Flash Gordon (1980)

This technicolor marvel needs no introduction. De Laurentiis searched for (and rejected many) potential directors throughout the 70’s including Federico Fellini, George Lucas, Nicolas Roeg, and Sergio Leone. Finally, and thankfully, Mike Hodges helmed this deliciously cheesy cult classic.

Every costume is comic-book level silly. It’s wonderful. Danilo Donati is very faithful to the source material, rendered in glorious metallic painted foam. It can sag a bit in the middle. If you are unable to view this film in its natural habitat of an altered-state midnight movie showing; then I highly recommend modern audiences break it up into 2 parts. No reason to force-feed oneself this much hammy spectacle all at once, if it begins to tire.

Queen’s soundtrack is one of the biggest reasons this movie is a blast. The shots of Flash riding his totally rad space-jet-ski against an over-saturated green-screen sunset as “Flash! Savior of the universe, Savior… of all of us! FLASH!” blares over triumphant guitar will be forever iconic.

Every actor seems to accept the overly theatrical tone. The stand-out performance here is Brian Blessed’s massive performance as the winged Hawkman leader Prince Vultan.
“Gordon’s Alive!?”


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