SLEDGE Presents…

What began as just another pipe-dream kickstarter project had the second of its glamorous big screen premiere’s in LA this month.  After months of shooting and editing, LIFE AFTER FLASH finally blazed across the screen in a private showing at the Prince Charles Cinema in London.

GORDON’S ALIVE! Was invited and has been along for the entire ride, following the progress of debut Director Lisa Downs and her Producer/Partner Ashley Pugh as their idea evolved from a modest fan-funded endeavour to an expansive long-awaited retrospective of the 1980 movie.  This past year, hours of footage featuring interviews with said fans, cast, crew and celebrity aficionados have been whittled down to a punchy two hours of almost nonstop fun and revelation about the cult classic.  Those seeking insider gossip straight from the set and anecdotes about the making of the film will come away satisfied but more than that, the documentary elegantly manages to tell the tale of the legacy and lasting effects through the eyes of the leading man.  Sam J. Jones story takes many unexpected twists and turns that are tragic as they are uplifting.  What follows is a review of both the movie and the night straight from the red carpet as one of the attendees…

Artist Franchesco’s poster with new upgrades by Bob Lindenmeyer…

The Savior of the Universe with a captive audience…

 

Life After Flash (2017) Directed by Lisa Downs

Review by M. Lakin, GORDONISALIVE.com

So what exactly does one do having once been the saviour of the Universe? How do you top that in terms of career or indeed in life? This is the basis of a new documentary destined to be as cult a phenomenon as the 1981 movie which spawned it, but ultimately offers so much more.   Indeed, this no-holds-barred account of Flash Gordon’s (actor Sam J. Jones) meteoric rise and just as spectacular fall from grace is surprisingly as tragic as it is uplifting.  He saved every one of us, but who, or what, would save him?

The original film (Directed by Mike Hodges), despite being considered a flop in the US, nonetheless endures to this day and has maintained an almost-feverish fanbase across the world.  Satisfying then, that after decades void of accompanying material, much of the footage is devoted to life during Flash as much as beyond, with rare glimpses into the making of the movie accompanied by sharp, contemporary recollections of cast, crew and fans, providing the kind of DVD extra every release has lacked to date.   There are, in fact, many fun revelations shared here that will impress even the most hardcore of fans courtesy of contributors like Brian May, Roberto Rodriguez and Alex Ross.

One is quick to point out that this shouldn’t be classed as mere supplementary material, however, as Downs cuts  back and forth between the archive footage and talking heads with considerable attention to pace, never allowing them to become too self-indulgent (except for the darling Peter Wyngarde, who’s sly indulgence almost steals the picture).  Indeed, it is as if the final cut was liberally sprinkled with uproarious quotes from man-mountain Brian Blessed at the most opportune moments, his anecdotes serving as both invaluable tales of the production and much-needed comic-relief.

Quite why a film about what is regarded as a camp classic would require comic relief is arguably the most compelling reason to watch this picture- as despite being disguised as a celebration of all things Flash, there is a wonderfully involving narrative thread about what Life After Flash holds for the stars of the film, but most appropriately, (and poignantly) Flash himself.

For it may be late in coming, but here Sam J. Jones finally proves himself to be a legitimate star, even if not on the screen as once anticipated.  Uniquely bombastic and All-American, Jones now divides his time between convention appearances and his Security company.  The journey is in turn bizarre and heartbreaking but at its end it’s understood how and why he’s still just a man, with a super-man’s courage…

 

Promo video from the private screening and afterparty…

My first Premiere..!

The Prince Charles has cultivated a reputation for showing the best alternative and cult films over the decades, so it was more than appropriate that Life After Flash should carry on the tradition. Even the uncomfortable velvet-covered seats could not dampen the enthusiasm of the audience as the much-anticipated result of their work played out publicly for the first time.  From the outset, the stirring music and amazing new series of neon-style graphics echoing the original film hit the right note with the fans and the atmosphere was electric throughout.

Once the picture was over we were invited to the afterparty held at swanky venue 101 Wardour St. where, in typical Lisa Downs style (see BFI 35th Anniversary Gala) no expense was spared to celebrate the debut of what will hopefully become an equally glittering career.  The stars were in attendance (with Sam Jones himself leading the procession through central London like the Pied Piper) and guests were treated to free champagne, a photo booth, raffle with spectacular prizes and an intimate Q&A with stars & Directors.

On a personal note, it was a pleasure for me to have time to sit and talk with fellow contributors and fans again, having met and made many friends during the 35th celebration.  By my side as usual was my old mate Chris King and we were delighted to see that Bob Lindenmayer had once again made the trip overseas for the occasion.  It was a blast talking to Ed Emmerson, recalling the ’80’s with David Dumbell and his lovely wife Maxine and fantastic to finally cross paths with David Oliver, prop collector and archivist extraordinaire.  Most of this took place, it should be noted, as Sam Jones himself casually tucked into his dinner literally feet away, still managing to mingle with fans, and keeping with tradition, last to leave.

At the time of writing Life After Flash is seeking a distributor.  One can’t help but think that parties like NETFLIX could, and should, rip this clean out of Lisa’s hands and get it onto the screens of fans across the world where it richly deserves to be.  Until then, GORDON’S ALIVE! will endeavour to bring you the latest on the project…

 

15 Reasons…

SFX Flash1SFX Flash2SFX Flash3SFX Flash4SFX Flash5SFX Flash6SFX Flash7  Gordon’s Alive! Welcomes you with open arms to 2017!!

This year is already shaping up to be a milestone for the Flashfan as the long-awaited documentary Life After Flash moves ever closer to release (after hitting its post-production target thanks to generous contribution from fans!) and Sam Jones himself maintains a busy schedule of personal appearances all over the world.

Meanwhile Chronicle Collectables are set to release a series of high-end collectables this year starting with the pre-order of the beautiful prop replica of War Rocket Ajax with the General Klytus Mask to follow along with an announcement of another iconic (and shiny!) prop also to see release sometime in 2017.

Here at Gordon’s Alive! the brief hiatus has been spent amassing more rare material to showcase while continually updating the features and galleries in the sidebar (new imagery is added constantly so keep checking back!).  We also finally take delivery of the definitive Rocket Cycle scale model with custom figure and will be adding a gallery to the Flying Blind feature to show it off.

So lets gets things started with this fun piece by George Khoury from the pages of UK Sc-Fi Magazine SFX from 2008 with striking images and great interviews (including a snippet from original director Nic Roeg..!) revealing, amongst other interesting insights that the famous ‘YEAH!’ jump into camera towards the end was improvised by none other than the leading man…

“Unadulterated Entertainment…”

image-0059image-0060image-0061Gordon’s Alive is pleased to present the penultimate pair of features exhumed from the pages of vintage Starlog magazine.  Issue #44 contained both articles reproduced above and below, starting with a very rare conversation with Director Mike Hodges.

Speaking candidly about the sheer scale of the production and difficulties with special effects, etc. the renowned British director compliments cast and crew and casually reveals he was original director Nic Roeg’s personal choice to helm the sequel rather than assuming control of the picture once Roeg departed.

Describing the $30 Million movie as ‘Unadulterated Entertainment’ and a literal translation of Alex Raymond’s ‘cartoon’, he admits the fallout between star and Producer could ultimately have an effect on the film, ironically eliminating the possibility of the sequel Hodges was touted for…image-0048image-0049image-0050image-0051This fascinating and detailed interview with SFX Supremo’s Martin J. Bower and Bill Pearson is a great overview for anyone captivated by the highly-stylised designs and effects work showcased in Flash Gordon.

Though much of the talented British FX team’s work sadly never made it to the screen (the Fireball XL5 tribute Rocket and space graveyard the most tragic of omissions), their stories of superglue and rivets are arguably eclipsed by the revelation that the infamous Arborian tree stump beast is actually called The Emproygen…

Ah Haaa!

GORDON’S ALIVE! Welcomes you to 2016!

This year is certain to be huge for Flashfans due to the aftershocks of the 35th anniversary and growing readership of this site, with all-new content and vintage treasures from across the globe (starting below)

Look out for contributions from and interviews with fellow Flash collectors, all dedicated to making this the ultimate resource for the saviour of the universe!

FG_German_Flyer1Pictures20FG_German_Flyer2FG_German_Flyer3Roughly translated as ‘The superstar in the realm of the stars’ this rare fold-out promo flyer would adorn many a German cinema lobby in the run up to release.

Beyond the odd rare photo and primitive cut and paste (note Kala’s decapitated head) the credits as shown may be the only instance of Jones and Muti headlining, with Von Sydow’s Ming dropping down to fourth place…

Coming Soon!

DSC_3557DSC_3520DSC_3526DSC_3577DSC_3530DSC_3576DSC_3594Gordon’s Alive! is proud to present this special photographic preview of an upcoming special feature on the 35th Anniversary Celebration held last month at BAFTA in London.  The page will be a permanent addition to the site (under the Go Flash Go banner on the right) and the coverage so thorough it will be like you were actually there.

For those fortunate enough to attend the page will hopefully serve as an online souvenir of an unforgettable experience, an evening of sheer class with a gathering of friendly, like-minded people from across all cultures all with one thing in common – an unashamed admiration for this timeless sci-fi classic.

With thanks in advance to organiser Lisa Downs, associate and graphic designer Bob Lindenmeyer, host Jason Lenzi and of course the attending cast & crew, the 35th page will hopefully be a fitting testimony to your efforts…

All American Girl

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Enjoy this second of the three interviews from the pages of Starlog #41 – this time with Dale Arden herself, the delightful Melody Anderson.

Quite a few revelations made here, not least that the famous football scene (or ‘Quarterback Stuntfight’) was Sam Jones idea and Melody improvised the cheerleading.  With ‘Go Flash Go’ being one of the chief contributors to the overall camp of the picture its amusing that Ms. Anderson thought the finished film needed more comedic moments.

The deleted ‘Green Spider’ scene mentioned is also fascinating as to date, no pictures or evidence of what must have been a massively complex and time-consuming makeup job have surfaced to date.

Finally, the clipping from the issue’s ‘Log Entries’ (bottom pic) regarding the sneak preview screening clearly celebrates the comedic aspects of the film, a reaction that would continually baffle producer Dino De Laurentiis given the apparently ‘straight’ adaptation of the source material…

Next up – An interview with Director Mike Hodges…

48Hrs…

Klytus-001Tantalisingly close to achieving its total on Indiegogo – the producers of Life After Flash have added another titan from the cast to the upcoming 35th anniversary celebration with the rare appearance of veteran actor Peter Wyngarde.

The November 28th event is easily the most significant since the original release and certainly the most glamorous.  A black-tie screening in London’s BAFTA will be followed by a Q&A Session with the stars hosted by noted Flash historian and Bif Bang Pow! founder Jason Lenzi followed by an after-party where lucky fans can rub shoulders with the likes of Sam J. Jones, Ornella Muti (In her VERY FIRST UK APPEARANCE!) Melody Anderson and the newly-announced Peter Wyngarde.  Other notable guests include composer Howard Blake and Special Effects technician George Gibbs with more to be announced.

As if that wasn’t enough, fans will also be treated to the first ever exhibition in the UK of the Bob Lindenmayer original prop collection, featuring among others Sam Jones iconic costume.  Gifts from the show are an exclusive programme, lanyard, poster print and EXCLUSIVE Alex Ross print created especially for the show SIGNED by the cast –

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The campaign has 48hrs to achieve its goal – don’t miss this once in a lifetime opportunity to attend this unique celebration!  Buy your tickets here and now – Gordon’s Alive! will see you there!!

Pixels!

What better evidence could there be that the Flash revival is in full swing than a brand new game available for download now! (see sidebar).

This side-scrolling, endless runner is based fully on the movie and features great environments and sound effects but best of all is the inclusion of the original soundtrack by Queen – watch the gameplay vid below –

From the Apple Store –

“Gordon’s alive! And he needs your help to escape the evil clutches of Ming the Merciless… Put your reflexes to the test in an action-packed adventure based on the cult classic Flash Gordon. Rock-out while you adventure through Mongo to music from the original movie soundtrack by Queen.

Playing as either New York quarterback Flash Gordon or travel journalist Dale Arden, players must use skill and timing to progress through the many dangers of Mongo, and all that the evil Emperor Ming has to throw at you.

• 2 exciting modes of play – running and flying.
• 5 stunning, endless levels: Ming’s Palace, Skies of Mongo, Arborian Forests, Aerial Assault, and War Rocket Ajax.
• Play as Flash Gordon or Dale Arden
• Unlock each new level as you progress.
• Battle the enemies and obstacles Ming, Klytus and Kala send your way.
• Pickup power ups in-game that change the balance of play.
• Upgrade power-ups as you collect coins and rewards.
• Complete missions set by your accomplice, Princess Aura.
• Challenge your friends on Game Center and beat their records.
• Featuring 3 Queen songs from the original movie soundtrack.

From fighting through the treacherous Forests of Arboria, to flying high on a Rocket Cycle, Mongo is brought to life with a stunning visual style. Players can unlock new levels by changing powerups – each of which can be upgraded – add an additional injection of thrill and excitement to every play…”

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“A Very Special Event…”

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Breaking news from the producers of the upcoming movie ‘Life After Flash’ – 

FLASH GORDON FANS….huge announcement!

Our 35th reunion will be happening 28th November, at BAFTA in London, UK. Tickets to be released soon.

Also on the day we will be holding a smaller, charity screening with a Q&A with Sam Jones and Melody Anderson to accommodate all budgets.

Get spreading the word….it’s going to be a great event! Guests announced soon.

Finally made official in considerable style (courtesy of Bob Lindenmeyer’s stunning poster art), the cult movie reunion event of 2015 is fast upcoming and promises to be the ultimate celebration for Flashfans.

Taking place at no less than BAFTA itself in Central London, with a Black tie screening and Q&A session as well as an opportunity to purchase an exclusive Alex Ross print, the 35th is an event not to be missed!!

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The last word goes to Flash himself, Sam J. Jones, from his Facebook page –

“This is a very special event. It will be the first time in 35 years that I will be seeing some of my co-stars as well as crew. I’m excited guys..!

UPDATE: Tickets available here

Starlogged

image-0001image-0003image-0017image-0016image-0018image-0019image-0020GORDON’S ALIVE! is proud to present the first of what will become complete archive of features on Flash Gordon from the vintage pages of the phenomenal Starlog magazine.

Indispensable in its day for the genre fan and now fondly referred to as the Internet of its age, the ‘Magazine of the future’ would chronicle a pioneering age of Science Fiction in movies and television by way of compelling journalism complimented by exciting imagery.

Well established as of issue #41, the format shown above would change little over the years and the prospect of an all-new motion picture based on a beloved comic-book character/movie serial star was a hugely exciting prospect and more than worthy of the cover story (top pic).

The Starlog Interview with cocky young superstar-in-the-making Sam J. Jones is typically thorough coverage – providing a fascinating insight into the production of the film while pulling no punches with its inset summary of the infamous legal issues that would ultimately result in Sam’s performance being looped by another actor..

Coming Soon – A harmony with Melody…