Features and Columns

Fund This Film: Life After Flash Looks Back On the Impact of Flash Gordon

By  · Published on February 5th, 2015

Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios Inc.

If you see Jupiter Ascending this weekend, you may get an itch to go back and re-watch (or watch for the first time) the 1980 movie Flash Gordon. And if that’s likely, then you’re the right sort of fan for a documentary in the works titled Life After Flash. Currently crowdfunding on Kickstarter, the film looks back on and celebrates the “mind blowing” cheesy sci-fi movie adapted from the iconic comic strip.

Mostly it seems to be following star Sam J. Jones, who is riding the nostalgia chariot lately thanks to cameos in Ted and the upcoming Ted 2 – and yeah, the campaign trailer does feature a reference to those Seth MacFarlane comedies. Speaking of MacFarlane, director Lisa Downs (who wasn’t born yet in 1980, which isn’t bad just interesting) hopes to interview MacFarlane along with other famous fans of the cult classic, including Edgar Wright, as well as additional Flash Gordon stars Max Von Sydow, Brian Blessed and Melody Anderson, who does show up in the video below for some convention footage. Also members of Queen, as the band did the awesome music for the movie.

The Bigfoot Project

Downs is seeking more than $380k for the doc and has one month to raise that and then less than 10 months to get the thing out in order to coincide with the 35th anniversary this year. The project is pretty ambitious given such a goal, especially because it’s just getting started. The material with Jones seen in the trailer is apparently all from a preliminary meeting with the actor. Frankly, for a good story Jones is all Downs needs. Here’s a guy who got his start posing fully nude for “Playgirl,” broke out on the big screen in the Blake Edwards film 10 and then from there garnered the coveted role of Flash. But in spite of the movie doing well enough at the box office, it didn’t lead to much of a movie career afterward.

I love real-life narrative arcs detailing a rise and fall and possible resurrection of celebrity (I see this being similar to Paul Williams Still Alive and many others), so if that’s what this offers I’m definitely on board. Anyone else? Anyone else enough to contribute to the budget?

Check out more details and pledge perks on the film’s Kickstarter page and watch the trailer below.

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Christopher Campbell began writing film criticism and covering film festivals for a zine called Read, back when a zine could actually get you Sundance press credentials. He's now a Senior Editor at FSR and the founding editor of our sister site Nonfics. He also regularly contributes to Fandango and Rotten Tomatoes and is the President of the Critics Choice Association's Documentary Branch.