American football player Flash Gordon and his beautiful girlfriend Dale Arden become unwillingly passengers on-board Dr. Hans Zarkov's rocket-ship, where they arrive on the planet Mongo, ruled by the evil Emperor Ming the Merciless.
In this update of the 1930s comic strip, Flash Gordon is a football hero who is skyjacked aboard Dr. Hans Zarkov's rocketship along with beautiful Dale Arden. The threesome are drawn into the influence of the planet Mongo, ruled by Emperor Ming the Merciless. Ming has been testing the Earth with unnatural disasters, and deeming it a threat to his rule, he plans to destroy it. He also intends to take Dale as his concubine. Flash must avoid the amorous attentions of Ming's daughter, and unite the warring kingdoms of Mongo to rescue Dale and save our world. Written by
David Thiel <firstname.lastname@example.org>
The insignia on Klytus's uniform is based on Masonic symbols. See more »
In the shot of Vultan speaking to Flash after Ming dies, there is a Gold Helmeted Guard laying (apparently) dead in the rubble near Vultan's feet. The actor playing the guard moves his head slightly forward then stops. See more »
The Emperor Ming:
Klytus, I'm bored. What play thing can you offer me today?
An obscure body in the S-K System, Your Majesty. The inhabitants refer to it as the planet Earth.
The Emperor Ming:
How peaceful it looks.
[He activates a console, and watches as earthquakes, floods, etc. start to occur. They both get a good laugh out of it]
Most effective, Your Majesty. Will you destroy this Earth?
The Emperor Ming:
Later. I like to play with thing a while before annihilation.
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The opening credits are being played along with various clips of the original comic book strips, along with drawings of character models, all accompanied by the trademark song "Flash" by Queen. See more »
Hotpants in Hotspace - The turbo-powered love rocket story
A blonde, whip-wielding man in red PVC hotpants. A sultry brunette temptresses in a (red PVC) catsuit. A dastardly skullcapped villain with a penchant for S'n'M. A horny, malevolent robot-man called Klytus (a cross between coitus and clitoris?) with a penchant for young ladies. A phallic war rocket Ajax looking like a model 747 decked out with spikes and fins. No: this isn't a 1990s porn extravaganza; this is Flash Gordon the early 80s camp comic classic.
What a film! Sorry, I mean what a film? It's impossible to convey the qualities of this film in a short review. Indeed, I'm not entirely sure I understand on what level (or planet) this film works. Mainly I think it works because everyone is having such fun, from the gloriously camp Max Von Sydow (my all time hero) to Queen (who seem not so much responsible for the soundtrack as the spiritual progenitors for the film itself).
I should mention that I have fond memories of this film from childhood. I remember sneaking downstairs to watch it late at night aged about 8. From that moment, my childhood fantasies usually came (so to speak) in the form of Princess Aura (Ornella Muti and the now famous red catsuit). I should also point out that the film has very few other obvious things (apart from exuberance) going for it. It is possibly one of the daftest films ever made, only slightly redeemed by the fact that it doesn't take itself seriously note the Houdini reference and the casting of Blue Peter presenter Peter Duncan as proof of this, not that you'll need any proof after five minutes of watching it. Indeed, the only ones who don't seem to be enjoying themselves are the humourless Timothy Dalton and the limp-wristed, wet as a haddock Melody Anderson proving once and for all that rampant Euro totty spank the ass (so to speak) of all American girls.
Anyway, I digress. Flash Gordon is essentially a pantomime with an all-star cast (for Max Von Sydow as Ming the Merciless, think Sir Ian McKellem as Widow Twanky). Viewed objectively it's a moderately, if not abjectly awful film. If you just unhook your critical consciousness for 90 minutes you are sure to be rewarded by a high camp, high-energy slice of high grade Camembert. And Mistress Muti she's still a kind of magic! 5/10
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