Small House of Everything

Small House of Everything

Tuesday, October 20, 2015


Cobbled from the first five or six episodes of the 1940 cliffhanger serial Flash Gordon Conquers the Universe, our futuristic hero once again faces Ming the Merciless.  This time Ming has come up with a death-dust that brings a plague to Earth.

Aiding Flash ("Buster" Crabbe, of course) are the beatiful Dale Arden (Carol Hughes) and the really not-so-good scientist Dr. Zarkov (Frank Shannon).  Aiding Ming (Charles Middleton) are his minions Captain Torch (Don Rowan), Lieutenant Thong (Victor Zimmerman), and countless laughable robots (played by cheesy costumes).

SPOILER ALERT:  Escaping danger and certain death at the end of each original chapter, Flash survives.  And, since this covers only early episodes of the serial, Ming also survives to create havoc.  END SPOILER ALERT.

Flash Gordon Conquers the Universe was the last of the Universal Studio Flash Gordon serials.  It would have llingered in a dusty film closet had not some studio jamook decided that it would make a great syndicated television movie for the oh-so-sophisticated viewers of 1966.  To that jamook we owe our thanks (or vitriol, depending on your aesthetic muse).

Come back to the day when sound could be heard in the vacuum of space and when ray guns zapped lightning.  To the day when heroes wore sad costumes and villains were really villainy.  Come back.  and enjoy.

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