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Flash Gordon Conquers the Universe
Perils from the Planet Mongo / Purple Death from Outer Space / Space Soldiers Conquer the Universe

USA 1940
produced by
Henry MacRae (associate) for Universal
directed by Ford L. Beebe, Ray Taylor
starring Buster Crabbe (= Larry Crabbe), Carol Hughes, Charles Middleton, Anne Gwynne, Frank Shannon, John Hamilton, Herbert Rawlinson, Tom Chatterton, Shirley Deane, Lee Powell, Roland Drew, Don Rowan, Victor Zimmerman, Edgar Edwards, Ben Taggart, Michael Mark, Earl Dwire, Sigurd Nilssen, Harry C.Bradley, Mimi Taylor, Byron Foulger, William Royle, Luli Deste, Roy Bancroft, Allan Cavan, Lane Chandler, Mala, Chief Yowlachie, Charles Sherlock, Jack Roper
screenplay by Barry Shipman, George H. Plympton, Basil Dickey, based on the comic strip by Alex Raymond, published by King Features, supervising editor: Saul A. Goodkind

Flash Gordon, Flash Gordon (Buster Crabbe)

review by
Mike Haberfelner

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The earth is threatened by something called Purple Death, that certainly emanates from outer space, so without much ado, Flash Gordon (Buster Crabbe) and his friends Dr Zarkov (Frank Shannon) and Dale Arden (Carol Hughes) fly to the planet Mongo, home of the evil emperor Ming (Charles Middleton) they thought dead after the events of Flash Gordon's Trip to Mars to see what's going on, and to this end they enlist the help of their friends Prince Barin (Roland Drew) and his wife Princess Aura (Shirley Deane), who is also Ming's estranged, reformed daughter - and the only guarantee that Ming will not attack Arboria.

Soon, our e3arth-friends find out that the onjly remedy for Purple Death is Polarite, a substance only found in the icey deserts of Frigia, where they soon go to fetch the stuff - but which is of course not without its dangers, be it because of the perils of mountaineering (in scenes lifted from the German film Die Weisse Hölle vom Piz Palü from 1929, a silent classicabout mountaineering by G.W.Pabst and Arnold Fanck starring Leni Riefenstahl) or because of Ming's robot army. Ultimately, Flash succeeds in getting the Polarite and getting it back to earth, but that's not the end of the story, bacause Ming has taken Dale and Zarkov prisoner, and after Flash ahs them released, Ming even plans to attack Arboria, after Aura's treacherous maid Sonja (Anne Gwynne) has helped him to get his daughter out of Arboria and back to his realm. But of course, Flash and company won't stand by to see Arboria fall, so they spoil each and every of Ming's attacks before launching attacks lof their own (and in the process making acquaintance witht he weird Rock People).

Ultimately though the last fight has to be fought in Ming's palace, where Flash has to free Princess Aura plus Zarkov and Dale, who have since been recaptured, before he flies a rocket full of explosives into Ming's tower control room, killing Ming for good ... Flash of course has bailed out before the explosion, just in time.


The third Flash Gordon serial might not be nearly as original and innovative as the first serial, Flash Gordon, but that aside it's still a naive but wonderful, adventurous, exciting and fast paced space opera that once again proves that an overboarding fantasy and a (relatively) low budget are not necessarily contradictions and simple and silly storylines do not automatically have to be ridiculous.

Very enjoyable.


review © by Mike Haberfelner


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Robots and rats,
demons and potholes,
cuddly toys and
shopping mall Santas,
love and death and everything in between,
Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

is all of that.


Tales to Chill
Your Bones to
a collection of short stories and mini-plays
ranging from the horrific to the darkly humourous,
from the post-apocalyptic
to the weirdly romantic,
tales that will give you a chill and maybe a chuckle, all thought up by
the twisted mind of
screenwriter and film reviewer
Michael Haberfelner.


Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

the new anthology by
Michael Haberfelner


Out now from




On the same day
a Burglar wants to kill you
and your Ex wants
to make up ...
... and for the life of it,
you can't decide


A Killer Conversation

produced by and starring
Melanie Denholme
directed by
David V.G. Davies
written by
Michael Haberfelner
Ryan Hunter and
Rudy Barrow

out now on DVD