Gor (film)

Gor is a 1987 science fiction and fantasy film based loosely on the novel Tarnsman of Gor, written by philosophy professor and author John Frederick Lange Jr. under his pen name John Norman. There was a sequel, Outlaw of Gor (1989).

Gor
VHS cover
Directed byFritz Kiersch
Produced byAvi Lerner
Harry Alan Towers
Written byRick Marx
Peter Welbeck (screenplay)
Based onTarnsman of Gor
by John Norman
StarringUrbano Barberini
Rebecca Ferratti
Oliver Reed
CinematographyHans Khule
Edited byKen Bornstein
Max Lemon
Distributed byThe Cannon Group, Inc.
Release date
May 9, 1987 (Cannes Film Festival)
Running time
94 minutes
CountryUnited States
South Africa
LanguageEnglish
Box office$159,731[1]

Plot

After being snubbed before a weekend-getaway by his teaching assistant, socially awkward professor of physics Tarl Cabot accidentally unlocks the magical properties of a ring which transports him to the planet Gor. After his arrival, Cabot encounters a village being attacked by the army of the tyrannical priest-king Sarm. Sarm's forces are invading neighboring settlements in an effort to retrieve the Home Stone, a mystical object that creates pathways between Gor and distant Earth. Cabot too is abruptly attacked by Sarm's warriors. After inadvertently killing Sarm's own son during the encounter, he is left for dead in the desert. He awakens to find himself being nursed back to health by Talena (Rebecca Ferratti), a scantily clad barbarian princess of the Kingdom of Ko-ro-ba. Cabot learns that Talena's father, the King, has been captured by Sarm, along with the Home Stone. Cabot travels with Talena on a rescue mission to Sarm's lands, where they are captured. Cabot leads a group of rebels in an escape effort, whereupon Cabot is able to kill Sarm, rescue Talena and her father, and reacquire the Home Stone. Tarl et al. return to Ko-ro-ba, where, after Cabot and Talena admit their love for one another, Cabot accidentally activates the Home Stone, and is returned to Earth.[2][3][4]

Cast

  • Urbano Barberini as Tarl Cabot
  • Rebecca Ferratti as Talena
  • Jack Palance as Xenos
  • Paul L. Smith as Surbus
  • Oliver Reed as Sarm
  • Larry Taylor as King Marlenus
  • Graham Clarke as Drusus
  • Janine Denison as Brandy
  • Donna Denton as Queen Lara
  • Jenifer Oltman as Tafa
  • Martina Brockschmidt as Dorna
  • Anne Power as Beverly
  • Arnold Vosloo as Norman
  • Chris du Plessis as Sarsam
  • Ivan Kruger as Sarm's Rider
  • Joe Ribeiro as Auctioneer
  • Visser du Plessis as Compound Guard
  • Philip Van der Byl as Whipman
  • George Magnussen as Old Man
  • Fred Potgieter as Brand Master
  • Etty Orgad as Hooded Woman
  • Amanda Haramis as Hooded Woman
  • Eve Joss as Auction Slave
  • Bobby Lovegreen as Sarsam's Rider
  • Rick Skidmore as Prisoner
  • Vic Tearnan as Body Guard
  • Andre du Plessis as Body Guard
  • Fred Swart as Feast Master
  • Nobby Clark as Merchant
  • Nigel Chipps as Hup

Critical reception

Gor was widely panned upon its release (and subsequently remembered) for its poor production value and camp. The film has been the target of criticism for its overt sexual themes, and its portrayal of women characters as being slaves to men.[5][6]

In a 2002 interview with online fan-zine, The Gorean Voice, John Norman recalled that the rights-holders to his novels, Ballantine Books, balked at the idea of a movie tie-in with the novels, saying that the publisher had to be circumvented in order to make the movie:[7]

Ballantine Books refused to do movie tie-ins to either film; they failed even to answer my letters. My attorney finessed his way around Ballantine's rights department and contacted the legal department at Random House. The movies were made by going over the heads of the censors.

References

  1. Gor at Box Office Mojo
  2. Answers.com plot summary
  3. Cracked: The Most Ridiculous Nerd Fantasy Ever Filmed
  4. Bondage Erotica plot summary
  5. "No More Gor: A Conversation with John Norman" (part 1), The New York Review of Science Fiction, Issue #92, Volume 8, No. 8, 1996 (ISSN 1052-9438)
  6. "No More Gor: A Conversation with John Norman" (part 2), The New York Review of Science Fiction, Issue #96, Volume 8, No. 12 1996 (ISSN 1052-9438)
  7. Gorean Voice interview (quote 1)
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