Buster Crabbe is Flash Gordon in Planet Outlaws (1953), which was also known as Destination Saturn (1965). This seventy-one-minute feature was condensed from the 237 minute twelve-episode serial Buck Rogers (1936), recycled to early television in condensed form. Purists will want to sit through the whole thing, but the short version's enough for me.
After a dull lecture on man & science & space travel, we cut to a dirigible crashing at the North Pole. Cut again to the future when frozen bodies are found in a state of perfect preservation. They're thawed out & voila, Buck Rogers awakens in the future with his sidekick Buddy (Jackie Moran).
From 1938 to five-hundred years in the future, Buck instantly becomes the most competent hero in the solar system. On what basis? Hard to say. Perhaps on the basis of handsomeness.
Earth is ruled by Killer Kane (Anthony Warde), a gangster. Kane creates robot slaves by putting tin buckets on the heads of captives.
But a hidden city is outside Kane's evil rule. Buck heads off for Saturn to fetch help, in a goofy rocket that looks like a planing tool, evading Kane's fleet of sparkler-powered wood-planers.
Buck crashes on Saturn where he seeks an alliance against Kane. But the Saturnians like the envoys of Killer Kane best. Buck & his pals escape back to Earth having accomplished nothing. But Saturn's Prince Tallon (Philip Ahn, who in old age played Master Kan on the television series Kung Fu) does eventually help Earth.
Nonstop nonsensical action & loads of fun, Planet Outlaws just leaps from one bit of imaginative foolery to the next with hardly a moment to breathe. With delightful cheap miniatures & a super-laughable story, it's no wonder these old live-action cartoons have never completely lost an audience.
copyright © by Paghat the Ratgirl