Lively, entertaining reviews of, and essays on, old and newer films and everything relating to them, written by professional author William Schoell.

Thursday, March 31, 2016


Flesh Gordon offers to repay Prince Precious
FLESH GORDON (1974). Directors: Michael Benveniste; Howard Ziehm.

In this erotic parody of the Flash Gordon serials, Flesh Gordon (Jason Williams) and Dale Ardor (Suzanne Fields) travel with Dr. Jerkoff (Joseph Hudgins) in his Phallic spaceship to the planet Porno, where the evil Emperor Wang (William Dennis Hunt) is aiming a destructive "sex ray" at the earth. Most of this is a sophomoric semi-romp featuring painfully obvious double entendres (some of which are amusing) with some stop- motion animation by David Allen [The Day Time Ended] and Jim Danforth to enliven the proceedings. The "penisauruses," with big eyeballs at the end of their stalks, aren't badly done; there's a metal insectoid creature that reminds one of the moonmen in First Men in the Moon; and a giant, talking, hooven satyr who carries off Dale at one point -- there are some smooth shots of this creature as well as crude ones. The movie is both progressive and regressive for its day, with the members of the Amazon Underground trying to have their way with Dale and called "Dykes!" by Jerkoff. Meanwhile Prince Precious (Prince Barin in the original), played by Mycle [sic] Brandy, leads a band of gay merry men. Unlike the amazon queen the prince is not played as a stereotype except for one scene when he screams like a woman. After the prince helps save Flesh and the others, Flesh asks him if he can repay him -- Precious gives Flesh a blow job! While there are plenty of naked breasts "fleshing" about, this is pretty soft-core, with sexual activity being more suggested than anything else. Joseph Hudgins, who is actually quite good, does a dead-on imitation of Frank Shannon in the original serials. (As Dr. Jerkoff puts it as regards his rocket ship: "I was able to get most of the parts from the Sears catalog.") Fields and Brandy are fine in their respective roles, getting into the spirit of the silliness, while it's tempting to say that Williams makes Sam J. Jones (as well as Buster Crabbe) in Flash Gordon look like Laurence Olivier, but he's adequate. Hunt chews the scenery as Wang, which is appropriate, but doesn't erase the memories of the much more restrained Charles Middleton. Ultimately, this would have worked better as a short sketch instead of a 90 minute movie! Craig T. Nelson [Poltergeist] did the voice of the giant Satyr. Followed by Flash Gordon Meets the Cosmic Cheerleaders which replaced Jason Williams with Vince Murdocco, and which, if I recall correctly, had some gross if imaginative touches to it.

Verdict: A somewhat clever, more often dopey, college kid's movie, with occasionally decent visual effects. **.


angelman66 said...

LOL, I remember this one too, very much a precursor to the Rocky Horror genre--the sexual revolution finally made dirty jokes fashionable. I do remember feeling very "adult" seeing this as a kid, but, as you point out, the humor is obviously sophomoric to say the last. Nevertheless, you've piqued my interest for a rescreening--as usual.

William said...

Well, just don't expect too much of this one. I also enjoyed it when I first saw it. I've no doubt Flash Gordon serial purists were horrified, LOL!