Also known as: Rocky Jones, Space Ranger: Crash of the Moons (complete title)
Release Date: July 10th, 1954
Directed by: Hollingsworth Morse
Written by: Warren Wilson
Music by: Alexander Laszlo
Cast: Richard Crane, Scotty Beckett, Sally Mansfield
Official Films, Roland Reed Productions, Space Ranger Enterprises, 78 Minutes (original cut), 86 Minutes (DVD cut)
“Without a fixed position in outer space, they’re unable to make astronomy an exact science.” – Rocky Jones
Like several other science fiction pictures that were lambasted on Mystery Science Theater 3000, Crash of the Moons is actually a couple of television episodes chopped up and re-edited into a movie format.
The footage is taken from three episodes of the short-lived syndicated TV series Rocky Jones, Space Ranger.
This film is low budget even for the television standards at the time.
I can’t fault the creative team behind this though. Their hands were tied, their funds were limited and they at least tried to make something imaginative and fun that sort of captures the film serial, space opera trend that was popular back in the day.
And honestly, even though this was on television for less than a year, it helped pave the way for science fiction on the medium. For the time, it also isn’t terrible and I can imagine a lot of young, 1950s boys sitting in front of the TV with their toy rocket ships, playing along with the action.
But when I look at it alongside other ’50s pictures and serials of the sci-fi genre, it is fairly boring and uneventful. I can’t speak for the entirety of the Rocky Jones show, I can only speak in regards to this film version.
While the episodes here mostly work as one body of work, things still feel disjointed and the story is bogged down by its pacing and editing. Its like we’re given a small chunk of the show without the added context of what happens around it and even if this were made to be episodic, it’s like big pieces of the plot, that we’re supposed to know, seem to be missing.
This just isn’t very exciting. I can imagine that it was for young males in 1954 but they also didn’t have a lot to compare it to back then, as television was a new medium and young boys tend to be captivated by outer space shit and adventure.
Pairs well with: the TV series Rocky Jones, Space Ranger, as well as other ’50s and ’60s sci-fi that was shown on MST3K.