Friday, 27 May 2011
We know the Queen song, or at least we should. Flash, ah, ah, saviour of the universe. Queen soundtracks make all B-grade movies something more. It elevates them to cult status. Think Highlander. But I digress.
Flash Gordon, made in 1980, is undoubtedly a cult classic. This sci-fi romp of a movie features some of the best Shakespearean actors romping around in ridiculous costumes. It’s camp, it’s amusing (listen carefully to some of the dialogue) and the sets look like they were created with polystyrene and poster paint. But it’s fabulous entertainment.
Directed by the late Dino De Laurentiis, Flash Gordon is the story a football hero ‘Flash’ Gordon and travel writer Dale Arden whose plane crashes into the laboratory of mad scientist Dr. Zarkov as a result of freak weather conditions. Dr Zarkov is pretty certain that he knows where the climatic changes are coming from, and by accident, launches the three of them into space and into the court of Emperor Ming the Merciless.
Mayhem ensues as Flash is sentenced to death, only to be rescued by the Emperor’s manipulative daughter Aura, Dale is caught in the King’s chambers in preparation for her marriage to the evil Emperor and Dr Zarkov is taken to have his memory removed by the sadistic General Kala. Will they be able to save Earth from impending doom? Will they be able to unite the kingdoms in the fight against Ming? Will Dale remember how to do her eye make-up if she ever gets back to New York City?
Timothy Dalton is dashing as Prince Barin, Brian Blessed is booming as Prince Vultan, and Max Von Sydow is suitably regal and chilling as Ming. Sadly Sam J Jones as Flash was nominated for the coveted Golden Raspberry award.
The movie is so bad it’s fabulous. Worth watching on a Friday night when it’s cold, and hot hail is raining down from an evil inter-galactic Emperor.
What would be your cheese recommendations?