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Deadly Ray from Mars (1966)

| Sci-Fi | TV Movie
An edited version of the 1938 Universal serial "Flash Gordon's Trip to Mars" that was released to TV in a syndication package in 1966.


(uncredited), (uncredited)


Complete credited cast:
Flash Gordon (archive footage)
Dale Arden (archive footage)
Ming the Merciless (archive footage)
Frank Shannon ...
Dr. Zarkov (archive footage)
Donald Kerr ...
Happy Hapgood (archive footage)
Azura, Queen of Mars (archive footage)
Tarnak (archive footage)
The Clay King (archive footage)
Prince Barin (archive footage)


An edited version of the 1938 Universal serial "Flash Gordon's Trip to Mars" that was released to TV in a syndication package in 1966.

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Flash Gordon: I'm sorry to have to rough you up, Ming, but I needed that black sapphire.
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Edited from Flash Gordon's Trip to Mars (1938) See more »

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Edited so tightly, they erased the cliffhangers
24 July 2005 | by (Rijswijk, ZH, Netherlands) – See all my reviews

This edited version of the 1938 serial leaves out all the boring exposition about the Earth being in peril and Happy Hapgood's introduction. This leaves Zarkoff, Flash and Dale to lift off immediately for Mongo (thought of course they end up on Mars). The first part of the serial is hereby reduced to 5 minutes. A lot of the cliffhangers are missing too, including the room full of spikes that was so lovingly recreated in The Temple of Doom. Our heroes run from the Clay People, fight the Cardboard Helm People, are knocked out by sleep mist and wake up in nice medieval costumes. Oh excuse me, they're called Death Squadron uniforms (that still does not explain where Dale got that new kinky dress). The dicey Clay people persuade Flash to steal the jewel that Azura Queen of Magic used to turn them into clay. This makes one wonder why her Holyness keeps turning men into clay when she knows they will only wage war against her.

Flash enters Azura's palace pretending to have captured Zarkoff (that trick always works). During a private audience with Azura, Gordon literally does the job in a flash (while Ming is just standing there). But when they cross the light bridge things start falling apart and the tiny models shudder. Flash saves Azura's life, but she still uses her sleep powder on them. They are about to be thrown into the Nitron beam when a fight breaks out with those cumbersome brass knuckle ray guns they all carry. At least they make sure to explain several times how Merciless Ming managed to survive certain death in the last serial.

Upon entering the forest of the Fire people (the most fierce people on Mars) the group meets yet another King who's subjects want to fight them. For some reason Barin of Mongo from the previous storyline is also there and his skirt is really riding up. From here on they just keep repeating the same formula over again: captured, escape, fly around a bit, capture one of the bad guys, he or she escapes and gets into a rocket ship etc. In the middle of this Dale is submitted to the "Incense of Forgetfullness", which is of course just another excuse to start everything all over again.

But the sets, costumes and matte's are still pretty impressive after all these years. You can't see any wires on the model work and the action never lets up. Flash remains wonderfully decent (he even apologizes to Ming for 'roughing him up'. They don't make heroes like him no more! Of course the staging is rather theatrical by today's standards, but there is certainly a whole lot of stuff to enjoy in this abridged serial.

7 out of 10

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