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Although King of the Rocket Men has the reputation of being one of the best Republic serials, it really doesn't have that much going for it to raise it above the average. Its chief assets are some great car and truck crashes off cliffs and piers and the genuinely impressive flying sequences - the surprisingly convincing long shots of the Rocket Man flying across hills or towards and over the camera on truly invisible wires will have you wondering just how they managed it. Small wonder Republic would recycle them (and the rocket suit) a few years later for Radar Men from the Moon. The plot is the standard-issue serial number with a mysterious villain trying to get his hands on secret inventions and constantly thwarted by the anonymous Rocket Man, though for novelty value there's more than one person in the rocket suit in one episode: Superman could have saved a lot of running around if he had a buddy who could stand in for him to avoid suspicion like that.

Tristram Coffin is an unlikely hero, looking more like a bank manager than an amateur detective-cum-superhero, while Mae Clarke, a long way and a lot of miles from her encounter with James Cagney and that grapefruit, is an equally unlikely leading lady. There's not a lot of ingenuity in the plotting and most of the situations are well-used stock ones, but at little more than 13 minutes an episode it never outstays its welcome. It has a lot of the problems that plagued most serials, not least cliffhangers that are invariably solved the following chapter by a previously unseen shot of our hero jumping from the crashing car/exploding truck/etc at the last minute (this is the serial - sorry, chapter play - that Annie Wilkes complains about in Misery) while it takes recycling footage to extremes in Chapter Ten, which is almost completely made up of flashback highlights from Chapters One and Two. It's certainly not as much fun as The Rocketeer, which it clearly inspired, but it does break with tradition in the final chapter by having the villain successfully destroy most of New York in a surprisingly lavish and spectacular finale that looks like it ate up most of the serial's budget but is actually stock footage from long-lost 1933 disaster movie Deluge (an American film, it now only exists in a dubbed Italian version).

Cheesy Flicks' DVD offers good prints of all twelve chapters, although there is a curious bit of unintentionally repeated footage in episode two as if they'd used two separate prints for the master and spliced them together at the wrong point. It's not the only error on the disc: the chapter titles on the menu are wrong, but the episodes themselves are in the right order. Extras are limited to appropriately cheesy 50s intermission ads, a brief promo for the MPAA's rating system introduced by Julie Andrews (assuring us of a decent and responsible motion picture industry) and some less than pristine trailers for The Headless Ghost, Robot Monster and Jesse James Rides Again.
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on 17 December 2006
A team of atomic researchers are being killed off, one by one, by a villain calling himself "Dr. Vulcan".

Jeff King is assigned to safeguard the remainder of the team.

With the aid of a secret experimental rocket suit, that enables him to fly, Jeff becomes Rocket Man and begins tracking Dr Vulcan

However, Dr. Vulcan has many deadly devices of his own to use against Rocket Man.

King must expose Vulcan without revealing to the world that he is the Rocket Man.

An excellent serial that has been long awaited on DVD
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on 4 July 2013
Purchasing old movie serials on DVD can be a gamble. Some are very poor quality in the picture and sound department but you can buy this with confidence. The quality is very high and looks as good as it probably did on its original cinema release.

Add in the fact that it's very enjoyable, following all the usual cliches of serials and you've got almost three hours of entertainment.

Enjoy!!
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on 6 November 2013
Remember this from my childhood and one of those cliffhanger serials. Great to see this released on DVD after so long. Fondly remember waiting for the new episode each week, eagerly waiting to see if Rocket Man managed to survive, but we know he always did!!!!
Great entertainment and well worthy of the purchase from the seller, Thanks you have made my day!!!
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on 23 November 2007
Great serial, great transfer except, well I now have 3 copies all with a faulty last episode! The thing freezes after 2 minutes in. Just like having the last page of a thriller missing!!!!!
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on 12 March 2013
I remeber saturday morning pictures, 2 (old) pence on the bus, 9 pence to get in 6 pence for a zoom ice lolly...afterwards we would take our arms out of the sleves and do out coats up at the neck and "Fly" home.
It may be a cheezy flick but its also great nostalgia.... more please, how about the Radar man from Mars?
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on 4 April 2016
Great fun to watch and excellent special effects for the time.
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on 13 December 2009
I hadn't seen this old Republic serial for years and I enjoyed it then so would I enjoy it as much again now? Well, I was not to be disappointed. It was just as good as it was from way back when. The days off school with measels and then finally going back but getting my dad to videotape the last few episodes so I could find out who Dr Vulcan was.Brilliant!
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on 30 August 2015
Blast from the past.
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on 3 April 2015
EXCELLENT
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