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 Flash Gordon (1980), camp sci-fi classic!!

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Donald McKinney
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PostSubject: Flash Gordon (1980), camp sci-fi classic!!   Sat Aug 23, 2008 9:05 am

Flash Gordon was created in 1935 by Alex Raymond as comic strip to compete with the success of Buck Rogers, and it eventually became a film serial series starring Buster Crabbe, which has gone down as a cult favourite. But, no-one had really tackled a big feature film version of it, Italian producer Dino De Laurentiis had bought the rights to make a Flash Gordon film in the 1970's, but it wasn't until after the success of Star Wars (1977), that it was greenlit. Ironically, George Lucas had wanted to do it, but couldn't get the rights from De Laurentiis. When made, the film was going to be closer in style and tone to the old Buster Crabbe series, and it works. Flash Gordon (1980) might be camp and cheesy, but it's a trillion times better than Star Wars!! Very Happy

The film has Emperor Ming the Merciless, (Max Von Sydow), who is given a new plaything to destroy by General Klytus (Peter Wyngarde), the planet 'Earth'. Meanwhile, on 'Earth', New York Jets football star "Flash" Gordon (Sam J. Jones) is travelling on a plane with friend Dale Arden (Melody Anderson), before bad weather forces the plane down into the house of mad scientist Dr. Hans Zarkov (Topol), who has built a rocket to fly to where the attacks are coming from and stop it. It takes them to the planet Mongo, where they are put before Ming, who initally sentences Flash to death, but he escapes. He decides to fight back at Ming, but this means having to get rivals Prince Barin (Timothy Dalton) and Prince Vultan (Brian Blessed), to stand and fight Ming, who has plans to make Dale his wife.

The film is a wonderful piece of sci-fi, proving you don't need flashy special effects and realistic models to make a good sci-fi film. It takes it's influences from the 1930's original, from the grand and multi-coloured set designs by Danilo Donati. The film is directed by Mike Hodges, best known for Brit gangster flick Get Carter (1971), who brings the best out of all involved, helped to create a film that homages old sci-fi serials, but keeping it in tone for audiences at the time.

Sadly, the film didn't do as well as it should have, and is often refered to as a flop, which it unfair. As it made money internationally, just not in America, where everyone was expecting it would do well. The camp tone was just at odds with what people were expecting, especially with The Empire Strikes Back still fresh in peoples minds when this came out. But, it makes for a great piece of escapism, an alternative sci-fi film. Plus, Flash Gordon also has a brilliant rock soundtrack by Queen!! "Flash!! Aaaah!! Saviour of the universe!!" Better than anything John Williams could come up with!!



Anyone else a Flash Gordon fan?? It's become a firm cult favourite amongst sci-fi fans, all sci-fi films should be like this, instead of diving into the realms of CGI. Filmmakers should learn a lesson from this, and take a step backwards, using sets and wires to create effects. Plus, this has a good cast, from the main characters to small appearences from people like Richard O'Brien and Robbie Coltrane, and even the dwarves from Time Bandits!! Very Happy
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PostSubject: Re: Flash Gordon (1980), camp sci-fi classic!!   Sun Aug 24, 2008 11:53 am

Donald McKinney wrote:


Anyone else a Flash Gordon fan??

Absolutely!! I've loved this for years, as you say full of great charaecters like Barin, Vultan, Zarkov and my favourite Klytus



The fight between Flash and Barin at Vultans palace on that tilting plate with the spikes is brilliant. As if the spikes and tilting weren't enough, Vultan gives them whips as well!

Funniest moment is at Zarkovs lab, the plane crashes in and he says something like " i expect you'd like to use my telephone, its in my spaceship" and Flash and Dale just go along with it as if its completely normal! lol!
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PostSubject: Re: Flash Gordon (1980), camp sci-fi classic!!   Sun Aug 24, 2008 12:01 pm

Donald McKinney wrote:
Plus, Flash Gordon also has a brilliant rock soundtrack by Queen!! "Flash!! Aaaah!! Saviour of the universe!!" Better than anything John Williams could come up with!!



Best thing about the film!


_________________
We renounce our Maker.
We cleave to the darkness.
We take unto ourselves the power and glory.
Behold! We are the Nine,
The Lords of Unending Life.


Frakkin toasters!

So, what, the murder weapon was a top sirloin?

He's a klutz, Mrs. Landingham. Your president's a geek!
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PostSubject: Re: Flash Gordon (1980), camp sci-fi classic!!   Sun Oct 05, 2008 8:47 pm

Gimli the Inept wrote:
Donald McKinney wrote:
Plus, Flash Gordon also has a brilliant rock soundtrack by Queen!! "Flash!! Aaaah!! Saviour of the universe!!" Better than anything John Williams could come up with!!



Best thing about the film!


You and your Queen clips Gimli!! But, I concur with you!! Wink
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