By Don Klees
With comics-based movies so ubiquitous nowadays, it’s easy to forget there was a time when their popularity wasn’t a given. So it was with the 1980 film version of Flash Gordon, which was a box-office disappointment before making the transition to cult-classic. Because I missed in the theater, as did many who eventually came to enjoy it, I’d never seen the movie in its full outlandish glory until buying it on Blu-Ray. Technical upgrades from my beat-up VHS copy aside, what’s most striking is how consistent my overall impressions have remained over the past few decades.
1) In terms of creating a comic-strip atmosphere, it’s about the truest translation of a classic character from that era of comics.
3) The soundtrack by Queen still sounds awesome.
4) Between the blond beefcake being marched around in a speedo, the well-groomed man in the green suit speaking BBC English and – to some extent – the actress playing Ming the Merciless’ daughter, I still wonder how many young men came to appreciate their sexuality watching this movie.
5) The most implausible thing about the whole enterprise is not Dr. Zarkov building a space-worthy rocket in his backyard but rather the idea that the New York Jets would actually have a quarterback good enough to fight off so many of Ming’s soldiers singlehandedly.
PS. You may enjoy Don’s other posts on some great comics on the page: Beyond Superheroes: The Manhattan Projects, Putting the “Novel” in Graphic Novel, and C-3PO Goes Solo. And while we’re on the subject of rediscovering classic movies, check out our post An Underappreciated Nightmare.
This article originally appeared on Culture Sonar
Photo credit: IMDb