Comics go to the movies – Flesh Gordon

That is not a typo. This is indeed the title of the infamous 1974 soft-core porn parody of the comic strip Flash Gordon. It was a film I’ve wanted to see since I was a teenager…and not for the reasons you think.

Flesh Gordon would show up in sci-fi  fanboy nerdlinger magazines in the 70s as a result of so many special effects people worked on it because, in the days just before Star Wars, there wasn’t enough work to go around. And many of these effects people went on to high-end careers, including winning Oscars.

I was warned by a friend (who lived in Canada, where broadcast TV standards are a wee bit looser and Flesh would be shown too often) that this is a really bad film.

And it is.

I actually watched it about a year ago and can remember very little for my usual highly-detailed review. What was most fascinating was director Howard Ziehm’s commentary. Not really the usual “this shot, that shot” commentary, but more of a lecture about the early days of porn and all the craziness related to producing this film.

Another odd note: Howard Ziehm showed up a couple of times to Ohio State University’s triennial Festival of Cartoon Art. I figured out who he was when he mentioned making a comic parody film when asking a question during a Q&A.

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