Flash Gordon

Music by Queen; mania by Brian Blessed; menace by Max von Sydow; cardboard by Sam J. Jones.

In this update of the 1930s comic strip, Flash Gordon (Jones) is a football hero hijacked and then skyjacked by bonkers scientist Dr. Hans Zarkov (perfectly played by Topol) on his rocketship along with beautiful Dale Arden (Melody Anderson).

The threesome is drawn into the influence of the planet Mongo, controlled by Ming the Merciless (von Sydow).  Ming has already been testing the Earth with unnatural disasters – only Zarkov has spotted this, and inadvertently ensured that Ming would deem it a threat to his rule and therefore want to destroy it.  Never mind all that, he also intends to take Dale as his concubine.

Flash on the other hand must avoid the amorous attentions of Ming’s daughter Princess Aura (Ornella Muti) and unite the warring kingdoms of Mongo in order to rescue Dale and save our world.  After all, they really do ‘only have fourteen hours to save the Earth.’

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