I want to give a shout out to John Walsh, whose new book, FLASH GORDON: THE OFFICIAL STORY OF THE FILM, is the definitive resource into the making of the beloved 1980 fantasy film.
I remember seeing the movie for the first time as a young child. Even then, it found a unique place in my heart. The over the top production design… The music of QUEEN… The sense of humor and high camp… It was a lot like STAR WARS – fun, but even more tongue in cheek.
John had reached out to me last summer for insight into Richard Amsel’s iconic poster for the film. Unfortunately, the book went off to press before I got around to preparing a proper commentary (shame on me), but I was able to share a high-resolution scan of an original transparency of Amsel’s artwork.
I’m delighted to see that Amsel receives due notice when the book discusses the film’s marketing campaigns. Some of the text reuses my words from the Amsel website almost verbatim, but I consider it an honor to have commentary reprinted alongside those of Lawrence Noble and Alex Ross. I’m also very appreciative of John’s acknowledgement at the end.
The book is beautifully designed, and covers all aspects of the film’s development, production, release, and it’s enduring legacy. The film occupies a curious place between a would-be blockbuster and a big-scale cult film. It may not be high art, but it certainly has a lot of artistry. And it will always be fun!
Happy to share that, some years ago, we DID get some terrific video footage of Flash himself, the great SAM J. JONES, for the documentary, saying some kind words about Amsel's poster, and its enduring popularity.
Go, Flash, go!!!