Friday, January 13, 2006

There will be no debate - No.1

He's for everyone of us...

Stand for everyone of us...

He'll save with his mighty hand,

Every man every woman, every child,

he's a mighty Flash!

The greatest ever-cinematic theme tune and accompanying score is -

Flash Gordon 3

Queen captured the pure unadulterated joy of Mike Hodges adaptation of Alex RaymondĂ‚’s comic strip Flash, exquisitely.

Once the brief intro is over Queen literally burst in, declaring that our hero Flash will save us, and if Freddy, Brian and Co say it is so, it's so.

In fact, the entire movie is an utter gem; it simple gets better and better with each subsequent and highly recommended viewings.

Everything about Flash Gordon is peerless, the charming effects, the acting which although variable is to a man completely over the top like an amateur dramatic pantomime where everyone knows that it's only family in the audience and there'll be a massive piss up when it's all over. The story is a verypairedd down version of the comic and 30's movie series 'Flash Gordon conquers the Universe', but is a lovely proper length - about an hour and a half, like all decent films should be, if you can't tell your story in 90 minutes (mister modern filmmaker) you should go back to film school.

The tone is puretitillationn, with stacks of scantily clad men and women, heaps of sexual innuendo, hints of S&M and even incest, and yet, and YET this film was made for children - it even had swearing in it, which upon repeating one of the stacks of classic lines to my parents got me soooo done.

Good hair.

If you are a lover of this film the very mention of its name will immediately prompt you to repeat (in an utterly geeky way) any number of itĂ‚’s classics lines which include;

"Flying blind on a rocket cycle?"

"Spare me the madness"

"This Ming is a psycho"

"Are your men on the right pills"

"Go Flash go! Go Flash go!"

"You lying bitch!"

"What do you mean, Flash Gordon approaching?"


"Don't move you bloody bastards"

and my absolute favourite....

"Send out war rocket Ajax to bring back his body!"

But above all that, it's the theme that really lifts Flash from the same heap of so-called cult movie classics that are now just 'must buy' items in Tesco and Amazon, recommended by those insidious cool hunters so that we no longer need to exert any effort to actually find the good stuff ourselves.

It's intrinsically uncool but cool in the exactly the same way as something like say, Pulp Fiction is cool but intrinsically uncool... if you follow my meaning


Flash Gordon 2


Spirit Of Owl said...

Don't you hold back Herge. If you like it, you say so.

Where are the Elf Shorts?

Herge Smith said...

Coming coming...

Spirit Of Owl said...

Ewwww... And what about the shorts?

I know, I know. Puerile, lame, obvious - but absolutely obligatory.

cali said...

can't share your enthusiasm for FG but i'm totally with you on the 90 min thing.
and, no, i didn't follow on the cool/uncool thing - does that make me uncool (in a cool kinda way)?

edwaado said...

I've always liked the Dale quote:

'Flash! Flash! I love you... and we only have 14 hours to save the earth'

frobisher said...

A classic! I still get excited when I hear the theme tune!

MHN for short said...

Yep. I follow... :-)

S.I.D. said...

What happened to "Flash Gordon's ALLLIIIIVVVEEEEE"?

Ah the memories

Spirit Of Owl said...

As it happens I thought the film was so-so.

garfer said...

They showed the original 30's (could've been 40's, I dunno) black and white episodes on Saturday morning tv when I was kid.

Rocket ships were proper rocket ships in them days.

DrMax said...

OK Herge, you LOVE Flash Gordon and HATE James Bond? Hmmmm.....that's ahhh.....interesting.

Herge Smith said...

So-so!!!! How dare you Spirit??

Garfer - proper rocketships with sparklers for engines - I actually have the 3 series on DVD - bought them as soon as I got a DVD player many many years ago - love them.

Forbisher - same here, everytime...

SID - yep, bad ommission - rightly corrected.

DrMax - Surely it shows I am full rounded with a unique but justified taste in the visual arts.

Cali - more on the 90 minutes coming up

Mhn - gald you are still with me.

Sniffy said...

I don't think I've ever seen it, but I loved the over the top, wonderfully dramatic theme from Queen.

Spirit Of Owl said...

Flash Gordon totally captured the spectacular, borrowing much from 70s camp to create a glamour spectacle for sets and characters that were reasonably faithful yet bright, eye catching and often hilariously gaudy. The script, again reasonably faithful, was lush with quotable lines, and was clearly nudging and winking the audience in its self conscious send up of itself and the genre.

Perhaps though this was its undoing. The narrative was sacrificed too often for quippy antics of cheap dialogue, and the, well, "flash" and sparkle was simply too much of a brief glare that certainly was eagerly watched and applauded, but ultimately forgotten like the last rocket in the firework box.

Rowan said...

wish I'd had the pleasure of seeing this Flash Gordon you speak of, never have daughter had an action figure when she was young (in fact, I think it was her dad's) but other than that, I never heard of him even.

Keith from Minnesota said...

Bless you.

MHN for short said...

glad you still care. :-)

Come by some time. Maybe by then I'll have something interesting to say. ;-p

Anonymous said...

I think the phrase is "Dispatch war rocket ajax to bring back his body" but who's counting. I have seen that movie about a thousand times. The young ranger who puts his hand in the tree trunk and dies is actually Peter Duncan. He was presenting Blue Peter (BBC Kids TV show) at the time it was being filmed. There was a whole feature on it.

Craig said...

I always loved the Hawkmen, "Diiiiiiiive" line.

No matter how many times, I have seen the movie, I never get over being furious with Dale for beaning him with that football/Faberge egg combo thing.

Oh, and also, "Not the boreworms!"