We kick off the middle of August with a pretty spectacular new edition of one of the most underappreciated gems of the 80s, Flash Gordon. Flash (Sam J. Jones) is an American football hero who is taken, along with his beautiful girlfriend Dale Arden (Melody Anderson) by Dr. Hans Zarkov (Topol) on a rocketship to the planet Mongo, ruled by the Emperor Ming the Merciless (Max von Sydow). Ming has been testing Earth with unnatural disasters, endangering everyone on the planet. Now Flash must become the hero he was always meant to be in order to save Dale, Mongo and Earth.
Flash Gordon is a gloriously silly, well put together, beautiful to look at and downright hilarious adventure film. Everyone in the movie plays it dead straight which just makes the ridiculous goings on even better. Why Sam Jones never became a huge star is beyond me. For pure 80s eye candy with a nostalgic nod to the sci fi serials of yesteryear, you just can’t top Flash Gordon. This new elaborate special edition from Arrow Video is available on Blu-ray or 4K and includes a 60 page booklet on the making of the film, a double sided poster, 6 lobby card reproductions, and reversible artwork. But the real meat is on the two disc set which includes 3 audio commentaries, 23 featurettes, storyboards and stills, and a whole extra disc of documentaries that will keep you occupied for days. Flash Gordon is one of the coolest releases of the year and hopefully will give even more love to this 80s classic.
Next up this week is Cursed Films, a five part documentary series from Shudder. The series chronicles the mythological and real events surrounding five of the most notorious genre films ever including The Exorcist, The Omen, Poltergeist, The Crow and Twilight Zone: The Movie. Each films story is explored in depth with interviews from cast and crew as well as other genre notables and really gives a fascinating look into the stories behind the films that inspired the mythos that led to them being labelled as ‘cursed’.
Cursed Films is a thoroughly engrossing series that is entertaining as a look back at some classic films, and also digs a little deeper than the usual documentary fare with some real incidents and some reported myths to sort out the truth from the fiction in the stories that made these films legendary. Packed with some great interviews with people like Linda Blair, Kane Hodder, Sean Clark, Michael Berryman, Lloyd Kaufman, Eileen Dietz, Richard Donner and more, Cursed Films is essential viewing for genre and film fans as well as conspiracy theorists.
Also available this week is Blue Bloods: The Tenth Season starring Tom Selleck and Donnie Wahlberg, Batwoman: The Complete First Season with Ruby Rose and a new special edition of Pitch Black with Vin Diesel.
Until next week movie lovers, stay safe!
DVD and Blu-ray Releases for Tuesday August 18, 2020
Batwoman: The Complete First Season
Blue Bloods: The Tenth Season
Death Before Dishonor (1987)*
Deathstroke: Knights & Dragons
Flash Gordon (1980) - Special Edition
Frankenstein and the Monster from Hell (1974)*
Gamera: The Complete Collection
I Am Vengeance: Retaliation
Ice Castles (1978)*
Open 24 Hours (2018)
Pitch Black: Special Edition
Pokémon the Series: DP Galactic Battles Complete Season
Rubin and Ed (1991)*
She Should'a Said 'NO'! (1949)/The Devil's Sleep (1949)*
Soldier Blue (1970)*
The Barge People
The Collini Case
The Comfort of Strangers (1990)* - Criterion Collection
The Eagle and the Hawk (1933)*
The Terror: Infamy
Those Who Deserve to Die (2019)
Thrills and Chills: 4-Movie Collection
Town Bloody Hall (1979)* - Criterion Collection
Wake Island (1942)*
WWE: Extreme Rules 2020
*Catalog Blu-ray debut