“Flash Gordon” – Nathan’s Movie Challenge, Week 31
“Don’t empty my mind! Please, I beg you! My mind is all I have! I’ve spent my whole life trying to fill it!”
Well, this concludes my trio of schlocky, silly films. Flash might be the silliest, unintentionally hilarious of them all.
Things to note:
- The costuming is kind of astounding between ridiculously bad and beautiful.
- “Hey, is that Dagobah? Did they just, like, re-use the set from Empire in this movie, or what?”
- “Wait, does Timothy Dalton live in the Ewok village? Oh, no… Lucas got his Ewok village from this movie… Yeesh.”
- Timothy Dalton is such a good actor. Always has been, always will be. His delivery is great. The high point of almost anything he’s in.
- Max Von Sydow nails it, too. Playing a hammy, campy villain must be a blast for any actor.
- This movie really takes the football angle and… ahem… punts it.
- I’m glad I didn’t watch this with my kids! Constant sexual innuendo, violence, and horrific deaths abound!
- For as incredible as the special effects are in Empire, this film shows how bad they can be made at essentially the exact same time. This is Silent Running bad.
What’s astounding to me is just how incredible cheeseball this is and how not Star Wars is given that Lucas was essentially just remaking his own Flash Gordon story. Why does Flash seem so shlocky in comparison? It makes me wonder what Lucas’s version of Flash Gordon could have been had they let him purchase the rights and make it.
I suppose I’m glad to have finally seen it so I have some understanding of the world/characters of Flash Gordon, but man, it’s a terrible movie.
Flash Gordon was at the time of this review at #1531 on my Flickchart list of shame (ranked #918 among the best films of all time). Here’s how it entered my chart:
Flash Gordon vs. Mission Impossible II
MI2 is shlocky, but in a very specific John Woo kind of way that works for me. Un-ironically one of my favorites of the entire franchise.
Flash Gordon vs. Bruce Almighty
The scene with Steve Carell being unable to control his voice is an unbelievably funny scene in an otherwise forgettable movie. That scene alone probably elevates it over Flash.
Flash Gordon vs. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II: The Secret of the Ooze
Wow. We’re getting shlocktastic, here. I’ll let Flash win this one. Kid-me liked the old TMNT movies, but I know for a fact they’re terrible, terrible movies.
Flash Gordon vs. The Black Cauldron
When it comes time for a list of the most unfairly forgotten Disney films, I’d imagine The Black Cauldron would have to be on the list. It’s been ages since I’ve seen it last, but I remember being quite enthralled with it. A rewatch might elevate it considerably on my chart.
Flash Gordon vs. The Squid and the Whale
Movies where you hate all the characters are not my bag, and Squid has its fair share of deplorable people. That being said, the idea of an entire family of insufferable intellectuals to extreme faults is interesting and makes for a fairly complex family drama that surprises you.
Flash Gordon vs. Diamonds are Forever
I had to look it up to remind myself which Bond movie this was. Oh right – car chases through Vegas, naked girls thrown out the window, Jill St. John, Blofeld… Yep, a Bond movie. They don’t make them like this one anymore – for both good and bad reasons.
Flash Gordon vs. The Hit
The Hit is a slow burn of a movie. When I watched it earlier in the challenge, I mostly found it slow and a little boring. Flash Gordon is surprisingly draggy, too, but it’s at least a lot less drab to look at and makes me smile at it’s cheesiness. I’ll let Flash win this one, too.
Flash Gordon vs. Godzilla (1998)
Yeah, Flash wins. No one likes Godzilla ’98.
Flash Gordon vs. Iron Man 3
Ooof. I did not like Iron Man 3 at all. Even though Flash is really bad, it’s still we-know-it-‘s-bad-fun. IM3 is not my cup of tea.
Flash Gordon is now ranked #1324 out of 1538 movies on my Best Movies of All-Time chart.
Next up is Glory, American Graffiti, and Summer Hours. In the meantime, check out the other films I’ve ranked during the challenge.