King of the Rocket Men (1949, Fred C. Brannon), Chapter 10: The Deadly Fog

The Deadly Fog is a clip chapter. Sadly, the fog doesn’t refer to the misting effect when Deadly goes into flashback to the moments from the first three chapters.

After another lackluster cliffhanger resolution, Tristram Coffin ignores the weapon of mass destruction in a nearby car–he really doesn’t sweat his invention being captured by the evil Dr. Vulcan at all–and heads back to his cave.

In the cave, House Peters Jr. finally catches him in the Rocket Man garb and Coffin sits down to tell him his superhero origin story. Now, the audience has seen all of these scenes and Peters was present for two-thirds of them, so it’s not clear why there needs to be the flashback and exposition.

Maybe they just ran out of money for chapter ten.

There’s a fresh cliffhanger, however. It does just repeat something else from the first chapter, but at least the footage is new.

Rocket Men can’t wrap up soon enough. The serial’s burning through its stockpiled charm.


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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