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By Adam Thomas

Friday September 21, 2007


Directed by Mike Hodges

Long before he directed Croupier, UK director Mike Hodges helmed one of greatest, most under-rated, overlooked science fiction movies ever. Finally, and just in time for the tie in with Sci-Fi channel’s new show (filmed here), comes this limited, remastered, Saviour of the Universe edition DVD. Produced by every one’s favourite mogul Dino Delaurentiis (Barbarella), Flash is possibly the best A-grade B-movie ever. With original music by Queen, the soundtrack was created for the film and the soundtrack album had bits of dialogue mixed into it so it works as a record that tells the story of the movie. Sam Jones stars as the New York Jets quarterback who alongside real estate agent Dale Arden (Melody Anderson) crash lands on the planet Mongol after they are forced aboard a rocket built by the crazy Dr. Zarkov. Together the three must find a way to save the earth from total annihilation at the hands of Ming the Merciless, the evil Emperor of the universe. The legendary Max Von Sydow is absolutely perfect as Ming and a young Timothy Dalton makes an early appearance as Prince Barin who out of his love for Ming’s daughter Aura, agrees to help Flash. Together this unlikely band agree to overthrown Ming and restore peace to the universe.

Included on the disc is the first episode of the original 1930’s serial based on the comic and after watching it you realise how faithful the 1980’s version was in style and design. Both the set and costume design are gorgeous and vibrant, and the campy performance by Jones as Flash adds a perfect naivety and innocence to the persona of the All-American planet saver. There are Hawkmen, Lizard men, whip fights and rocket-cycles that fly across the psychedelic cloudy skies as the cast engage in zappy zap laser battles with Ming’s army. This is everything that B- movies ever dreamt of being, blessing us with immortal lines like “Flash! I love you, but we only have 14 hours to save the earth!”