Also known as: Rocky Jones, Space Ranger: Manhunt In Space (complete title)
Release Date: 1954
Directed by: Hollingsworth Morse
Written by: Arthur Hoerl
Music by: Alexander Laszlo
Cast: Richard Crane, Scotty Beckett, Sally Mansfield
Official Films, Roland Reed Productions, Space Ranger Enterprises, 78 Minutes
“Well, the Double M just became the scrambled M.” – Winky
Like the recently reviewed Crash of the Moons, this movie is actually just three episodes of the syndicated television show Rocky Jones, Space Ranger edited into a singular feature length picture.
Also, like Crash of the Moons, this is a pretty awful flick that was a product of its time but with seemingly less of a budget than other productions like it.
Rocky Jones is very similar to the motion picture serials of the time. It’s obviously this studio’s attempt at trying to create their own sci-fi hit like Buck Rogers or Flash Gordon.
Out of the two Rocky Jones films I’ve seen now, I’d have to say that this is the weaker one.
Not a lot goes right with this production but I can imagine that 1950s boys didn’t care. The show was short-lived, living and dying in the same calendar year, but it did stretch over two seasons in that short time and thirty-plus episodes were made.
In retrospect, it doesn’t have the lasting impact that other sci-fi space operas of the era had. In fact, I think that the only way people today might even know about Rocky Jones is because two of the film versions were lampooned on Mystery Science Theater 3000.
Pairs well with: the TV series Rocky Jones, Space Ranger, as well as other ’50s and ’60s sci-fi that was shown on MST3K.