powered by AFI
A deadly ray from Mars causes violent storms and eruptions on the Earth that drain the atmosphere of its space. While other scientists argue, Flash Gordon and Doctor Zarkov undertake aerial experiments. As a result of their secret work, Zarkov decides they must travel into space aboard his rocket ship, and they are joined by Dale Arden and stowaway "Happy" Hapgood, an easy-going reporter from the New York Dispatch . The ray causes them to crash in Mars's Valley of Desolation, where the evil Emperor Ming the Merciless pursues them. Flash and his friends steal Ming's spaceship, however, and use it in an unsuccessful attempt to wreck the Nitron Lamp that causes the deadly ray. Shot down, they flee to a cave, where they encounter the Clay People, a race that formerly ruled Mars but have been cursed into their present pitiable condition by Queen Azura, an ally of Ming. With the help of the Clay People, Flash and Zarkov depart for Azura's palace and try to abduct her. Flash and Zarkov are captured, however, and are condemned to death, while Dale and Happy are turned over to her guards. Prince Barin, another captive, uses a formula to melt the rock walls of his cell, then joins Flash and his friends in their cell and helps them to escape. Together they take Azura on her stratosled, but Ming orders the sled shot down. Before she dies, Azura gives Flash the magic sapphires that will lift her curse from the Clay People, and with the jewels, Flash transforms their bodies into those of ordinary men. Two captured Martians now realize that Ming, not Flash, is their enemy, and they combine forces with the earth man. While Ming is having himself crowned as Azura's successor, Flash interrupts the ceremony to implicate Ming in Azura's death. Ming then takes a ray gun and heads for the powerhouse. To prevent Ming's Nitron Squadron from attacking the Clay People, Flash and his friends call through the Televiser but fail to reach the pilots, at which point the Air Marshal betrays Flash. The mad Ming determines to destroy the Earth by turning the Nitron Lamp to full intensity. However, Tarnak, one of Ming's men, turns on him and forces him into the disintegration room. Meanwhile, Barin bombs the powerhouse and destroys the Nitron Lamp. Flash, Dale, Happy and Zarkov then return to Earth to win global acclaim.