Comic Fandom Monthly, No. 2 (October 1971), page 8-9

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Dublin Core

Title

Comic Fandom Monthly, No. 2 (October 1971), page 8-9

Description

An article about the movie Flash Gordon.

Creator

Joe Brancatelli

Source

Comic Fandom Monthly, No. 2 (October 1971)

Date

1971-10

Contributor

Steven Jenkins

Scripto

Transcription

4 COLOR CARNIVAL BY STEVE JENKINS
A NOT VERY DEFINITIVE, BUT SLIGHTLY TONGUE-IN-
CHEEK LOOK AT...
FLASH& DALE&MING&ZARKOV

Outside the Bluegate Theatre, the Flash
Gordon serial is announced rather colorfully
though definitely small. But then, the whole
theatre was rather small. I doubt whether it
could seat a hundred at peak capacity. The
Bluegate is one of the N.Y. Greenwich Vil-
lage theatres that have been showing an ar-
ray of fantastic old films including an en-
tire festival devoted to w.c. Fields films.
It ran over a month concurrent to the Flash
Gordon serial. To any New York based fans,
or fannish visitors, I strongly suggest an
attempt to make some of these theatres that
show these classics. The stuff shown is so
great that the small facilities can easily
be overlooked.
The sound system was poor as the film was
old. Several times the film, ripped and at
one time there was a fifteen minute delay as
the tape ripped entirely, and had to be re-
paired. Luckily I got a lst row seat and the
view was fantastic. As all true blue Flash
Gordon followers know, the Flash Gordon ser-
ials are short, so the entire show did not
last two hours. It's in black and white, of
course.
Thrilling is one word I could use to des-
cribe the serial itself. Each short chapter
ends with Flash hanging from spacecrafts or
falling into pits that extend to the inner
depths of the earth only to survive time and
time again. One chapter ends with him and
his party, including Dale Arden "girl won-
der“--who is to Flash Gordon as Lois Lane is
to Superman--crushed in the falls of an ava-
lanche of snow. Yet he survives! The space-
crafts that are used are of two designs--the
Flash Gordon model and the Ming model--which
of course, divide into the black and white
catagories of good guy and bad guy. All good
guys drove Gordon models, all baddies drove
a Ming special. As far as bad guys go, who
could be worse than Ming the Merciless? He's
the inter-planetary Manchu Terror. He seems
to be a perfect copy of the Chinese devils
portrayed in the pulps. In any event, Ming
and his bald cranium extend the beauty of
his wickedness. And while on the subject of
horrific charm, how about that perfectly bad
guy beard. I wonder who was his make-up man
in the serials. Lin Carter perhaps. Ming
of course, couldn't have been his wicked lil
self if not for his vicious sidekick, Torch.
Torch must have attempted to kill Flash a
dozen times and never succeeded. Although
the penalty for failure with Ming was death,
Torch always seemed to get a second chance,
and a third and a fourth...
Min was a vicious rat fink who had some
lusty (if you classify it as such) desire
for old Dale. Though it was never said, from
what I gather, Ming must have had quite a
harem even without Dale. He always had a 100
or so girls dancing at one time or another,
and they were always stopped by a sexy girl
in a low cut dress banging a ten-foot China-
gong.
One thing that I noticed as I watched the
six by six screen was that you must look at
Ming's throneroom closely several times to
get the full effect. The entirety of Ming's
palace is amazing. Plain it wasn't! Above
the merciless one is a gargoyle and if I did
not know better I'd assume it took some fine
sculpter months to produce. Paper-maiche to
be sure, but oh, the beauty of it. If those
props hadn't been done away with long ago, I
would surely like to acquire some. And not
just for nostolgia, either. One other thing
that caught my attention, and that of the
entire audience--attention in the sense that
they laughed themselves silly--was a brown-
nosed attendant to Ming who had peacock fea-
thers on the top of his crown. He only wore
it once. I can't argue with his judgement.
Well, now that I've given you my own ob-
servations,' perhaps I should tell you about
the flick objectively(?) The serial was cal-
led FLASH GORDON CONQUERS THE UNIVERSE, but
the first six chapters which were shown that
night could have been more aptly called THE
Purple Death. It was the last of the Flash
Gordon Serials.
As the story opens, we can't understand
a word that is said. Luckily, they included
a visual prologue to the story, and we man-
aged to keep up with the story. It appears
that one of Ming's stock-in-trade mad scien-
tists has discovered some strange formula
that gives you bad breath. (Laugh, this is a
comic fanzine!) (Ed. note: who else would
make a bad pun after a bad joke? -JB) Serio-
con PG. 10

LAST OF THE FLASH GORDON TRILOGY

FLASH GORDON
VS.
MING
(THE MERCILESS)

"FLASH GORDON CONQUERS
THE UNIVERSE"

SERIES I: CHAPTERS 1-6 Aug. 20,21,22 (Fri. Sat. Sun.)
SERIES II: CHAPTERS 7-12 Aug. 27,28,29 (Fri. Sat. Sun.)
PRICE: $2.00 PER SERIES $3.50 BOTH SERIES
(Ticket office open Thurs. - Sun. from noon)
THE BLUEGATE THEATRE
504 LA GUARDIA PLACE (bet. Bleecker and W.Houston Sts.)
EAST SIDE TRAINS TO BLEECKER ST., WEST SIDE TRAINS TO W.4TH ST.
FRI.&SAT. AT 4,7,10PM SUN. AT 3,6,9 PM
For information call; 477-0400