United States Counterspies?)
We can probably blame B-picture king Sam Newfield for the leaden pace of this one, since he sat in the director’s chair (his brother Sigmund was absent from this snooze fest—the producer on Radar Secret Service was the prolific Barney Sarecky) …but the sluggish screenplay by Beryl Sachs (an East Side Kids veteran) doesn’t do Service any favors, either. Robert L. Lippert “good luck charm” Sid Melton is also around for this programmer (as a hypochrondriacal henchman named “Pill Box”), but when Ralph Byrd manages to get bigger laughs than Sid something has gone seriously awry. (In fairness to Sid, I choked on my Crystal Light when Byrd’s character remarks about radar: “Dick Tracy used it years before it was invented.” The in-joke, of course, is that Ralph played the legendary comic strip detective in four Republic serials, two entries in the brief RKO franchise, and on TV from 1950-52 [Byrd passed away at the age of 43 in 1952]).
|Agents Byrd and Howard tool around in a vehicle that looks like they're delivering hair dryers.|
I feel terrible that I’m going to beat my blogging compadre Scott Clevenger to the punch on this one…but, yes. Radar Secret Service received the Mystery Science Theater 3000 treatment (in December 1993). Paired with a railroad safety short, Last Clear Chance (1959), the MST3K sendup of Service has its mad scientists (Trace Beaulieu, Frank Conniff) boasting that the flick contains “Hypno-Helio Static Stasis (containing X-4)” (in layperson’s terms—this turkey is a cure for insomnia). The MST3K version is available on YouTube, which I strongly endorse watching…but for the more masochistic among you, the director’s cut is available for rental from ClassicFlix.