Flesh Gordon

Tagged: Film

Film (1974). Mammoth/Graffiti. Directed by Michael Benveniste, Howard Ziehm. Written by Benveniste, William Hunt. Cast includes Suzanne Fields, John Hoyt and Jason Williams. 90 minutes, cut to 84 minutes, cut to 78 minutes. Colour.

This burlesque of Flash Gordon began as a cheap soft-porn film, but became relatively expensive as the special effects became more elaborate. Work on it continued for nearly two years and many special-effects technicians were involved, some uncredited; they included Jim Danforth, Dave Allen, Rick Baker, Greg Jein, George Barr and Dennis Muren. Several of the effects sequences include model animation of a high standard, in particular the climax, when a monster, the Great God Porno, clutching the heroine, scales a building in the manner of King Kong while muttering a series of surly asides. A duel with an animated insect-creature rivals the best of Ray Harryhausen's work. The makers were so pleased with the effects that they cleaned it up a bit, and it was released without the feared X-rating. Most of the jokes are variants on the undergraduate ploy of inserting sexual references – e.g., there is a penisaurus – into a context that was originally downright puritanical. [JB]

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