STARRING: Sam J Jones, Melody Anderson, Topol, Max Von Sydow, Ornella Muti, Brian Blessed

1980, 110 Minutes, Directed by: Mike Hodges

Description: 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.

Largely 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 . . .



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