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Flash Gordon (1980)
Movie Review by The Mortician

Flash Gordon (1980) "He save every one of us! Every man, every woman, every child FLASH!" screams Freddy Mercury on the cheesy but classic QUEEN sound track score for this one. Okay, so you might've had to be there to REALLY, TRULY enjoy this, er, EPIC wannabe film in that early post- STAR WARS era where everyone was trying to cash in on Lucas' success with a sci-fi blockbuster of their own. Somehow Dino De Laurentiis ended up with the rights to remake FLASH GORDON and wow, what a strange but awesome movie! Max Von Sydow is Ming the Merciless..."playing with Earth [sending all kind of unnatural disasters our way]...before annihilation!" PLAYGIRL model stud Sam J. Jones, essaying a "football player" incarnation of Flash [and he'd be qualified to, er, uh, FLASH his wares with those credentials, wouldn't he?!?], is on his way to training camp in a small plane with journalist Dale [played by sultry Melody Anderson of DEAD AND BURIED fame], when they improbably have a wreck [due to Ming's crazy weather attacks] and end up crashing into a mad scientist's lair. The scientist has been expecting Ming's attacks and lures Flash and Dale into a rocket ship, where he blasts everyone off into space to fight Ming and his evil clan! We're then treated to Flash and Dale entering another world, where they must fight the bad guys [Ming and his untrustworthy but sexy hawt daughter, Princess Aura], teaming up with the REBEL Flying Hawk Men and another group headed by a porn star mustached Timothy Dalton (!) and WOW- we're treated to cardboard acting and cardboard sets, hilariously bad dialogue, comically inept sexual sci fi innuendos, and the hokiest blue screen effects I've witnessed since, well, maybe stuff like STAR CRASH or BATTLE BEYOND THE STARS! FLASH GORDON is the ROCKY HORROR PICTURE SHOW of sci-fi movies! And it's all such a grandiose, fun time despite the shortcomings. Many scenes [like Flash's 'football attack' against a room full of baddies] were allegedly improvised on the fly by the inexperienced cast and millions of dollars were spend on inept-looking effects where you can still see the wires making the Hawk Men "fly." Still, the gals [Melody Anderson and Ornella Muti] in revealing, skintight costumes are wickedly shapely to ogle and the additional eye [and ear] candy of cheap sets, overly loud rock opera music by Queen, and poorly executed fight sequences between the good guys and the bad guys make this one a nostalgic must-see-again for those who grew up with it and a diamond in the rough for those who wish to indulge in overpriced junk food cinema from the previous millennium!

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