“It must have been Commando Cody and his flying suit.”
Disasters have been happening all over. Bridges have blown up, trains de-railed, buildings destroyed. Commando Cody (George Wallace) believes that the attacks have been coming from the Moon. The government agrees with him. To find out why this is happening Cody and his team, Ted (William Bakewell), Hank (Wilson Wood) and Joan Gilbert (Aline Towne), fly to the Moon on a rocket ship to check it out.
Once on the moon Cody flies around in his helmet and jet pack to check out the area. He comes upon a walled city. Inside he meets the Moon’s dictator Retick (Roy Barcroft). Retick freely admits that they are attacking the Earth. He explains that because of the lack of atmosphere they can no longer grow crops or go out onto the moon’s surface without helmets and air tanks so they are going to take over the Earth and live there.
To accomplish this, the Moon people use an element called Lunarium which is more powerful than Uranium. With it the Moon men can make atomic weapons such as ray-guns and ray-cannons and baby atomic bombs. Retick tries to kill Cody but he escapes and flies back to the space ship. The team decides they need to try to capture one of the ray guns but they fail. Knowing that the Moon men are not far behind they fly back to Earth.
Back on Earth Retik’s henchmen are busy trying to weaken the Earth’s defenses and building Ray-guns. Retik’s number one henchman is Krog (Peter Brocco), looking kinda like a cross between a ninja and a giant elf. He has enlisted a number of Earth crooks as his minions. Head minion is Graber (Clayton Moore). Needing more money to finance their dastardly deeds the hired minions try to rob a bank. The only minion that comes out alive is Graber. Their next idea is to kidnap Commando Cody and ransom him for the needed funds. When Cody isn’t there they take Joan. Cody manages to rescue Joan but he still has to save the world from domination by the Moon men.
“Radar Men From The Moon: Commando Cody” was released in 1952 and was directed by Fred C. Brannon. It is a twelve chapter Republic serial. It is the 59th serial from Republic. The character is one of the few super heroes, and perhaps the only one, that was created for a serial and did not come from a comic book. It was the most expensive serial in 1952 despite the fact that just about everything, sets, props and footage, is recycled from other movies, including “King of the Rocket Men”, “Undersea Kingdom”, “Flight to Mars” and “The Purple Monster Strikes”.
This is probably the most inept invasion I’ve ever seen. The Moon men sent down one Moon guy who hired a few locals. They have one ray-gun. Cody manages to capture the ray-gun. They need to build another ray-gun but they need money to buy what they need to make it. Instead of stealing what they need to make the ray-gun they try other means hence the foiled bank robbery and the foiled kidnapping. Then they try to rob a company’s payroll but have to toss it out the car window when they crash their car, etc. etc.
All in all it’s still a fun piece of 50’s Saturday afternoon. The sci-fi elements are entertaining but I do wish there had been more of them and less cops and robbers type action. Give me a mad scientist and a megalomaniac any day.
Chapter Titles: 1. Moon Rocket; 2. Molten Terror; 3. Bridge of Death; 4. Flight to Destruction; 5. Murder Car; 6. Hills of Death; 7. Camouflaged Destruction; 8. The Enemy Planet; 9. Battle in the Stratosphere; 10. Mass Execution; 11. Planned Pursuit; 12. Death of the Moon Man.