Menace From Outer Space (1956)
Rocky Jones, Space Ranger: Menace from Outer Space
Nomination Year: 2015
SYNOPSIS: Menace from Outer Space, like Manhunt in Space, is a film cobbled together from the old Rocky Jones serials.
And gosh, it's swell. Really keen! Right, Rocky?
It has your stock pulp serial figures -- The Hero (Rocky Jones), The Sidekick (Winky), The Professor, The Professor's Hot Daughter, and The Little Kid Who Gets To Come Along Gee Whillikers!
A rocket hits The Professor's lab. It's made of a funky sort of crystal that is powered by friction. Much more powerful than our atomic energy. It came from Jupiter's moon Furnax, which is super-hot and very dense. This logically means that any life there must be made of crystal.
Of course they all head right out, and when they get there, they discover (non-crystal) people, and no mention whatsoever is made of either the extreme heat or the super-density (except for a joke involving a scale -- at the expense of The Professor's Daughter, of course).
Let's be realistic, though. In 1956, nothing would really be hot-and-heavy. Some miscellaneous pulpy things happen. Rocky is a Hero, Winky Sidekicks, The Professor is Smart, The Little Kid Helps Out In Unexpected Ways, and The Professor's Daughter is a pretty tag-along who befriends the wife of the sultan of Furnax.
Your standard fifties sci-fi action reel. You could play Fifties Sci-Fi Tropes Bingo pretty easily with this one. We'd all be winners!
She is Overlooked -- Literally!
The Sultan's daughter is sneaking around. A sentry is pacing back and forth, on guard, but she gets past him by "sneaking" behind him, then darting around his back real quicklike when he turns around.
- Worst Science
Therefore, my interest-bearing bank account is a new species!
We start with The Professor's discussion of the crystal rocket. It's powered by crystal friction! The Professor's Daughter shows that the rocket must have come from Jupiter's Moon, Furnax. Rocky is stunned. Furnax is so hot that we've coined our word "furnace" from it. The Professor says that Crystal can grow in intense heat. And growth equals life! "A true scientist never believe anything until it's proven," The Professor says. Even if it's stupid, apparently.
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