You know that you love it. There she stands, Daenerys and her cohorts, who are surrounded by the murderous Sons of the Harpy, all hope seems lost, and then her dragon magically arrives, toasts her murderous foes and whisks her away to parts unknown.
That, my friends, is a cliffhanger and that’s what keeps fans of Game of Thrones coming back for more and more … episode after episode!!
Long before television; before cable, the “cliffhanger” was a staple of the movies. Each week fans could enjoy a double-feature, a newsreel, perhaps a cartoon or two and the latest chapter in the theatrical serial de jour. It was a glorious time at the movies!
The “Golden Era” of these serials — episodic adventures — was from the late 1930s until the early 50s (then television took over) … 12, 13 or 15-chapter mini-sagas would unfold each week. The popular subjects were Westerns, mysteries, war thrillers (got to battle those Nazis) and sci-fi. Indeed, super heroes that populate the screen today can trace their lineage back to this “Golden Era.”
Word arrived this past week that The Film Detective will be joining forces with Team Marketing on Nov. 29 for the double-disc DVD release of the newly-restored (from original 35mm film elements) 1940 sci-fi thriller, Flash Gordon Conquers the Universe.
Alex Raymond’s newspaper creation, Flash Gordon, leaped from the funny pages to the screen for not one, but three serialized adventures — Flash Gordon, 1936; Flash Gordon's Trip to Mars, 1938 and Flash Gordon Conquers the Universe in the spring of 1940. All three starred Buster Crabbe as Flash, with Carol Hughes as Dale Arden, Frank Shannon as Dr. Zarkov and iconic character actor Charles Middleton as the infamous Ming the Merciless.
We pick up this classic sci-fi tale with the Earth being ravaged by the “Purple Death,” an insidious super weapon developed by Ming … Flash must return to the Planet Mongo, find the element called Polarite and stop the plague! It won’t be easy, that’s for sure!
12 thrill-packed chapters — and with titles like “Freezing Torture,” “Flaming Death,” “The Fiery Abyss” and “The Pool of Peril” — you know that there will be 11 glorious “cliffhangers” that culminate in the final showdown between Flash Gordon and Ming the Merciless!
If you have Star Wars and Star Trek adventures in your film library, or X-Men, Superman or other super hero series in your home entertainment collection, then this restored presentation of Flash Gordon Conquers the Universe is a must-have addition come Nov. 29!