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Flash Gordon (1980)
Movie Review by The Gravedigger

Flash Gordon (1980) This is a rather cheesy version of the Alex Raymond's comic strip space hero. Taking place in present day, Flash (Sam Jones) is a football star who is taking a plane trip with Dale Arden (Melody Anderson), a reporter. The plane crashes after a meteor shower near Dr. Zarkov's laboratory. Zarkov holds them at gunpoint and forces them aboard his newly created spaceship. He has a theory that all of Earth's current natural disasters are being caused by aliens and he wants to stop them. This turns out to be true. Their ship travels through a psychedelic vortex and lands on the planet Mongo, where they encounter the evil villain Ming the Merciless (Max Von Sydow). Ming wants Dale as his bride and tries to kill Flash in a gas chamber. But Flash is saved by Ming's daughter Aura and is taken to Arborea, where Baron of the Forest People (Timothy Dalton) rules. Baron hates Flash, they fight a few times and end up becoming allies after their fight amongst the Hawk People.Talk about male bonding.They agree to try to overthrow Ming-lots of Hawk People get blown up in flames and Ming escapes via his magic ring after being speared by the front end of a spaceship.In the end Zarkov, Flash and Dale are still on Mongo and the evil villain is gone. But for how long?In this movie Flash is a bit naïve-and seems a bit dimwitted because of it-yet he absolutely looks the part. The costumes and sets are mostly reds and primary colors, very bright, and intentionally not made to look very realistic. I think the best part of the movie is the opening title sequence, where we see clips of the Flash Gordon comic strip and title song by Queen is playing. A better version of Flash, much more serious, is the animated series made around the same time.
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