Flesh Gordon (1974) (Blu-ray) Available for Preorder

3 Stars

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Ronald Epstein

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54 Comments

  1. How times have changed! This movie is considered cute by most people now (including me). When it was first released I remember it was thought to be very dirty indeed, especially things like the phatic space ship, and very daring in its gay references. We stayed up very late to watch this from the Toronto TV station that had a program called “Baby Blue Movies”.

  2. Hen's Tooth also released the DVD, and it didn't look good. I'm sure any available source material is mediocre at best, but is this company going to put in any effort to bring it up to even minimum Blu-ray standards?

  3. Dick

    Hen's Tooth also released the DVD, and it didn't look good. I'm sure any available source material is mediocre at best, but is this company going to put in any effort to bring it up to even minimum Blu-ray standards?

    No.

  4. I agree with Bob.

    Very minimal effort I am certain.

    Love this film for what it is. Saw it as a teen with a far less matured mindset and thought it was hilarious.

    "Cute" is an excellent word to describe it today.

    I am buying this

  5. Found this on IMDb.

    Hardcore sequences were seized by police in a raid. The director was forced to view the film in the judge's chambers and all hardcore material was removed.

  6. Tino

    Found this on IMDb.

    Hardcore sequences were seized by police in a raid. The director was forced to view the film in the judge's chambers and all hardcore material was removed.

    But why??!!!

    They just could have rated this X

  7. Dick

    Hen's Tooth also released the DVD, and it didn't look good. I'm sure any available source material is mediocre at best, but is this company going to put in any effort to bring it up to even minimum Blu-ray standards?

    The press release touts:

    Special Features:

    • 1080p High Definition 16×9 Widescreen (1.85:1)
    • Restored from a new 2K scan of the original 35mm negative. Restoration by Gamma Ray Digital. Thanks to UCLA Film and Television Archive for their valuable assistance and cooperation.

    Gamma Ray Digital did the restoration on Arrow's "The Hills Have Eyes", which looks excellent for being old blow-up negatives of 16mm, so this could actually look decent

  8. John Sparks

    The non-anamorphic DVD has the x-rated scenes. Not sure if they are incorporated into the movie or are as extras, I'd have to review my disc.

    Define x-rated.

    Hardcore sex scenes? Or just lots of nudity and simulated sex?

  9. Tino

    Define x-rated.

    Hardcore sex scenes? Or just lots of nudity and simulated sex?

    According to the commentary on the DVD It was originally going to be a hardcore "voluntary" X but all of that material was seized as "pornography" by the Los Angeles District Attorney.

    The film as it exists to day is alternate takes and as well as scenes that were at Jason Williams' apartment (he was wanting to learn editing as well as acting). In addition all/most of the Special Effects that Mike Minor and the effects teams had.

    Allegedly they were not able to find an effects house that would be willing to handle the effects, so Mike Minor (RIP) and the rest of the Special Effects team (who were arguably a who's who of Special Effects in the 70-80s) built their own optical printer.

  10. Tino

    Define x-rated.

    Hardcore sex scenes? Or just lots of nudity and simulated sex?

    I don't know Tino…some girl preforming a blowjob on a guy. Some guy actually screwing a gal…do you just like to see yourself in print asking these questions or trying to get arise out of people???

  11. Tino

    By the way there is no such thing as an official “X” rating.

    There WAS an official MPAA 'X' rating. The problem with it was that is was corrupted by the adult film industry when they began to tout their films as 'XXX' (which was NEVER an official MPAA rating) so it was dropped.

    John Sparks

    The non-anamorphic DVD has the x-rated scenes. Not sure if they are incorporated into the movie or are as extras, I'd have to review my disc.

    I, for one, am surprised to hear this as I'd always heard that the actual hardcore footage was destroyed before release. If it turns out that it still exists that would be great news indeed. Is it the Henstooth DVD that's supposed to have it?

  12. Ronald Epstein

    But why??!!!

    They just could have rated this X

    The problem was that it was shot in LA during 1971 and it was not yet legal to shoot 'porn' in LA (as it was still considered filmed prostitution.) There was a three year gap between photography and release.

  13. John Sparks

    I don't know Tino…some girl preforming a blowjob on a guy. Some guy actually screwing a gal…do you just like to see yourself in print asking these questions or trying to get arise out of people???

    Jeez. Seriously John??:roll:

    I was asking you a serious question. No need to be insulting. The reason I asked is that many people often view soft core sex scenes as X rated. And I questioned whether there were actually hard-core scenes on that non anamorphic DVD that you own.

    And apparently after some more research it turns out it does not according to many sources on the net.

  14. Will Krupp

    There WAS an official MPAA 'X' rating. The problem with it was that is was corrupted by the adult film industry when they began to tout their films as 'XXX' (which was NEVER an official MPAA rating) so it was dropped.

    Absolutely right. I stand corrected. The triple X rating was the one I was thinking of.

  15. Will Krupp

    I, for one, am surprised to hear this as I'd always heard that the actual hardcore footage was destroyed before release.

    Which is exactly why I questioned John’s claims in the first place.

  16. John Sparks

    The 15 minutes of censored footage has been added back into the movie on the DVD, I just checked.

    Exactly what censored footage are you referring to? We’d all like to know since it was reportedly destroyed. And which DVD do you own? I’d like to get it as I’m sure it’s a collectors item.

  17. John Sparks

    That's the one Tino.

    Thanks The thing is John every review of this DVD says there is no hardcore footage on that DVD. Strange

    Were here two versions of this DVD released? One with hardcore footage as John states? Does anyone know?

  18. Tino

    Let’s be clear. We’re discussing whether there is hardcore footage on that DVD release, not “censored” footage. Big difference.

    Which is it?

    Exactly. This is what I am trying to find out as well.

    With the Blu-ray around the corner, I don't want to have to pull out the DVD and watch it tonight.

  19. Ronald Epstein

    Exactly. This is what I am trying to find out as well.

    With the Blu-ray around the corner, I don't want to have to pull out the DVD and watch it tonight.

    As I said, all the reports I’ve read of that DVD state there is no hardcore footage in the film.

    Seems to be a lot of confusion and mis interpretations in this thread. 😉

  20. The entry from wikipedia seems pretty definitive as it quotes the DVD commentary:

    According to Ziehm's DVD audio commentary, the film was originally shot using scenes of straight and gay hardcore pornography. These were cut after Ziehm found himself in legal trouble: Producing pornography in Los Angeles was legally viewed as pandering at that time. The X-rated footage was surrendered to L.A. vice police. Although some explicit shots can be briefly seen during Wang's throne room orgy scenes, the "collector's edition" video, labelled "the original, uncensored version", is no more explicit than any of the earlier video releases.

  21. Ronald Epstein

    Thanks, Will. So it doesn't look like the uncensored footage made it to the DVD nor will it to the Blu-ray

    I really don't believe anyone has seen it since those very early screenings prior to the LAPD raid.

    (Unless some enterprising vice cop kept the hardcore trims, though, if so, I don't know what the hell he's waiting for!)

  22. Tino

    Yeah thank Will. So that apparently settles it then. There is no hardcore footage on the current DVD nor the upcoming blu ray as I suspected.

    Well…. hope springs eternal! (I just think that we'd have heard about by now, if so! 😉 )

  23. As has been said ALL hardcore footage was seized in the raid and was taken out of the original negative. Zsigmondy said th were no backup copies of that footage, just the negative. If it still exists, the Feds probably still have it in a dusty file cabinet somewhere.

    All of this was from an excellent interview in “Femme Fatales” magazine, released at the time of the Hen’s Tooth DVD/VHS release.

  24. I honestly believe that much of the confusion is due to some not knowing the difference between softcore and hardcore scenes.

    I remember people thinking 9-1/2 weeks was rated X and that was merely rated R and quite tame by todays standards.

    Alice In Wonderland for example is an X-rated film with hardcore scenes that were edited out and released theatrically as rated R.

  25. Dennis Nicholls

    When is Robert Harris scheduled to review this Blu-Ray?

    Is this a joke Dennis? I can’t tell. 😉

    Although I would actually love a review from RAH on this title. :thumbsup:

  26. Tino

    Is this a joke Dennis? I can’t tell. 😉

    er um it's hard to say … he did review "Emanuelle: The Joys of a Woman" so anything is possible… after all "you've gotta hold on to something ;)!"

  27. I remember watching this film. I used to have a VHS and I found it to be very amusing. A great send up of the Flash Gordon serials. Hardcore – softcore – don't remember. It generally wasn't the sex scenes that made the movie fun (although I do remember a great scene with Dale Ardor a magnifying glass and her chest)

  28. Crikey!

    The one Blu-ray I wanted the most this month…

    …and I forgot to preorder it.

    Now it's sold out on both Amazon and BestBuy.

    DeepDiscount doesn't really offer it at a deep discount. It's actually $2-$3 more expensive than everyone else.

    So, I ordered it on Amazon and when it comes back in stock it will ship to me.

    I guess this title was far more popular than expected for it to sell out like this.

  29. Ronald Epstein

    Crikey!

    The one Blu-ray I wanted the most this month…

    …and I forgot to preorder it.

    Now it's sold out on both Amazon and BestBuy.

    Oh that SUCKS!! 😮

    I was lucky in that I DID remember to pre-order it months ago and then totally forgot about it until I got the Amazon shipping notice on Monday. It arrived yesterday. It's grainy (very grainy) but coming from a 16mm source it looks about the way I expected it to. It's VERY watchable and miles better than the old non-anamorphic DVD, which I don't have a copy of but saw years ago. With bright, poppy colors and some really good visual effects, I think it looks better than it has a right to. It feels like a grindhouse experience and It's a hoot!

    Having seen it yesterday, I think I can clear up some of the confusion regarding the hardcore footage. I am now not sure (perhaps someone can enlighten me) that "hardcore" footage was ever shot with any of the lead actors. I say that because, if the footage was just edited out, there should be more holes where it was supposed to be (they didn't do reshoots to cover any gaps.) The hardcore footage was more ilkely (I think) shot for the orgy scenes (a la CALIGULA) with unnamed actors (who, even in the film's current form, seem to be having a grand time) When they edited and confiscated the footage, they accidentally left a few random hardcore shots behind that are in the film in it's current form. They are all during the "orgy" scenes and all in long shot. There's at least one incidental erection, one example of fellatio, and at LEAST one (that I noticed) insertion. I think those doing the editing just didn't notice at the time (In fairness, there's quite a bit going on.)

    It's clear there were multiple versions of this at the time. After the X rated footage was removed, the 90 minute or so cut we have today was unrated by the MPAA. THAT was edited down to the 78 minute "R" rated cut that played theaters in 1974. The DVD and Blu-ray restores footage removed from the "R" rated cut, which explains why it claims "censored" footage was returned to the film. I hope that makes sense. I have no idea whether or not the hardcore bits (and they so fleeting they're easy to miss) appeared in the R rated cut or not as I've never seen it.

    Anyway, it may not be to everyone's taste but there's a certain feeling of chutzpah to the whole thing and I'm glad to have it.

    I hope your wait won't be too long, Ron!!

    By the way, I'm hoping some insight will be gained from Jason Willaim's autobiography on kindle which I stumbled onto quite by accident. The reviews are really good and it's supposed to be a very funny, very self aware tale of working in exploitation cinema in the wild west days:

    View attachment 62282

    Link here: https://www.amazon.com/Was-Flesh-Gordon-Adventures-Accidental-ebook/dp/B07F5RZJ25/ref=sr_1_1?qid=1566995284&refinements=p_27:Derek+McCaw&s=digital-text&sr=1-1&text=Derek+McCaw

  30. ahollis

    Will, I agree with your thoughts on the transfer. It is grainy, but it’s much better than I expected. Now if we can get moore of those “soft core” films from the 70’s on blu.

    Hello, dear friend!!

    I agree with all of this, I think the grain is part of the fun! And it really IS an honest presentation of the movie. I would love to see some of the "bigger" titles from the porno-chic era of the mid 70's, the ones that played legitimate theaters like NAUGHTY VICTORIANS etc. I can only imagine (I was a little too young and a little too far outside the city) what it must have been like to see some of these and pretend everything was so "upright." Can you imagine going on a first date to see FLESH GORDON? Lol.

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