Retro Porn Review: Flesh Gordon

February 23, 2014
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I think Flesh Gordon is the first movie on this series of vintage porn reviews that I hadn’t seen before. Sometimes newness is all you need. Also, sometimes you just want to please your sci-fi loving editor.

I’m a big fan of the 1980 Flash Gordon movie, and while an adaptation of that one sounds amazing (a part of me is kind of giggly about the possibility of hearing Queen sing away the transitions with: “Flesh! Ah, ahhhhh”,) Flesh Gordon came out six years earlier; it’s heavily based on the original 1930s comic strip, and remarkably thorough with its references to it.

We should clarify that this movie might not be considered porn by many (I’m one of those.) While it can be entertaining, Flesh Gordon doesn’t offer much in terms of graphic sex. Oh, don’t get me wrong, there will be endless puns, childish gags and the most gratuitous scenarios that you can imagine to show as many boobs as humanly possible; but the actual sex scenes are rather mild and softcore, even in the original uncut and X-rated version. If you’re looking for some steamy filth, you’re better off with something else.

Producer and director Howard Ziehm has said he probably would have cut the explicit sex anyway, because he thought the film was good enough to attract a non-porn audience, which should tell you a lot about that era in filmmaking. There’s an overwhelming and almost innocent sense of self-confidence that you don’t see anymore.

You see, Earth is being terrorized by an evil “sex ray,” which induces an uncontrollable sexual urge on anyone within reach, and is causing major unwanted orgies everywhere. Flesh Gordon is flying back home to help his scientist father battle the ray, when his plane gets hit by it, causing a frenetic orgy that included the pilots, and called for our hero to step up and try to save the day.

All the character names are sexual innuendos: Flesh Gordon; his love interest Dale Ardor; the evil Emperor Wang the Perverted; Dr. Flexi Jerkoff; Amora, Queen of Magic; and, of course, a very gay character called Prince Precious, dressed in Robin Hood-ish attire.

One thing that stands out about the film, though, are the special effects. For its time and its budget, there are some pretty cool things here. Some of the people who work on this movie would later find massive success as special effects guys, make-up artists and animators on celebrated sci-fi classics, as well as Academy Award winning movies.

Your opinion on the silliness of the story and the bad acting will vary greatly depending on the attitude you come in with. If you’re expecting anything like other movies we’ve reviewed here in the past, you might be a little disappointed. However, if you approach it the same way you would any B-movie and appreciate it for what it is, you can find it rather enjoyable. There’s enough kitschy goodness here to make your stoned Sunday afternoon watching a pretty pleasant experience.

Retro Porn Review: Flesh Gordon 1 vote

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