Blu-Ray Review: Flash Gordon (40th Anniversary Edition)

Cinema today is full of comic book movies, but that hasn’t always been the case. We’ve become so accustomed to seeing Marvel, or dare I say it DC, films on the big screen that it’s easy to forget that this hasn’t always been the case. Before these studios became such huge box office draws, superhero adaptations weren’t exactly thick on the ground. What began with Howard the Duck has turned into a money-making machine. However, before all this, those of a certain generation will be well aware of the wonders of Flash Gordon.

When Ming the Merciless (Max von Sydow) decides to destroy Earth by pulling the Moon out of its orbit, which causes a string of natural disasters, no one knows what’s going on. Except for Dr. Hans Zarkov (Topol), who tricks the New York Jets quarterback ‘Flash’ Gordon (Sam J. Jones) and travel agent Dale Arden (Melody Anderson) into accompanying him on a quest to Mongo. The clock is ticking and they only have ten days to save the world.

Flash Gordon epitomises the imagination and excess of the 1980s.  An army of flying monkeys, a football playing hero and camp dialogue cranked up to eleven. Then there’s the cast. The likes of Brian Blessed, Timothy Dalton and Peter Wyngarde ham it up for all their lives are worth. Whilst the plot is absolute nonsense and Jones is mainly in it for the chin, Mike Hodges’ film is stuffed full of iconic moments and kaleidoscopic nostalgia.  You’ll never see anything else quite like it.


UHD, DVD and Blu-Ray Disc 1

  • The main feature (1 hr 47)
  • New Lost in Space: Nic Roeg’s Flash Gordon (also iTunes extra)
  • Audio commentary with Mike Hodges
  • Audio commentary with Brian Blessed
  • Behind the scenes of Flash Gordon
  • Stills gallery (also iTunes extra)
  • Storyboards gallery (also iTunes extra)
  • Original theatrical trailer

Blu-Ray Disc 2

  • Interview with Mike Hodges
  • Interview with comic book artist Alex Ross TBC
  • Interview with screenwriter Lorenzo Semple, Jr. TBC
  • Episode 24 of Flash Gordon (1979-1982): The Survival Game / Gremlin’s Finest Hour
  • Sam Jones’s acting start
  • Entertainment Earth on Flash Gordon merchandise
  • Bob Lindenmayer discusses deleted scenes and original endings
  • 35thAnniversary Greenroom
  • 35thAnniversary reunion featurette
  • Renato Casaro extended interview
  • Brian Blessed anecdotes
  • Melody’s musings
  • On the soundtrack (Brian May & Howard Blake)
  • Easter Eggs

5-disc Collector’s Edition

  • The UHD and 2 Blu-ray discs
  • Bonus Blu-Ray Disc of LIFE AFTER FLASH, the 2017 feature documentary celebrating the film and its star, directed by Lisa Downs
  • Original soundtrack by Queen & Howard Blake
  • 32-page booklet
  • 16-page Titan mini book (The Story of Flash Gordon)
  • Reproduced booklet of the first strip of original comic books
  • Poster of original artwork
  • 4 art cards of various incarnations of Flash film posters across the years
  • 1 sew on ‘Flash patch’

The brand new 4K restoration of Flash Gordon will be released on 4K Ultra HD, Blu-ray, Digital and 5-disc 40th anniversary collector’s edition by Studiocanal on 10 August.

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