The Phantom Empire - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

The Phantom Empire Reviews

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October 27, 2015
Ignore the poor;y acted cowboy opera. Marvel at the underground city that predicts cell phones, GPS and elevators thousands of feet tall. Not as visionary as "just Imagine," but worth a look.
½ June 20, 2015
mixing singing cowboy westerns with sci-fi= not so much even Autrey is unable to save this hot mess!
July 17, 2013
I use to watch this "cliff hanger series" when I was a kid. The junior thunder riders where fun to watch. Didn't like when Gene Autry was on screen much.
June 11, 2013
As a serial, it's a bit long, and pretty cheesy, yet it holds some interest. The singing bits and the subplots did make the films confusing. Decent characters, decent ending. Overall, 30's sci-fi/western fun.
August 27, 2010
this is one of the most bizzare things i review on this site,THE PHANTOM EMPIRE is a movie serial that blends elements of a Westren , a musical ,and Sicence fiction in one story line. Visually the western secenes and sci-fi secenes clash drastically with each other. Plot wise it's amazing to think its quite littarley a sci-fi western, Gene Audry (as himself) a cowboy radio star who regualy brodcasts each day at 2pm from radio rach has his life changed for ever when evil scientists who are looking for a hidden kingdom underground frame him for murder, running from the law adury finds himself caputered by the troops of the hidden kingdom called Murainia and is taken miles underground to be executed for bringing to much atteion to the former abanoned ranch which theatens the hidden kingdoms eixisatnce. When Autry is going to be executed by the queen of murainia her lord saves the cowboy for future use in an up comming rebellion.

Overall , there is just to much storylines for this serial but the one thing i love about this serial is the Sic-Fi element to it , athough it rips off the look off friz lang's METROPILIS (1927) this serial has robots, T.V's, death ray's , and misslies. for a serial made in 1935 its sci-fi element was at least a good 15 years ahead of its time.
Recommendation: DVD collectors get this serial on DVD through VCI entertainemt or BIG SKY VIDEO it makes a nice addtion to any collection. 6/10
August 26, 2010
1930s serial featuring yodeling cowboy star Gene Autry pitted against the underground technologically advanced civilization of Murania. Plus some evil research scientists seeking radium. A posse of kids helps out. But wait my DVD only had 10 of the 12 episodes! I will forever wonder whether that robot with the laser beam really cut Gene's head in two or not!
½ August 15, 2010
Completely ridiculous, but makes you feel like a little boy all over again. Only for fans of the adventure serial genre.
April 25, 2009
It is what it was. Radio singing cowboy fights off Super Science under ground civiliazation and Uranium rustlers with the help of a rodeo band of young kids. It's a 1930's movie serial so bizzare only Gene Autry and his crowd pull it off. We watched it at Christmas and the kids got into the adventure. Everyday when we got back from skiing we'd watch an episode or 2 before bedtime. Stretching it out over the weeks was a lot more fun then watching all 13 episodes back to back.
October 3, 2004
[font=Arial]This stuff is too horrible for words. It makes [i]Plan 9 From Outer Space[/i] look like a masterpiece. The only way to watch this as an adult is with your eyes closed, looking sideways, carefully peering between your fingers out of one eye once in awhile to follow the action. Even then, you spend most of your time cringing, shuddering, giggling, or gasping in amazement.

But, you [i]*love*[/i] it anyway, either in spite of its uncountable flaws, or because of them. This serial has had a hold on me for almost fifty years since I first saw it in the early '50's. Every recollection of it brings a smile. It is a serial with everything, and combines elements of every movie genre one can imagine: western, musical, comedy, science fiction, crime, and dashes of horror and child adventure.

It has cowboys, evil scientists, lost cities, robots, radio and television, death rays, machines that resurrect the dead, and radium. Radium everywhere. This wonder element is the fuel that powers every futuristic machine in the hidden, underground city, and the desire of the evil scientists who scheme to get rich from it, and will kill to further their schemes. As adults, of course, we are obliged to ignore the reality that radium couldn't possibly do what it does here, but that's a trivial detail, irrelevant to the fun at hand.

The robots are a hoot: garbage cans that walk, but they are the only part of this movie I never came to accept. You watch each chapter for a little while, and it begins to take you in. It isn't long before you're thinking, [i]"This is terrible, but with just a little work here and there .. it could be pretty good."[/i] Then, you're hooked, and it's time to apply for membership in the Thunder Riders.

There is no way this serial could be remade today. For one thing, the notion of Radio Ranch, a radio variety program broadcast from a remote location, doesn't fly in a world of HDTV and personal computers. But, so help me, I can't help wishing someone would try![/font]
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