Special Edition DVD of the 1980 movie will feature cover artwork by Alex Ross.
****Warning: The following contains strong Freddie Mercury-related bias.****
Universal Home Video has announced plans to release a special edition of the 1980 version of Flash Gordon. This is the movie that proved to the world (read: me) that all you need were a butt-load of cheesetastic special-effects, a monstrous bad guy, and a soundtrack by QUEEN, and you’ve successfully created an instant geek classic.
I’m serious. The chocolate and peanut butter mashup of fantasy movies with Queen music was a combination of genius proportions! I’m really surprised that it took so many years for another movie (Highlander) to stumble upon this secret formula.
I’m going on record to say that if it wasn’t for Queen, both movies would’ve been mere blips on the radar.
I’m right, and you know it.
Honestly, tell me that you would have still loved Highlander as much as you do (you know you do) if it was scored by Hall & Oates. ‘fraid not! Without Queen’s Princes of the Universe inviting us into Connor McCloud’s world, or Who Wants to Live Forever? crooning about the sadness associated with eternal life. It just wouldn’t have been the same. Picture if you will, instead of storming Ming’s fortress to his custom-tailored, bass-thumping “Flash…awwww www… King of the Impossible!” Flash was accompanied by America‘s Horse with No Name. Go ahead, picture it. I’ll wait.
So, yeah… the Mike Hodges-directed, Dino De Laurentiis-produced flick, which stars Sam J. Jones, Melody Anderson, Timothy Dalton, and Max Von Sydow as (as far as I’m concerned) the quintessential portrayal of Ming the Merciless, is getting the super-ultra-deluxe DVD treatment — dubbed the Saviour of the Universe Edition, set to be released on the August 7, 2007.
To kick off The Awesome™, someone really frakin’ cool at Universal came up with the idea to contract comic industry Da Vinci Alex Ross to create the DVD cover artwork. From there it’s the standard deluxe bits — 2.35:1 anamorphic widescreen, Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround, some yet-to-be-announced extras, and coming in at around $27.
As a huge fan of this movie, Queen, and Alex Ross, I’m already a sucker with two $20s to pony up for my copy. But I’m very interested to find out what the unannounced extras business is all about. Hopefully some extra scenes of Princess Aura in [or out of] her metal bikini, which predates slave Leia’s metal bikini by nearly three years, btw (Suckit Lucas!), and is frakin’ HOT!
Okay, so let’s tally it up — Alex Ross remakes Flash in his image, Freddie Mercury gets the digital 5.1, treatment, anamorphic widescreen party action, extra stuff on the backend… i’m in!
Also, check out this business! Entertainment Earth are producing some smokin’ 7-Inch figures based on Alex Ross’s concepts — these prototypes look amazing!
UPDATE: Universal just released more details about the SE DVD, which will include:
- An “alternate” collectible postcard of the packaging artwork.
- Alex Ross talks about his favorite movie of all time, Flash Gordon, and about how the film has inspired him in his life and work.
- “Writing a Class: Screenwriter Lorenzo Semple, Jr”: The Screenwriter speaks about the deliberately campy script for Flash Gordon.
- Flash Gordon 1936 serial episode: Chapter One of Planet of Peril.
- Subtitles: English SDH, Spanish, French
[Thanks for the initial head's up from thedigitalbits.]