Flash Gordon (Sam J. Jones) is a super star football player from New York. Flying back from a holiday, he finally meets the woman he’d been admiring from afar in the hotel, Dale Arden (Melody Anderson). Then the action begins as their pilots disappear from the cockpit in mid-flight and they have to land the plane themselves. Crashing it into the lab of Dr Zarkov (Haim Topol), a crazed scientist who predicted an attack on Earth from outer space that’s just begun. He forces the couple onto his rocket and blast them all into space, landing on the planet Mongo. There, they become prisoners and must fight to escape, save the Earth, and not die permanently.
Throw in talent from Brian Bless, Max Von Sydow, Ornella Muti, and Timothy Dalton and we have an amazing film.
Opening credits are to Queen’s song with an animation of the comics, promising this will be a gaudy, retro fun time. And it delivers. It sure does. Bright clashing colours everywhere. Action scenes every other second. Dramatic confessions.
Every character changes costume a lot so we have a great variety to look at, and occasionally cringe over. Scantily clad women in belly dancing outfits, something that can only be described as an adult diaper on Flash, oh and the men wear tights. Hmmm, I like manly booty. Sam J. Jones had a very nice booty.
I love Dale. She’s a strong woman, a great role model in my opinion. She’s smart, feminine, strong, determined, and doesn’t use her sexuality to manipulate others. Brilliant.
Flash is hard to kill; every time he gets himself into a situation, there’s always something that happens to save him. He might find a flying machine, or his enemy might shoot the monster, or the princess who has fallen for him (even though Dale has reminded him that she’s still there) will have the doctor revive him from the poisonous gas used for execution. Simply put, he’s always getting into dangerous situations and nearly dying.
It isn’t a serious film. Everything is over the top of course. This is something to be watched for fun every other holiday. The special effects are crappy, the colours jarring to the eye, and the acting is mostly over the top. But that’s what makes this so much fun and a classic.
Go forth and find the DVD and treasure it. This is one of the best films of all time, we’re not likely to find many more like it ever being made again. Shame. So watch it and enjoy. “Go Flash!”