Monday, July 25, 2011

Cowpokes Versus Death Rays

"Cowboys & Aliens" isn't the first movie to mix sci-fi and western genres. A new DVD set, "A Big Box of Cowboys, Aliens, Robots and Death Rays," features eight vintage sagebrush sagas that also enter the sci-fi zone. Perhaps the most famous is 1935's "Radio Ranch" with Gene Autry. "Radio Ranch" is actually an edited feature-length version of Autry's serial "The Phantom Empire," which finds the singing cowboy discovering a race of humans living in a metropolis under the earth. The set also features films starring such famed movie cowpokes as Tim McCoy in 1936's "Ghost Patrol," Ken Maynard in 1932's "Tombstone Canyon," Ray "Crash" Corrigan in 1941's "Saddle Mountain Roundup" and Bill Cody Sr. and Jr. in 1935's "Vanishing Riders."

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