The B-Movie Podcast: Star Wars-ish Wack-a-Doo – Flash Gordon (1980)
A long time ago, in a Drive-In not so far Away…
Welcome to our Month long series of Star Wars inspired/ripped off films! That’s right Ladies and Gents, in honor of Star Wars: The Last Jedi we got a month of double features, special guest and more!!! We kick off the month with Wack-a-Doo taking a gander at the crazier entries of films that owe much to Star Wars. Next up; Flash Gordon!
As Queen told us… Flash, the defender of the universe. He’s going to save every one of us. What held true in 1980, holds even truer in 2017. Mike Hodges directed piece of mystical brilliance is a film that is both of the 80’s and completely separated from the 80’s. The director seems like an odd choice having directed Get Carter, Pulp… crime films. Hodges manages a crime… conning good old Dino D. out of $35 million to make this piece of sci-fi madness. Flash Gordon relies on but also out right rejects Star Wars ethos. Batman ’66 writer Lorenzo Semple Jr. was brought in to write the screenplay and brings his same sort of loving high camp style to the Iconic Flash. Many at the time thought it was too campy never realizing that the entire serial was campy to begin with. It doesn’t mean that Flash Gordon is bad quite the contrary, it just happens to take nothing it does serious. Which when you have Brain Blessed as Prince Vultan of the Hawkmen, how can you take anything in the film seriously? The answer is, you can’t nor are you supposed to. Flash Gordon is good old fashioned fun and if you find yourself laughing at it and with it… don’t worry it means that it’s working its spell on you.
Release Year: 1980
Director: Mike Hodges
Writer(s): Alex Raymond, Michael Allin, Lorenzo Semple Jr.
Cast of Note: Sam J. Jones, Melody Anderson, Max von Sydow, Topol, Ornella Muti, Timothy Dalton, Brian Bleessed, Mariangela Melato, Peter Wyngarde, Richard O’Brien, John Osborne, Philip Stone, George Harris, Deep Roy, Kenny Baker, Robbie Coltrane