Cheezy Flicks // 1952 // 167 Minutes // Not Rated
Reviewed by Judge David Johnson // November 13th, 2009
Before your very eyes you will see...rocket ships in strato-flight...strange creatures from another world...rocket men fighting robots...deadly machines and weapons in action!
You had me at "rocket me fighting robots."
Zombies of the Stratosphere, besides having a great title -- possibly the greatest title in the history of everything -- is pretty long and awful. It's objectively awful, in that "so low-budget and old that it's awful, but in a Plan 9 from Outer Space fun" kind of way.
Here's the scoop: The Martians have made a pact with some traitorous guys in suits to knock the Earth out of its orbit, which will lead to its total vaporization from the Sun. The Martians bring a clunky robot to help make their scheme happen, as well as unibrows which are no doubt the envy of all interstellar tyrants. Standing in the way of this dastardly plot: Larry Martin, a security agent who doesn't let the fact that it's nearly impossible to be an awesome action hero with a name like Larry stand in his way of saving the world. And when the world needs saving, he straps on his jetpack, and...blah blah blah, 167 minutes later, the world is saved!
Zombies of the Stratosphere is a Republic Serial, which accounts for its big, fat runtime and overall goofiness. Of course, that's the whole reason for this release. As a functional, coherent movie experience, Zombies is about as cohesive as a fever dream, but we're simply meant to point and laugh at its inadequacy.
I suppose there's some nostalgia to be siphoned out of the affair, but I doubt that can sustain the typical viewer for three-plus hours. No, only plant yourself for the long haul, if you're angling to make sport of the plodding, cheaply-outfitted robot man, the jetpack miniature action figure rocketed on a wire, or the horrible Martian "costume," a glittery one-piece rigging that wouldn't strike fear into a kitten. By the way, there aren't any zombies.
Not much else to add here: 167 minutes of old-school, snort-worthy tomfoolery that might provide an evening's worth of derisive laughter. The DVD: full frame, black and white, 2.0 stereo, and no extras.
Not Guilty, but you should know what you're getting into.
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Scales of Justice
Studio: Cheezy Flicks
* Full Frame
* Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo (English)
Running Time: 167 Minutes
Release Year: 1952
MPAA Rating: Not Rated