John Williams' score for Star Wars was pretty much the apotheosis of theme-based orchestral film composing. Even critics that didn't really like the film had to admit that the music was something pretty special. In making their own space opera to capitalise on the Star Wars phenomenon, producer Dino De Laurentiis and director Mike Hodges didn't bother trying to compete with Williams' score. They opted for something completely different: hiring one of the most popular bands of the day to provide a score full of synthesizers and wailing guitars (albeit partnered with Howard Blake's more traditionally orchestral compositions). Queen's Flash Gordon score is a perfect fit for the film it accompanies: brash, loud, camp, preposterous, and never quite sure if it's a little bit ironic or just a little bit rubbish. Like the film it was destined for cult appeal more than chart busting success. The film may have flopped on release, but the fact that more than thirty years later you can still find people willing to screech "Flash! Ahh-ah! Saviouroftheuniverse!" at the slightest provocation is perhaps testament to a certain enduring quality. Queen would go on to provide the music for another silly high concept cult 80s fantasy, Highlander, which also did better in auduence eyes in the long run than it did in cinemas.