Flash Gordon (1980)

Rating: ***
Music: Queen
Cast: Sam Jones, Melody Anderson, Max Von Sydow, Timothy Dalton, Topol

Now here's a really stupid film, with enough campy flair and sexy women to make it entertaining. Flash Gordon (Sam Jones) is a quarterback for the New York Jets (!) who gets whisked away to planet Mongo with sexy babe Dale Arden (bubbly Melody Anderson), and crazy scientist Dr. Zarkoff (Topol). There, they face the villainous Ming The Merciless (Max Von Sydow), and defeat him with teamwork, good old fashioned American know-how, some fancy football moves, and the dominating strength of the human spirit (something that aliens never seem to understand). Ultra-sexy Timothy Dalton is on hand as Prince Barin of Arboria and Flash's greatest rival, and he nearly steals the show with his presence. The rockin' soundtrack by Queen only heightens the crazy experience. Unfortunately, where the film falls flat is in the exceedingly lame special effects, but I guess that's all part of the package. Oddly enough, the film plays better now than when it first came out, and the lethargically campy effects add a real sense of fond nostalgia.