A film crew goes to a tropical island for an exotic location shoot and discovers a colossal ape who takes a shine to their female blonde star. He is then captured and brought back to New York City for public exhibition.
This is not the TV movie, but an earlier film from the same serial
ROCKETSHIP is frequently confused with a second (and very similar) film cut from the original 1936 FLASH GORDON serial, the 1966 TV movie SPACESHIP TO THE UNKNOWN. (While SPACESHIP contains most of the material found in ROCKETSHIP, that second film has a longer running time.) As with MARS ATTACKS THE EARTH (a feature made from the 1938 chapter-play FLASH GORDON'S TRIP TO MARS that hit theaters soon after Orson Welles' infamous WAR OF THE WORLDS panic broadcast), ROCKETSHIP was playing the big screens before the small screens become a household staple.
Curiously the third/final Flash Gordon serial, FLASH GORDON CONQUERS THE UNIVERSE, did not result in a theatrical feature from Universal. When the decision was made to make new features from the old serials in the mid-Sixties, CONQUERS THE UNIVERSE yielded no less than two instant TV movies, THE PURPLE DEATH FROM OUTER SPACE and THE PERIL FROM PLANET MONGO. (The new film made from FLASH GORDON'S TRIP TO MARS was called THE DEADLY RAY FROM MARS.)
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