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A young boys thrill

Kaor my friends.

Tars Tarkas, Kantos Kan, Mors Kajak.

These names mean anything to you?


You poor deprived bastard. I really do feel sorry for you; Barsoom never held you in its thrall.

Although, I got to admit, when I first came across them reading about semi naked oviparous Martian princesses was about as exciting as it got.

Now, I guess this will be no news to those out there who give a stuff about Hollywood, but I don’t, and I am usually the last to know these things. Hell, Avatar was already in the cinema before I even heard of it.

Anyway, the big news is – they are making a movie of A Princess of Mars!!!!!!!

Finally. Only a hundred years after it was first published.


In fact, two movies. The first, by The Asylum, a crowd who specialise in cheap knockoffs, was released yesterday on straight to DVD, and the other starts filming in Jan, 2010.

For those who have never ridden a thoat under the hurtling moons may I present Captain John Carter of Virginia, Jeddak of Jeddaks, Warlord of Mars, Deja Thoris – the most beautiful woman in two worlds, and Woola, the ever faithful calot. And what looks to be a dead thark.


And if you don’t know what I am talking about – stuff you. Just to show you a little more of what you missed growing up, here we have more of what enthralled me:

John Carter and Deja Thoris in traditional pose (and dress), him defending her on the steps of an abandoned temple, one of the great six limbed white apes who inhabit the deserted cities of a dying planet, hideous plant men from the Valley Dor, blood thirsty warrior Tharks, the great flying ships of the mighty Heliumetic navy, and a banth, waiting to prey on any and all the others.


Don’t tell me I had a boring childhood.


  1. JuliaM says:

    With modern effects, this should be spectacular. Especially if they stick with Frazetta’s original concept illustrations.

    But with Hollywood, there’s always the fear they will ruin it *sigh*

  2. Mr Eugenides says:

    I’ve never read the books, but I’d know the name “Barsoom” anywhere, thanks to a chapter in one of Carl Sagan’s books titled “The Moons of Barsoom” which as a child I must have read twenty times.

    Sagan closes the chapter with this aside:

    “The State of California was kind enough to give me an automobile license plate marked ‘PHOBOS’… The license plate pleases me. I would have preferred ‘BARSOOM’, but there is a strictly enforced limit of six letters per license plate.”

    For some odd reason, I have never forgotten this anecdote even after 25-odd years. Maybe I should read the books…

  3. NickM says:

    I was born in ’73 so I’m a fair bit younger than you. Now, when I saw “Return of The Jedi” Princess Leia’s metal bikini didn’t really move me*. Desert planet, impractical female attire leaving little to the imagination… do it for you?

    *In the school playground at the time liking girls was seen as a sign of being… gay. Go figure because I couldn’t then and I can’t now.

  4. El Draque says:

    Books by Edgar Rice Burroughs, right?
    The author who invented Tarzan.
    I read those long ago.
    If I remember correctly, the characters seemed often to lose many of their clothes and you’re invited to imagine a lithe youth running naked through a jungle . . . .
    Bit of a theme in his mind, I suppose.

  5. Paul Marks says:

    Burroughs wrote “Under the Red Flag” – an attack on a future socialist America, but (back then) conservative publishing houses were not common (Regnery Publishing did not arrive till 1947) and it got spiked (although he did manage to smuggle in some of the themes into his Mars works).

    He had to write fantasy fiction (with people with not many clothes on and so on) – because the publishing houses would not publish his political works. Still young people around the world gained from this.

  6. CountingCats says:


    What’s the betting they change the story line and make Deja Thoris white – make her into a thern.

  7. CountingCats says:

    El Draque,

    Try this one:

    The Hays Code soon put a stop to that.

  8. JuliaM says:

    “What’s the betting they change the story line and make Deja Thoris white…”

    Bound to happen! I wonder who they’ll cast?

  9. El Draque says:

    I knew that one, Cats.
    What’s more ridiculous? Thinking that such a scene is remotely offensive?
    Or thinking that the man in the shot has to stay dressed?

    Bizarre are the ways of the censorious. At that time, the American Society for Decency used to patrol beaches on the look out for topless sunbathers to object to. By men, of course. Male nipples – well – I mean to say – get them out of view !!

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