Crash of the Moons (review by Doug Smith)
“Crash of the Moons” is really kind of a fun, albeit rather annoying, little movie that’s actually two episodes of “Rocky Jones, Space Ranger” pieced together. Thankfully, the two episodes actually do coincide with one another, unlike “Riding with Death.” And actually, the special effects are better in this movie too, even though it was made in the fifties. At any rate, in this movie, Rocky Jones has to rescue two races of people from two different planets that are going to crash into each other. Yeah, I know, pretty implausible. But, hey, it was the fifties, what do you expect?
Richard Crane, whose last movie was sadly titled “Surf Party,” stars as Rocky Jones. Sally Mansfield plays Vena Ray, who’s actually a very strong female character for this movie being made in the decade of drunken, doughy, chauvinistic white guys. The obviously gay Scotty Beckett plays the even more obviously gay Winky, Rocky Jones’ sidekick. Robert Lyden plays the obligatory whiney voiced kid, Bobby. And Maurice Cass plays fuzzyheaded scientist, Professor Newton.
The movie opens with Vena Ray, Bobby and Professor Newton getting dropped off at a space station by a giant tampon. Meanwhile, Rocky Jones, Winky and Space Secretary Drake are trying to convince the queen of a planet (I’m not even going to attempt to try to spell the names) that joining the United Planets is the right thing to do. The queen threatens to blow them away, so they leave. Once they’re out in space a little ways, they contact the space station where Vena and crew have landed. Being the clever little people that they are, they “befuddle” Rocky by answering his call, instead of the normal dispatcher. Professor almost has a heart attack because he thinks it’s so funny.
Anyway, come to find out, the reason Vena, Bobby and Professor have come to the space station is because the “Gypsy Moons” will be passing close by and they have friends living there. The fun doesn’t last for very long, though. Rocky quickly does some calculations and discovers that the space station will be passing through the “atmosphere chain” that links the two planets (moons … whatever) and it will most likely be destroyed, or at the very least sent hurtling across space. Apparently, the so-called brilliant Professor Newton overlooked the glaringly obvious fact that they were headed into certain peril. Ah well, everyone has their off days, I guess. Hey, it’s almost as believable as half the Star Trek plots.
Rocky and Winky throw their space ship into high gear and manage to get to the space station in the nick of time. In a very suggestive docking sequence, the ship pushes the station out of the atmosphere chain. Meanwhile, John Banner is trying to keep Hogan and his heroes in line … er … I mean, he’s the ruler of one of the moons and he can’t figure out why his baby keeps crying. Little does he know that his moon is destined to smash into the very same planet whose queen was being a bitch at the beginning of the movie and his son can somehow sense it.
After careful calculations, Rocky and his crew discover what the baby already knows and they go down to tell Bavarro (John Banner) the bad news. Pleasantries are exchanged at first … Bavarro calls Bobby “Booby!” … Winky greets Bavarro like a secret gay lover … and Bavarro embarrassingly gushes kindness to everyone. But then they get down to business and tell Bavarro that his planet is doomed. “Hey, good to see ya! You’re gonna die.”
After all is explained, Rocky and Winky leave Vena, Bobby and the Professor on the planet while they go attempt to tell the bitch ruler of that other planet that I can’t spell, that her world is doomed. They’re promptly imprisoned.
Preparations for evacuation go underway on Bavarro’s planet while Winky and Rocky are splayed out on their prison cell’s floor with their areas in plain view for the whole world to see. In the meantime, one of the bitch queen’s henchmen, who looks like Craig T. Nelson, has double-checked the course of the Gypsy Moons and, sure enough, one of them is going to crash right into their planet. The queen’s solution? Blow the moon away!
Eventually, Rocky and Winky are rescued by one of the planet’s residents and they embark on a mission to stop the queen and rescue the citizens of Bavarro’s planet. Like I said, this movie can be fun and yet annoying at the same time. Winky and Bobby provide most of the annoying parts. As for Rocky, he’s actually a pretty good early version of James T. Kirk. And Rocky didn’t need a 500-person crew. He did it all by himself and with a guy named Winky! Well, mostly by himself… I give it two yaks.