Flesh Gordon (1974)

USA, 1972
72m (USA – R-rated version), 78m (USA – X-rated version), 89m (Collector’s Edition)
35mm, colour
mono, English

An American science fiction film spoofing the Flash Gordon serials of the 1930s. Originally conceived and shot as a hardcore pornographic film (featuring both straight and gay scenes), it was eventually toned down when Howard Ziehm realised that the footage would get him and his co-director Michael Beneviste into legal difficulties. The hardcore footage was handed over to the Los Angeles Police Department’s Vice Squad and is presumed to have been destroyed. 1Howard Ziehm speaking on the DVD commentary. The film was still strong enough to warrant an “X” rating from the MPAA, though a 72 minute version was later produced and released with an “R” rating.

Credits

* = uncredited

Crew
Live Action Directors: Michael Beneviste, Howard Ziehm
© 1974 Graffitti Prod. Corp.
Mammoth Films presents a Graffitti Production presentation
Produced by: Howard Ziehm, William Osco
Associate Producer: Walter R. Cichy
Script: Michael Benveniste
Story: Bill Hunt, Mike Light [real name: Michael Benveniste]
Assistant Director: Walter R. Cichy
Director of Photography: Howard Ziehm
Camera: Lynn Rogers
Lighting: Bill Dannevick
Stills: W.R. Cichy
Laboratory: Crest National, Hollywood, California, USA; DeLuxe
Raw Stock: 16mm ECO 7255
Special Effects Raw Stock: ECN 5354
Cameras: Eclair NPR
Special Effects Cameras: Mitchell STD
Post Production Supervisor/Editor: Abbas Amin
Negative Assembly: Magic Film Works
Music/Arranger: Ralph Ferraro
Music Producer: Peter Tevis
Sound Recording: John Brasher
Assistant Sound Recording: Nick Spaulding
Sound Re-Recording: Dan Dillon, Robert Harmon, Jack Woltz
Costumes: Ruth Glunt
Make Up: Bjo Trimble
Assistant Make Up: Marcina Motter
Special Effects Director: Bill Hedge *
Special Effects Photography: Bob Costa *, Mike Hyatt *, Bill Hedge *
Special Effects Designers: Walter R. Cichy, Howard Ziehm, Lynn Rogers
Special Effects Director/Camera/Key Grip: Lynn Rogers
Special Effects Technicians: Rick Baker, Gregory Jein, Douglas Beswick, Dennis Muren *, Russ Turner, Jim Aupperle *
Electrical Effects: Craig Nueswanger
Pyrotechnic Effects: Jim Clarke *
Great God Porno’s Hand Built by: Mike Minor *, Tom Scherman *
Penisaurus Designed by: George Barr *
Penisaurus Sculpted by: Laine Liska *, Steve Czerkas [uncredited – design unused]
Rigging Assistant: Doug Beswick *
Special Animation Effects: Mij Htrofnad [real name: Jim Danforth]
Special Photographic Effects: Dennis Muren, Tom Scherman, Mike Minor
Special Visual Effects: David Allen, Mij Htrofnad [real name: Jim Danforth]
Special Miniatures: Greg Jein
Matte Artist: Jim Danforth *
Stop Motion Animation: Jim Danforth *, Rob Maine *
Special Optical Effects: Cinema Research, Ray Mercer
Production Designer: Mike Minor *
Art Director: Donald Harris
Title Designers: Corny Films, Corny Cole
Props: Tom Reamy
Special Props: Rick Baker, Tom Scherman
Poster Art: George Barr *
Set Illustrator/Storyboards: Joe Musso *
Set Technicians: Bill Dannevick, Donald Lee Harris, John Rowe, John Sefick, Richard Serpe, John Talt
Studio: Producer’s Studio, Los Angeles, California, USA

Cast
Jason Williams (Flesh Gordon)
Suzanne Fields (Dale Ardor)
Joseph Hudgins (Dr Flexi Jerkoff)
John Hoyt (Professor Gordon)
William Hunt (Emperor Wang the Perverted)
Candy Samples [credited as Mary Gavin on some prints] (Chief Nellie)
Mycle Brandy (Amora, Queen of Magic)
Steve Grummette
Nora Wieternik
Lance Larsen (Prince Precious)
Judy Ziehm
Leonard Goodman
Don Harris
Howard Alexander
Jack Rowe
Alan Sinclair
Mark Fore
Annette Anderson
Maria Aronoff
Shannon West
Rick Lutze
Patricia Burns
Sally Alt
Nancy Ayres
Linus Gator
Kathy Foster
Susan Moore
Terri Johnson
Pat Hudson
Linda Sheppard
Duane Paulsen
Dee Dee Dailes
Craig T. Nelson [voice of the monster] *

Plot Summary

When the tyrannical Wang the Perverted aims his sex ray at Earth, he causes chaos as those affected indulge in spontaneous orgies. A group of humans, Flesh Gordon, Dale Ardour and Flexi Jerkoff, travel in a penis shaped spaceship to the planet Porno to stop Wang’s evil machinations.

Sequel
Flesh Gordon Meets the Cosmic Cheerleaders (1989)

See also
Barbarella (1968)
Flash Gordon (1936)
Flash Gordon Conquers the Universe (1940)
Flash Gordon’s Trip to Mars (1938)
Heavy Metal (1981)
King Kong (1933)
The 7th Voyage of Sinbad (1958)

References

Periodicals

  • Animato no.35 (Summer 1996) p.8 – short illustrated article (by G. Michael Dobbs)
  • Castle of Frankenstein no.25 p.58
  • Cineaste vol.6 no.4 (1975) p.46 – review (by David Bartholomew)
  • Cinefantastique vol.2 no.1 pp.18-19 – illustrated preview (by Walter M. Cichy)
  • Cinefantastique vol.3 no.4 (Winter 1974) pp.4-7 – illustrated interview with Howard Ziehm (by Mark Carducci and Douglas Olson); illustrated review (by Bill Warren)
  • Cinefantastique vol.5 no.2 (Autumn 1976) pp.40-45 – illustrated article (The Special Effects of Flesh Gordon by Mark Wolf)
  • CinemaTV Today no.10123 (1 March 1975) p.14 – review (by Marjorie Bilbow)
  • Closeup no.1 (1975) pp.39-43, 47 – illustrated synopsis, production notes
  • The Dark Side no.54 p.22 (UK) – credits, short review
  • Films and Filming vol.7 no.247 (April 1975) pp.42-43 – review (by Alexander Stuart)
  • Films Illustrated vol.4 no.43 (March 1975) pp.246, 248 – review (by Mark Whitman)
  • The Hollywood Reporter vol.221 no,35 (9 June 1972) p.10 – credits
  • The Hollywood Reporter vol.233 no.27 (16 October 1974) p.3 – review (by John H. Dorr)
  • Monthly Film Bulletin vol.42 no.494 (March 1975) p.55 – credits, synopsis, review (by Geoff Brown)
  • Monthly Film Bulletin vol.48 no.569 (June 1981) p.126 – note
  • Photon no.26 (1975) p.9 – illustrated review (by Don Scapperotti)
  • Screen International no.251 (26 July-2 August 1980) p.7 – note (New films on video)
  • Variety 31 July 1974 p.19 – credits, review (by Sege)

Books

  • Aurum Film Encyclopedia: Science Fiction by Phil Hardy (ed) p.318
  • Film Review 1975-76 by F. Maurice Speed (ed) p.168
  • Hoffman’s Guide to Science Fiction, Horror and Fantasy Movies 1991-1992 p.138 – credits, review
  • Horror and Science Fiction Films II by Donald C. Willis p.136
  • Reference Guide to Fantastic Films by Walt Lee p.142 – credits
  • Science Fiction, Fantasy, and Horror Film Sequels, Series, and Remakes by Kim R. Holston and Tom Winchester p.175
  • The Stop-motion Filmography by Neil Pettigrew pp.247-254
  • Variety Science-Fiction Movies by Julian Brown (ed.) p.46 – credits, review
  • X-Rated Videotape Guide Volume I by Robert H. Rimmer p.91 – credits, review