An athlete and his friends travel into space, where they are captured by Emperor Ming and forced to lead a resistance to save Earth.
Flash Gordon (1980)
Directed by Mike Hodges
Written by Lorenzo Semple Jr.
Starring Sam J. Jones, Melody Anderson, Max von Sydow, Topol, Timothy Dalton, Ornella Muti, Brian Blessed, Peter Wyngarde
Based on the comic strip by Alex Raymond
Flash Gordon is a campy, cheesy, ridiculous, goofy, and, did I mention, ridiculous film that is also unbelievably fun. This is one of the few instances where all the campy effects and cheesy dialogue work in the film's favor and I actually found myself enjoying what should be an absolute failure. Despite the super B-movie flavor, Flash Gordon has an air of charm about it.
The premise is nothing short of stupid. Football player Flash Gordon is sent to space amidst Earth's destruction and finds himself leading a revolution against the vicious Emperor Ming, played hilariously by Max von Sydow. Somehow, the story is surprisingly interesting, as are the characters. Plus, the performance of a young pre-007 Timothy Dalton doesn't hurt. The incredible soundtrack by Queen helps take the film out of the realm of pure cheese and into cult territory, providing a legendary theme song for a now iconic cult hero.
Somehow, this film works. I can't explain it. It should be one of the worst films ever made, but it isn't. Flash Gordon is a hugely entertaining and enjoyable 80's classic that I feel everybody has an obligation to watch at least once. That way, you can all appreciate the third act of Ted.