ZOMBIES OF THE STRATOSPHERE
(director: Fred C. Brannon; screenwriter: Ronald Davidson; cinematographer: John MacBurnie; editor: Cliff Bell; music: Stanley Wilson; cast: Judd Holdren (Larry Martin), Aline Towne (Sue Davis), Wilson Wood (Bob Wilson), Lane Bradford (Marex), Stanley Waxman (Dr. Harding), John Crawford (Roth), Craig Kelly (Mr. Steele), Ray Boyle (Shane), Leonard Nimoy (Narab), Gayle Kellogg (Dick the Rocketship Pilot); Runtime: 167; MPAA Rating: NR; producer: Franklin Adreon; Republic Pictures; 1952)
“A film that either a Martian or Ed Wood Jr. would pine for.”
Reviewed by Dennis Schwartz
A film that either a Martian or Ed Wood Jr. would pine for. Grade D serial director Fred C. Brannon (“The Invisible Monster”/”Radar Men from the Moon”/”Don Daredevil Rides Again”) comes up with a bomb that’s enjoyable in only how inept it is, as there are plenty laughs to be gotten from the stiff acting, the equally dull heroes and villains cartoonishly chasing after each other, the banal dialogue and the ludicrous story. It’s a sci-fi cliffhanger serial in 12 chapters.
Security agent Larry Martin (Judd Holdren) and his team are vigilant against foreign enemies attacking the United States. Larry can fly with the aid of an experimental rocket suit, and while in flight uncovers a rocket ship from Mars has landed and are smuggling uranium. The Martians, led by a humanoid zombie named Marex (Lane Bradford), somehow have hooked up with two gangsters (don’t ask how!), Roth (John Crawford) and Shane (Ray Boyle), and have made a deal with crooked mad scientist Dr. Harding (Stanley Waxman) to build a gigantic Hydrogen bomb to blow up the world so Mars can then replace the Earth and benefit from the Earth’s livable climate. The humans will go to Mars to avoid the explosion, as they are promised that they will be the only survivors on Earth.
Larry with agents Bob Wilson (Wilson Wood) and Sue Davis (Aline Towne) spend the 12 chapters battling against these evil-doers and we are left wondering if they will save the world.
A young Leonard Nimoy has a small part as one of the humanoid zombies from Mars.
REVIEWED ON 1/7/2009 GRADE: C-