King of the Rocket Men (1949, Fred C. Brannon), Chapter 12: Wave of Disaster

The Wave of Disaster does have some great special effects for Rocket Men’s finale. Sure, they’re from an earlier film, but they’re still great. The Rocket Man effects are fine too, they’re just boring.

After yet another tepid cliffhanger resolution–maybe the first to directly contradict the previous chapter’s version of it–and Tristram Coffin letting the bad guys get away (again), the action moves to New York City. Only the bad guys aren’t going to New York City, they’re going to a very large, mountainous island 300 miles from the city. There they plan on firing their weapon of mass destruction at an underwater fault line (because the weapon has a range of 200 miles).

Would you believe Coffin’s weapon-detector has a range of 250 miles? Negative coincidences abound in Wave.

It’s not a great chapter. It’s not the worst, it’s not the best. It’s a low middling. No idea what Mae Clarke’s character is doing in it; she wants to go to New York and then loses all her screen time to Coffin and House Peters Jr.’s bromance.

Still… it could be much worse.


Directed by Fred C. Brannon; written by Royal K. Cole, William Lively, and Sol Shor; director of photography, Ellis W. Carter; edited by Cliff Bell Sr. and Sam Starr; music by Stanley Wilson; released by Republic Pictures.

Starring Tristram Coffin (Jeffrey King), Mae Clarke (Glenda Thomas), Don Haggerty (Tony Dirken), House Peters Jr. (Burt Winslow), James Craven (Prof. Millard), I. Stanford Jolley (Prof. Bryant), Ted Adams (Prof. Conway), and Stanley Price (Prof. Von Strum).


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