Flash Gordon - Space Soldiers
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Top Customer Reviews
The DVD transfer is surprisingly good, given the age of the source material. There are scenes that show scratches and dirt, but there are even more scenes that are clear and sharp without noticable blemishes. I compared the DVD image with a video tape, scene by scene, and there really was no comparison. The DVD picture was far superior. The DVD's sound is also an improvement, though again, the source material is a 64 year old mono track and there has not been extensive work to convert it to a multichannel format. But it is clear and understandable. I don't imagine most viewers will have ever seen this material look or sound as good as it does on DVD. The only negative I can offer is that it is packaged in a snapper case. I sure wish it were in an Amaray keep case.
If you enjoy a rousing science fantasy adventure and appreciate seeing the roots of modern sci-fi, then I highly recommend this movie.
Sharkmen, Lion Men, Hawk Men, Octo-sac, Orangupoid, Tigron, giant Gocko Lizard, iguanas with horns that drool slime, some of the worst acting of all time, men running around in short shorts (or full suits of armor, sometimes medieval, sometimes faux roman), goofy rocket ships on wires, underwater cities, sky palaces, atom furnaces, torture rooms---- you name it, you get it here! You will NOT BELIEVE what Flash has to endure within the first day of his adventure---when did he ever eat or sleep to keep up his superhuman strength??
An amazingly wild ride, an adventure that piles one audacious, salacious, lurid, sensational scene on top of another---only near the end of the film, with the incessant trips back and forth between the lab and Ming's throne room does the hectic pace start to slacken.
The cast is a hoot! And those of you who know the Three Stooges shorts of the 30's and 40's will howl with delight as you observe:
Duke York (the Stooge's "Zulu Spear Thrower", "Wolfman", the Hunchback "Angel", "Nikko", etc) as King Cala of the Shark Men,
(who utters the immortal line "But how does one stop an Octo-sac?")
Jack "Tiny" Lipson ("The Bay of Rum", etc) as the nutty King Vultan
Ted Lorch ("Major Filbert can smell a spy a mile away!", etc) as the over-the-top High Priest (Second half of the serial only---the old dude who plays the role in the first half (I think his name was Lon Poff) mysteriously disappears midway through. No loss--he was dreadful). Ted is just plain nuts, especially in his final MAD SCENE ("I placed a BOMB in their ship!!")
Also, Richard Alexander (Prince Barin) and the amazing Charles Middleton (MING!Read more ›
This DVD is an especially good value. Although there aren't any extras except for a foldout snapper case cover with detailed liner notes, the viewer is treated to FOUR HOURS of fun sci-fi/fantasy entertainment. Can't watch four hours? Being a serial means that it's in 13 chapters. Stop anytime! The menu makes it easy to select any chapter you want. But I bet you wouldn't mind plunking your kids down in front of a four hour video once in a while, and you can rest easy knowing that it's safe for kids to watch.
Picture quality is quite excellent; although there are flaws in the source material, they usually amount to no more than scratchy sections, usually at reel changes. Sound quality is surprisingly good, especially compared to videotapes of the FLASH GORDON serials. Contrast is good, sharpness seems just right. And, darn it, it's FUN! Very much recommended.
The two subsequent Flash Gordon serials, in 1938 and 1940, radically toned down the sexual tension to as close to zero as possible. But the legacy of the 1st serial lives on, in the imaginations of the generations of males who ogled Dale and Aura's midriffs, and in the miniskirts and aluminum foil bikinis of the original Star Trek. Captain Kirk, a character who is believable only so long as one accepts the premise that a red-blooded Earth man is naturally irresistible to all women from any alien planet, owes his very existence to Flash Gordon.
The sexual overtones, like everything else great about this series, belonged to a unique period in time. This is not only one of the all-time greatest serials; it is also one of the all time greatest comic strip adaptations, ever. It is far more faithful to the source material and far more exciting than most of this odd little genre. In 1936, because entertainment was so precious, adults as well as kids read the newspaper funnies, and I suspect Universal figured the audience wouldn't have tolerated any major departures from the source material.
The special effects are, of course completely unconvincing and even laughable to modern audiences.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I remember going to the theater as a child and watching this serial . It was so exciting then. It brings back many fond memories. Read morePublished 16 months ago by theHoneyBunny
Flash Gordon has it all. Rocket ships, dinosaurs, swords, ray guns, shark men, winged warriors, under water monsters and the very delicious Dale Arden. Read morePublished 17 months ago by Gary Gilfoy
Vintage B & W serial from the 1930's. It is remastered very well and made me feel like I was a kid again when I first saw these features.Published 18 months ago by Brian E. Warkman
This was the first of the trilogy and in my opinion, the best. What a treat to feel like I am 10 again watching Flash Gordon. Read morePublished on August 6, 2014 by John S Vas II
Lots of action , drama, excitement, great characters, and plots, I'd recommend this movie, to anyone looking for someone who enjoys cliff hangers.Published on April 17, 2013 by jtc
A campy sci-fi from the days long before CGI. It is funny..... at least to me..... often old campy movies like these look as real as the over done CGI of today. Read morePublished on November 2, 2012 by ILUVmyGrandKids
It said it was the American DVD player format, but turned out to be the European format, and therefore, would not play on my DVD player at all! Read morePublished on June 9, 2011 by PAUL APPLIANCE PRO
The vhs tapes arrived in very good condition and is a very good print. I was glad to see that the company that transferred the serial from film film to tape included every thing... Read morePublished on October 19, 2009 by Tenorbone
I loved "Flash Gordon" as a child and watching the series again on DVD brings back such fond memories. Read morePublished on May 28, 2009 by Kona
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