“Now nothing stands in the way of putting our plan of world conquest into operation. “
Dr. Bryant (James Craven) is a scientist and inventor. He owns the “Bryant Manufacturing Company”. He is currently testing a new ray gun weapon he invented. Recently he has noticed some activity over his building. Believing it is an aerial spy or saboteur of some kind he hires Kent Fowler (Walter Reed) of the “Fowler Air Patrol” company. Since the craft is too high overhead and out of his ray gun range Bryant installs his ray gun to one of Kent’s planes. With Kent patrolling the skies Bryant can monitor if anyone is flying over head and bring it down. When the unusual air craft appears Kent shoots it down.
The pilot of the unusual space craft ends up being an alien from the planet Mars named Mota (Gregory Gaye). He says they have been monitoring Earth and is aware that Earth has atomic weapons. He also knows that Bryant was a Nazi sympathizer during the war. He propositions Bryant. Mars wants to take over Earth, for their own good, under the control of the supreme dictator. He offers Bryant the position of ruler of Earth under Mars’ dictatorship. Bryant agrees.
In order to conquer Earth Mota needs uranium. Lots of it. A couple henchmen are recruited to assist in acquiring all the supplies the Martian and Bryant need to make a fancy aircraft and super atomic weapons Martian style. The gang’s attempts to steal uranium alerts Kent that there are evil shenanigans going on. Along with his partners Helen Hall (Lois Collier) and Steve (Sandy Sanders), Kent doggedly interferes with Mota’s plot after plot to amass the needed weapons to initiate the invasion.
“Flying Disc Man From Mars” was released in 1950 and was directed by Fred C. Brannon. This Republic serial was made shortly after WWII during the McCarthy era where everyone was accused of being a Communist sympathizer and conspiracies concerning the “Red Scare” were everywhere. In a, not exactly subtle, cold war plot our Martian is played by a Russian born actor. Mota may be from Mars but most of the time he is wearing a suit and tie and looking more like an evil spy or a man in black than an alien from outer space.
Kent’s gun runs out of bullets only once and one of the bad guy’s gun runs out of bullets once, otherwise everyone is all bullets all the time. And everyone has terrible aim. The secret base is in an active volcano. The space ship looks like a cross between a stealth bomber and one of those space ship rides at an amusement park that goes around and around.
Although it’s not a great serial it is fun. I would have liked more alien and less cloak and dagger.
Chapter titles: 1. Menace from Mars (20 min) 2. The Volcano's Secret (13 min, 20 sec) 3. Death Rides the Stratosphere (13 min, 20 sec) 4. Execution by Fire (13 min, 20 sec) 5. The Living Projectile (13 min, 20 sec) 6. Perilous Mission (13 min, 20 sec) 7. Descending Doom (13 min, 20 sec) 8. Suicidal Sacrifice (13 min, 20 sec) 9. The Funeral Pyre (13 min, 20 sec) 10. Weapons of Hate (13 min, 20 sec) - re-cap chapter 11. Disaster on the Highway (13 min, 20 sec) 12. Volcanic Vengeance (13 min, 20 sec)