Saturday, July 23, 2011

bad/awesome flixxx review: Flash Gordon (1980)

"Pathetic earthlings. Hurling your bodies out into the void, without the slightest inkling of who or what is out here. If you had known anything about the true nature of the universe, anything at all, you would've hidden from it in terror."- Ming

"Prince Barin! I'm not your enemy, Ming is! LET'S ALL TEAM UP AND FIGHT HIM!"- Flash Gordon

"Don't empty my mind! I've spent my whole life filling it!"- Dr. Hans Zarkov

Awesome flick! Another masterpiece produced by good ol Dino De Laurentiis!! A super campy version of the old Flash Gordon comic strip based on the serials of the 30s and 40s, with a soundtrack by Queen! and starring Max Von Sydow as Ming! and two time James Bond- Timothy Dalton as one of the princes of Mongo! Pretty badass sounding already huh? And we haven't even gotten to the costumes! This is pretty much a pleasure to watch even after all these years. There are a lot of haters that don't dig this one because its not Star Wars. I don't think this was ever supposed to be like Star Wars. The Hawkmen don't even try to actually look like they're flying, they are obviously hung from ropes. But its details like this that give FG it's camp, and overall feel. Sit back, and enjoy FLASH GORDON!!!

This tale begins with a shot of the Earth and some voiceover by 2 dudes. One is complaining that he wants something to play with because he's bored. Klytus the other guy offers Ming a planet and aims some sort of gun toward it and presses a button that says earthquake. There are tons of other buttons including one that says "hot hail". This pleases Ming. Then we have some wild credits that show a montage of the old Flash Gordon comic strips. Then we are on a plane ride. On that plane is our hero, Flash Gordon, a football player for the New York Jets, and his travel agent Dale Arden, along with the two pilots. Dale is giving Flash the cold shoulder until some heavy turbulence begins. Flash goes up to check it, then Dale fesses up that she's scared shitless. Flash tells her to cool out til the sky turns blood red... Next thing they know, the pilots are sucked out and Flash takes the wheel or handles... whatever. Then they crash into this crazy scientist's castle greenhouse thing.

The castle belongs to Dr Hans Zarkov, who has long believed the moon would fall to the earth in some sort of attack. He plans to rocket himself and his sidekick into space to stop the unknown threat, except Munson chickens out. Lucky for him Flash & Dale crash just in time. He tricks them and the rocket is off into space. Unfortunately for them it gets sucked into a black hole leading them to the realm of Mongo, which is ruled by the supreme emperor Ming the merciless. Ok, so Flash is to be executed, Hans gets brainwashed by Klytus, & Dale is gonna have to marry Ming. There are 2 peoples on Mongo, the tree dudes, and the hawk dudes, and they fucking hate each other. Aura, Ming's slut daughter saves Flash & takes him to the tree people where her other love interest, Timothy Dalton lives. He's pissed cause he knows she's a slut, but he can't overcome his lust so he listens to her. He won't kill Flash, but he tries to get him killed by sticking his hands in a beast tree. Flash tricks him back and escapes, all the while trying to get him to team up and beat Ming. They are both captured in the tree dudes forest by the hawkmen.

Dale gets a telepathic message from Flash so she splits to find Zarkov who isn't brainwashed after all. They escape only to be captured by the main Hawkman Vultan. Aura is getting the shit beat out of her back at Ming's house. Flash is forced by the hawks to fight Tim Dalton to the death, but he doesn't kill him, so Tim Dalton trusts him. He's about to get lovey dovey, but Klytus breaks up the party. He tries to arrest them, but they fucking kill his ass. Ok, so then the Hawkmen split cause they are chickens (get it??!) and then Ming shows up. He grabs them all up except Flash. He tells him if he'll rule in his stead, he can be the ruler of Earth. Flash is like, "fuck off", so Ming leaves him and destroys the sky city where the hawkies lived. Except for some reason, the hawkies had a rocket cycle (who knows why? they could fly!) and Flash steals it to go save the day.

So Flash calls the hawks and tells them his plan. He pretends to attack Ming's castle, but instead he has the hawks in the clouds. Klytus's chick who is in charge now sends a ship out to kill Flash and they are tricked. Then there's a big showdown, and a bunch of hawkies are killed, but Flash still takes control of the ship. He turns it around and aims it straight for the castle. Klytus's chick figures out the deal and fires on their own ship, but its too late, Flash crashes the goddamn thing into the wedding party and the point of the ship stabs Ming right in the heart. Ok, so Timothy Dalton becomes the king of Mongo, Vultan becomes the head of the army, and Flash saved the Earth. And QUEEN RULES! There ya go. Watch it.


  1. I remember having a sweet Flash Gordon lunchbox as a kid! Hahaha...

  2. I remember seeing this flick in the theater.

    One part where they stick their hand into this thing sticks out in my mind. As a kid,that scene, was real kind of scary

  3. Flash Gordon is one my favorite 80’s sci-fi flicks. I remember seeing it at the theaters when I was a kid and thinking it was the greatest movie ever. The sets were colorful and vibrant, while the people were just as brightly different. Even to this day when I see it, I don’t see the ropes hanging the hawk men and ships up. OK well I do but that isn’t the point. My girlfriend and I were talking old movies with some friends that I work with at DISH one night, and I found out she had never seen Flash Gordon, and I knew I couldn’t be with a woman that hadn’t seen Flash. So seeing how kicking her to the curb was out of the question, I looked through my 20 movie channels that are included with my blockbuster @home package with no luck, but the DVD by mail had Flash. So with a smile on my face, popcorn in hand, and a beer on the table we sat down to watch Flash, which was just how I remembered it, cheesily cool. She hated it, made fun of all the little things in the movie that made it possible in the 80’s. At least now I don’t have to spend anything on Valentines Day.