Sunday, 12 January 2014


In 1987, some idiot thought it would be a good idea to make a film of the first ‘Gor’ novel, not least because it would give them the opportunity go to Mauritius and film lots of attractive girls in very small bikinis fighting each other. 

The finished product bears very little relation to the source material, which we would have had no problem with if the film makers had something better in mind but, clearly, they didn’t. At least if it had been a straight adaptation it would have appealed to the sort of people who take their girlfriends into butcher shops on a dog leash, but, as it is, it appeals to no-one, except maybe people who are so ironic they don’t know up from down anymore. We need not linger on the film, as us watching it in the first place was more than it deserved. Let’s get to the interesting part… 

In a move that could have been described as a coup if he hadn’t already prostituted his art a thousand times by this stage, the producers signed up the magnificent Oliver Reed to star as an evil tyrant King. Reed, looking weary and still sporting the ginger hair and beard he wore in ‘Castaway’, gives a broad but still interesting performance. 

He plays the King as a spoiled brat in a brutish body, a nasty bully who, like a Caligula or Heliogabalus, giggles like a naughty little boy as people are put to death in horrible ways. The rest of his day is spent glowering and bristling at the sheer injustice of the world not being exactly as he wants it at all times and you can see in his eyes that he is going to have to be very spiteful to somebody in order to make up for it. 

We know that at acting school they teach deportment and diction and fencing, but we’re not sure if they cover ‘getting an arrow through your neck’. No matter, Ollie is on hand to provide a master class on the subject. 

Oliver Reed is the sole reason that this rubbish is remotely watchable, as he so often was. We miss him a lot. There was a sequel made, but Reed wasn’t in it (arrow in neck related), so FUCK IT.

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