Flash Gordon: The Peril from Planet Mongo

January 28, 2012 5 Min Read

Review by: Fusion3600

Plot: What’s it about?

That nefarious no-gooder Ming the Merciless (Charles Middleton) is up to more of his usual tricks, which means Flash Gordon (Buster Crabbe) will soon be on the scene. This time, Ming has raised the ires of Prince Barin of Arboria and has made some threats against his kingdom, threats the Prince simply cannot withstand. In fact, Ming has been able to gain access to some dangerous projectiles that could allow him to overthrow Prince Barin and overtake his kingdom, which would be bad news indeed. Ming has kidnapped his daughter Auria, who also happens to be Barin’s wife and started rolling his plans into motion. Soon however, Flash arrives with Dale (Carol Hughes) and Dr. Zarkov (Frank Shannon), determined to not only save Barin’s kingdom from Ming, but also teach the evil leader a lesson once and for all. Of course Flash has Ming outmatched at every turn, but the crooked Ming has some monkeywrenches to toss into the gears, to make things a little harder for the heroic Flash. Can Flash thwart Ming’s projectile plot, protect Barin’s kingdom, and even stage a rescue when Dale is kidnapped?

This feature length space adventure was made by re-editing the serial Flash Gordon Conquers the Universe, but rest assured, it supplies plenty of thrills on its own. As with some other reworked Flash Gordon serials, The Peril from Planet Mongo was put together to show on television, much to the delight of viewers at the time, to be sure. The definitive Flash Gordon is Buster Crabbe (Tarzan the Fearless) and he is present here, along with the lovely Carol Hughes (D.O.A., Jungle Raiders) as Dale and of course, Charles Middleton (Stranger of the Swamp) as Ming the Merciless. I’ve always enjoyed these Gordon serials and they’ve influenced many filmmakers, even those outside of the sci/fi arena. You can look at these adventures now and kind of laugh, thanks to the poor production values, stiff performances, and often nonsensical chatter, but I think they’re a lot of fun and still merit attention. If you’re a fan of sci/fi and can’t get enough of those cliffhanger serials, then The Peril from Planet Mongo is one release you’ll want to own. Of course, be sure to check out other Flash Gordon discs from Image, as they’ve released a number of his epic adventures.

Video: How does it look?

The Peril from Planet Mongo is presented in a full frame transfer, as intended. The print used has some wear signs and is a shade soft, but looks solid on the whole and better than most might think, I’m sure. The black & white image looks soft at times as I said, but is usually sharp enough and the visuals are well represented here. I found contrast to be well balanced and while a little light, it all looked to be in order, so no real complaints.

Audio: How does it sound?

A mono track is used here and while time has taken a toll on the materials, the audio still comes through in acceptable form, I think. You’ll notice some hiss at times, as well as a little harshness in some scenes, but considering the age of the materials, I am pleased that it all sounds as good as it does here. The age defects remain minor in most instances, so the music and other elements are just fine, if a little worn for the years of storage. So don’t expect pristine sound here, but do expect a solid, effective mono option.

Supplements: What are the extras?

This disc contains no bonus materials.

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