Review of 'Life After Flash'

Life After Flash is a documentary following what happened to some of the famous and not-so-famous actors from the (intentionally) trashy and kitch film Flash Gordon. The focus here is very much on the relatively unknown lead Sam J. Jones who was cast as Flash Gordon himself as we follow Jones from convention to convention, large and small, as he sells his autograph and makes a living. Life was not kind to Jones but he found inner peace and learned to capitalize on his fame. Others such as the effervescent Brian Blessed who played Hawkman Prince Vultan recount what it was like to work on the show and the rather tetchy director Mike Hodges. Notably Timothy Dalton who played Prince Barin overly seriously, according to Blessed, is not present here choosing instead, it seems, to distance himself from it. Blessed 9and others) also reports some amusing anecdotes about the incredibly Italian, and very successful, producer Dino De Laurentiis who was really into the whole “camp-ness” of the film, encouraging the production to be even MORE OTT.

It is interesting to learn how most of those involved in the making of Flash Gordon knew that it was supposed to be a flamboyant fantasy but were determined to make it the BEST flamboyant fantasy they could. It is also amazing at the famous names of those involved in the film came from such varied backgrounds and had such illustrious careers afterwards: Topol (famous star of the stage including “Fiddler on the Roof”), Brian Blessed (many acting roles on TV and in film), Brian May (of rock group “Queen”), Richard O'Brien (of “Rocky Horror Picture Show” fame), Timothy Dalton (later appearing in James Bond) and Max von Sydow (famous dramatic actor in multiple roles). Even the director Mike Hodges directed the original Get Carter (starring Michael Caine).

“Life After Flash” would primarily interest film historians or those interested in the delightfully silly 1980 film “Flash Gordon”. Interesting and insightful as well well as often entertaining with the active involvement of many from the principle cast.

Rating: “Nearly perfect, but not quite”

Review Date: 2022-12-11

Directed by: Lisa Downs

Studio: Spare Change Films

Year: 2017

Length: 94 minutes

Genre: Documentary