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Emperor Wang (the Perverted) is leader of the planet Porno and sends his mighty "Sex Ray" towards Earth, turning everyone into sex-mad fiends. Only one man can save the Earth, football ... See full summary »
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In this adaptation of the Alex Raymond comic strips, the incidents are familiar but rearranged in a new sequence, with a Hitler subplot added by writer Samual A. Peeples. It opens in Poland, with Nazi bombs falling. Flash Gordon is given a message for Dr. Hans Zarkov. Reporter Dale Arden is also looking for Zarkov, to interview him for her newspaper. Next, as in the comic strip and movie serial, their plane crashes and they join Zarkov on his rocketship to Mongo, where dinosaurs threaten them. Then, in a sequence that does not occur until much later in other versions, they are captured by the Beastmen. This is followed by the familiar first confrontation with Ming, and their first meeting with Thun the Lionman and Ming's daughter Aura. Next, in a sequence not from the strip, with Flash and Thun are made slaves in the mines of Mongo. They escape, and, as in the strip, meet Prince Barin of the Forest Kingdom and Vultan, King of the Hawkmen, (skipping over the Shark Men of the comic ... Written by
In the late '70s, producer Lou Scheimer acquired the rights to produce a live-action Flash Gordon movie-of-the-week for NBC, and he commissioned Samuel A. Peeples to write the script. Peeples' script was deemed unfilmable in live-action, so it was decided to shoot it as an animated film. NBC wouldn't give Scheimer additional funds for animation, so he turned to Dino De Laurentiis, who agreed to give him money to complete the movie in return for helping him to secure the rights to make the theatrical film Flash Gordon (1980). NBC was so wowed by the animated film that they decided to shelve it, recut it and run it as the Saturday morning series Flash Gordon (1979). After the series ended its run, the original film was finally aired during prime-time in its entirety. See more »
Perhaps the greatest American-made action animation ever
I'm normally not a big fan of anything that Filmation did after Star Trek, but this movie just blew me away when I saw it one Saturday night when I was only 15. The stunningly good animation, the surprisingly high level of violence for its day (Adult Swim has much more nowadays), and great voice acting all made an impression on me. What was more I noticed that the artists were given much more leeway than is normal when it came to showing female flesh, especially that many of the female creatures wore little more than very narrow straps over their breasts. Princess Aura acted more sultry than ever, posing like a pinup model and reclining suggestively upon her ever-so-handy couch. About the only clunky spot in the movie came when Thun and Flash were about to turn in for the night and Thun spoke about his personal sexual desires. Well-intentioned upon the writers' part, but it just seemed more than a bit weird to me. It's too bad that Filmation buried this gem after showing it only once. However, my sources tell me that it was not the level of violence that concerned the company. It was all of the sexually suggestive costumes which, in the days before digital editing became possible, would have been impossible cut out of the scenes without eliminating the scenes altogether.
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