Monday, September 30, 2013

Flash Gordon: Space Soldiers (Older Than Old School)

Score: 7 Out Of 10

         It is no secret that "Flash Gordon (1980)" is one of my favorite movies (I even have Queen's "Battle Theme" as my ring tone) so when I got a chance to sit down and watch the 1936 "Space Soldiers" serial I was pretty excited. "Flash Gordon: Space Soldiers" was directed by Fredrick Stephani and Ray Taylor. It stars Buster Crabbe, Jean Rogers and Charles Middleton. The plot plays out over thirteen episodes and the gist of it is that a planet is about to crash into the Earth and our hero (Flash, as if I should have to tell you) is shot off into space with Dr. Zarkoff and his lady friend to save us all from impending doom (That really is the simplest explanation I can give). Right off the bat the audience is treated to action (and stock footage) that runs nonstop through out the entire thirteen episodes. Literally until the last few minutes of the final episode. Watching them, I honestly felt as if I was six years old again watching old science fiction shows on a Sunday morning (if only there was a Super Nintendo to turn on after I was finished watching).

        The problem with content like this is that it is very difficult to review. I (like many other fans) feel very nostalgic over things like this, so you have to take my "7 Out Of 10" score with a grain of salt. There is a lot to dislike here for most of the younger science fiction fans. The special effects are terrible (even for their time), the acting is hit or miss, the dialogue and writing are often laughable and the whole thing as a whole seems very silly. On the other hand, It is just so damn cool! I mean, all of it! There is rocket ships shooting at each other and Flash gets into fist fights with men, monsters and mutants alike at an almost constant pace. To add to the mix there is also giant monsters, cool costumes and all kinds of outrageous (and fun) characters. To sum it up, a lot of these old movie serials are lost on audiences today. They are held in the same regard, if not a lower regard, than "Sy Fy Channel Originals." But I promise, If you just throw on a couple of episodes and pop some popcorn and really let yourself get lost in Flash's world, than there really is a strong chance that you too will find a lot to love about these old science fiction movie serials.

   The B-Movie Guy.
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To prove my point, instead of a trailer, I'm giving you the first two episodes in their entirety. Why? Because I love you.

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