FLASH GORDON

DIRECTOR: Mike ‘Get Carter’ Hodges

CAST: Sam J Jones, James Bond number 4, Topol, Melody Anderson, The Exorcist, Brian Blessed, Riff Raff, Peter ‘Duncan Dares’ Duncan and Hagrid (keep an eye out for the guy shutting the aeroplane door).

PLOT:

Flash Gordon is a (gridiron) football player. He plays as a quarterback for the New York Jets. He’s also very famous as he is on the front of ‘People’ magazine. Despite this apparent fame, Flash boards a tiny shitty charter plane with a random woman called Dale, where they are going we do not know but we do see Flash tapping her up within about five minutes of them taking off, the dirty fucker! Almost instantly, the plane nosedives, the pilots disappear and Flash and Dale take over to crash land the plane.

Meanwhile, in the arse end of nowhere, Dr Hanz Zarkov (formerly of N.A.S.A) is woken up by his assistant as it’s 6am in the morning and there is no sun. After checking the angular vector of the moon, Zarkov decides that there’s going to be an attack on the Earth (twas this theory that got him kicked out of N.A.S.A) and orders his assistant (with a gun) to get in his homemade spaceship. The assistant is like ‘no, you’re ok thanks’ and runs away only to be squashed by Flash and Dales’ crashing aeroplane.

So, after getting out of the plane with not even a scratch, Dale and Flash engage in a bit of chit chat with Zarkov before he leads them into the spaceship (with a gun no less), tells Flash to leave (he only needs one other person to fly the spaceship you see), a fight ensues, somebody hits the go button and whoosh off they go into space.

After landing on weird planet (Mongo to be exact) and being grabbed by the throat by a weird remote control hand, Flash along with his new missus (I know right!!!) and his new buddy the mad scientist are taken to the palace of Ming the Merciless where there is a gala type thing happening. Being honest, I wouldn’t really know what to call it but each breed of people of Mongo are there and they’re all giving Ming gifts and shit.

After killing a black guy who looked to be wearing shiny metal curtain blinds, Ming is introduced to the earthlings and after hypnotising Dale into doing an apparently sexy dance, Flash beats the shit out of a load of guards (quarterback style) with some giant faberge eggs before getting nailed on the head by one of Zakov’s passes (poor show).

Flash is publicly executed while Zarkov is (supposedly) brainwashed and Dale is a prisoner who will be forced to marry Ming (for an hour no less). So far, so not cool. Meanwhile, to Ming’s daughter Aura resurrects Flash with the help of the doctor that she’s been banging, turns him on and takes him to her boyfriend Prince Baron of the tree people. Baron instantly hates Flash and banishes him to a swampy prison before challenging him to a ‘stick your arm down a tree stump and hope the monster inside doesn’t bite it’ competition. Flash pretends to be hurt, tricks Baron into getting his sword out, trips him, steals the sword and runs off. This all seems like a good idea until he then falls and sinks into a swamp to then get out and be almost swallowed by fucking great green creature thing. Just as he’s about to get eaten, Baron shoots the big green monster thing. He then points the laser gun towards Flash but just before he ends him, a Birdman (a dude with big wings) captures them and takes them to see their leader Vultan (Brian Blessed).

So, Flash and Baron are at Vultans floating Palace and Baron for whatever reason decides to fight Flash on a tilting spiky table. They have a good old fashioned slobberknocker until Baron falls off the edge, Flash pulls him back up and saves his life (humanity) and Baron decides that actually, Flash aint that bad and come to think of it, Ming’s a bit of a dick so let’s revolt!

Vultan is not keen on this idea and scarpers when Ming’s ship arrives. Baron, Zarkov and Dale (oh yeah, the mind control thing didn’t work which enabled Zarkov to help Dale escape) are taken away by Ming’s guards while the merciless one tries to make a deal with Flash (like give him an island or something, I can’t really remember). Flash refuses so Ming blows up Vultan’s palace whilst, unbeknown to him, Flash escapes via a flying treadmill.

Meanwhile, Dale is preparing for her marriage to Ming and Baron and Zarkov are being held in a dungeon somewhere. Flash contacts Vultan from his rocket cycle (who is now feeling bad for leaving him behind) and they concoct a plan to invade the army ship and storm the palace, which they do, all with a banging soundtrack.

Before long, the Birdmen flee the exploding ship (Flash won’t you see as he’s a miracle, king of the impossible etc) leaving the Flashmeister to crash the ship into Ming’s palace, killing him in the process (Ming, not Flash). Ming fades away (literally) and everybody in Mongo has a big celebration as they can all now live together in peace and harmony and stuff.

The Birdmen spell ‘Thanks Flash’ while in the air and Flash claps happily while looking down, and that signals the end until we see Ming’s ring, a title that says “The End?” and we hear Ming’s laugh which suggests that we may get a sequel. We do not.

CRITICAL ANALYSIS

So. Flash has had his fight with Baron on the spiky tilting floating table top to which Baron, Dale and Zarkov are all captured and taken back to Ming’s palace. After finding that
Flash is alive, well and ‘flying blind on a rocket cycle’, we cut to Baron and Zarkov who are chained up in the dungeon when Aura enters the room, shoots the camera/scanner thing and says…

“Scanner malfunction. Under repair”.

At this point, general Kala looks up from her computer screen with a ‘that voice sounds strangely familiar’ kind of face, shrugs it off and goes about her business. Now let’s think about this logically, general Kala would have presumably known Princess Aura since Ming’s daughter was a little girl. She clearly has beef with her as she blatantly knows that Aura is rebel who could bring the empire down from the inside. Knowing this, are you seriously trying to tell me that Kala wouldn’t recognise Aura’s voice? She’s the only Engish/Italian hybrid on the fucking planet for christ’ sake, you can hardly accuse her voice of being generic! Not only that, Aura has just been bloody interrogated and tortured for treason, so you’d think maybe you could afford to be a bit paranoid about her and therefore keep her on a tight leash? Nah, don’t be daft!

Now bear all of this in mind, Kala hears what can only be Aura’s voice telling the security area that the scanner from the DUNGEON is broken which happens to be where they are holding the two rebel prisoners (one of which is one that Aura regularly bangs let’s not forget) and she thinks no more of it. Whether she had more important things to worry about, wasn’t really paying attention or was so damn arrogant that their security was so tight, nobody would ever get by them is unknown, but what we do know is that it was a clear security oversight which wouldn’t have happened if she was doing her job properly! Though you can’t really blame her too much, when Ming left Gordon to die in Vultan’s exploding floating palace, he clearly didn’t hang around to find out that was truly dead. If he had the patience to wait for the dust to settle, he would have clearly seen Flash pinging off into the distance on that rocket bike treadmill thingy. So, if you see the boss taking liberties, you’re naturally not going to be on it like a car bonnet yourself. Lead by example people, lead by example.

MORAL: The basic message is there for all to see. Evil tyranny combined with greed and no compassion will always eventually bring forth a rebellion and end all the years of suffering and rule.

However, the real lesson that one should learn from this movie is that of quality staffing and regular appraisals. If Ming had this in place, mistakes in attitude and routine would have spotted and managed appropriately. Instead, bad habits were allowed to develop, mistakes were made and they were punished, and considering that he was running an empire, you’d think he’d be tighter on that shit.

INSPIRED BY: ‘Star Wars’ clearly.

INSPIRED: Brian Blessed to spend the rest of his career to shout uncontrollably.

VERDICT: The best and worst film you’ll ever see. As in to say, it’s hokey, it’s camp, it’s silly and there are some terrible performances but my god it’s so fucking awesome!