STARRING: Sam J
Jones, Melody Anderson, Topol, Max Von Sydow, Ornella Muti, Brian Blessed
1980, 110 Minutes, Directed by: Mike Hodges
When the totalitarian planet of Mongo decides on a whim to obliterate
Earth, it's up to the lunk-headed quarterback Flash Gordon and his oddball
companions to make the universe safe for democracy.
forgotten hero of 1930s sci-fi serials and comic strips makes it to the big screen (with a
big budget) in the wake of the success of Star Wars. What is
interesting to note is that George Lucas wanted to do Flash Gordon initially, but
since the rights were tied up too tightly to allow him any artistic freedom, he decided to
write his own space opera and came up with Star Wars instead. Now that
movie would have been interesting . . .
Unlike Superman - the Movie before it, this one tries to re-create the
visual atmosphere of the original material. Later on, copying the visual style of the
original comic book material would be fashionable with ventures such as Dick Tracey,
Batman and The Shadow. Thus, in a sense, this
movie was ahead of its time.
Obviously the film makers
decided not to play it seriously (how could they?) and thus the costumes are garish and
campy, the special effects tacky and obvious, the acting over the top. Whether you enjoy
this sort of thing depends on your own personal taste, but there was something about the
self-consciousness camp of it all this that put this viewer off.
Whether you enjoy the movie I suppose
largely depends on your mood as well - so if you feel like camping it up, then rent this
one. The music is by now defunct rock group Queen by the way . . .