SPACESHIP TO THE UNKNOWN (1966)
Article #1135 by Dave Sindelar
Viewing Date: 4-23-2004
Posting Date; 9-20-2004
Directed by Frederick Stephani
Featuring Buster Crabbe, Jean Rogers, Frank Shannon
Flash Gordon goes to Mongo to battle Ming the Merciless.
The original serial (FLASH GORDON) was 245 minutes. This 97-minute feature-length version made for television tries to tell the whole story. Granted, much of what was cut included the opening credits, plot summary and repeated footage of each episode, but it still comes across like trying to read a comic book by skipping every other frame. It has its uses for those who don’t like to watch entire serials, but as always with this sort of thing, the pacing is rushed and awkward and the nonstop action gets repetitive. I would prefer to set aside thirteen days over which to watch the original.