The Video Vacuum (thevideovacuum) wrote,
The Video Vacuum
thevideovacuum

THE PHANTOM EMPIRE (1935) ***

Cowboy star Gene Autry stars in this 12 chapter serial as himself. Autry and his band live on “Radio Ranch” where they perform on the radio live. Some scientists try to scare Gene off the ranch because they know there’s an ancient underground kingdom hidden below the soil. Gene has to outwit the scientists and stay ahead of the subterranean “Thunder Riders”, all while making sure he comes back in time for his show. Autry survives close calls with tumbling rocks, falls off of cliffs and “The Death Chamber”. There’s also a futuristic television set and a “wireless telephone”. Autry is very good (how he kept a straight face through all of this goofiness, I’ll never know) and sings a song about Noah’s Ark. The coolest part is the underground robots who wear metal cowboy hats! All in all, it’s a lot of fun. This was the first serial of the sound era.
Tags: p, sci-fi, serial
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