Top critical review
on 4 October 2017
Elstree dvd box set release: Of course the 3 series of Flash Gordon are worthy of 4 stars. They had vim and vigor, constant bounce to the plots, and a nostalgic glow for the past can be had.. for Charles Middleton as Ming and a voice that could stop a planet, the lovely Dale Arden, the naughty Aura. The variety of strange areas of Mongo or Mars is pure unfettered pulp hurtling toward inevitable tragi-comic obstacles, yet compelling as cliffhangers taken in small doses. Buster Crabbe throwing stunt men about is legendary, worthy of Johnny Weismuller, to some extent the tussles and wrestling and ju-jitsu being almost constant they become hypnotic ballet. How anyone can overpower an Octo-sac or an Orangupoid is equally a mythos unto itself, but Buster Crabbe can outswim and outfence any nemesis. There is a fine line of dreamscape, nightmare, pantomime, camp and boys own derring-do. Subsequently there is a great line of fashion for those so inclined. If the death-defying doesn't compel you to watch then at the very least there is someone before you about to get the sharp end of a torture device whilst clothed in a wild array of armour and chiffon...
However...Elstree in the uk as dvd releaser- chose to release the worst copy of anything they could dig up from a deserted sewer. As per usual. When compared to the Image Entertainment release for example, from usa, the picture is almost the difference twixt blu ray and a vhs upon which someone has re-recorded something in longplay for the zillioneth time. Seek out superior fare. Indeed, public domain fodder can often be hit and miss (understatement). Elstree have a proven track record of scraping something off the back of roadkill in order to fill their quota of product. Try hunting down some labels that actually care about the past.