blogging by Andrew Wickliffe

Flash Gordon (1936) ch05 – The Destroying Ray

Despite a lackluster resolution to the cliffhanger–there’s a questionably timed emergency response–and some dawdling, The Destroying Ray eventually comes through. Director Stephani, along with the editors, works up a pace throughout and stops at just the right moment for maximum effect.

Most of the chapter is a bridge between Buster Crabbe and company in the undersea palace to getting them to the Hawkmen’s flying palace. They’re out to rescue poor Jean Rogers, who again gets zilch, even when new bad guy Jack Lipson looses a bear on her for declining his advances. There’s a definite disconnect in the editing this chapter–some of its good, some of its bad. Rogers gets worse editing in her story line.

There’s a fight scene with some Hawkmen, who also fly in for the attack. The flying in sequences go on a while, but the special effects are effective. The giant lizards also reappear but without anything to do (Destroying Ray does drag quite often).

While Lipson’s new villain terrible, it’s too soon to tell how new ally Richard Alexander’s acting is going to shake out. He might be an asset… depends on Alexander (and the script).

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