Once again, Cold War tensions find themselves manifesting into a movie. I understand that this was a pretty big concern in the 50’s but to be honest, that overall theme got to be very boring real fast. Today’s movie is no exception and if it wasn’t for the fact that it is part of the Sci-Fi Invasion box set, I probably would never consider buying it. So let’s see how good or bad of a movie I have her as I watch Rocket Attack U.S.A.
The plot: In 1957, the Soviet Union successfully placed a man-made satellite into orbit above the Earth, changing the course of modern warfare. Concerned that the satellite could be used to gather intelligence on the US in order to plan an ICBM attack, the CIA sends John Manston to Moscow to confirm if the satellites are being used for espionage purposes or if it is simply propaganda material. Manston boards a civilian plane to fly into Russia and the pilot lands as close to Moscow as he is comfortable with and Manston is forced to make his own way to Moscow, a journey which will take several weeks. In Moscow, things seem peaceful but there is concern that the military might stage a coup and take over the government, which worries the citizens. Manston finally makes it to Moscow and heads towards a cafe to meet with his contact, a woman named Tanya. While watching the entertainment at the cafe, consisting of a belly dancer and a fire swallower, Manston is able to pass notes to Tanya, who is working as a waitress at the cafe. Later that night, Manston heads to Tanya’s apartment and after they verify both of their identities, Manston says he will have to stay at her place while he gathers his intel and Tanya is worried but agrees to let him stay. Back in the US, the military and aircraft industry are hard at work to develop their own ICBM as a means to discourage a possible attack from the Soviets but their progress is hindered as they try to develop a nosecone that can withstand the heat of reentry. Back in Moscow, Tanya relays to Manston that the military plans on forcing a vote to go ahead and attack the US as soon as their missile is ready and before the US is able to retaliate. During the meeting, the marshall tells the assembled group his plan to attack New York City, as it’s destruction would make the US easier to control for themselves. They get word of this to the US, who continues to try and complete work on their own rocket. That night, after Tanya “entertains” a Russian minister, she lets Manston out of the closet he was hiding in and tells him that the minister is going to look at missile sites and invited her to accompany him. As they look at the passed out general, Manston comments on how he wishes that she didn’t have to do what she does and after admitting his feelings for her, the two embrace and kiss. In the US, their latest missile test ends up exploding mid flight and though the engineer says that they have a successful rocket and it was just bad luck, the general in charge says that the failure has made it harder to secure more funding for additional tests. Meanwhile, Manston is waiting in Tanya’s apartment when someone knocks on the door and slips a note underneath it. Manston quickly grabs the man and asks what he is doing there and the man says he is a friend of Tanya. He claims that Tanya has run away from the minister and is hiding in Lenningrad and will take him to her. Manston doesn’t trust him at first but the man produces his ID, saying he is part of British Intelligence, and Manston agrees to go with him. Meanwhile, the Soviet Marshall tells the assembled parliament members that with the US test failure, they now have the perfect time to strike against the US. The British Intelligence operative takes Tanya to meet with Manston, then hands her a package to give him before going his separate way, as Manston wants to finish the mission on his own. Tanya meets Manston and hands him the package but refuses to leave, telling Manston he will need her help in locating the base. Meanwhile, the British Intelligence agent is captured and taken to the base, where the base commander doesn’t believe he is alone and increases the guards’ patrols. As Manston and Tanya reach the base, they try to sneak around to the back but are spotted by a guard, who fires at them. Tanya is hit and tells Manston to go on, then shoots the guards as he tries to go after Manston before she dies. Manston reaches the base and sets the bomb he was carrying onto the rocket but is spotted by the guards and is forced to shoot his way out. Meanwhile, the bomb is discovered and removed from the rocket, with a soldier carrying it off to detonate harmlessly away from the base. As Manston heads back to Tanya, he hears the explosion and thinks they have won but he ends up being gunned down by a soldier. In the US, a radio newscaster is going over the news stories and talks about how the Kremlin is planning to negotiate over the issues that they disagree with the US on. However, the Kremlin actually orders their missile to be fired at New York and though the US tries to destroy it, and retaliate against Moscow, both efforts fail and New York is destroyed. As the news reports comments on the death toll and wreckage, the story ends with the news caster saying that this can’t be how things end.
I don’t think I have ever watched a more boring movie before. I mean, I actually fell asleep while I was watching this. The acting was boring and unemotional that it felt like a bunch or robots were reading the script. The story was basically a giant “what if” on the biggest fear that was occurring during this time period after the U.S.S.R. launched Sputnik into space. There weren’t really any special effects as they used a lot of stock footage and commenting on things off screen to try and move this movie through it’s sluggish pace. Honestly, the only reason you should watch this movie is to watch it spoofed on MST3K.
Rating: 1/2 out of 5