For those who don't know, a while back the folks at Universal Home Video decided to release a special edition DVD of FLASH GORDON. The 1980 Dino de Laurentiis production of FLASH GORDON.
This movie, if you haven't seen it, is bad. I mean: *really* bad. So atrocious that when I saw it as a kid, even I was acutely aware that I had just seen a colossal piece of crap. It is not even bad in a sort of cool way, like KRULL or something like that. It is just painfully awful, the kind of badness you only get when the filmmakers go for camp and *fail.* Sam Jones, who plays Flash, is basically Big McLargehuge, only more plastic; in several shots, he and co-star Melody Anderson look like giant Ken and Barbie dolls. The supporting cast is pretty good: Timothy Dalton! Brian Blessed! Richard O'Brien! But the movie itself is really quite terrible.
It is also famed comics artist Alex Ross's favorite movie in the entire world.
There is a featurette with Ross on the DVD, and it's *amazing* to watch. Ross pulls out all the stops praising FLASH GORDON, to the point that it becomes a little alarming. He effortlessly tosses out lines like, "I kept thinking, why couldn't STAR WARS be like this?" and "the thrilling end of this film, of Flash's triumph -- I mean, it's basically the greatest moment in cinematic history." AND HE MEANS IT. That shot, incidentally, consists of Sam Jones's Flash yelling, "YEAH!" and leaping up toward the camera into a freeze-frame.
It is a little scary to see Ross gushing so much: you actually start to worry about him.
(The next featurette on the disc is an interview with the screenwriter, who basically acknowledges the film is a piece of crap, disses the star's acting, praises some aspects of the production, and frankly admits that he doesn't know what the hell Dino De Laurentiis was going for.)