KARACHI, PAKISTAN -- At least 1 million Pakistanis have flocked to movie theaters this spring to watch a hit adventure fantasy film in which British author Salman Rushdie gleefully tortures Moslem women, is pursued by heavily armed Pakistani and Arab guerrillas, and finally is burned to death by a laser beam from God.

"International Guerrillas," released here in the Pakistani languages of Urdu and Punjabi, opened in April at theaters across Pakistan and has been doing near-record business ever since. Its producers hope to market the film on videocassette in Middle Eastern countries and possibly in Europe.

Rushdie is portrayed in the film as the decadent and evil leader of a worldwide Jewish conspiracy against Islam. He grins and struts through the film while nailing his Moslem pursuers to wooden crosses, cutting their throats with his sword and then inhaling their blood from a handkerchief.

At one point, the cinematic Rushdie, who is shown living on a remote tropical island guarded by ruthless Israeli commandos, slaps around a Moslem woman captive, nails her to a cross and tortures her by reading passages from his controversial novel, "The Satanic Verses," which is regarded as blasphemous by many Moslems.

The real-life Rushdie (who is not Jewish, let alone a torturer) was condemned to death 16 months ago by the late Iranian leader Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, who urged all Moslems to take revenge against the author for his perceived blasphemy. Rushdie, who is also the author of the acclaimed novels "Midnight's Children" and "Shame," has been living in hiding under British police protection since.

The director of "International Guerrillas," Jan Mohammed, said in an interview that he was attracted to the film's script because after years of making pure entertainment films for Pakistani audiences, "there was something which was lacking. People would say, 'They were hits, but there is no theme value.' We were searching for something entertaining which would be meaningful as well."

At three hours in length, "International Guerrillas" is in many ways a conventional South Asian movie: There is a succession of gun battles interrupted every 15 minutes by a song and dance. Rushdie's film double doesn't do any dancing, but like all the other characters, including the guerrillas, he watches with barely restrained lust as Pakistan's hottest film actresses shake their bare midriffs, legs and arms while singing Urdu songs of love and seduction.

Director Mohammed said he didn't see any significant contradiction between a plot line based on an Islamic fundamentalist death decree against Rushdie and dance numbers that would almost certainly cause the late ayatollah to roll over in his grave.

"The most important thing was that {the film} shouldn't have been taken as a documentary, because then people wouldn't go to the cinema," Mohammed said. "If it would have {left out} all these dancers and all that, then people wouldn't go so much and they wouldn't have been absorbed so much."

Besides the singing and dancing, the film borrows frequently and sometimes bizarrely from Western cultural images. At one point the movie's heroic trio of Moslem guerrillas dress up in Batman costumes in an unsuccessful attempt to assassinate Rushdie. At another point the guerrillas disguise themselves as American hippie tourists in an effort to elude Israeli commandos watching the airport on Rushdie's tropical island.

Audiences around Pakistan apparently have been enthralled by both the plot and the cinematic gimmicks. Theatergoers report that a favorite audience chant during screenings of the movie is, "Rushdie, that bastard, finish him!"

At the Nasheem Cinema in downtown Karachi, where a giant billboard depicts the Rushdie character looming above the city horizon gripping a sword soaked with the blood of his Moslem victims, four young Pakistan air force recruits were buying tickets to see the film for a third time. "We want to see what is the end of somebody who ridicules Islam, " said Mohammed Ismail. "We haven't seen such a good movie -- ever. And it's also Islamic."

The film makes direct references to one recent and politically charged event in Pakistan: the deaths of seven Moslem demonstrators shot by police when a mob of anti-Rushdie protesters tried to burn down the American Center in the capital of Islamabad early in 1989.

In the movie, the evil police chief who orders the Islamabad shooting is depicted as a paid Jewish agent who receives a suitcase containing one million rupees ($50,000) in cash just before giving the order to open fire on the anti-Rushdie demonstrators, who are shown as peaceful and brave. Rushdie, who stalks around the film in a white linen suit with authorial reading glasses slipping down his nose, finally gets it in the end, although not at the hands of any of the guerrillas.

In the last scene, the movie's heroes are nailed to crosses for yet another round of torture and certain death at Rushdie's hands when they begin to chant verses from the Koran, Islam's holiest text. The skies darken and God's voice booms out, "The holy book is the most powerful. This is the book where there is no doubt. The Koran's protector is God himself." While a puzzled and distressed Rushdie looks skyward, a laser beam of fire shoots down from a hovering copy of the Koran and engulfs him in flames.

"That was an ending not made through the characters," explained director Mohammed. "It was the Koran's verdict."

Asked if he made the film in the hope that it would encourage Moslem guerrillas to ferret out Rushdie from his hiding place and kill him, Mohammed initially demurred, saying, "I'm not a religious man, or I mean to say, I'm not a religious leader." But how would the director feel if somebody who saw his film actually went out and assassinated Rushdie? "Everybody will be happy," Mohammed replied with a smile.