Saturday, 29 November 2014

Flash Gordon (1980)

Flash!  Aaaaah aaaaah!  Saviour of the Universe!

Professional footballer Flash Gordon meets travel agent Dale Arden when they are the only two passengers on a small plane.  After the two flirt with all the subtlety of the superheated hail that suddenly starts pouring from the sky, they will find themselves transported on an interplanetary journey to the realm of Mongo, where the tyrannical Emperor Ming rules with an iron fist.  They'll encounter hawkmen and lizardfolk; cyborgs and sexy princesses; poisonous wood beasts and electrified clouds.  They will, in other words, show us a jolly good time.

First things first: if you're looking for nuanced performances, complex characters, cutting edge special effects (even for the time), or just a script that's too classy for dialogue like "Flash, I love you, but we only have 14 hours to save the Earth!", then you're in the wrong place.

If however, you want:

  • A thumping Queen soundtrack; or
  • Ming the Merciless living up to his sobriquet; or
  • More camp than the entire Butlins chain; or
  • BRIAN BLESSED hamming it up as only he can; or
  • A heroine who is smart enough to put on her heels only after she beats up the bad guy; or
  • A movie that is positively gleeful in its gonzo excess
Then this might be the film for you.

As for me?  Good grief, I love this campy, silly, goofy movie.  7 year old me, seeing it soon after release, was not so impressed.  Though I did think Prince Vultan (Brian Blessed) was pretty awesome, which just goes to show that even seven year old me occasionally got things right.

Flash!  Aaaaah aaaaah!  He'll save every one of us!

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