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1980 Movie Reviews – Flash Gordon

by Sean P. Aune | December 5, 2020December 5, 2020 10:30 am EST

Welcome to an exciting year-long project here at The Nerdy. 1980 was an exciting year for films giving us a lot of films that would go on to be beloved favorites and cult classics. It was also the start to a major shift in cultural and societal norms, and some of those still reverberate to this day.

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We’re going to pick and choose which movies we hit, but right now the list stands at nearly three dozen.

Yes, we’re insane, but 1980 was that great of a year for film.

The articles will come out – in most cases – on the same day the films hit theaters in 1980 so that it is their true 40th anniversaries. All films are also watched again for the purposes of these reviews and are not being done from memory. In some cases, it truly will be the first time we’ve seen them.

This time around it’s Dec. 5, 1980, and we’re off to see Flash Gordon!

Quick side note: Since we launched this series this year, we’ve discovered that Vintage Video Podcast is doing the exact same project with two differences: First, it’s audio (naturally), and second, they are doing every major film. We’ve listened to a couple of episodes and it’s fun checking off their thoughts against my own. Check them out over at Vintage Video Podcast.

1980 Movie Project - Flash Gordon - 01

Flash Gordon

There are certain films that just stick with you. No matter how campy they may be. No matter how much others may mock them, they’re a movie that you just adore for some reason.

I saw Flash Gordon nine times in the theater in Dec. 1980. I can’t even begin to calculate how many more times I watched it over the years, but going into this viewing it had been a few years since I had seen it. Would it hold up?

It does. I don’t care how threadbare the story is, or how campy it is. I just love it.

The biggest reason is the production and costume design. To this day there just hasn’t been anything that quite looks like it. It is full-on camp mixed with a retro-futurism that just can’t be beaten.

And lets face it, Brian Blessed chews the scenery as Prince Vultan and you love every second of it.

It’s a fun movie that no matter what your taste is, it’s going to be hard to not come away from it smiling. Add in an amazing soundtrack by Queen and… excuse me, I need to go watch it again right now. (And wonder why Hawkmen keep Rocket Cycles around… and why Ming has a button marked “Earth Quakes” when he had never heard of “Earth” before the movie started.)

If you watch just one movie from 1980, make it Flash… uh-huh… he’ll save every one of us!

1980 movie reviews will return on Dec. 12 with Popeye and Stir Crazy!


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Sean P. Aune

Sean Aune has been a pop culture aficionado since before there was even a term for pop culture. From the time his father brought home Amazing