The Flash Gordon film released in 1980 is quite frankly one of the most ridiculous things ever created, but it’s also one of the most brilliant. It’s like an 80’s rock music video stretched out to 1 hour 51 minutes; at the same time glorious, joyful, messy, bizarre, strange and wondrous, the kind of film that the phrase ‘cult classic’ was invented for.
To celebrate this wonderful piece of cinema, here are 8 Universe Saving Reasons Flash Gordon Is A Cult Classic. And the reasons are all in capital letters, because… it just felt right.
1) Because… QUEEN!
Queen knew how to score an 80’s cult sci-fi film, as along with Highlander 6 years later, they could produce the kind of over-the-top, operatic sound that complimented the visuals of this type of film perfectly. No-one can forget the title track, brilliantly cutting dialogue from the film to sit alongside Freddie’s majestic vocal and Brian’s roaring guitar…
2) Because… BRIAN BLESSED!
The booming voice and over-the top Shakespearean antics of the larger-than-life British actor were perfect for this kind of role, and Blessed’s performance as Prince Vultan, Prince of the bird-like Hawkmen, certainly ensured that he will go down in cult history. “GORDON’S ALIVE??”
3) Because… HAWKMEN!
Despite questionable special effects, destroying all the work Richard Donner did 2 years earlier in making us believe a man actually could fly, the Hawkmen were great. Below is one of the stand-out moments of the film, combining colourful visuals, laser guns, Brian May’s guitar and Brian Blessed bellowing “DIVE!” to create something truly wonderful.
4) Because… PETER DUNCAN!
Yes, the former Blue Peter presenter featured in a scene where he got stung by a ‘Wood Beast’, loudly declaring “Spare me the madness!”, before being put out of his misery by a pre James Bond Timothy Dalton. Is this one of the most terrifying scenes in film history, or was it simply because I saw it when I was a kid?
5) Because… MAX VON SYDOW!
Ming decided to attack Earth out of boredom and ended up impaled by his own war rocket. But fear not, as just before the end credits begin, his ring is retrieved by an unknown individual, and the words ‘The End?’ appear as his evil laughter is heard in the background.
6) Because… AMERICAN FOOTBALL FISTICUFFS!
Just watch the clip below. It’s like a cross between The Super Bowl and The Wizard of Oz. Which is good right?
7) Because… SEXYNESS!
Princess Aura wore some interesting outfits in the movie, but don’t judge me because I was about 11 years old, so yes partly interested, but also partly embarrassed due to the fact I was watching it with my dad…
8) Because… MOVING SPIKE PLATFORMS!
In one classic scene, Flash battles Prince Barin atop some flimsy looking wobbling spike platforms. I mean, what on earth, rather what in the universe, is better than that?