Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Flash Gordon: Saviour of the Universe

Recently, my wife and I decided to rent Flash Gordon: Saviour of the Universe Edition from our local video store. This is the one in which Max Von Sidow plays Ming the Merciless, and Queen plays the soundtrack. The movie is everything I remembered it being, and there was certainly a bit of cheesy, embarrassing nostalgia involved in viewing the film, as I loved it when I was a youngster.

In the special features of this edition, is an entire episode of the 1930's era Flash Gordon serial, starring Buster Crabbe. I'd never actually seen the original serial, and have only a rudimentary connection to the comics and stories that have involved Flash Gordon over the years. We thought the special feature was neat, so watched it. Near the finale, my wife and I both began exchanging looks of confusion and intrigue. I'll explain the scene in question, as it had both of us laughing to the point I was unable to contain my laughter and had to leave the room until I could get ahold of myself.

The scene in question is in Episode 1 of this Flash Gordon serial. I've included screenshots. In the scene, Flash has been captured by Ming and his minions and has been tossed into an arena to fight.

He is noticeably worried about the situation, as can be seen in the screenshot below.

I am noticeably worried about the situation.

I mean, seriously, what's going to happen to poor Flash? He's a good-lookin' guy, probably plays sports, knows his way around a stiff drink and a loose lady, but come on... He's just crash-landed beside some giant lizards, been abducted by another humanoid race that seem to wear an awful lot of bondage-like gear, he's trapped indefinitely in an alien world, the chick he likes is being held beside the evil lord of this strange place (who probably has the hots for her, too), and a bunch of metal-clad guards have just tossed him into an arena, presumably to face something malicious, horrible, and life-threatening.

When thrown into this terrible predicament, this magnanimous and dire situation in which his very life could be on the line, all he sees is this:

Nowhere to hide!

That's right, three iron-barred gates... and THEY'RE OPENING. What's going to happen? Is this the end of Flash's life? Will he never play football and score with chicks again? Mortal combat is approaching... But what infernal horror is about to be unleashed upon him? Ming seems pleased at Flash's fright, and indicates what a weakling Flash must be, by pointing at him in front of the metal-clad guards as if to say "Look at the wuss from Earth. He shall surely pee his pants."


Then the gates fully open and, panicking, Flash gets into a fighting stance. It all comes down to this tense confrontation. Will it be inhuman monsters? Murderous machines? Claw-sporting animals with a thirst for the young jock's blood? Wait... here they come... it can't be... no... NO.... THEY'VE EMERGED! it's, it's....


Well, okay... just two saber-toothed jews in diapers, and one regular, non-saber-toothed jew, but still in a diaper. The three attackers, making grunt-drool noises, slowly lumber after Flash, who must fight for his very life. Mostly, the saber-toothed diaper jews only seem to want to wrestle, kind of greco-roman style, and Flash finds this to his advantage. He must have wrestled in high school, because he knocks the creatures around for awhile. However, the saber-toothed diaper jews only seem to get more aggressive as the fight continues, and soon, they gain in speed, rushing poor Flash again and again.


It's only a matter of time. Flash is human... inevitably, his energy will run out while defying death by fighting these superhuman, razor-toothed, incontinent, lumbering semites. What can be done? He valiantly pits his blonde, buff self against them, waging epic, pectoral skirmishes again and again, but in the end, he is defeated. The diapered ones make their final play and catch Flash off guard.

It's over.

After subduing Flash Gordon, the creatures are called off. Flash has failed. His semi-girlfriend nearby, beside Ming screams out, "Oh Flash!", but nothing can be done. The three creatures hold him down and drool and grunt some more, but seem incapable of inflicting any further damage to our hero. They just kind of crawl around on him and make goofy noises. Ming is pleased.

Mwa ha.

The episode pretty much ends on that note, with no further episodes on the disc. I watched it several times, unable to control myself. So take note, modern world: The Earth can be a pretty tough place. We have famine, disease, inequality, confusion, malarchy... but beware, for one day Ming may send us his horde of saber-toothed jews in diapers, and on that day, we will know what poor Flash Gordon went through, and all of our world's problems until that moment will seem as but the minuscule trifles of lesser things.

Beware, for the day will come...

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