Dejah Thoris header art

Dejah Thoris seem from the frontPrincess Leia seen from 3/4 viewSide flaps on Princess of Mars outfit
Here we have Traci Lords as Dejah Thoris (far left and right) and Carrie Fisher as Princess Leia (center). Note that they are both wearing pretty much the same costume. Sigh.

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Dejah Thoris Index

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Asylum Pictures is a movie studio that is well known for coming out with grade-B clones of actual, more watchable A-level movies, often with very similar titles to said A-level movies. The aim, of course, is to trick unwary (i.e., stupid) moviegoers into watching their generally more crummy-ass films insead of the much better movies they actually intended to see.

That's how Princess of Mars became the first actual movie to made based on Burroughs' Mars books: Asylum actually got their movie out first, probably because Disney diddled around with their version forever. And of course, since Princess of Mars is FINALLY out of fricking copyright (as of 1983, I think) Disney can't sue Asylum for plagiarism, I'm sure that had SOMETHING to do with their considerations.

Given that it's the first Burroughs Mars story to be made into a movie, Princess of Mars OUGHT to be something special, but of course, it's NOT something special, though it actually is a decent B-movie, after all is said and done. It's got pretty good special effects considering its lack of budget and it rolls along pretty good generally in the spirit of the original.

Given that Asylum is an exploitation sort of studio, you might think that it would probably be a good idea to make Dejah Thoris as naked and sexy as they possibly could, given whatever rating they were shooting for -- and you would be right! And given that Asylum cast former porn actress Traci Lords as Dejah Thoris, you might think that is what they did -- but you would be oh, so, wrong.

Instead, what they did was pretty much knock off the infamous Slave Leia costume from Star Wars that makes so many cons so much sexier than they might otherwise be and, well there's no other way to describe it -- they frumped it up!

Taking a close look at the pictures of Traci Lords as Dejah Thoris and Carrie Fisher as Slave Leia, it's obvious what they did. They made an exact copy of the Princess Leia bra, right down to the metal squiggles on it, but made it bigger so that there would be absolutely no chance of side boobage or under boobage on display, in fact, no boobage on display at all, because that would be SO WRONG for a character who runs around naked in the original story.

They also significantly frumped up the lower half of the costume, expanding the gold metal waistband and adding side flaps to conceal any hint that the Princess of Mars might have a butt. Becaus that would be SO WRONG ...

Harem girl outfit from Princess of Mars
The harem girl outfit seen briefly in "Princess of Mars."

Near the middle of the movie Dejah is thrown into the harem of a gigantic green thark (15 foot tall, four-armed Martian warriors in the books, down to two arms and six or seven feet in the movie, but at least they kept the tusks!). Here her top magically changes into some kind of bejeweled harem girl top, much nicer than the Slave Leia knockoff, though not exactly skimpy, either. But once Dejah escapes from the harem, it's back to the Slave Leia outfit.

To be fair, "Princess of Mars" is a fairly entertaining little B-movie, It zips right along, sorta-kinda follows the book and given the obviously miniscule budget it had, made a real effort to portray Burrough's Barsoom (i.e., filmed in a desert with good use of matte paintings and judicious CGI).

But in the area of Dejah Thoris it fell down and flopped hard. And since this is a website about Dejah Thoris, we have to say, this might well be the bottom baseline from which we judge all other Dejah Thoris imagery, the lower limit as it were.

Of course, we have not yet seen John Carter of Mars.

Closeup of Traci Lords as Princess of Mars
Also, if you're going to cast someone as a princess, maybe you should cast someone who looks a wee tad younger. Lord's torso is tight and fit, but she doesnt look so princess-y in closeups.
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