Gor (film)

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Directed by Fritz Kiersch
Produced by Avi Lerner
Harry Alan Towers
Written by Rick Marx
Peter Welbeck (screenplay)
Based on Tarnsman of Gor 
by John Norman
Starring Urbano Barberini
Rebecca Ferratti
Oliver Reed
Cinematography Hans Khule
Edited by Ken Bornstein
Max Lemon
Distributed by Cannon International
Release dates
Running time
94 minutes
Country United States
South Africa
Language English
Box office $159,731[1]

Gor is a 1988 science fiction and fantasy film based loosely on the novel The Tarnsman Of Gor, written by philosophy professor and author John Frederick Lange Jr. (better known as John Norman).


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]


Critical Reception[edit]

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] Fans of the Gor novels dislike it for diverging strongly from the books.[citation needed]

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."

Norman further commented that his work was the target of feminist criticism that he portrayed women characters in a negative way, resulting in his being snubbed from at least one science fiction convention:[8]

"I was invited to participate in an sf convention and was listed among the invited guests. Subsequently a prominent fantasy feminist told the program committee that she would feel 'uncomfortable' if I were at the convention when she was. Accordingly, my name was literally crossed off the ready-to-mail brochures... I got one with my name crossed off the guest list with Magic Marker."

See also[edit]


  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)
  8. ^ Gorean Voice interview (quote 2)

External links[edit]