Sergeant Don Roberts of the Mounted Police (William Henry) is called out of town on a ruse. Meanwhile a foreign faction is breaking into the police safe and stealing a co-ordinance map. The next day undercover agent Kay Conway (Susan Morrow) comes to town. Members of this foreign faction were part of a group headquartered in Montreal. When the group was broken up the government believed some of them headed west and is now in Officer Roberts’ district. Kay thinks they may be in the Taniak valley looking to build secret landing fields, air bases or supply depots. A group of settlers happen to be leaving Nadia for the Taniak area next month. Roberts and Conway plan on joining them posing as settlers so they can investigate the theory.
In the meantime Joe Marloff AKA Smokey Joe (Arthur Space) is posing as a mild mannered absentminded trapper. His two henchmen, Beck (Dale Van Sickel) and Reed (Mike Ragan), were the ones who broke into the safe and stole the map. Marloff plans on using it to figure out the best place to build a rocket launching platform. Once completed they can destroy major American cities with atomic missiles. When America is in shambles they will then launch a full scale invasion of the United States. First on his list is to stop the settlers from moving into the area.
Roberts and Kay turn out to be a lot more than the spies planned on. Each time the minions attempt to interfere with the settlers the Mountie and the Agent thwart their plans. Even when Smokey and his gang change plans Roberts tenaciously dogs the evil duo.
“Canadian Mounties vs Atomic Invaders” was released in 1953 and was directed by Franklin Adreon. It is a Republic Pictures twelve chapter adventure espionage serial and is the sixty-second of the sixty-six serials produced by Republic. The serial is set in Canada; however, the serial was filmed in the United States. Special Effects were done by the Lydecker brothers. It is one of twenty-six Republic serials that were re-packaged and released as a television film. It was re-titled “Missile Base at Taniak”.
A good amount of stock footage was used. Included are some of the dog sled scenes, the ice breaking on the river, the avalanche, bear cubs and dog attack scenes came from a film called “Call of the Yukon 1938 as well as other serials such as “King of the Royal Mounted 1940 and “King of the Mounties” 1942. Some of the movie was filmed in the Big Bear Lake region of the San Bernardino National Forest. I will say they did a good job of blending the stock footage in with the new footage in most places. The footage of the wild dogs attacking is mostly stock footage but it’s actually pretty awesome stock footage.
Despite the science fictiony title there is nothing Atomic about the serial. It is your basic bad vs good in the wilderness film. It’s also a little strange that a “foreign power” would trust an important mission that is geared to bring down a world power to one guy and a couple minions. Evil they may be but they are also quite inept. The closest thing they “invade” is whatever they blow up, which is mostly caves. There seem to be quite a few nicely hewn caves in Canada.
Unbelievable? Yes. Propaganda? Sure. It may be a cold war propaganda serial but it was done in an entertaining way. Even though the plot is farfetched it is fun. Even some of the cliff hangers were enjoyable.
Unfortunately the chapters in the Archive video are seriously out of sequence. CHAPTER TITLES: 1. Arctic Intrigue; 2. Murder or Accident; 3. Fangs of Death; 4. Underground Inferno; 5. Pursuit to Destruction; 6. The Boat Trap; 7. Flames Versus Gun; 8. Highway of Horror; 9. Doomed Cargo; 10. Human Quarry; 11. Mechanical Homicide; 12. Cavern of Revenge.