Flash Gordon Review
Victor Angelo De Vasconcelos
When Earth is threatened by the emperor Ming from the planet Mongo with utter annihilation, it is up to Flash Gordon to defeat him and stop the moon from crashing into the Earth. Released in 1980, Flash Gordon owes much of its fame to its theme “Flash” made by Queen. Despite that, the world building provided by the film creates a fun, campy journey that consists of the main attraction of the film.
One of the film’s greatest strengths is its costume design. From Hawkmen and Lizardmen, to wood dwellers and androids, every scene provides a rich and colourful array of the peoples from Mongo. The costumes also inform the viewer on the culture and history of each people, allowing you to know exactly how they’ll behave before any dialogue is provided.
As for its effects, the film is lacking in a charming way. Every scene portraying a spaceship (which there are many) is done through a stop-motion miniature which creates a low budget charm despite the film’s $35 million budget. Through poor green screen usage and adorable miniatures, Flash Gordon creates an atmosphere so artificial that you can’t help but appreciate the effort put in.
Flash Gordon, while a great film for fans of the campy genre, won’t be appreciated as much by everyone. However, you should definitely go for it if you’re in the mood for a space adventure that doesn’t lazily replicate the Star Wars formula.
Originally Published in Bandersnatch Vol. 48 Issue 07 on January 30th, 2018