OK, so it's hardly big news to those of you who visit Cinematical to read about the big-time summer blockbusters and Oscar nominations and such, but it's an announcement that pretty much just made my whole day: Mike Hodges' 1980 sci-fi camp classic Flash Gordon is finally (finally!) getting the full-bore special edition treatment from the fine folks at Universal Home Video. How much do I love this movie? Well, I'd been unable to land a copy of the long out-of-print Image DVD -- so I went out and bought what's called a "region free" player. See, there's a Flash Gordon special edition that was produced for U.K. DVD players ... and I just had to have it. (Let's just say I saw this rollicking space adventure at a very formative age and I've grown to really adore the flick over the intervening years.)

But today one of my favorite DVD sites broke the news: Universal is finally preparing its very own special edition for the region 1 marketplace. The cover art is really slick -- and I'm so psyched about this release that I don't even mind that they chose to call it the "Saviour of the Universe Edition." (I'm not a big fan of the gimmicky DVD names.) My theory is that the studio aims to make this release a "tie-in" with the Sci-Fi Channel's new Flash Gordon series, but I just want the discs in my geeky little fist already. Universal hasn't announced their special features just yet (or if they'll be using any of the goodies from the region 2 release), but the U.S. 2-disc set is scheduled to hit stores on August 7th.

And to those of you who just can't figure out why this news makes me so happy, here's a list of Top Ten Coolest Things About Flash Gordon:

10. The slimy Prince Baron is played by eventual Bond Timothy Dalton.
9. "No, not the bore-worms!!"
8. Brian Blessed plays an awesome winged sidekick.
7. The Queen soundtrack. Of course.
6. The "evil tree stump" scene is really intense and creepy.
5. The production design looks like Barbarella hooked up with Star Wars at a hot disco club.
4. All the evildoers have really creatively gory death scenes.
3. There's a totally ridiculous "football brawl" that always makes me chuckle. ("Go Flash Go!")
2. Max Von Sydow as Ming the Merciless. Freakin' priceless.
1. Two words: Ornella Muti.