While the majority of science fiction points toward liberal worries against groupthink — nearly every version of Invasion of the Body Snatchers — Rocket Attack U.S.A. is at once fantasy and propaganda. I have no idea if Barry Mahon believed in what he was selling — the man did fight for our country after all and spent time in a concentration camp — but I think he did know that he could make some money off of the worries that Sputnik was going to destroy America.
Secret agents John (John McKay, who is also in Mahon’s The Dead One and Cuban Rebel Girls) and Tanya (Monica Davis, She Shoulda Stayed In Bed, 1,000 Shapes of a Female) have learned that the aforementioned Russian satellite is being used to guide a nuke to New York City because our country’s ICBM defense system didn’t have enough funding. And the stinger is that the U.S. forces are barely able to fight back, meaning that we’re all going to be waiting in lines for borscht soon enough.
Art Metrano, who would play Mauser in the Police Academy movies, shows up here as a truck driver. You can’t miss him.
I guess the Red Menace was soundly defeated by the 1960’s, as Barry moved on to making movies where women sat around, smoked cigarettes and got naked instead of movies warning us about Russia. Maybe he got bought off. Or maybe, just maybe, it was more fun to hang out with Bunny Yeager in Las Vegas.
You can watch the Mystery Science Theater 3000 version of this movie on Tubi. The original version is on the Internet Archive. You can pick up your own copy — which we reviewed — as part of Mill Creek’s Sci-Fi Invasion 50-film box set that we unpacked back in November 2020.