Flash Gordon's Trip To Mars
Dustin E Proehl | Chillicothe, Ohio USA | 04/06/2000
(4 out of 5 stars)
""Flash Gordon's Trip to Mars" is the second serial of theoriginal Flash Gordon films. The film picks up at the end of"Flash Gordon Space Solders." (Please note that each of the Flash Gordon films has been renamed and reedited numerous times.) The second series of chapters, 15 in all, are of a better quality then the first 12 chapters. The story picks up with the heroes returning from Mongo. The Earth is thrown into peril once again and Dr. Zarkoff. Flash and his friends must return to space once again to save the world. Ming is back as well. He some how managed to escape death at the end of the first serial and has moved his evil plans to Mars. I didn't really like the whole Mars thing. Knowing want we know about Mars today makes the whole story a little silly. But hay, this film was made at a time when the Red Planet still held a lot of mystery. So, we now know there are not any cities on Mars, you can still enjoy the movie. Buster Crabbe, who plays Flash, is much more secure in his acting. He speaks more, and is more proactive. I liked the character a lot better in this film. In the first serial Flash spent most of his him getting jumped on and being forced to defend himself. In this film, Flash plans attacks and fights when he know he has too. There is a lot of stock footage and a few flash backs to the first serial that pad out the film. This was a way to save money on the meager $175,000 budget, half of what they spent on the first serial. The return of all the same actors from the first film help the movie as well. For the third series the studio replaced Dale and Barin with new actors. The best part about this film and the previous one is the way that is displayed. This DVD has all 15 chapters just as they were shown in the theaters. Each as a title and introduction. They sum up the last chapter and then end with a cliffhanger. It is a lot of fun to watch a serial. The many other Flash Gordon titles are simply these same films recut as feature films. This DVD has all the footage as it was originally released. Larry "Buster" Crabbe played in many films, but really made the role of Flash Gordon special. He often can be found in westerns, and even played Tarzan in one film. He does a fine job on this film and pulls off the "All American Hero" better then anyone really should. I had not seen his work, but know I am a fan. Jean Rogers, who plays Dale, is a really cute girl next door. I have to say, I liked her blond hair in the first film, but the comic strip inspired hair change takes nothing away from her beauty. Dale does not have a lot to do in this serial, but she does manage to move a little away from the totally dependent Dale of the first films. Ming is even more evil as he should be. In the first film he sat around a lot and gave orders. In this film Ming is more active. He fights, shoots a ray gun, and even captures Flash Gordon by himself. Charles Middleton makes a great Ming and will have you plotting your own evil plans before the film is done. He makes the picture a lot of fun. You will notice a few bad spots in the film. The film is from 1938, so you have to chalk the flaws up to its age. Plus the flaws give the DVD character. The cheesy voice over will draw a laugh as well as the special effects. The "Bat Wings" are a great idea. The dolls that flew with them almost looked like.... well they looked like dolls. Buy this film and brush up on some film history as you enjoy some great science fiction!"
Flash vs. Ming: Round Two
Scott T. Rivers | Los Angeles, CA USA | 02/05/2008
(3 out of 5 stars)
"Though an entertaining serial, "Flash Gordon's Trip to Mars" (1938) occasionally falters due to obvious padding and unnecessary comic relief. Luckily, Buster Crabbe and Charles Middleton resume their intergalactic battle in the classic Saturday Matinee tradition - highlighted by the memorable presence of the Clay People. The action-packed finale has a rousing vitality not evident in the previous chapters. Worth seeing, but definitely the weakest of Universal's Flash Gordon trilogy."
Great family entertainment
Stephen Holland | Naperville, IL | 10/20/2002
(4 out of 5 stars)
"When I was growing up I remember being glued to the set every Sunday morning watching the Flash Gordon serials on WGN in Chicago. These episodes were great sci-fi back then and I was thrilled to find them again on DVD. With a little trepidation I started showing the episodes to the kids, ages 9, 6, and 4. I have been amazed how much they enjoy it. We are watching two episodes every Saturday night. The kids line up on the couch, watch it with complete attention, and hate having to wait a whole week to see the next episode. It has really been fun for the kids. My wife and I really enjoy it, too. The special effects are dated, but really, the action and story carry you along and it is a lot of fun to watch. For us, watching the old fashioned special effects are a blast, and for the kids the simple effects are plenty of fun to watch.One thing that has made the series fun to watch is that we have only been watching two episodes at a time. Each episode is full of action, and watching them all at once would probably be less enjoyable. These episodes were originally shown one episode a week back in the 1930's. Each episode ends at a cliffhanger, so you really want to see the next episode. It is interesting to imagine the millions of people that went each week to the movies to see each episode. We have finished watching the first serial, Flash Gordon - Space soldiers, are enjoying this series now, and look forward to watching the following, Flash Gordon Conquers the Universe. At this rate, it will take almost a year of to watch the series. What a great way this is to enjoy time with the kids. I think it is great that a movie series over 60 years old stands up so well.The only reason to give it 4 instead of 5 stars is that the print used has little specks and a few sound glitches that might have been cleaned up with modern digital techniques. By the way, to clear up any confusion from the reviews, this product ASIN=6305773904 contains all the original episodes. It is not an edited version."
Good Movie--if You Get the Full Edition!
Edward J Vasicek | Kokomo, IN USA | 10/03/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Make sure you get the Image Entertainment DVD! That one has all the episodes and runs 299 minutes. I bought the 97 minute edition by accident because the reviews are all combined!
Even the 97 minute version was good, but so much was edited out, and a few times the viewer is edited into a different situation completely.
The plot involves an attempt to destroy earth once again, and Flash Gordon, Professor Zarkhov, and Dale Arden come to the rescue. The queen of Mars has usurped the throne and turned her enemies into "clay men." But behind it all is Ming the Merciless. Lots of fun! But remember, with all these serials, the viewer had better not ask questions (like how is it everyone speaks English, or why can you fly from planet to planet and never worry about Oxygen or temperature). These movies are meant as an escape and are best called "feel good" movies. Kids love these as well as adults."