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Flash Gordon - The Planet of Death

episode 1.1

USA/France 1954
produced by
Edward Gruskin for La Telediffusion, Inter-Continental Film Productions
directed by Gunther von Fritsch
starring Steve Holland, Irene Champlin, Joseph Nash
screenplay by Earl Markham, Bruce Elliot, based on characters created by Alex Raymond

Flash Gordon, Flash Gordon (Steve Holland)

review by
Mike Haberfelner

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Since an alien race called the Ebons wants to invade earth, Doctor Zarkoff (Joseph Nash) wants to test a new superweapon on the planet Tarsit - when professor Jarvis returns from the planet claiming it is cursed, as an idol of the god Belfegor killed three of his crewmates when they were on a mission on Tarsit. Still, Jarvis agrees to accompany Zarkoff, Flash Gordon (Steve Holland) and Dale Arden (Irene Champlin) back to Tarsit to show them around a bit - when Flash finds out that several aspects of the professor's story just don't add up ... but before he can put two and two together, they too are attacked by the idol, which shoots paralyzing rays from its eye, and the professor and Flash get caught in a room with moving walls - when the professor loses all his cool and screams for help, revealing himelf to be in the employ of Mason, an agent from Ebon. Thank god Flash manages to break down a wall and free himself and the professor just in time.

Meanwhile, Zarkoff and Dale have run into Ebon agent Mason, who wants to get military secrets out of Zarkoff by torturing Dale with the paralyzing ray. But Flash has since made it to the idol and put the ray out of action, then he takes on Mason and his minions, soon having defeated them all - when Draco, the leadere of Ebon, arives on the scene and shifts powers once again to Ebon's advantage. However, Professor Jarvis' conscience has since gotten the better of him, and he crashes the idol on the invaders from Ebon, even if that means his own death - but at least it is a hero's death.


One of the better episodes of the decidedly less than great Flash Gordon-TV-series: The Tarsit sets, while cheap, are actually pretty effective, and some of the scenes on the planet, especially those when HJarvis loses his crewmates in a flashback-sequence (which is later revealed to be a lie) are even moody.

Not great, but watchable.


review © by Mike Haberfelner


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Robots and rats,
demons and potholes,
cuddly toys and
shopping mall Santas,
love and death and everything in between,
Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

is all of that.


Tales to Chill
Your Bones to
a collection of short stories and mini-plays
ranging from the horrific to the darkly humourous,
from the post-apocalyptic
to the weirdly romantic,
tales that will give you a chill and maybe a chuckle, all thought up by
the twisted mind of
screenwriter and film reviewer
Michael Haberfelner.


Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

the new anthology by
Michael Haberfelner


Out now from




On the same day
a Burglar wants to kill you
and your Ex wants
to make up ...
... and for the life of it,
you can't decide


A Killer Conversation

produced by and starring
Melanie Denholme
directed by
David V.G. Davies
written by
Michael Haberfelner
Ryan Hunter and
Rudy Barrow

out now on DVD