Buck Rogers in the 25th Century (acquired through trading).

No, this is not an episode of the popular serial that we all remember. This is the first filmed version of Buck Rogers, which was a short that was shown at the 1934 Chicago World’s Fair (which is why it is in the Industrial category). Well, what can I say here? The direction in incredibly stagey, the acting is wooden, and the special effects are laughable. But that’s more than made up for by the incredibly campy costumes and sets, which are over-the-top. The main battle in outer space is done entirely with toy rockets, wires, fireworks, and a hypno-vision effect, all narrated by the scientist character (otherwise it would be impossible to follow). This is as much fun as an Ed Wood film, which means it’s funnier than many so-called comedies. Too bad I can’t tell you where to get a copy––it was on a DVD+R disc with the movie The Reluctant Saint that my husband got in a trade.

Ratings: Camp/Humor Value: *****+. Weirdness: *****. Historical Interest: *****. Overall Rating: *****.

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