Mercury Men (2009)

Mercury Men

From the Better Late Than Never Department:

The Monster Shack takes great pride in trashing the (gag) “Syfy” channel, but I was recently shocked, yes shocked!, to find it presenting something genuinely good. Thrilling even! And that thing is…..drum-roll….. The Mercury Men. It is, to quote it’s very cool retro poster, “The return of the classic cliffhanger serial!”

Mercury Men

Cut to the City Building, Pittsburgh, 1975. In black and white. Where bored, peevish office drone Edward Borman sits watching the clock. Bang on 7:00 PM he is ready to go, ignoring the pleas of a young woman who simply has to have her documents stamped. But his passive-aggressive satisfaction is arrested when he hears a scream just before entering the elevator. Where did that young woman go? Returning, almost against his will, to investigate he sees an eerie light moving through the empty offices, and is soon running for his life from strange glowing figures who can kill with lightning. Fortunately for Edward these intruders are not the only visitors that night, and his life is saved by Jack Yaeger, a “daring aerospace engineer” and member of something called “The League.” For now all I can tell you is that it is led by one “Captain Tomorrow.” And that devise the glowing beings are assembling in the parking garage? It’s a “gravity engine!” Can Jack and Edward destroy it before the minions of the Chief Designer use it to accomplish his fiendish plan? Tune in tomorrow!

Mercury Men

Sean Ledden (December 2011)

Afterthoughts

Produced in 2009, and created by Christopher Preksta, “The Mercury Men” is made up of 10 episodes, each about 7 minutes long. Each crisply paced segment shows how much fun you can have with a low budget and lots of imagination. High technology is portrayed with witty retro props from a 1950’s radio shop, while the well designed digital effects get the most from a few relatively simple shots. The music is mostly courtesy Holst’s The Planets, and it’s a beautifully expansive compliment to the almost claustrophobic cat & mouse game going on inside the empty office building. And then there is my favorite episode, number 6, where Captain Tomorrow himself gives a classic, Joseph Campbell-style Call To Adventure to a most unlikely hero. It’s a Call that incorporates a thrilling tribute to the Apollo Space Program and a spirit from the golden age of science fiction.
The Mercury Men is available over the Web in a variety of formats, and I recommend that Monster Shack fans try one by first visiting their site.

Read more about Mercury Men at

IMDB

7 comments to Mercury Men (2009)

  • Guts3d

    Incredible find, Sean! This looks intense, and it is set in the ‘Burgh! The props look somewhat reminiscent of “Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow”, which was really under-rated IMHO. Thanks for the review!

  • guts3d

    Also, I am reminded by the retro props of another favorite of mine, Disney’s “The Rocketeer”. Dave Stevens wrote that originally as a comic book, and the artwork was literally art. I wonder if “Mercury Men” is available on Blu-ray, or even plain old DVD? Must check…

  • Sean

    I love the look of The Rocketeer too!

  • guts3d

    Watched the first 3 episodes last night on FIOS on demand. Great stuff! Top notch special effects, even if the main character shoots 18 shots in a row from a modified 6 shooter. I liked how there was so little talk in the first episode, most communication was tense and riveting, in my opinion. The wife enjoyed it as well! Looking forward to the rest, when I hit the lottery I’ll bankroll a feature length Hollywood movie!

  • Sean

    Glad you and the wife enjoyed this. And when you win the lottery you’ll be hearing from my agent!

  • Guts3d

    Still haven’t hit that pesky lottery… But I am trying!

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