director Gus Trikonis was Goldie Hawn’s first husband? According to IMDB, Goldie can be seen watching the end of the first race and auditioned for Paisely. Or Ross Hagen and Trikonis did a comedy called Supercock about cock fighting? Nancy Kwan was in Supercock, a name that means something to men of a certain age.

AKA title Five the Hard Way. The title song makes more sense now.

Frolicking in movies never looks honest or remotely real. And Ross, he isn’t a natural romantic, let us say that. “Love is Good,” well said Ross.

Yeah. It is almost like the F-bombs in Scarface.

So, Ross and Luke play grab ass around the shop when no one is looking?

That brings us to JC’s big entrance. One of the Club MST3K members put forth the proposition JC was the most loathsome character in all the experiments because there are actually real JCs out there. Among the many reasons JC stands out is he is a much better actor than anyone else in this movie. Michael Pataki has quite a ‘that guy’ resume on IMDB. Pataki also portrayed the infamous George Liquor from Ren and Stimpy.

Diane McBain (Rita) has a decent IMBD too. But I can’t say she was given much to work with as a character. I think this may be the biggest crime about what happens to Rita. She isn’t a character, she is a plot device. She exist just to die, so our ‘hero’ has a reason to go on his crusade.

Not like anyone else is developed as a character. With the exception of JC. He is the only real in this movie, and that is not a good thing. Wouldn’t you like to know what kind of trouble Rommel had in his past to be able to go a crusading like that?

Another movie shot over several weekends.

JC calls Nero the N-Word. He beats up Paisley. What piece of work.

Paisley (Claire Polan) and Ross were married from 1963 to her death in 2003. Maybe that’s why Rita and Rommel had no spark. Hard to get romantic with the missus around.

Button your shirt Ross. At least it isn’t Alan Hale Jr.

Lovely collection of 60s era centerfolds in the shop washroom. Much clearer versions than the SOL. All tastefully done I’m sure.

And now we’re back to waiting for Rita to die.

Hitting pause. Taking a moment. Like I’m trying to not to watch what I know is next.

Restarting. Feel free to skip the next bit.

Ross wakes up beat to hell. Rita hanging by her arms from rafters, dead, clothes tattered. Ross finds his car engine destroyed. Starts to run, payphone—no change (Call collect or Operator didn’t occur). Car won’t stop for him. When Rommel gets to the friend’s house, that’s when it gets bad. The scene cuts from the friend’s children (a boy and a girl) wrestling to a shaky cam, quick cut flashback of Rita’s rape and death. (For what it’s worth, her death was accidental, she fell and broke her neck or something) The cutting in of the children was at the start of the flashback was really uncalled for. The whole thing was uncalled for.

And back on task.

That’s how I mourn, having a smoke. Walking by oil rigs.

Single person frolicking is even more unnatural.

Ross Hagan’s biblical philosophy. Barely more coherent than anything put forth in Wild Rebels.

He did hit Big Jake!

That is two Ross Hagen movies with women with paint on them.

One thing I’ve never really understood about this movie and the SOL attitude towards its content. I get why they cut Rita’s rape and death. Even if you could write a riff for that scene, the term ‘tasteless’ would barely scratch the surface. But it is ok to show Paisley get slugged in the gut and strangled? And riff it too? I’m just saying.

One of the biggest missed opportunities: the raising cash/building a team sequence. That could have really created characters we could care about when they die. No, Trikonis and Ross would rather have a camp out and tell an old joke. Until we get to the death match at the end, this movie hits a brick wall and stops there.

Blew their squib budget on Gooch.

I’m glad Nero got out of there alive. Wouldn’t you love to know his score he wanted to settle with JC was? I’m actually getting a little ticked at what a good movie they could have had. Instead, they aimed low and missed.

Was this the first example of MST3K showing “no moral” theater?

Watchability: 1 of 5. Take away the scenes of Rita’s death and I would go 2.

Missing the Riffs: 1 of 5. Was not an experiment I was looking forward to, I’m glad it is over.

Experiment 605-Colossus and the Headhunters

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Colossusandtheheadhunters

“Then what happened?”

My Cheesesteak!

Some things I learned prepping for viewing an unriffed Colossus and the Headhunters:

(All facts subject to your faith in Wikipedia.)

Maciste was created as a heroic character for Italian movies in the 1910s. He’s not some hero from ancient times, unless your definition of ancient refers to a time when Teddy Roosevelt was still alive.

Maciste was originally a solder, angel, Olympic athlete, or anything the plot required. He is a hero in the most generic sense of the word.

During the Sword and Sandal era of Italian filmmaking, Maciste was reimagined as a hero in the classic manner. Because of a lack of familiarity with American audiences, his movies were retitled. Colossus and the Headhunters however neglected to change his name for the voice actors’ scripts.

Hercules against the Moon Men was originally released in Italy and France as a Maciste movie. A missed Cheesesteak opportunity for Joel and the boys.

Jesus Franco, director of The Castle of Fu Manchu, apparently made some Maciste-themed porn films in the 1970s. So there’s that for you if you like.

So, I got one of those movie packs. Ok, so I have several, but that’s not the point. And I’m going through the disc, watching the movies, and I hit a Sword and Sandal block. Four Hercules movies. Suddenly, I’m not in the mood for B movies.

That is kind of my relationship with Sword and Sandal. Not something I really go out of my way to watch. I will stop rather than go on. But that is the thing about MST3K, it covers a wide variety, there is something for everyone. Still, I’d rather have a Eurospy if we’re having Italian.

I think Jason and the Argonauts ruined other S&S for me. None of these muscle men movies could muster the effects of Harryhausen.

As sleepy and misdirected as the Hercules movies could get, it is hard to think of a movie with a more random beginning than this one. Maciste just happened to be walking on a doomed island, just as it is getting doomed?

Should I be bothered by what appears to be ever shrinking numbers on the raft? Maciste isn’t losing any muscle mass on the open seas.

This is one of the few instances where I think the SOL had a better print than I did. The color is very washed out in many places on this print. Almost like the film was overexposed.

It is not just that Maciste lays there breathing, but he starts to sit up before the soldiers are fully out of frame.

I know they just lost their island, but these poor people have a lot invested in a guy who literally just showed up.

I often wonder with the dubbed films of this era how much better voice acting would help them out. Too many of these voices are just reading lines, not really doing anything to make characters. Of course, there are plenty of English language movies better music (or any at all) would improve. That isn’t to say the music cues in this film couldn’t use help by the bushel full.

So, Maciste thinks it would dangerous to stay at the village and help fight the headhunters, but thinks it is ok to go onto the headhunters turf to find ‘safety’? He needs someone to do the thinking around here. Shouldn’t Ariel speak for his people, not Johnny come lately?

Bob Newhart had a more believable fight scene than the headhunter attack. It would seem the attack would kill all the people Kermes is trying to rule. I don’t know if that is a metaphor or just poorly thought out.

And just as Queen Amoha’s people are subjugated, Ariel’s people show up. It is a never ending cycle. On the plus side, now there is lots of available real estate for Ariel’s people.

This whole movie feels like it is missing scenes. Like there are key set up points we weren’t allowed to know.

41:51 into the movie, Maciste pushes in a wall. The second thing he’s done in the movie. A wandering hero, I. Hercules would have been in at least 3 good natured brawls alone by this point.

During the jailbreak, Maciste and Ariel manage to engage everyone but the two people they needed to stop. I’ve got my doubts about Maciste’s ability to go about and a-hero.

So, what do the headhunters get out of this deal? Kermes becomes king, and they get to leave? I somehow don’t buy it. Headhunters are into it just for the heads. It is what they do.

I just love that the hero feels the need to be updated on the plot. Good to know I’m not the only one whose attention was fleeting.

Worse Liturgical Dance: The wedding dance from Colossus or the sacrifice dance from The Mole People? The Fire Maidens dance gets at least an honorable mention. I honestly think this poor girl had to improvise the dance on her own. Nothing could be choreographed that spasmodically. Around 3 minutes of that ‘dancing’.

So, do the Uris troops massacre the headhunter village? I know we just see soldiers dying, but things like this get out of control quickly. And they did torch the village.

I do like the arrow to the face.

Just not well done fight scenes. As if there wasn’t any fight training and everyone was scared to hurt one another.

And of course, Maciste shows up just as things are breaking up. Just in time heroes really need to rethink how they live life.

And pushing over that tower accomplished what? This is a whole new level of meaningless daring do. None of the good guys have put any level of thought into what they want. They are consumed by several immediate small goals, but there does not seem to be any plan. Heck, Maciste doesn’t so much save the day as he shows up just as everything sorts itself out. Ok, he killed the villain. That is something.

Wow, Pee-Wee level death scene. If dying is easy, I guess that is one unfunny actor.

See era of strife is over. They did massacre the headhunters.

If there is one thing royalty likes it is rafting out on the Mediterranean on an open raft like a Huck and Jim of the classical period.

Watchability: 1 of 5. Not a genre I like, but this wasn’t even a well done example. Bad voice acting, poorly thought plot and a bad print to boot. Not a lot to like here.

Missing the Riffs: 3 of 5. I know this is a ‘raw nerve’ episode for many MSTies, with the Nummy Muffin Coocol Butter bits, so I knock it down a bit for that. I suppose a big Kirk Morris fan would have to watch this without the SOL, but I don’t think anyone else should.

 

Experiment 820-Space Mutiny

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“Can a woman buy a man a drink in your galaxy?”

In honor of this experiment reaching 400 laughs at Club-MST3k, I think this movie deserves an unriffed viewing.  400 laughs makes it the most laughed episode at the club, far and away the most laughed.  I think I would place the episode in my top 50, but probably not my top 25.

Reb (David Ryder) Brown and Cissy (Dr. Lea Jansen) Cameron have been married since 1979.

The credits remind me of the visual from the FVI films the SOL watched, but these are on purpose.

I don’t understand why this movie is ‘introducing’ Cissy Cameron, she has IMDB credits going back to 1971.  She was a regular in a Ted Knight sitcom, back when that meant something.  How can you introduce someone with 17 years of work behind her?

Battlestar Galactica of 1978 and 1980.  I saw both series, I saw the movie in the theaters.  But I can’t say I was a big fan of it.  I much preferred Buck Rogers for my late 1970’s Sci-Fi.  Had no interest in the more recent series.

I don’t know much about South African cinema in the late 1980’s, but this looks more like a ‘fan film’ than a professional job.  A high quality fan film, but it doesn’t even reach TV movie quality in look.

If these were amateurs, I would praise the creativity of setting up the locations.  An office as the bridge? Generic Industrial building (with windows) as the bowels of the ship?  There had to be better choices, right?

Workout leotards and modified fast food uniforms it what the clothes look like.  Ed Wood would be proud.

The SOL cut out a huge chunk of Battlestar Galactica footage, and related ‘looking very concerned about the battle’ shots of the crew.

Kalgan is not a very subtle villain.  I would think there would be some kind of uproar about all the people going missing.

Of the hundreds and hundreds of plot holes and questions raised, and God knows every frame of this film raises new questions, this is the series which really bugs me: Where was the Professor coming from?  Was he and Ryder just out cruising through space?  Were they investigating a possible planet to colonize?  And they clearly know there are habitable planets out there, the Bellarians had to come from somewhere, right?    You get started on these, and it just opens up dozens more.  And these are the questions the first 10 minutes inspire!

John Phillip Law is really acting hard.  You can just tell.

The Corona Borealis is an actual constellation, also known as the Northern Crown.  So the Southern Sun is flying to the Northern Crown.  Maybe that’s symbolism of some sort.

And they are not even consistent about how they use the Battlestar footage.  In the first scenes, it was moving backwards.  Now it is moving forward.

I know Kalgan is the ‘villain’ of the piece, but is he really?  He wants to get everyone off the ship and on to a planet.  I can’t say I approve of his methods, but Commander Jansen (Cameron Mitchell) might be wrong on this on.

Future dancing looks stupider than today dancing.  Hula hoops?  Rings are cool, I mean not cool.

Top Classified Secret!  Doesn’t get much more secreter than that.

Who are they going to call for help?  No, no, can’t ask more questions.  It will just hurt.

Wow, they actually let the Chief Engineer, who is in on the mutiny, in on the plan to stop the mutiny.

Very thankfully, there is no more to the garden ‘love scene’.  Right on the line.

I still don’t get what the whole Bellarian thing is supposed to be about.  I suppose it is vaguely sexy padding, but is so disconnected from the rest of the movie.

The big battle with the pirates runs longer, and reuses footage not only from Battlestar, but from Ryder’s crash at the start of the movie.  This is Republic Serial level of reuse!

Was there no attempt to round up the mutineers after they were identified?  Did they just have a party and, no, can’t ask questions.

Can a fist fight be described as wooden?

This movie is really icky when it tries to be sexy.

So the entire Enforcer staff is both corruptible and incompetent?  Seriously, one guy comes aboard and kills, maims or otherwise disables the entire defense force the Southern Sun had.

Space Bitch!  Kalgan actually says Space Bitch.  It is Rocky Jones After Dark.

Many of the kills in this movie are based on the fact no one seems to react to shots fired and bodies dropping to the floor.

And isn’t his a fight to the death kind of thing for the mutineers?  I mean where can they go after rising up against the Commander?  They are still just stuck on a space, you know what, no more questions.

The SOL cut the Engineer flailing around the floor on fire.  He burns up real good in the full cut.

I don’t think they missed a cliché in this movie.  It is like they had a checklist.

Watchability: 3 of 5.  I’ve changed my mind a dozen times on this already.  What blows my mind is how much the SOL crew didn’t go after in this movie.  When I say this movie makes me think of Ed Wood, that is a good thing.

Missing the Riffs: 3 of 5.  It is one of those movies that doesn’t need the SOL to be enjoyable.  Of course, your mileage may vary.

Short 603S-The Selling Wizard

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Unlike “Once Upon a Honeymoon” this ad makes it clear what it is selling and to whom.

Apparently all ice cream was generic back then.  I suppose in 1954, freezers in the home weren’t as spacious as we have now.

We take these big freezers for granted, they had to come from sometime.  Heck, I was at the store today, and the display hasn’t changed that much in 60 years.

Gentlemen, you must all be distracted the pretty girl.  Why, it is amazing the film got made with a pretty girl involved.  Frozen smile for frozen food.

I don’t get why the freezers are set up at an angle.  I never worked in a grocery, so there must be a reason.  Or is it just to show off the interior more?  No, because it is done with closed ones too.

The diagram of how the freezer works looks just like the diagrams in my old science books.

What is a Philadelphia Pint?  The internet doesn’t help me much with that question.  If it was just a pint, they would call it a pint.

Who knew A-B made something other than beer.

Experiment K10-Cosmic Princess (Space: 1999 The Metamorph and Space Warp)

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CosmicPrincess

“What is Directive Four?”

Like many Msties, I’m not very familiar with Season 0.  Now, with the Internet and all, the very humble origins of the Satellite of Love are available to be viewed.  I had known the show started out on local TV, but never had any idea I would ever see them.

I’ve not seen all the KTMA’s available—K04 (Gamera vs Barugon) through K11 (Humanoid Woman) is the limit of my experience—and K10 is the only one I’ve seen multiple times.  Rough with some moments of brilliance sprinkled, this is what I take away from the KTMA episodes.

Space: 1999 I’m even less familiar with.  Other than watching K10, I probably haven’t watched an episode of Space: 1999 for 30 or so years.  I made the decision on that show a long time ago.  I thought it was boring and absurd all at the same time.  I love absurd, but if you can make it boring, that’s something else.  I saw plenty of Mission: Impossible reruns as a kid, and even Landau and Bain couldn’t make me stay with it.

Cosmic Princess is two episodes of the second series smashed together to resemble a movie.  The only tie, from what I gather, is the character Maya plays a big part in both of them.

Space: 1999 was the last series of Gerry and Sylvia Anderson of Thunderbirds fame.  It was once the most expensive British TV series of all time, which makes me cry a little seeing the effects here.

I had to read a bit about the show, just in case I couldn’t follow the plot.  The series was renewed at the last minute, and was undergoing many stylistic and production changes.  The introduction of Maya, per Wikipedia at least, was supposed to be a character to help ratings in the United States.  So, I guess she is an alien version of Cousin Oliver.

Season 2 Episode 1: The Metamorph

Maya is 3rd billed after Martin and Barbara.  Actually, the only other person shown or named in the credits.  Wow, they really were banking on her.

This is the mid-1970s and the sets look shoddier than original series Star Trek.  The ‘space chase’ looked like it went past the same Xmas lights a couple times.

Brian Blessed’s hair is much more impressive with a crisper picture.

Maya looks like she’s dressed for the skating long program.  Maya appears earlier in the episode than she does in the movie.  Their interaction reminds me of Captain Santa Claus and his daughter in Space Mutiny.

Nice spaceship graveyard shot.

I wonder if losing an Eagle was like Mannix getting shot.  Just had to happen once an episode.  The Eagles are a pretty iconic ship, much better than the series it comes from.

The big computer sucking in everyone’s soul reminds me of Willy Wonka’s fizzy lifting drink machine.

The alien ‘slaves’ are pathetic.  Arms aren’t painted, very little in terms of prosthetics.  These make-up artist wouldn’t last very long on Face Off.

Again, I’m not that familiar with the series, but the sets and colors scream 1965 at me, not 1975.  It is like they took everything decent about ST: OS and sucked the life out of it.  It even feels like Martin Landau is doing a less hammy Kirk.

So, knowing what I know about Psyche (the computer) and the nutjob that is Mentor, why should I think Maya is anything more than the what the Psychon Guards are—animated matter.  Why should she be flesh and blood when nothing else is on the planet?

I think they are using Tupperware in the Psychon prison.

Another movie/show where it was cheaper to use a cutout of the moon rather than something more real looking—like film of the moon.  I think we had those in the 1970s.

Why would an alien turn into Earth animals?  Wouldn’t she become, I don’t know, something alien?

HO scale moon.  Only Godzilla is usually that deadly against models.

Nice gorilla suit Maya!

And middle school science experiments explode all over the planet.

Must. Simulate. Gravity’s. Pull.

Wow, and I’ve got another one of these?

Season 2 Episode 12: Space Warp

I have seen Space Warp listed as episode 15 in some guides, but it is episode 12 on Hulu, so that’s what I’m calling it.

Apparently space warps and wormholes were common plot devices in Space: 1999.

This episode ‘happens’ almost a year after episode 1.  Maya is now the science officer, not just a freaky chick they picked up hours ago.  And she is apparently involved with Tony Verdeschi, the man Captain Koenig gets left behind with.

Wouldn’t it make more sense if the Eagle was sucked through the space warp?  A whole moon getting sucked through, and the ship not really being affected?  It is easier to believe in a shape shifting alien changing into Earth creatures.

The more and more the characters keep saying “Space Warp” the more ridiculous it sounds.

Two episodes and Barbara Bain has been crying like mad in both of them.  Come on, I expect more from Cinnamon Carter.

So, is this creature Maya’s true form?  Or is it a testament to how few good ideas the Space: 1999 team had.  This is not a well thought out or well executed make up.

I do have to say, there are some good models of the moon base shown.  I guess that’s where the money went.

When all else fails, just start cutting, right?  So, Barbara Bain says she knows nothing, repeat, nothing about this species, but she knows it is dying and knows she must operate?  Instant expert I guess.  Thankfully, no surgery, just a great Brian Blessed return, but with slightly less impressive hair coloring.

The one-eye thing Maya turns into, best creature I’ve seen in these two episodes.

Unsurprisingly, the alien record found by Landau has no mention about Mentor or Psychon.  It is, still conveniently an explanation of how to jump space warps.  Again, pushes believability way too far, solutions in this series just seem very convenient.  More an element of luck than any skill or planning.

What’s the difference between the Moon Base Alpha dune buggy and the Banana Splits’ dune buggies?  Dignity.

The last thing Martin Landau and Barbara Bain did together?  Harlem Globetrotters on Gilligan’s Island.  The last of the reunion movies.

Watchability: 1 of 5.  I just find this series to be dull and nonsensical.  Subpar effects and make up.  Just not a lot here I find appealing.

Missing the Riffs: 4 of 5.  I am so glad the crew only watched 1 of these Space: 1999 combo movies.  This was a gut punch of boredom.  Riffing is much needed.

Bonus Short-Radar Men From the Moon, Chapter 12: Death of the Moon Man

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Last Chapter, they promised at the end of Chapter 11.

There was one more Cody Serial, but Aline Towne (Joan Gilbert) was the only repeat actor.  Richard Crane, who would later be Space Ranger Rocky Jones, appeared in the sequel serial as well.

It’s the last chapter, can we stop calling him a new character?!?!

We open with the ‘electrocutions’.  The stupid thugs are ordered to find other thugs to sell out Earth.  Cody, of course, awakens as the thugs leave.

So, thugs never got around to killing Cody, but Cody killed Krog.

Ted, Joan, Cody and the Friendly Government Man (in black) plot an attack on Retik.  As the meeting breaks up, Cody gets a call.  It’s the bartender from Al’s Café.  Yes, Graber and Daly went back to Al’s Café to recruit more muscle for the Moon Men.  Of all the things in this Serial that just doesn’t make sense, why is this bugging me so?  My willing suspension of disbelief has been pushed just a little too far here.

I mean really?  I’ve never been in a fight in a restaurant, but if I was a thug, I wouldn’t be going back to the place where some low rent Iron Man and his little buddy kicked my ass no matter how good the Patty Melts are.  Yes, it is bothering me that much.

Cody isn’t a very good hero.  He and Ted had the drop and end up smashing Al’s again.  Ted, of course, is put down quickly while Cody holds on a bit longer.  And when both hero and sidekick are down, the thugs STILL DON’T KILL THEM!  They dropped a stinking A-Bomb in a volcano, disrupted troop movements, caused massive damage but won’t put a bullet in the one person stopping them from succeeding?  I get it, it is for kids, and seeing Cody and Ted shot execution style wasn’t something they would even dream of showing on screen in that time.  But come on people, at least kick them while they are down.  Break their ribs or hand or something.

A moderate speed chase in sedans over two land highway with guns a blazing.  Ted hits the driver of the Thug car, it careens off a cliff, blowing up.  “No chance of getting them out of that,” says Ted as he and Cody look down upon the flaming wreckage.  So, I suppose they could see movement or heard screams, and the “heroes” choose to do nothing.  To quote Joel, “Oh wow.”

So, our heroes have killed 3 men in the last two episodes, mainly because the villains wouldn’t kill them?  I’m not sure what to do with this morality tale.

I would think the King of the Moon, or whatever Retik is, would bring more than one guard with him.  The Moon is kind of a dump, you’d think there would be no end of volunteers to leave.

Heroes kill another man, but it’s just a Moon Man, so I don’t know if it counts.

Cody is somehow not burned alive by Retik’s rocket taking off.  Good thing the Heroes have a truck ready with a death ray.  Cody pulls the trigger and kills the last stinking Moon Man on Earth.

Cody gets a government contract to build more rockets, and Ted nearly impales himself on a model rocket!  What fun, we have here!

I do have to say, I enjoyed the later chapters more than the riffed ones.  These actually had a little bit different formulas to them.  There were times the series dragged, overall, I’d give the series a 2 of 5.  I could see myself watching the whole series again, but not anytime soon.

Bonus Short-Radar Men From the Moon, Chapter 11: Planned Pursuit

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I bet Ted shows up, just in time.

Not Ted, a generic cop.  In a generic cop car.  Deadly gas has no effect on generic cop.  And of course, Graber and Daly think everyone is dead, without even looking in the window.

Joan and Cody steal the officer’s car to chase Graber and Daly.  Surprisingly, Joan is allowed to drive in the chase.

Motorcycle cops add to the chase.

Wow, Generic cop has three kinds of gas grenades.  Was that standard issue for cops back then?  Cops, thinking Cody is a bad guy, shoot the gas grenade, forcing a crash with the villains.  Cody, Joan and the Thugs are taken downtown.  Cody, to save money by not hiring additional actors, convinces the cops to let the thugs go.  Cody follows them back to the Moon Man base.  Ted offers to help, but Cody wisely says no.

Reused take off sequence.  I don’t think a flying man is all that subtle in terms of following a car.  You see a man flying, you know it is Cody.  Or at least Ted.

And he just seems to follow awfully close.  Cody takes on the Thugs and Krog all by his lonesome.  Retik is listening over the radio or something.  It is a fairly long fist fight, almost 3 minutes.  It ends with Cody and Krog possibly being electrocuted.  What do you think?

Just one more chapter!

Bonus Short-Radar Men From the Moon, Chapter 10: Mass Execution

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I thought about watching Robot Holocaust, but I’m in a Cody kind of mood, so, let’s keep it going.

Mass Execution—sounds terrible.

We come back to the gun fight/space ship shoot.  The thugs have started the avalanche, and are turning their attention to the rocket ship as Cody is buried under tons of rocks.  The Rocket ship lands in the hubbub and Graber and Daly turn tail and run.

Cody of course, was protected by the mountain from the avalanche.

Krog calls Retik to report the failure to kill Cody or destroy his ship.  Retik decides to come to Earth to oversee the operation.  Graber and Daly are told to try and kill Cody and his team again.

I suppose it is a good thing that the thugs who would help an alien invasion are really incompetent.

Our Friendly Government Man (in black) tells Cody and Joan the Government is working on their own death ray.  The Friendly Government Man (in black) ask Cody to recount everything important from Chapter 2 and 3, so Republic can have a nice cheap re-cap episode.  Cody obliges with footage of him meeting Retik.

I almost wish the SOL crew had riffed this Chapter.  This would have been a challenge, reriffing scenes they already had done.  If this had been the season 3 serial, it would have fit right in with the repeated KTMA episodes.

Knowing that Republic reused footage from prior serials (Roy Barcroft, who played Retik, was cast to fit footage from another Republic Serial being used.  Retik’s clothes were reused so the new and old footage would match), I wonder how much reused footage was rereused in this recap chapter.

It looks like we’re about to have another lab fight!  I wouldn’t put it past Republic to reuse an earlier fight and play like it is new.  Ah, no fight, just kinda pennyed them in.  But Daly and Graber are reusing the gas in the vent ruse.

The thugs shot the window to Cody’s lab.  But the gas isn’t escaping.

I think Cody is going to shoot that vent!

Three bodies on the floor, plot nowhere to be found!

Short 110S-Radar Men From the Moon, Chapter 9: Battle in the Stratosphere

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So, I know all you want to know is what happens after the film breaks.  Here you go:

Cody and Company leave the moon with very little drama.  No just kidding, as they take off, Joan dutifully goes for coffee.  The captured Moon Man (who Cody sternly sent to his room) attacks Joan and Ted, still in the rocket man suit, with a stick or something.  Big tussle as the pilot is knocked down before the ship leaves the moon orbit.  Bravely, with Cody rolling around with the moon man, the pilot flies the ship on his knees.  The moon man grabs a gun and while wrestling with Cody, the moon man is shot.  The body is tossed into space as the crew sets for Earth.  Joan never does get the coffee.

Meanwhile, Retik calls Krog and his two stupid thugs.  Retik informs Krog and the stupid thugs of Cody’s impending return to Earth, and orders Cody’s Rocket Ship to be shot down.  Retik threatens the crew that failure may mean death.

Cody pretends to do math to figure out a landing.  Our thugs and Krog, coincidently, do the same math, and Graber and Daly show up with the death ray.  The thugs fire and miss as the ship tries to land.

Cody, armed with only a pistol, jumps out of the ship to take on the death ray.  The ship is running low on fuel.  The thugs hit Cody, but he is able to fall safely, just as the ship has to turn and land, nearly out of fuel.

Cody steps out of the bushes and sneaks around to shoot at Graber and Daly.  Gun fight ensues, and the thugs actually use the death ray on Cody.  The crooks, needing to get rid of Cody before shooting the ship, shoot the cliff above Cody, causing an avalanche!

And then we are set up for Chapter 10!

Bonus Cody Coverage to follow!

Watchability: 3 of 5.  If only to find out what happened.

Missing the Riffs: 4 of 5.  The SOL crew was just so over Cody.

Short 109SB-Radar Men From the Moon, Chapter 8: The Enemy Planet

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Hey, a new character!

It doesn’t seem like there are that many people deserving a credit.

Graber and Daly, what mugs.

You would think a doomsday weapon would be more moveable.  Again, if these thugs could do the ‘right’ thing and just kill Cody, we could be done with this story chapters ago.

Remember when going to the moon, wait, I think I used that joke before.  Again, why the serials had to disappear.  Too repetitive.  The launch scene in this chapter is one of the better effect sequences in the serial.

Wouldn’t rockets from Earth be super easy to detect?  It wasn’t like there were daily shuttles or anything like that.

Yep, very lucky break the one single moon man we see knows everything you need to know Cody.  I know coincidence is the driving force behind most “kid” fiction, but this pushes even beyond that level of believability.

Is shooting a door holding dangerous materials really all that wise?

The recycled tank from Undersea Kingdom!  It never gets its due for multiple MST3K appearances.

So, knowing the budgets, I bet this is footage of the tank chasing itself.

Busted airline?  Attacking Tank?  An amateur in Cody’s helmet?  How will this turn out?

Watchability: 3 of 5.  Not bad, this chapter had a change in formula, made it seem fresher.  Well-paced and decent action.  One of the best chapters so far.

Missing the Riffs: 4 of 5.  The riffing was definitely getting weaker by this point in the serial.