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Flesh Gordon is an X-rated, soft-core porn spoof of the classic Flash Gordon movie serial that has gained cult classic status. It follows the sexploits of Flesh Gordon (Jason WIlliams), son of a famous scientist (John Hoyt), as he reluctantly joins Dr. Flexi Jerkoff (Joseph Hudgins) and pretty Dale Ardor (Suzanne Fields) on a desperate mission into space. A sex ray from a mysterious planet has been turning the Earth into one big orgy and the three valiantly board their penis shaped spacecraft to try to find and destroy it’s source. They reach the planet Porno, ruled by the evil and perverted Emperor Wang (William Hunt), who wants to spread his debauchery throughout the galaxy. Flesh and co. meet all sorts of sexually charged characters, creatures and perils as they try to defeat Wang and save the Earth.

Flick is directed by Michael Benveniste and Howard Ziehm from Beneniste’s script. It actually follows the plot of the 1936 Flash Gordon, with Buster Crabbe, very closely, substituting it’s wholesome plot with sexual innuendoes and comic bookish characters with dominatrixes (Candy Samples), gay woodsmen (Mycle Brandy), penisauruses and rapist robots. Story-wise it is an amusing parody, but nothing special and may have been a mostly forgotten oddity, remembered by only the most die hard exploitation movie fan, if not for it’s surprisingly good special FX for such a low budget indie exploitation production. Made for under $500,000, the film has quality matte paintings, detailed models and even some impressive stop-motion animation to accent it’s naughty, homage-filled tale. This was accomplished by some future legends of SPFX, such as seven time Oscar winning make-up artist Rick Baker, David Allen, Jim Danforth, Greg Jein, artist Mike Minor and Academy Award winning movie explosion expert Joe Viskocil. The movie is a virtual who’s who of future SPFX artists, who would all go on to work on top notch productions and win accolades in their fields for their skills. The cast, aside from veteran actor John Hoyt, were unknowns or porn actors and most hired for their looks and not being afraid to shed their clothes. No need to discuss performances in detail, though WIlliams makes a decent hero, porn star Fields, a pretty heroine and Hunt is completely over-the-top as Wang. If you think the voice of the giant, stop-motion Great God Porno sounds familiar, that’s Mr. Incredible himself Craig T. Nelson (Poltergeist, The Incredibles 1 & 2), in an uncredited voice role. Sure, most of the jokes are kinda corny and stale by now, but it is amusing and, in it’s own raunchy way, a love letter to the heroes of yesteryear and old school movie serials. There is a good score by Ralph Ferraro, Howard Ziehm’s cinematography fits the comic book tone and the SPFX artistry amongst all the cheap sex gags are worth watching it for alone. If nothing else, it is a good example of talented people accomplishing a lot with a little.

In conclusion, this film is now a cult classic and one can understand why. On one hand, the film in itself is a forgettable sex spoof and an outdated one. On the other hand, it is a heartfelt tribute to the subject matter it naughtily spoofs and the SPFX were impressive, for it’s time, as is the list of names that created them. Whether you are a fan of independent films, impressive special FX done on a shoestring budget, or curiosities of sci-fi cinema, Flesh Gordon is worth a look and even more fun with the right beverages to accompany it.

-MonsterZero NJ

Rated 3 (out of 4) horny, foul mouthed, stop-motion creatures that sound suspiciously familiar.










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My friends and I had a lot of fun when we saw this cult classic at the legendary Oritani Theater in Hackensack N.J. and it was gleefully for all the wrong reasons most of the time. The Incredible Melting Man is a delightfully bad 1977 sci-fi/ horror about ill-fated astronaut Steve West (Alex Rebar) who returns from a space mission exploring Saturn’s rings with a mysterious condition where his flesh is melting and he is radioactive. For some reason, just as mystifying as to how he got this way, (there is a hint it was caused by viewing the sun through Saturn’s rings, but it’s never confirmed.) Steve must consume human flesh to slow down the degeneration. As his mind degenerates, too, West escapes the hospital and begins to chow down on the locals while he is pursued by friend Dr. Ted Nelson (Burr DeBenning) and Air Force General Perry (Myron Healey). As Steve melts more and more, the more locals, including Nelson’s in-laws, fall victim to the stricken astronaut who becomes less and less human by the minute. Can he be stopped? Can the process be reversed? Who will be his next meal?

All the questions are answered and if this kind of flick is your thing, you’ll have a fun time watching the answers unfold. Despite it’s less then 90 minute running time the film is methodically paced. There are a lot of scenes of West roaming around the countryside with the last moments of the mission playing over and over in his head while Dr. Nelson follows his trail with his handy geiger counter. Most of the attacks are off camera thought there are plentiful shots of the gory carnage and one great shot of a dismembered head going over a waterfall and smashing on the rocks below. Aside from the gore and melting FX, which were done by the now legendary Rick Baker, there is plenty of hilariously bad dialog and unintentional laugh inducing situations. The film, by writer/director William Sachs (Galaxina), has an uneven tone, though it’s supposedly not all his fault. Sachs claims he wanted something more campy and fun like the sci-fi flicks of the 50s, while the producers wanted a more serious horror flick and these artistic differences give the movie an unbalanced mix of serious moments and much lighter moments. But the thing is, some of the more serious scenes come across as unintentionally funny and some of the humorous scenes meant to be funny, aren’t successful in their attempt and just come across as awkward. So they are very entertaining, but not for the right reasons. Sachs just doesn’t quite have the right touch to mix horror and camp as say, Joe Dante did in Piranha and The Howling though, it would appear that’s what he was going for.

But either way, this production’s heart is in the right place and the really cool work by future Oscar winner Baker is very effective…and of course all the intentional and unintentional entertainment it provides, is worth watching it for. The filmmakers were really trying hard here to deliver a new and horrifying movie monster, but the talent (aside from Baker) is just not quite there behind or in front of the camera and the disagreement between director and producers doesn’t help either. The acting is just as bad as the before mentioned dialog and the inept cast stumbling around finding body parts both of the victims and the Melting Man, produce far more laughs then chills. Also, some of the conversations between gore scenes are hilariously inappropriate, given the situations the characters are in and it’s hard to tell how much of this was intentional and how much was not, but it’s entertaining either way, so, ultimately, it doesn’t really matter.

To a degree Sachs got the kind of campy fun movie he was trying to make, but it’s not totally on purpose. Made by the legendary American International Pictures, Melting Man has earned cult classic status and has become one of MST3K’s funnier episodes and if you are a connoisseur of ‘so bad it’s good’ cinema then this is a prime example. The added nostalgia of this late 70s flick only makes it even more fun. The kind of movie they sadly don’t make anymore and a personal guilty pleasure of mine. Thankfully Melting Man is now available on a gorgeous extra filled blu-ray from the folks at Scream Factory! Also features cameos by 70s B-Movie regular Cheryl ‘Rainbeaux’ Smith (Laserblast) and acclaimed director Jonathan Demme.

MONSTERZERO NJ EXTRA TRIVIA: Rick Baker had some protégées working on this film, future make-up FX legends in their own right, Greg Cannom, Craig Reardon and Rob Bottin!

3 nostalgic melting men!

incredible melting man rating