Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
Live! From Outer Space!
Alejandra Vernon | Long Beach, California | 07/22/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)
"The scripts are silly and loaded with lots of space jargon, the acting is wooden, the effects are cheesy, and the costumes look as if they were left over from Halloween. Nevertheless, these 3 episodes are fascinating, and from the golden age of live TV. Based on Alex Raymond's comic strip, this show had 39 episodes during the 1954-55 season, and joined the multi-media history of Flash Gordon, which included a very successful series with Buster Crabbe in the '30s. It was filmed in West Berlin, which was still rubble in portions from the war, and it makes an interesting backdrop for "Deadline at Noon." Square-jawed, clean-cut, and with great hair, ex-model Steve Holland is Gordon, with Irene Champlin as Dale Arden, and Joe Nash plays Dr. Zarkov. The quality of this inexpensive DVD is similar to what watching TV was like in the 50's, so it is surprisingly good, with the audio having deteriorated more than the visual. Total running time is 75 minutes.
1: "Deadline at Noon," directed by Wallace Worsley. The fearless trio use Dr. Zarkov's time machine to go back 1,250 years, to 1953 Berlin, which still lies partially in ruins from WWII. The bad guy is a suicide bomber (some things never change) who stole the time machine to plant a bomb that will destroy the planet earth, a bomb that is so slow to detonate that it takes 1,250 years to go off!
2: "Flash Gordon and the Planet of Death," directed by Gunther Fritsch. Dr. Zarkov wants to do his "negative gravity force" experiments on a planet that unfortunately has a death curse, the fault of "His Exalted Mightiness," a god that has a face "carved out of a solid block of evil" and has a single eye that is deadly. There is also the Paralysis Ray Machine, which Dale and Dr. Zarkov must face.
3: "Flash Gordon and the Brain Machine," directed by Gunther Fritsch. The bad guy is a gal in this one, and she is the Mad Witch of Neptune, exploding a methane bomb, and almost annihilating the population. She has a dreaded machine that wipes out one's memory, and uses it on Dr. Zarkov to get his assistance. This episode has priceless costuming and makeup, and some beefcake from a shirtless Flash Gordon.
Do not pay more than $1 for this
Kendal B. Hunter | Provo, UT United States | 11/03/2006
(2 out of 5 stars)
"It is a bit shocking to see someone other than Buster Crabbe play Flash Gordon, although Steve Holland holds his own as a steely-eyed space ranger. I'm not sure how to classify this DVD. It would be a good stocking-stuffer, last minute gift for a sci-fi geek or film aficionado, a nostalgia piece, a reward for obedient children, or an historical curiosity.
However you classify it, you need to take these episodes with a grain of salt. They are low-budget scripts, low budget sets, and low budget acting. So anyone under 8 years old will be impressed.
What these episodes do well is to spark the imagination and sense of wonder. Space is a reality that we, and our descendants for many generations, will have to deal with. Films like this get us thinking in the right direction."