Flash Gordon (1936, Frederick Stephani), Chapter 6: Flaming Torture

Flaming Torture is about flaming torture. Buster Crabbe and his allies get captured when they’re trying to rescue Jean Rogers. While Rogers has an arc with Priscilla Lawson–Rogers has to seduce moron king of the hawkmen Jack Lipson (in an atrociously annoying performance)–all Crabbe gets to do is get tortured. With flames.

Crabbe has little to do this chapter save flex when shirtless and greased up, which is most of the chapter. He’s got to be shirtless to be tortured. With flames.

Because the only way Lipson can tell if Rogers loves Crabbe is to make her watch him get tortured. So there’s a big finish with Crabbe getting tortured again. However, not with flames. Electricity.

While the chapter’s constantly downbeat, Rogers at least gets to do some stuff. Lawson gets to scheme. Crabbe gets to set up his team of shirtless male fighters.

Lipson’s real bad though; real bad.

CREDITS

Directed by Frederick Stephani; screenplay by Ella O’Neill, George H. Plympton, Basil Dickey, and Stephani, based on the comic strip by Alex Raymond; directors of photography, Jerome Ash and Richard Fryer; edited by Saul A. Goodkind, Louis Sackin, Alvin Todd, and Edward Todd; produced by Henry MacRae; released by Universal Pictures.

Starring Buster Crabbe (Flash Gordon), Charles Middleton (Ming the Merciless), Jean Rogers (Dale Arden), Priscilla Lawson (Princess Aura), James Pierce (Prince Thun), Richard Alexander (Prince Barin), Jack ‘Tiny’ Lipson (King Vultan), and Frank Shannon (Dr. Alexis Zarkov).


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