Hello everyone! 🙂
Welcome to ‘Bradley’s Basement’ blog and I’m Tim Bradley!
I said I wanted to review the cult classic film ‘Flash Gordon’ in my 4th anniversary celebration video with Sophie Aldred. And here I am doing so having seen the movie on Blu-ray! What did I think of ‘Flash Gordon’ overall? I honestly had a fun time watching this with its campy and entertaining style.
The film was directed by Mike Hodges and stars Sam J. Jones as Flash Gordon. It’s a comic book styled adventure based on the comic book character created by Alex Raymond in 1934. I don’t know much about the comics but I can tell that this movie was taking its cue from the comics’ campy style.
I did see this movie once when my parents and I were my Nana and Bamp’s many years ago. My parents don’t remember it well but I recall it well. I enjoyed the ‘zap’ and colourfulness of the characters, costumes and set designs featured. It’s a genuinely entertaining comic book style of film.
As I understand it, the movie was a box office success in the UK when released at cinemas in 1980. The film didn’t do so well in other countries. Thus there wasn’t a sequel made. The film has had a cult following over the years and is regarded as one of the finest pieces of cinema history. Incredible!
The film features the already established hero Flash Gordon who gets zapped from Earth into a sci-fi adventure on the planet Mongo ruled by the evil emperor Ming the Merciless. Flash Gordon has to save the Earth from Ming with the help of his friends and the alien armies he makes allies with here.
As well as Sam J. Jones as Flash Gordon, there’s Melody Anderson as Dale Arden. Dale becomes Flash’s love interest in the movie. It is amusing as I was watching the film from start to finish that Flash and Dale have only known each other for a short time. Yet they become lovers in an instant. 😀
The film also features Ornella Muti as Princess Aura, who immediately makes luscious advances on Flash Gordon when rescuing him from certain death. Yeah, even I was like – What was this woman doing? Not that I wouldn’t mind all space princesses doing that to men, but it did seem ridiculous. 😀
There were faces I recognised from other TV and film productions in the film. Max von Sydow stars as the evil Ming the Merciless. This was before he went on to be in ‘Star Wars: Episode VII – The Force Awakens’ no less. Thank goodness he has a large role here compared to getting killed off early.
There’s also Topol (who I’ve seen in the 1971 ‘Fiddler on the Roof’ film) as the scientist Hans Zarkov. There’s also Timothy Dalton as Prince Brain and Brian Blessed as Prince Vultan. I’ve never seen Brian Blessed delightfully amusing and over-the-top before he did ‘Doctor Who’ with Colin Baker in 1986.
There’s also Peter Wyngarde as General Klytus. For a while, I wondered where Peter Wyngarde was in the film. I didn’t realise he was wearing a mask throughout the entire film. Thank goodness I was able to recognise his voice. I wonder if General Klytus’ look is a rip-off of Darth Vader in ‘Star Wars’.
There’s also Mariangela Melato as General Kala and I recognised John Hallam as General Luro. I’ve seen him in the BBC version of ‘The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader’ and the BBC TV version of ‘4.50 From Paddington’ with Joan Hickson. In this film, he works for Brian Blessed.
And who can forget what this film is remembered for? That catchy theme song performed by the rock band Queen. Whenever you think of the film ‘Flash Gordon’, you can always hear Queen singing “FLASH…AHH!!!” I don’t know how rated it is as a song but…goodness me! It’s a very catchy song! 😀
So ‘Flash Gordon’ was a very entertaining film for me. It is very campy and colourful, but somehow I don’t mind that. The cast’s performances are pretty fun to watch and it is fun to see a comic book styled movie with a campy style to it. The theme song and music by Queen helps to make it uplifting.
Thanks for reading!
Bye for now!