When Aesthetics Collide

So this morning, this happened.

All week long, Flash Gordon - that movie with the Queen soundtrack - has been in my mind a bloody awful lot.

I was watching an episode of Stargate SG-1, and the former Flash Gordon (an unrecognisable Sam J Jones) turned up in it as a bounty hunter.

Not long afterwards, there was an episode of Diagnosis Murder, where the same actor turns up as a big lifeguard.

In both appearances, the man was a walking slab of neckless meat - a block of muscle.

Clearly, the actor had attempted to aim for Rocky and ended up as Victor Frankenstein's Creature instead.

And then, over the weekend, naturally, I revisited the clip of the Ming Ring seduction scene from that movie.

I posted the link to my Hypnotic Erotic blog in this article.

At this point, this video appeared in my newsfeed, completely unrelated to anything even remotely pulpy.

In contrast to the pulp aesthetic of the Gernsback Continuum, and indeed to the thinly-veiled sexuality of the 1981 movie, this short edited segment was a delightfully refreshing delve into Gibsonian cyberpunk, with more than a nod to R Talsorian's Cyberpunk roleplaying game.

Not to mention Shadowrun.

And so, inevitably, I dreamed of the two genres colliding somehow, the cyberpunk aesthetic extruding from its savagely stylish universe into the chrome and alabaster squeaky clean universe of Flash Gordon.

The scenario ran like this.

Emperor Ming was leering over a helpless Dale Arden as she lay on yet another slab, testing the restraints.

Ming, naturally, could not let it go without monologuing his plan.

Ming: 'I assure you,' he gloated, 'you are crucial to the completion of my master plan.'

Dale: 'What are you planning to do, you monster?'

Ming: 'I am going to surgically replace your organic limbs, my dear Miss Arden.'

Dale: 'What?'

Ming: 'I intend to replace your organic legs with these shiny, sleek chrome-plated cybernetic limbs.'

Dale: 'Oh, that is monstrous! How dare you? It's inhuman!'

Ming: 'On the contrary, Miss Arden. Observe. You will feel no pain while wearing them. You will be able to move more quickly than before, without ever getting tired. You need never worry about cellulite again -'

Flash: 'Hold it right there,Ming!'

Dale: 'Flash! Hurry up and save me, Flash. I - wait a minute!'

Flash: 'What?'

Dale: 'Ming. Go back a bit. What were you saying about the cyberlegs?'

Ming: 'Which part? Er, let me see. No pain. Moving like lightning. Never getting tired. Cellulite-'

Dale: 'There! What were you saying about the cellulite?'

Ming: 'You need never worry about cellulite again?'

Flash: [getting tired of standing there, hands on hips, getting ignored] 'Hello? Uh, Dale?'

Dale: 'Shut up, Flash. I'm talking business here.' [looks at Ming] 'Can you take a cheque?'

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