I’m a big fan of the old pulp comics and Flash Gordon has become a recent obsession of mine. With that I decided to revisit the old Flash Gordon 1980’s epic in all its remastered DVD glory this past weekend. Along for the ride was my poor girlfriend who hadn’t the slightest clue who Flash Gordon was, despite watching a bit of the Sci-Fi revival TV show with me a few years back. Needless to say it made for an interesting experience.

It’s been at least a decade if not longer since I’ve seen Flash Gordon. I was surprised how well it held up. Now that might catch me some flack, but you know what? Screw it. Flash Gordon is an entirely enjoyable movie. Especially the recent DVD release. Outside of probably a handful of effect scenes, the movie looks REALLY good.

Flash himself is played to be a bit more of a bumbling goof than in previous incarnations and perhaps a lot of the movie is tongue in cheek, but the movie is never directly played for campiness. It’s inspired by some camp, it pays homage to the old serials, but it never crosses the line into parody. Thank goodness for it too.

I really loved this movie. It’s so beautiful, even by today’s standards. The sets, the colors, oh man the colors. Every outfit is bright, blinged out and even the skies of Mongo are like some day-glo tye dye trip. It’s impressive.

The plot is a bit weak, though honestly practically 100% true to the origins of the comics and the dialogue is pretty boring and weak throughout. Yet this movie delivers on the fun and light hearted adventure that Flash Gordon should be. In fact if it wasn’t for the Lizard people, whose costumes are downright 1960’s Star Trek bad, this movie would be playable today.

That’s not to say this movie is perfect. It’s not. Still, when so many terrible movies come out every week to the theatre, this is perfectly enjoyable. I found myself enthralled in the vintage sets, costumes and old school Flash Gordon feel. I don’t think everything has to be so intense and blood soaked. This movie feels like an updated old serial, which is exactly what it’s supposed to be.

Flash Gordon is not a great movie. But it darn sure is a fun movie. Flash remains a property that could probably be revisited and brought into modern times in a revolutionary way. So long as it doesn’t come about in the crappy halfhearted way that the Sci-Fi series did. That show, was an abomination of all that is holy and quite possibly the worst drek every to be spat up by that network.

No wonder my GF forgot Flash Gordon after that terrible Sci-Fi show. As is, I doubt this movie made her a Flash Gordon fan. Still it reinvigorated my love for the property and I applaud all things Mongo. Even Steve McMichael.

One Response to Flash Gordon… Still cool after all these years!

  • Lt_Clutch says:

    I watched it a few months back and it does hold up nicely. Sam Jones does a good job handling the campier aspects. Max Von Sydow is a TERRIFIC Ming. You have not one, but two absolutely beautiful babes, plus Timothy freakin' Dalton looking very Flynn-ish, Peter Wyngarde as a chromed-up Darth Vader clone, Topol as the bat-crazy but loyal Zarkov, and good old Brian Blessed chewing the scenery with his usual vigor.

    The colors are freaking awesome, the sets are outta this world, and the music by Queen suits the proceedings to a tee. Love the movie artwork for the poster and promos. A truly FUN-tastic flick!

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