Friday, July 8, 2011

Classic Film Friday : Flash Gordon

What the hell?!?! I could have sworn I posted a review of my all time favorite movie growing up as a child. Now I understand there is a remake in the works, and I've no doubt that the acting will probably be better, but there is a certain panache that you will never have because you don't have Queen singing your songs in the movie. So by rights, this was a classic when it came out in 1980.

Watching the movie now... well did I say it was a great movie way back in 1980? Year it has not aged well. But if you like campy, big budget sci-fy movies, then this has to be in your top ten list. Sam J. Jones is Flash, a quarterback for the Jets. HE is coming back to New York from vacation where he meets Dale Arden (Melody Anderson) as they will be share the small plane back to NY. About the same time that Ming the Merciless (Max von Sydow) is planning to destroy the earth.

The plane takes off but then the pilots are killed by a falling meteorite (Ming's doing) Flash takes the wheel and crash lands in Dr. Hans Zarkov's (Chaim Topol) greenhouse. Zarkov just so happens to have a rocket and he needs more people to operate the controls. So Flash, Dale and Zarkov are now in a rocket and heading to Mongo (Where Ming is). They promptly get taken prisoner.

Was that out of this world enough for you? No well good because it gets better. They meet the bad guys, Klytus (Peter Wyngarde) and General Kala (Mariangela Melato) as well as some want that want anything but Ming... Prince Barin (Timothy Dalton) a sort of woodland race and Prince Vultan (Brian Blessed) a winged hawk-man. Watch as Ming kills Flash (or thinks he's dead) only to come out of everything alive and listen to Freddie Mercury's vocals and Brian May's guitar. This movie is one of my all time favorites... I have it on DVD, you should too.

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