If Brian Blessed were a cake he would be fruit and nut. Now don’t get me wrong I don’t mean that in a nasty way. He’s is as mad as a bag of snakes and I love him for it. More on the King of Bellowing later, I just had to get that off my chest from the get-go.
There have been a number of attempts to bring Alex Raymond‘s creation to life. From the Buster Crabbe film serials, via Defenders of the Earth, right up to recent abysmal TV series (oh come on…it was shit and you know it). Hell there is even a 3D version in development right now. What I’m really interested in though is the 1980 film.
The Mike Hodges vision of Flash is deliciously camp. Rightly so in my opinion. Look at this example below of one of the original strips. Strewth he’s got no strides on! That’s right Flash is all about no pants action.
With this as the source material there is really no surprise we ended up here. Actually it’s quite tame in comparison isn’t it.
Everyone is great in this. Max Von Sydow is the worlds greatest pantomime villain as Ming the Merciless. Having Peter Wyngarde as Klytus is inspired as well. I understand why he had to wear a mask though. Can’t have Jason King stealing all the limelight now can we.
Topol, Melody Anderson, Timothy Dalton, Richard O’Brien, The dude from Blue Peter (yes I know it was Peter Duncan. It was a joke) they are all perfect. Damn shame Flash, Sam Jones, got dubbed but them as they say is the breaks. Even spotted a young Robbie Coltrane as a baggage handler near the beginning of the film. Though if you blink you will miss him.
Brian Blessed is brilliant as Vultan, King of the Hawkmen. His subtly nuanced shouting makes the film for me. He wanders around wearing a strange leather nappy/S&M outfit as though it is the most natural thing in the world. Why he is not playing Odin in Thor I will never know. He was robbed dammit.
It’s Queen people. Come on with this and Highlander they rocked the 80s movie soundtrack scene. Ok I’m not sure if there was actually a scene but lets just imagine there was. Just sit back and enjoy. Go to your happy place and let this nonsense just wash over you.
The film never did particularly well it the box office. Sam Jones even won a Golden Raspberry for his acting but personally I think this masterpiece needs your love. This is a pulp hero made flesh in the campiest manner available and it rocks.
All together now, FLASH….AHH…AHH…He’ll save everyone of us.