A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
Declaration about the unconquerable nature of the human (Earthling) spirit. Ming keeps his conquered moons under control by encouraging them to fight each other; Flash helps unite some of the captive kingdoms of Mongo to fight against the tyrant.
Positive Role Models
Simplistic notions of good (Flash) and evil (Ming) here, although there are other characters, like the Robin Hood-ish Prince Barin and Ming’s Flash-infatuated daughter Aura, who seem to flip back and forth. Though people of color are part of Mongo’s empire, they don’t play very big roles.
Violence & Scariness
Combatants are killed unrealistically by ray-gun blasts (from...crossbows?!) and impalements. Hand-to-hand fighting, which sometimes is so hilariously fake that the blows barely connect. Characters stabbed to death (exhibiting a small amount of blood which is blue or green, but never red). Other characters are whipped bloody. Threat of death by gas. Several cyborg-like humanoid baddies dissolve, remove body parts, or have them ripped out.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Ming lusts after Dale Arden and fondles a slave girl. Talk of Ming “making love." Alien girls wear revealing metallic bikinis and skin-tight outfits. Occasional double-entendres are likely to go over the heads of youngsters.
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”Damn,” "hell," “bastard.”
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Products & Purchases
People magazine used as a prop.
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Characters drink an intoxicating and evidently enjoyable space beverage. A fleeting joke about being “on the right pills” (apparently in reference to steroids or energy-boosters).
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that this adaptation of an old newspaper sci-fi comic strip has gruesome scenes; a cyborg's eyes are ripped out, and another slain machine-man rapidly decays. Expect abundant ray-gun fire, disintegrations, and explosions and fires, as well. Characters are stabbed or impaled or whipped, drawing blood (not always red). There's an apparent execution via gas chamber. There are a few scantily clad harem-type girls and some non-explicit sexy talk. Drinking an intoxicating alien beverage is made to look pleasurable. Some minor profanity. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
Coming in an era when the merciless emperors of Hollywood were copycatting Star Wars in every way, the blockbuster FLASH GORDON remains daringly offbeat. As with the (more brazenly sexy) European 1960s fantasies Barbarella and Danger: Diabolik, also based on comics, there's practically no attempt at realism, with extravagant Arabian-Nights costumes, Oz-like creature f/x, crayon-box sets, and sparkler-trailing model spaceships inspired directly by the iconic 1930s strips and serials. It's a party for the eyeballs, nearer Rocky Horror than LucasFilm. Dialogue is loopy, the plotting earnestly absurd (Flash fights his first battle against Ming's minions with NFL football moves), and the famed rock soundtrack by Queen is the best camp anthem since Adam West's Batman (with the same screenwriter, incidentally). Older kids and young-at-heart grownups could have a blast- - if they don't mistake the deliberate, sly kitsch for big-buget dumb.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.