Flash Gordon (4 stars)

Flash Gordon

(PG) 106min (Optimum DVD retail)


Given director Mike Hodges once admitted to an Edinburgh International Film Festival audience that his 1980 blockbuster version of Alex Raymond’s comic strip was made up as he went along, it’s all the more incredible that it’s an immaculately conceived, gloriously executed, kitsch science fiction adventure. And re-watching it now, what’s immediately striking – in addition to the thrilling set-pieces, camp rock soundtrack by Queen, and scenery-chewing performances from a terrific cast that includes Max Von Sydow as Ming the Merciless, Topol as Dr Zarkov and Brian Blessed as Prince Vultan – is what a filthy film it is. So very ripe with sexual innuendo is this Flash Gordon, it negates the pornographic Flesh Gordon made six years earlier.

Under ‘interrogation’ by her own imperious father, Ornella Muti’s super hot Princess Aura screams half in pleasure, ‘No! Not the bore worms!’ Yes! And Sam Jones’ hunky Flash spearing Ming with his big red space rocket! Altogether now: ‘Flash! Ah-ah! Saviour of the universe!’ No extras.