Just a man, with a man’s courage...
Back in a simpler time, when parents released their children on the world on weekends and didn’t give one flip where they were or what they were doing so long as they were home by dinner, my friends and I frequently arrived at the noon matinee, hid under the seats during the credits, and popped right back up for a second showing before getting home for a late dinner at dusk.
My neighborhood friends were two and three years older, so my mom assumed I was safe with them.
In two weekends, I watched Flash Gordon five times. When it came on HBO, my friend recorded it on VHS, and we watched it and rewatched it at a rate that boggles my mind.
Horrifying as the thought might be to me now, the movie was close to flawless in my pre-teen eyes. It had an action hero, a couple of sex-starved women fighting over him, and scenes that scared the ever-lovin’ shit out of me and my pals.
The minute Flash began throwing Faberge Eggs like footballs into the chests of Ming’s gay OompaLoompa stormtroopers, I was sold. OK, actually, I was sold before that, when Ming began having some kind of Mongo cybersex with Dale in front of everyone.
Nowadays, I hear parents, myself included, wringing their hands over exposing their children to inappropriate material. We wonder whether our pre-teens can handle The Hunger Games, with its intense fight scenes and kid-murders. Oh how easily we forget the things we did in our youth, the things which caused us no obvious lasting damage:
- Clytus’ face melting into fleshy ooze on the spikes after a vicious whipfight!
- The Tree Stump Contest to the Death, where opposing sides reach their hands into a stump until one is stung by the freaky stump creature!
- The oozy green swamp monster with spider tentacles that devours humans in some perverse Cinemax Naked Lunch kind of way!
- Bore worms! (We always debated whether the worms worked by boring people to death, or by boring into them.)
- Princess Aura riding Flash like he was a rocket cycle!
More than a few scenes haunted my vulnerable child mind, most especially the sight of Flash in black leather underwear.
In most movies, a love triangle between the hero and two women tends to involve one slut and one angel. But in Flash Gordon, he’s forced to choose between an alien slut and an American slut! How perfect is that?! Of course the American slut will eventually win, because even Lenny Kravitz remakes songs about American sluts. American sluts don’t have secret pleasure moons, but they can knock down entire fifths of green liquid from the Galaxy of Pleasure and still win a catfight while s*#tfaced.
The soundtrack by Queen is perfect. Much like the rest of the band’s work and this movie, you can’t ever be sure how seriously they’re taking themselves.
Many of BOTG’s readers are female, and to you ladies, I can only apologize for the entirety of today’s post. I don’t know two women who find even a minute of this movie tolerable. Mostly, when women witness men glued to this movie, they react as if we were watching animal pornography.
And then there’s the true hero of “Flash Gordon”: Voltan. Part Wolverine, part Hawkman, and part Gerard Butler from “300,” only Voltan is capable of being a kickass leader while also laughing while delivering his own lines.
Even as I write this, I have some dozen movies sitting and begging to be watched. Movies I want to watch. Yet I’m trapped in Mongo with Max Von Sydow, and the only way out is through.
I’d wrap this up, but Ming is offering Flash his own kingdom, and I just have to know whether maybe, just maybe, this time Flash will choose to rule over our obscure body in the SK System.
Watching this makes me feel... nine again.
Watch the entire film via YouTube!