Saturday, May 21, 2011

Screen Gem Saturdays: The Return of Flash Gordon!

The original “Flash Gordon” from the 1930’s starred Buster Crabbe, and was unintentionally campy. The 1980 version was produced by Dino “It Ain’t Done Til It’s Overdone” De Laurentiis (remember his "King Kong" remake? Urp!) and was intentionally campy...or at least it appears to be! The screenplay was written by Lorenzo Semple Jr., who was no stranger to camp, as he wrote many of the 1960’s “Batman” TV episodes. For extra good campy measure, the rock group Queen did the soundtrack—and what an earful that is! You’ll have a hard time getting the theme song out of your head after watching this. Made with the intention of doing sequels, it was a bomb at the box office which killed any future hope of that ever happening. Adding notoriety to this flick, the lead, Sam Jones, had also posed for Playgirl previously under a different name.

Obviously this version was a little racier than the original!

Over the years, this movie has developed somewhat of a cult-type following. In fact, it has even made it to Blu-ray! To see more Hollywood Movie and TV photos, visit my main website.


Mike, Studio City said...

I saw it when it came out at the Vogue theatre in Hollywood. It was a camp and fun but not good enough for a movie house. It would have done better as a mini series on TV. It sure was colorful, and yes I still can't get the Queen music out of my head.

CoxPilot said...

Always loved the old version ('30s) of Flash, and the other serial, Buck Rogers (also with Buster Crabbe (which is being shown on TCM now. It's sooooo crummy, it's fun.

TokyoMagic! said...

Flash....a-ah, he'll save everyone of us! Yep, the music was contagious. I have the 45rpm single of the theme song around here somewhere.

I also saw this at a discount theater back in 1980. All seats, all the time...only .99 cents!

Anonymous said...

I loved the 1980 one. Watched it every time it was on HBO. Every time Flash was shirtless, I would get these funny stirrings inside me. Long before I knew why.