You wouldn't know it from the title, but Deadly Ray From Mars is a feature-length abridgement of the 15-episode serial Flash Gordon's Trip to Mars. Space traveller Flash Gordon (Buster Crabbe), his lady love Dale Arden (Jean Rogers), and scientific genius Dr. Zarkov (Frank Shannon), blast off for Mars, where a mysterious force is sucking the nitrogen from the Earth's atmosphere. The three adventurers hope to pinpoint the source of this power and destroy it. The villain behind the Earth-threatening scheme is the never-popular Ming the Merciless (Charles Middleton), who also foments a deadly feud between Prince Barin of the planet Mongo (Richard Alexander) and the Clay People of Mars. Ming hopes that this battle will allow him to conquer the universe in the confusion. But the Clay People ultimately align with Barin and Flash Gordon's party, and Ming is defeated. Deadly Ray From Mars, also known as Flash Gordon: Mars Attacks the World, has been rendered a confusing hodgepodge by its insensitive editors; viewers are advised to check out the original, full-length serial instead.
by Hal Erickson synopsis