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Blu-Ray : Recommended
Release Date: February 22nd, 2024 Movie Release Year: 1974

Flesh Gordon - Limited Edition Media Book Cover C (German Import)

Overview -

Blu-ray Review By: Matthew Hartman
Before we traveled to a galaxy far, far away we were exposed to the pulse-pounding intergalactic adventures of Howard Ziehm’s Flesh Gordon. This bawdy hilarious sexploitation adventure arrives on Blu-ray with a fully-engorged two-disc Mediabook release from Germany’s Turbine Medien. The A/V is impressive considering the film, and the bonus features are extensive with a booklet loaded with essays, behind-the-scenes photos, and interviews. Not for the shy, but for many out there easily Recommended

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Rating Breakdown
Tech Specs & Release Details
Technical Specs:
Two-Disc Mediabook - Limited To 555 Units
Video Resolution/Codec:
1080p/MPEG-4 AVC
Aspect Ratio(s):
Audio Formats:
German/English - DTS-HD MA 2.0 Mono
Release Date:
February 22nd, 2024

Storyline: Our Reviewer's Take


In the late 1960s and early 1970s, Science Fiction as a genre was in a weird state of flux. The genre had been slowly moving away from being seen as kid-friendly fantasy and was extending into more adult and high-brow entertainment. Rod Serling and The Twilight Zone and later Leslie Stevens with The Outer Limits helped push the genre forward with some trippy high-concept episodes. These shows paved the way for the likes of Gene Roddenberry to expand the genre further tackling important social issues and topics with 1966’s Star Trek. The genre was then gently thrust forward with Stanley Kubrick’s now iconic 2001: A Space Odyssey. As the genre shifted, twisted, and caressed its way through the new entertainment landscape, it would reach an incredible early box office climax in the ‘70s with Howard Ziehm’s 1974 epic Flesh Gordon. 

A bawdy burlesque tribute to the classic Flash Gordon and Buck Rogers serials, our film sees Earth being tormented by a barrage of deviant Sex Rays driving the exposed into a frenzy of kinky coitus uninterrupted. After narrowly surviving such an incident, the heroically strong Flesh Gordon (Jason Williams) and Dale Ardor (Suzanne Fields) will join forces with Dr. Flexi Jerkoff (Joseph Hudgins). Together the bare and brave threesome will travel to the far-off planet Porno and come face-to-face against the diabolical Emperor Wang the Perverted (William Dennis Hunt). 

In case you haven’t guessed, Flesh Gordon isn’t exactly a movie you should take seriously, but should seriously enjoy. From the jump, the film is just a bawdy burlesque sci-fi adventure that’s as daffy and silly as it sounds. Shot on a minimal budget, the film can look as amazing and extravagant as it can be cheap and silly. One moment the costumes (and lack of) and sets can appear ornate and well-made, th next they're looking mighty cheap and barely held together by tape and glue. But what’s really impressive are the film’s visual effects. VFX and makeup heavy hitters like Rick Baker, Dennis Muren, David Allen, among numerous others who would make big grand Hollywood spectacles later in their careers cut their teeth on this film. 

In terms of quality, Flesh Gordon isn’t exactly an easy one to grade. I like it because I get what it’s doing by lovingly mixing near-pornographic footage with restaged classic science fiction scenes, but that’s not everyone’s brand of cinematic aphrodisiac. You have to have a love for bawdy cheeky humor and be able to enjoy the ride. To that end, this one isn’t for everyone. I discovered the R-rated version of this late at night thanks to cable movie channels. Later I’d become more familiar with the common X-Rated cut (the one present here). Aside from a bit more graphic nudity, the two versions are essentially identical so it’s not like you’d be missing anything with the snipped and tucked cut, there's just more to enjoy with the extra length. Alright, enough innuendo - the movie is a gag a minute and never tries to be anything else. If you're game, go have fun.

Vital Disc Stats: The Blu-ray

Flesh Gordon is going to save the physical media universe with a new two-disc Blu-ray Mediabook release from Germany’s Turbine Medien. We have two BD-50 discs in this set. The artwork indicates they are Region B, but testing on multiple players reveals they are in fact Region Free - so no worries about importing. The first disc is the main film and some of the bonus features, with the second disc offering the documentary Sex Rays and Stop Motion. The 64-page booklet offers up a bunch of new essays, behind-the-scenes photos, and interviews. The text is in German but Google Translate is an easy convenient way to read the content. The feature film disc loads to a new one-minute intro featuring actor Jason Williams before moving along to an animated main menu.

Video Review


Given the age and low-budget nature of the film, Flesh Gordon looks about as good as it’s going to get - which is actually pretty damn good! The film does look a little rough around the edges at times, a bit of speckling here and there, some slight scratches (that aren't part of the visual effects), but overall the elements sourced for this transfer are in very good shape. This was released stateside in 2019, but I haven’t picked that edition up so I don’t have that for comparison. As it stands, details can fluctuate from scene to scene depending on the camera setup, likewise, the film grain can be quite thick and noisy or look well resolved and stable. It all depends on the shot. The film’s use of optical effects and stop-motion creatures also has its share of mixed results but again, looks pretty damn good for a film made for $500,000 (more or less)! Colors are bright and cheery with lovely primaries and flesh tones (of which you’ll have lots of time to observe) look healthy and human.

Audio Review


Like the video, the audio is subject to the production values of the film. This disc’s DTS-HD MA 2.0 mono track is pretty damn good, giving nice fidelity to dialog, sound effects, and the film’s canned music tracks. There’s a bit of a tinny quality to the dialog as I’m sure there wasn’t much of a budget for overdubbing and ADR work. A lot of that dialog sounds like it was a make-it-in-one-take run. The default track is the German 2.0 mono so you’ll need to swap that at the main menu.

Special Features


In another great turn for this release, it’s packed with some impressive bonus features. At the top of the heap is a fun audio commentary featuring co-director Howard Ziehm. It’s a bit dry in that it’s not scene specific and in-the-moment but Ziehm reading prepared comments detailing the history of and making the film. It’s at least very interesting and worth the listen with some good anecdotes. After that, we have a nice Trailers from Hell segment with Mick Garris and an interesting comparison between the US and German language versions of the film. But the real meat is found on Disc Two with the great panel conversation between Dr. Giesen and filmmaker Christian Genzel. More of a virtual interview, but at over two hours it covers an amazing amount of trivia and information about the film. It is in German but there are English subtitles. Then for a rare treat is the German 8mm version. While it’s in German without subtitles, it’s fun to see how they cut the film down to barely 32 minutes and still have it make some kind of sense. Then of course, you have the 64-page booklet to dig into as well.

Blu-ray Disc One

  • Audio Commentary with Co-director Howard Ziehm
  • Comparison of the US and German Version (HD 7:16)
  • Trailers from Hell with Mick Garris (HD 2:58)
  • Original Trailer
  • German Trailer

Blu-ray Disc Two

  • Sex Rays & Stop Motion (HD German w/ English Subtitles 2:14:43)
  • German Super 8 Version (HD 31:54)

One of the greatest science fiction adventures of all time, Flesh Gordon saves the universe once again with a terrific new Blu-ray release. The film is a bawdy cheeky show with ample T&A to go around, but it’s also a love letter to classic science fiction adventures made by true and loving fans of the genre. The film also gave rising VFX artists their time to shine before they’d get to go to work on some of the biggest blockbusters of the late ‘70s, ‘80s, and into the ‘90s. Certainly not a film for everyone, but for anyone with a great sense of humor and a love for bawdy cheesy sci-fi shenanigans, this one’s for you! Recommended

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